Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of July 15, 2007

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil (bad).

Life is all about worship. We all worship something or someone. Many of us worship ourselves. But, if it is our purpose to worship the Lord, we will have to keep His commandments which means to guard His Truth. One of the Truths that we will have to guard is the truth that we are accountable to the Living God of heaven.

The preacher who wrote this book was likely the wisest man that ever lived apart from the Lord Himself. Yet when he examines life, he finds it to be empty. He planted, he built, he bought, he partied, he learned. Yet everything he did seemed to be empty. The reason life seemed to be empty is because of the temporary nature of life on this planet. He knew that the sun would keep rising and shining long after he was gone. He knew that there would be generations following him that would not appreciate what he had done.

If we live for riches, at the end of life, what do we have? I know that we can be more occupied with money when we don’t have it than we are sometimes when we do have it. But still, when is enough, enough? When the rich man of Luke 12:20, finally got his retirement fund large enough so he thought he could take it easy, he died and left it all to others.

If we build, it may last a long time, but at some point the things we build will likely need to be destroyed. If we plant, in time the weeds are going to take over. If we spend our time learning, we will find out that man’s knowledge is always changing and in come cases is absolutely wrong. Remember that, at one time, barbers did the doctoring though blood-letting. They would drain the bad blood out of a person and hope that the blood that replaced it would cure whatever ailed the person. Of course, sometimes they drained the life right out of a person. I don’t think this is accepted medical practice today.

We can live self-centered lives or we can live other-centered lives. The Lord’s commandments that we are to keep or guard can be summed up by two statements: 1. Love God. 2. Love your neighbor (Luke 10:27). I believe it takes a change of mind and a change of heart to truly love God, and I don’t think we can worship Him if we don’t love Him. That is why the Lord tells Nicodemus that the new birth is an absolute must (John 3:7). Solomon who is the preacher who authored this book, appears to have lived a very self-centered life for much of his reign. He realizes how empty that was at the end of this book.

Sometimes we say that the whole duty of man is to glorify or honor God. Since Jesus is the Son of God, we cannot glorify God without honoring His Son. We honor His Son when we first trust Him to be the One who not only could but who did take the punishment that we deserved because of our sins. Honoring the Lord Jesus changes our outlook from the here and now to eternity. It changes our thinking from being self-centered to being other-centered. It changes life from a dismal existence that ends with death to an eternal hope that never ends.

So what is the whole duty of man? It is to fear God and to do what He says. Our fear should be fear and trembling before we are saved; but, afterwards, our fear should be the fear of acting like we do not appreciate Who the Lord is and what He has done for us. We certainly don’t want to end up at the end of life having tried everything except the One thing that can make sense out of life and that can give life a sense of purpose. That one thing is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We need to trust the Lord and we need to do what He says.

Bruce Collins

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