The Bottom Line
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. ~Ecclesiastes 12:13
In mathematics, the complete addition of a set of numbers is known as the sum total. For instance, when we go shopping, the cashier will check in all of the items that we are purchasing, and after inputting the cost of each item, she will give us the “sum total” of our purchase. The sum total is also known as “the bottom line.” This morning, we want to consider the bottom line of the Christian life.
We see the disappointment in life.
Solomon is the author of Ecclesiastes. As he considered the cycle of life, he was discouraged at life’s vanities. He saw how accumulations, accomplishments, and acumen all amounted to vanity. He saw how the things that men strove for in life were temporal and not eternal in nature. He realized that all things must come to an end. He was awakened to the fact that we should enjoy life and be careful to not get caught up in the chase of things. His emphasis was that man should not spend his entire life chasing after things that do not have eternal value.
We see the demand in life.
He said, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” Life demands that we live our life for God’s glory. This is best fulfilled by having a proper fear of God. Having the fear of God is having a reverential awe and adoration of God. It is waking up each day with the thought, “How can I glorify God?” It is worshipping the God of glory with all of our heart, soul, and mind. Fearing God is realizing that we must answer to God for the opportunities of life. The greatest opportunity that every man has been given is to accept God’s free gift of eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ. To neglect receiving Christ as Savior is to neglect the soul and despise God’s goodness to us. The fear of God keeps everything in life in its right perspective.
We see the directive for life.
Keep His commandments. Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Obedience is the outward display of our affection towards God. Obedience tells God that we love Him and His Word. It shows our complete respect of His Word and its eternal value for our life. Obedience demonstrates that we love God for Who He is and not for what we can get out of Him. Obedience is the pathway and key to a successful Christian life. Obedience is the means by which the joy of the Lord abounds in us. Obedience is the key that unlocks the door to answered prayer. We must obey God rather than man.
We see the duty of life.
Solomon said, “This is the whole duty of man.” He was saying that the bottom line is that we are to put God first and live for Him. Our basic thinking should be, “What does God think about this? Will God be glorified from this?” We were made to praise and honor the Lord. We are not saved to live for ourselves but for Him Who died and gave His life for us. The bottom line is that we must live for God.
Has life become complicated for you? Have you been living with mixed priorities and direction? Consider Solomon’s assessment of life summed up in one sentence: “Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” That’s the bottom line!
Have an obedient God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Numbers 16-17