SCHOOL'S OUT FOR THE SUMMER
Spring has ended, and the summer season has begun. That means school's out! I loved the last day of school when I was a kid. It was a day to hang out, sign year books, and talk about how lazy you were going to be for the next 3 months.
School begins, and school ends.
Everything in life has a beginning and an end. It's not the way God wanted it to be, but because of the disobedience of Adam and Eve, all things have an end.
Even the earth will have an end. In 2 Peter 3:12-13 we see this description of that very scene:
"...as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells."
Talk about a scorcher of a day. Dog Days ain't got nothing on God.
The point is that there is an end, a close, a conclusion to everything - including you and me.
CONCLUSION OF THE WHOLE MATTER
Solomon was a very wise king. He wasn't always a smart king though. I mean, how dumb do you have to be to marry 700 wives!? But he did give some amazing wisdom in Proverbs. But it's his other writings in Ecclesiastes that I want to look at.
If you know anything about the book of Ecclesiastes, it's a real downer. I mean he starts the thing off in verse 2 with, "Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless." But even a book like this has an end (thank goodness), and it's found in the very last two verses.
Solomon wrote this:
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. (Eccl. 12:13-14)
I would say he summed it up pretty good. I like when things are simple and easy to understand.
He concluded that, after a life of riches, kingdoms, wisdom, and more, that the only two things we really need to do is fear God and do what he tells you. Why? Because eventually everything we have done, whether it's good or not so good, will be brought into the light.
This kind of gives me the same feeling as I got opening my last report card for the year, when I was a kid. School was out, but the things on that paper, whether good or bad were going to determine a few things about my summer.
If you were to guess, what do you think your final grade would be for the subjects of:
Think about it. Everyday, you are making decisions that will either help you succeed or fall behind in these two subjects. And like it or not the final exam is coming. (boy, that sounded a little more morbid than I was intending...but it is true)
The good news is that you have some time. If you aren't doing so hot right now, then ask help from the Tutor (Holy Spirit). He will teach you (John 14:26), convict you when you sin (John 16:6-7), guide you in truth (John 16:13), give you gifts (1 Cor. 12:7-11), help you pray (Romans 8:26-27), and help you bear spiritual fruit (Galatians 5:22-23).
It's time to bring those grades up. Consider this the beginning of summer school not a spiritual vacation time. Take steps this summer to deepen your faith, and walk closer to God than ever before.
Do a Bible reading plan
Join a summer Bible study
Meet up with a friend once a week and read through a book of the Bible together
Double up on sermons. Come to church, then listen to an message in the YouTube archives
Fast and pray about big things in your life once a month
Study the Bible topically...Go to google and type "Bible verses about ___________"
Listen to some new worship music (I recommend "The Worship Initiative")
If you have little kids, read a short devotion every day this summer (I recommend "God Is In Nature" by Jessica Doebler 😏)
There's still time to bring up that grade. So get busy.
God, I'm thankful for your grace. I'm also thankful that I've been forgiven of my sin in Christ. I know my actions don't make you love me more, but I still desire to do better job of following you each day. Help me to rely more on the Holy Spirit and less on myself. Help me to dive in deep this summer. In Jesus' name, amen!
What do you find to be the most helpful in following God on a daily basis?