The conclusion of the matter

Ecclesiastes 12:13:

13 Now all has been heard;
    here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
    for this is the duty of all mankind.

In the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon talks about all the things in life he tried and found to be disappointing: the intellectual pursuit of knowledge, the physical pursuit of pleasure, and the material pursuit of wealth. In the last chapter of Ecclesiastes he bottom-lines it: “Everything is meaningless” (v. 8 NIV). In other words: “Been there, done that – and it’s just the ‘same ol’, same ol’.” Now, penning his last divinely-inspired thoughts, he wraps up his life’s message with these words: “Here is the conclusion of the matter.” This is big stuff! Solomon is about to give us his bottom-line evaluation of a life well-lived. What is it?

“Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment” (vv. 13-14 NIV). The words “fear God” simply mean to reverence, love, and serve Him, and live your life according to the precepts laid down in His Word. The songwriter put it this way: “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” Author John Mason writes: “Is more money, a higher position, or more influence your goal? These are not goals; they are the by-product of true goals…Seek not success, but truth, and you will find both. Work to become, not acquire. Measure wealth by the things you have which you would not exchange for money.” When you wake each morning, pray this simple prayer: “Lord, above all else help me to spend this day loving You and carrying out Your will. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”
Soul food: Deut 8-10; Mark 6:30-44; Ps 37:8-15; Prov 11:27-29

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