Ecclesiastes 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
There are all kinds of sayings that bring us to a conclusion. We like to say, “at the end of the day,” or “the bottom line,” or in “the final analysis,” but they all mean the same thing … this is the end of a matter.
We all have some kind of ‘end to the matter’ in our lives. A friend of mine loves to write about hope, which is his ‘end of the matter.’ Another friend loves to focus on the purpose of life and how we affect others by who we are and what we do, this is his ‘end of the matter.’ Most of the Christians I know would probably say their ‘end of the matter’ is God’s Grace. We all have some kind of conclusion that we like to say matters to us, and I thought I would share mine. Of course, by now if you are a regular visitor to my blog you probably already know that the ‘end of the matter’ for me is fearing God and keeping Him first. (I happen to conclude on the same note as King Solomon did when he wrote the Verse in Ecclesiastes.)
I find that for me, Knowing God is the ‘end of the matter,’ and by Knowing Him, I display who He is by what I become. Life is a series of ‘becoming’ sometimes we call it ‘growing’ ‘maturing’ or becoming more ‘Christ-like.’ How that concludes for me is: “does my life reflect God’s Message more than simply conforming to a form of religion? Some of us may be so encouraged by what God has done for us that we fail to respond to His Grace by ignoring His desire for us to change. Do I keep losing more of myself in gaining more of Him, and if so, what does that look like at the end of the day?
The Bottom Line Issues for Christians:
• Becoming aware of your surroundings … Faith without works is dead.
• Standing on Moral ground against the issues that destroy life.
• Prioritizing the Spiritual over the cultural trends and traditions
• Any change is possible, but not without God; priority for change is in putting Him first.
• The Gospel is about Sacrifice and not your opinion; Humility is a result of knowing God.
Jesus always said that His words were not his own but were the Father’s:
John 12:49 I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it.
There will always be someone greater than we are, that is evident in our positions in life … and it is true in death. In life, we have bosses and rule makers who orchestrate how we live. In death, we have God. In life we want to be the rule makers, but in death there is only one rule maker, and that’s God. He is the bottom line. God is always the bottom line, and His rules make life work … both here and for Eternity. If you live your life as if you have become your own bottom line, there will come a time you will be greatly disappointed. Life has a beginning and an end … God is the bottom line at both.
There have been reports that the president of the largest Christian University in America has had some questionable Moral failure. Again, to his own admittance, he and his wife have lived beyond the limits of their marriage vows. Everyone is prone to failure, but when that failure is hidden and perpetuated in the shadows, you are no longer fit for service for the Lord. The order for people who have moral failure is simple: (1) Repent (2) Be Restored (3) Rescue others. You may never again be a university president, but you will be restored to ministering to others who need what you discovered through your Moral failure. I remember another national ministry president who failed his marriage by having an affair. He walked through the three steps I mention and following his Restoration, he and his wife held seminars for men and women in ministry who were vulnerable in the same manner that contributed to his Moral failure. That is what moral failure looks like once Repentance and Restoration take place. What was done in darkness is now shared in the Light, so others will learn to become more preventative.
For me, I don’t want to reduce God’s Grace down to just how it affects me. I can personally rejoice in the provision of Salvation and will gladly give my life to God for His Cause to reach every human being through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Keeping Life Honest and Truthful … Larry Kutzler