Big Hill Bible Studies
4 April 2018
My favorite OT author is Solomon. I love to read Proverbs - probably due to my short attention span and the abundance of the "one liner" words of life instruction. I also love Ecclesiastes, a book full of deep, wonderful, and insightful wisdom. My favorite verses in Ecclesiastes is in Solomon's final words - "The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil." (12:13-14).
"Fear God and keep His commandments." How do we do that? How do we make that happen and what does it look like? Even more concerning may be - where do we start? Let's begin in Matthew 22. In verses 34-40 we are told a lawyer asked Jesus which was the greatest commandment. We can see Jesus' response in verses 37-39 where He says, ". . you shall love the Lord your God with all you heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (Mark 12:30 adds "and with all your strength). And the second is like it, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
What have you ever done that required all your heart, mind, soul, and strength? All together, at the same time, in full power. That's a huge command and seems to be an exhaustive effort. It requires full focus, complete dedication, and leaves nothing for anything else. That is, unless this fully focused effort in given to something that involves everything else. God is jealous and demands first place in our lives, this is true. And that love and dedication for Him involves love and dedication to everyone else - even ourselves. What He demands of us is to have a life full of love and compassion - even service to others. Consider Matthew 25:40, where Jesus teaches that doing something needed by others is in fact serving Him. The all out, dedicated, life of serving Christ is not a difficult, draining life, but rather a joyful, fulfilling, and abundant life. How can that be? It is because that is how He made us - in His image, fearfully and wonderfully, by His design and for His purpose. The only difficulty we will have in living this life is when we choose to worship ourselves instead of Him. Let's choose God and an abundant life and reject self worship and the struggles that come with it. Then let's see what He does through us to accomplish His will.