Together in Christ: 'A Very Clear Bottom Line!' — Ecclesiastes 12:12-14

Monday, April 29, 2024

But, my child, let me give you some further advice: Be careful, for writing books is endless, and much study wears you out.

That's the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone's duty. God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.

— Ecclesiastes 12:12-14 NLT

Key Thought

The self-named author of Ecclesiastes, Qoheleth, [1] comes to the end of his book and gives the bottom-line value to life. In cornbread English, I would summarize it this way:

You can read all the books you want to read — and there are more books than you can count — but here's what is essential to living a meaningful life: have a holy reverence for God and obey what He teaches you. This approach to life is critical in this life and even more vital if you want to enjoy life with God after you die!

Rather than me writing more words to explain these truths, why don't you take a few minutes and pray focused on Qoheleth's [1] words today about what is essential in life, and then re-write your spiritual job description emphasizing what you need to do to fulfill God's will and honor Him with your life!

[1] Many translations identify the author in Ecclesiastes 1:1: "These are the words of the Teacher, King David's son, who ruled in Jerusalem." As the NLT notes tell us, the Hebrew word translated as "Teacher," is Qoheleth, the name the writer of Ecclesiastes (Solomon) chose to use!

Today's Prayer

Father, forgive me for all the times I've wanted some new spiritual truth to awaken me from my spiritual lethargy. Forgive me for running after book after book to find meaning in my life when I refused to obey Your holy Scriptures. Please, Holy Spirit, stir my heart so it yearns to know the truth of God and obey it. Father, I ask that You humble me gently as I seek to love and serve You with genuine and reverent awe. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • James 1:21-27
  • Matthew 6:7-33

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Illustration

Illustration of Ecclesiastes 12:12-14 NLT — But, my child, let me give you some further advice: Be careful, for writing books is endless, and much study wears you out.

That's the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone's duty. God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.