“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, KJV
Believe it or not, this one verse changed the course of my life. Have you ever gotten to the point where you just said, “God, I really need some clear direction for where I’m heading and what I’m doing with my life. I really, really, really need you to speak to me.” I did, and then I read this verse.
Isn’t it amazing how God can wrap up your whole life mission and purpose and hand it to you with a bow on top with one simple phrase? That’s what He did for me with today’s text, “…fear God and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”
Wow, is that it God? My whole duty can be wrapped up into two simple assignments: fear God and keep His commandments? Don’t you think that’s a staggering revelation? I’m expecting a long dissertation, and God gives me two things. They are the same two things that He gives to all of us. Fear Him and keep His commandments. So let’s talk about that.
(1) Fear God
Now that doesn’t mean fear like you have to live your whole life afraid of God, waiting from Him to drop the hammer on you. The word really just means to respect, or to have a reverence for. In other words, it’s a choice that we make to honor God, to honor His word, and to respect the things of God. It means moving past the point of being a once-a-week casual observer of Him to becoming a fully devoted follower of Him through His son Jesus everyday of your life. And trust me after thirty years of seeking after Him with my whole heart; it’s been worth every minute of it.
(2) Keep His commandments
You’d think this would be pretty easy, but a lot of people don’t know His commandments. It all starts with the Bible, the Word of God. It’s the road map for life, and the guidebook for becoming who God intended you to be. It’s all found right there in the Book. So, if you’re willing to allow God to use it for shaping and molding you, it won’t take long to see an amazing transformation of your character. But, it requires some effort on your part. You’ve got to read it, study it, and when you come to something that slaps you across the face, you have to suck it up and do what it says.
So today, let’s remember that our call of duty requires two simple things. Fear God and keep His commandments—it’s our duty.