Know: Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep His commandments. for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)
Consider: It’s so easy to get side-tracked, isn’t it? Our kids need scholarships. Our home needs maintenance. Our finances need improvement. Our bodies need to shape up. The list goes on and on.
But the last chapter of Ecclesiastes brings it all back into perspective. After all the striving,
“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep His commandments,for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)
Key Concept: [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][tweetthis]Major on the majors! Fearing God is THE major concept.[/tweetthis]
This Week’s Faith Over Fear Challenge: Make a “Six Things” to do list before you go to bed each night this week, and prioritize God in your daily schedule.
Questions for Discussing & Journaling:
1. What pitfalls consistently distract you from focusing on the Lord’s will for your life? Finances? Security? Quest for beauty in your home or self?
2. Have you led your kids—by example and by teaching—to fear the Lord? Or have you contributed to the distractions? Have you pushed the quest to succeed in worldly terms? The quest to be safe? The quest to be comfortable?
3. How do you want to remember the days you are living in now?
4. We face job reviews regularly (OERs in the Army). Praise God we are not saved by works, by a list of accomplishments! Still, it’s good to do a gut-check once in awhile. How is my heart OER? Can He say I’ve had a heart that fears God, willing to do whatever He asks?
Continue: Bible Memory & Daily Homework
Day 1: Bible Memory
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14. The Lord has said this is the bottom line. Sounds like a good verse for the kids to learn, too. So make it a game! Quiz each other over dinner. Who can learn it first? Who can make it into a sing-song? Who has to do push-ups if they can’t fill in a blank word?
Day 2: Guarding the Tongue
Check out Ecclesiastes 5:4-7. Too often our society thinks of God as our buddy, our co-pilot. We don’t take seriously His sovereignty. Have you made a promise to God in the past you need to fulfill?
Day 3: Fear God Alone
In Job 1:8, God calls Job “a man who fears God.” Read Job 1:1-12. What would it take for Him to describe you that way?
Day 4: Give Thanks for the Small Things
Read Micah 6:6-9. Do you get frustrated you can’t do ‘big’ things? There’s no extra money left for a special gift to the homeless? Your kids’ needs leave you little time to help your neighbor? Your firstborn is more excited about gaming than missions? Fearing the Lord isn’t living in constant guilt. He asks simple things. But sometimes those simple things are the hardest.
Day 5: Seize the Day
Take a minute to read all of Ecclesiastes 12. What a description of growing old! Are you putting off some aspects of your relationship with God until later: Maybe when we retire we can have foster kids. Maybe when the kids are gone I can have a prayer life. Maybe someday I’ll go on a mission trip. While there’s a season for everything, be careful that your heart is open to what God would have you do now.
Creative Component: Write your epithet…what you want said about you at your funeral (or 75th birthday party). How do you want to be remembered? That’s your mission for how to live! Make a poster and put it where you will be reminded. You can make your own chalkboard printable with a website like http://www.wherethesmileshavebeen.com/chalkboards/
Submitted by Tonia Gütting.
Chime in and comment below: How’s your spiritual OER?