Your Whole Duty
the tinsel town of stardom in Hollywood end up with disastrous outcomes? Nothing can satisfy the fallen human condition except God through a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.
[The silver cord, golden bowl, water jar, and pulley in verse 6 symbolize life’s fragility. How easily death comes to us; how swiftly and unexpectedly we return to dust. Therefore, we should recognize life as a precious resource to be used wisely and not squandered frivolously.]
7} "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. 8} Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity." (Ecclesiastes 12:7-8 KJV).
Last week I spoke about how children are introduced in this world from the womb with soul, and spirit. God’s breath lives within them. Our spirit continues to live in these bodies until these bodies (stained with sin) die.
[Stripped of God’s purpose, our work is in vain. Stripped of God’s love, our service is futile. We must put God first over all we do and in all we do because without him we have nothing. Knowing that life is futile without God motivates a wise person to seek God first.] (Genesis 3:19; Matthew 6:33).
Have you ever been given something by someone that seem to be tedious and a waste of your time? Whether it was a book to read or some empty words of worldly values, it left you weary and unfulfilled. Unless the words are words of wisdom from which Solomon asked God for, their words are empty (I Kings 3:7-12).
Again, Solomon, the preacher (Hebrew qôheleth) a collector of sentences, a public speaker, a speaker in an assembly) asked God for words to govern wisely over the people. It’s been said "Opinions are like two nostrils, everyone has them."
There are many how too books covering every humanistic topic known to men and women. Solomon says it is all vanity. Did you know that all the worldly philosophies of man's so-called brilliant deductions shall perish with him in the grave (1 Corinthians 1:27-31; 3:19,20; Hosea 4:6; Proverbs 5:21-23; Ecclesiastes 1:17,18; Colossians 2:8-10).
Name me one earthly thing that man has engineered that will be in God's Kingdom (Heaven)? Does God ever copy after man's knowledge? Does the clay ever tell the potter how to create things?
[Paul declared to his listeners that no amount of human knowledge can replace or bypass Christ’s work on the cross. If it could, Christ would be accessible only to the intellectually gifted and well educated, and not to ordinary people or to children.]
[Paul warns against any philosophy of life that is based only on human ideas and experiences. Paul himself was a gifted philosopher, so he does not condemn education or philosophy. But he does condemn teaching that credits human wisdom, not Christ, with being the answer to life’s problems. That approach becomes a false religion. There are many human approaches to life’s problems that totally disregard God.]
Strong Bible believing churches should spend most of their time feeding on the truth of God’s word and putting the wisdom they gain into action. Wise students of the Bible through prayer will understand and be led by the Holy Spirit. Because our time on earth is so short, we should use it wisely.
[God’s work is best accomplished by people devoted to it. Don’t let your lack of training or position stop you from making a solid contribution to God’s kingdom. Give your energy wherever it can be used to carry out his work.]
Without a relationship with Jesus, people can see no further than the planet than are trying to save. But all their worldly scientific knowledge will never save it. Even if you cleaned up the whole earth, sin is still there to corrupt it (2 Peter 3:9-12). That’s why Jesus is coming back for his church (bride).
Humanistic knowledge will be consumed by this fire. (Isaiah 34:4; Joel 3:15-16; Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21; Revelation 6:12-17). Realizing that the earth will go through fire, we should put our confidence in what lasts eternally and not be bound to earthly treasures or pursuits.
True followers of Jesus live beyond the earthly destruction that’s coming and look at things that are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:18 KJV). We are told to seek those things above and things not on the earth. We came into the world with nothing, but when we leave with nothing, we are gaining everything. (Philippians 3:10-14). Hallelujah! Praise God for his gift of salvation!
When confronted with a choice of doing your due diligence (duty) before God, you do so with (yârê) reference. It requires your heart to revere, and to stand in awe of God. We are also to keep his commandments.
It's amazing that God gave us his commandments on stone, but his love for us went beyond that to writing his laws in our heart. (Hebrews 8:10; 10:16,17). His commandments are also not burdensome (1John 5:3).
Jesus never promised that obeying him would be easy. But the hard work and self-discipline of serving him won’t be a burden to those who love him. Which would you rather have, the burdens and corruption of the world and its debilitating laws, or the taking up of your cross and following Jesus?
Jesus told those who followed him these words, 28}" Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29} Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30} For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30 KJV).
When we repent and turn to Jesus in forgiveness of our sins, he sends the Holy Spirit, who gives us new desires, helping us want to obey God (Philippians 2:12,13).
[With new hearts, we find that serving God is our greatest joy. Under God’s new covenant, he has written the law on our hearts. The Holy Spirit reminds us of Christ’s words, activates our consciences, influences our motives and desires, and makes us want to obey God.]
When you do something with all your heart for someone, you're giving them the whole you. The whole duty of man or involves complete faith in God. The more time we spend in prayer, his word, and fellowship with other believers we can know that 1) God’s ways are best. 2) God wants your obedience more than anything else. 3) God can use anything to accomplish his purposes.
I once knew a friend who worked at ATI. He was curious about the afterlife but felt he could remain neutral in the whole matter of good and evil. He asked me the following question, "Hey Rev, what do I have to do to go to hell?"
He thought if remained neutral and did not commit any heinous crimes (murder, incest, theft, adultery) he was ok. I simply told him "If you don't do anything, you will die in your sins and spend eternity in hell. Not according to me, but what (Revelation 20:12-15; 21:8) says."
I also explained to him that we are born with a sin nature right out of the womb. This is why Jesus came to fix our impossible situation. He then understood that he needed to make a choice. You see my friends, God is going to bring our whole lives before us, every word and every aspect of our lives will be played back to us before Jesus (Ecclesiastes 12:14; Hebrews 9:27). Even those little secrets you thought no one else knew about. Good and evil can only be deciphered by Jesus Christ. (Matthew 25:34-46).
This much is certainly known for all of us my friends, the living know that they will die. The dead know nothing, they have no further reward, and even their name is forgotten. Many times people remember the dash between two dates, but cannot remember the obituaries spoken about them (Ecclesiastes 9:5).
Remember beloved, the flesh will die (return to dust) but the spirit lives on in eternity in only one of two addresses. (Matthew 25:31-34; 45,46; Luke 16:19-31).
🗣📢 Last words: So, the conclusion (the end) of the message for today is, how valuable is your eternal destiny? You have a choice to listen, seek truth from what I've shared with you today, or reject it and hear the condemning words of judgement. Solomon searched for satisfaction almost as though he was conducting a scientific experiment.
He understood that people will not find meaning in life through knowledge, money, pleasure, work, or popularity. True satisfaction comes from knowing that what we are doing is part of God’s purpose for our lives. Solomon searched for satisfaction almost as though he was conducting a scientific experiment.
Solomon encourages his readers to live life to its fullest, knowing life is short. In the end, the fullest life is one that honors God and keeps his ways (Ecclesiastes 12:13–14).
📚 More living knowledge: Proverbs 1:5-7; 2:4-11; 4:20-23; Colossians 3:1-3; Matthew 15:18,19; Psalm 19:2; Romans 1:19,20; 11:33,34; Titus 3:9,10; 1 Corinthians 1:21; 1 John 4:1-3; 2 Timothy 2:3
🛐 Here’s some dutiful prayer you can pray. "Heavenly Father, thank you for opening my mind to the awareness of my lack of duty towards those you have placed in my life.
Lord, help me to revere your commandments. Strengthen me in those weak areas of my flash that leads to disrespecting your will, purpose, and plan you have for my life.
Jesus, strengthen me that I will no longer be conformed into the pattern of this world and squeezed into its mold, but day by day be increasingly transformed by your word.
Lord, help me take every thought captive and surrender my heart and life to you in true obedience and godly humility. Build my life into a spiritual house I pray, where you are the cornerstone.
Holy Spirit, guide me, encourage me, and train me. I surrender all I am to you today and pray that I may walk in newness of love and humble obedience. In Jesus' name I pray, amen."
❤ If you would like to know Jesus as your Savior, please read the drop-down page entitled "How to know Jesus."
"The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you."
Pastor Todd Boxley
Worship Center Ministry