We’ve looked briefly at King Solomon’s observations of the earthly life we all are living, and it’s not been very encouraging. He looked at relationships, possessions, and pleasure. Vanity, futility, chasing after the wind. That’s the result of all we’re doing here.
Finally he offers a suggestion, and after reading the entire book of Ecclesiastes it seems to be the only logical alternative to this pointless life we’re living.
The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. – Ecclesiastes 12:13 NASB
For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil. – Ecclesiastes 12:14 NASB
Nothing is hidden from God. The good, the bad, the ugly. Those thoughts I don’t share with anyone? God knows them. That behavior no one else sees? God sees it. When I’m faking my spirituality? God’s not deceived.
Well, now that’s a problem. No matter how hard I try not to think those thoughts, and not behave like that, and not fake it, I still fail.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. – Romans 3:23 NASB
Am I doomed?
Fortunately God recognized my failures and weaknesses long before I was ever born. He sent His only begotten Son to earth to cover my imperfections with His perfection. The death of Jesus on the cross was a defining moment for me and for you, too.
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. – 2 Corinthians 5:21.
Righteousness means “in right standing.” As one who is now in right standing with God I have some expectations placed on me. I am supposed to keep His commandments. Does that include all the Old Testament temple worship activities and sacrifices? Am I supposed to observe all the Jewish holidays? How do I know what I’m supposed to do?
When Jesus came to earth He lived His life in various roles. Two of those roles were teacher and shepherd.
When I accepted Jesus as my savior I had immediate access to Him as my teacher and as my shepherd. But I have a part to play in that access.
Imagine taking a class and never listening to the instructor and never reading the textbook. Who would do that? Christianity is liberally populated with people who don’t listen to Jesus and rarely read the Bible. How can I keep His commandments if I don’t know what they are?
Jesus is always available as my teacher. Am I always available as His student?
Just knowing His commandments doesn’t mean I automatically know how to keep them. That’s where His role as shepherd comes in. The shepherd kept his sheep safe, fed, and in line. Knowing how to apply His commandments to my daily life is critical to my growth as a follower of His. Application of His commandments keeps me safe, fed, and in line.
Who do you say Jesus is? If He’s your savior, are you allowing yourself to be His student? Are you submitting to His role as shepherd?
It’s my responsibility to grow closer to Him and to the person He wants me to be. If you share that feeling please remember Jesus is in our corner. He wants more for us than He wants from us.