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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Dr. David Jeremiah » David Jeremiah - Before It's Too Late

David Jeremiah - Before It's Too Late

TOPICS: Searching for Heaven on Earth, Lifestyle, Time, Wisdom

The Sobibor Nazi concentration camp was set in the scenic woods near the Bug River which separates Poland and Russia. The natural beauty of the setting stood in stark contrast to the stench and horror of this concentration camp where torture and death awaited every man, woman, and child who arrived there. On October 14, 1943, Jewish slaves, laborers in Sobibor surprised their captors by using their shovels and their pickaxes as weapons in a well-planned attack. Some of the Jewish prisoners cut the electricity to the fence. They used pistols that they had captured and rifles to shoot their way past the German guards. Hundreds of others stormed through the barbed wire and mine fields to the potential safety of the nearby forest. Of the 700 prisoners who took part in the escape, 300 made it to the forest. Of those who made it to the forest, less than 100 are known to have survived. Most were hunted down by the Germans and executed on the spot. One of the former prisoners who lived to talk about Sobibor was a man named Thomas Blatt, or Toivi, as he was known in his native Poland. Toivi was 15 years old when his family was herded into Sobibor. His parents were executed in the gas chamber, but Toivi, who was young and healthy, was a prime candidate for slave labor so they kept him alive. In the confusion of the escape back in 1943, Toivi had attempted to crawl through a hole in the barbed wire fence but was trampled on by the prisoners who stormed the fence and ran through the mine field. As a result, Toivi was one of the last to escape the camp. He and two companions started their long journey through the dense woods. Every morning, at daybreak, they buried themselves in the woods to sleep and every night they made their way through the trees and the thick brush. The boys had much to drive them on. They were young, they were determined, they were filled with revenge and fear, had a deep desire to survive and, most significantly, they had regained something they'd once lost. They now had hope. But what they really needed was a guide, someone who could read the stars, someone who knew north from south and east from west. All three of them were city boys and they had no outdoor skills at all. After four nights of wandering through the cold forest, the three boys saw buildings silhouetted against the dark sky in the distance. With smiles on their faces, they eagerly approached it with the hope that it might provide sanctuary from those who were chasing them. As they got closer, they noticed that the building they had seen was a tower, specifically it was the east tower of the Sobibor concentration camp. They had made one giant circle through the woods and they had ended up exactly where they started. Terrified, the three boys plunged back into the forest but only Toivi lived to tell about their awful experience.

In these last weeks as we've examined the book of Ecclesiastes, we have followed Solomon on such a journey. Starting out to find the meaning of life only to find himself going in circles. Going down cul-de-sacs, going in turnabouts, and discovering that all of the things that he pursued without God left him right back where he started, only tired for the energy he had invested in the journey. The last two chapters of this book are studied together because the argument flows from the 11th chapter all the way through to the end and the chapter break is more for convenience than it is for understanding, so we're gonna cover these chapters together. Obviously, we can't take a long time on each of the verses but Solomon has taken us down this road of investigation in this book.

And in case you weren't here when we started, I want to remind you once again that Solomon has written three books. He wrote one book in his youth, the book of romance which is the Song of Solomon. He wrote another book at midlife which is the book of Proverbs. That's the book of rules. And then he wrote this book at the end of his life and that's the book of regrets. And now, as Solomon has taken us through this process, he has helped us understand that life under the sun without God is a meaningless experience. It's like being in a cul-de-sac, it's like going around about, it's nowhere. It gets you nowhere. It just leaves you empty and he's got many metaphors to describe it. It's like chasing the wind. It's like vanity. It's like a puff of smoke. Life without God, Solomon has demonstrated in many ways, is meaningless.

In the passage that we have before us today, he is going to resolve all the questions that he has raised in these first ten chapters. And he's going to come at last in the 12th chapter to what he calls the final conclusion. Here's my final conclusion. But Solomon wants us to understand that on the way to the final conclusion we are still here on this earth and we are going to ultimately be with God forever but on this earth we have to live by the priorities of life. And so it's very interesting that, starting at the beginning of the 11th chapter and going all the way through to the end of the 12th chapter, Solomon kind of gives us some overarching principles upon which we should base our lives.

And as you look at these principles with me, you will see that they are sort of the conclusions of many of the threads of argument that Solomon has woven together in this book. And that they come sort of like admonitions and the first one is in verses 1 through 6 of chapter 11. It goes like this: "Life is uncertain, so embrace it". Life is uncertain, so embrace it. Solomon has gone to great pain to demonstrate throughout the pages of Ecclesiastes the uncertainty of life. We cannot know. In fact, four times in these verses, he says, "You don't know. You cannot know. Life is uncertain". The temptation that many of us would have if we believe we're ultimately gonna go to heaven and that this life is uncertain, we ought to just chill out, sit back, and not do anything risky, just kind of be cool, and go through life and wait for death and then you go to be with God. And I know some people that live like that.

But if you study Solomon's Wisdom Literature you'd never be able to take that course because Solomon really has an interesting take on life when it comes to this particular process. He begins by telling us life is uncertain, embrace it, so the first thing you need to do is diversify your investments. Life is uncertain. Notice in verses 1 and 2: "Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days. Give a serving to seven, also to eight, for you do not know what evil would be on the earth".

Now this first verse of the 11th chapter captures another one of those famous idioms in the book of Ecclesiastes. "Cast your bread on the water". You've heard that before. Maybe you wondered where it came from. Well, it's right here from the book of Ecclesiastes. And what it means in the context of this book is in that particular time, the merchants of Solomon's day would load up their grain ships and send them off in commerce, hoping that in the process, they would be able to trade and bring back more in trade than what they set out. That was casting their bread on the water. They would load up their grain in these big ships and, if they didn't send them out, they would sit in the harbor and rot. Solomon says, "Casting your bread upon the waters," and he uses the plural. In other words, don't put all your grain in one ship. Put your grain in several ships and send it out in a diversified way so that if one of 'em doesn't work, you've got some others that do.

Now in our day and age, we call that diversifying your portfolio, not putting all of your investment in one place. Solomon is telling us that we should, because life is uncertain and we don't know what's going to happen, we should spread our investments out. In fact, he goes so far as to say, seven or eight different places. He says in verse 2: "Give a serving to seven, or also to eight, for you do not know what evil will be on the earth". Then he goes into another argument of the same nature, only this one has to do with how we go about our work. We're to diversify our investment and he says we're to be diligent in our involvement.

Notice verses 3 and following: "If the clouds are full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth; and if a tree falls to the south or the north, in the place where the tree falls, there it shall lie. He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap. As you do not know what is the way of the wind, or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, so you do not know the works of God who makes everything. So in the morning sow your seed, and in the evening don't withhold your hand; for you do not know which will prosper, either this or that, or whether both alike will be good".

Now here's what Solomon is teaching us. If you believe life is uncertain, one of your approaches to life would be, "I'm not gonna do anything. I'm just gonna sit back and cool my jets and wait, see what happens because everything's so uncertain. I don't know what to do". Solomon says, "No, between here and eternity, life is uncertain. That doesn't mean you shouldn't be aggressive in your approach to life. You should be bold. Be strong for the Lord your God is with you". And he says, "Go out and work hard every day. Plant your seed, harvest your crops. And because life is uncertain, don't work less, work more. Because life is uncertain, don't go out and just say, "Well, you know, if the Lord's coming back I only need this little bit of a garden". No, you go out and you sow your seed and you work hard and you involve yourselves because, he says, you don't know what's gonna happen. He says you don't know if it's gonna rain or not. It might or it might not.

How many of you have been driving down the highway here in southern California and I've noticed this here more than where I lived in the Midwest. You can be driving down the highway and you drive through little patches of rain. You go through rain and all of a sudden it's not raining. And then it's raining again. How are you supposed to know where the rain is going to come? Solomon says, "A tree falls and when a tree falls it falls north or south and it stays where it falls". But you can't figure out where the rain's gonna fall. And just as you don't know where the rain is going to go and just as you don't know where the wind is gonna blow, Solomon says you can't figure out how the bones grow in a pregnant woman's womb. He says just like all those things you can't figure out, you can't figure out God.

So since you don't understand God, and you don't know what's gonna happen in life, here's the best thing you can do: invest yourself and involve yourself with life with energy and with boldness. Now that's something you won't hear very often from many places because some people give me the impression that since they know they're going to heaven, they should put a white sheet on and go sit on a fence waiting for the Lord to return. Have you ever noticed that? It's kind of, "Well, I'm going to heaven. It's okay, I don't have to do anything". No, if you're going to heaven, you ought to live life passionately because you only get one shot at this life. That's what Solomon is teaching us.

Now the second thing he tells us in this passage of Scripture is that we are not going to stay young all of our lives. Life is short; enjoy it. Verses 7 in chapter 11 to verse 8 in chapter 12. First of all, Solomon says you should experience every day totally. Just experience it totally. Notice verses 7 through 9. Since life is short and you don't know how long you have to live, you should live every day with gusto. "Truly the light is sweet," he says, "and it's pleasant for the eyes to behold the sun; but if a man lives many years and rejoices in them all, yet let him remember the days of darkness, for they will be many. All that is coming is vanity".

I love the message of the 7th verse because it resonates with my spirit so much. Solomon says we should never take for granted the dawning of a new day. Don't get the idea that just 'cause you're here today you're gonna be here tomorrow or the world is gonna be the same. He says, "Get up every day, look out and say, 'Good morning, Lord.'" Some people get out and say, "Good Lord, morning," you know? I mean, that's how they say it. I mean, that's how they face life. But you should get up and say, "Good morning, Lord". And thank God for this day that he has trusted you with. That's what he's saying. He's saying, "Truly the light is sweet, and it's pleasant for the eyes to behold the sun".

I love the sunshine. I love to see the sun peeking through the window when I get up in the morning, getting ready to face the day, knowing that almost every day in California is a sunny day. Be thankful. Solomon is saying, "Experience each day totally". Do you begin your day with a prayer of gratitude for God for the gift of life? Maybe you should realize that until you have life threatened a little bit, you won't do that probably. But when you think about the fact that you might not have days to live, you get up in a different way and every day, if you looked at my journal, almost every journal entry says the very same thing: Thank you, Lord, for this day and for a good night's rest and for the privilege of being alive one more day on this earth to serve you". Experience each day totally.

Then Solomon says, "Enjoy your youth thoroughly". Verses 9 and 10: "Rejoice, O young man, in your youth," and I'm glad we've got some young people here today. "Let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth; walk in the ways of your heart, and in the sight of your eyes; but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment". Now, I've been telling you throughout this whole series that Solomon's got one little string he likes to play in this book and that is "enjoy life". Here, he's telling us that young people especially should enjoy life. He admonishes those who are young to enjoy their youth and to live with great adventure and excitement because these are some of the best days you're ever gonna have.

You know, if you watch young people, you just get so amused, especially as you get older. You watch them and, you know, they're 16 but they wanna be 18. Then they're 18, they wanna be 21. And then they're 21, they wanna be 25. Somewhere along the way, that process starts to reverse itself. I'm not sure where it is but somewhere it starts to reverse itself. Well, what Solomon is saying here is that when you're young, it's the best time of life. And I think that we ought to be saying that to our kids more than we do. They keep thinking, "Oh, it's gonna be so much better later". Well, it's good along the way but youth has so many advantages: not as much responsibility, lots of energy, many good friends.

After my two boys went away to play football we were talking one day and we kind of all agreed together that, as much fun as it was to play football in college, the high school days are the best of all 'cause you've got this camaraderie and it's not a business, it's a game. And it's fun, and everybody gets together. Can I get a witness? Isn't that true? Your high school, your young days, are great. So Solomon says, "Don't try to always be getting past where you are. Enjoy where you are, young people. This is a great time in your life and you will look back on this later and say, "Those were some good days". So Solomon says, "Remove sorrow from your heart, put away evil from your flesh, walk in the ways of your heart, in the sight of your eyes".

He's not saying go out and sow wild oats. He's not saying that. In fact, he's reminding us that whatever you do while you're having a good time as a young person you're gonna have to give an answer to God. So here's the way you look at it. I'm gonna enjoy everything in my life that I can enjoy that won't get me in trouble with God, amen? That's a good way to start out, isn't it? I'm gonna enjoy everything I can in my life that God will smile on, and you think, "Well, that's gonna be boring". Oh no, it's not. You let God be your entertainment director along the way and you'll be surprised how much fun it is to live for the Lord and not have guilt hanging over you for stuff you know you shouldn't have done, but just to enjoy the exuberance of being young.

Let me just say a word here to parents that I think is very important. Please allow your kids to be kids. Let them enjoy their childhood and their youth. Don't make them grow up too fast. Don't always try to push them beyond where they should be. I know kids who have lost their entire adolescence because of parents wanting them to be older than they are. And then they end up feeling like they've lost something and they go back and try to recover it and it destroys their marriage. So let your kids be kids and remember, kids are crazy. They do weird stuff. And Mark Twain said, "If you've got a kid you put him in a barrel and you put a top on it and you cut a little hole in the barrel and when he turns 16, you plug up the hole".

That's what he said. I guess that's how you get through teenage years. And he only said that because he was trying to make the point that growing up is like a whitewater. But those are great days. And, parents, let your kids be kids, amen? And understand that they're, you know, "Well, why why don't you act more mature"? "'Cause I'm not more mature but I will be someday so just give me some hope". So experience each day totally, enjoy your youth thoroughly, and then the third thing is express your faith thoughtfully.

Solomon says in verses 1 and 2 of chapter 12: "Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come, and all the years draw near when you say, 'I have no pleasure in them': when the sun and the light, and the moon and the stars, are not darkened, and the clouds do not return after the rain". Solomon says two times in this last chapter: "Remember your Creator in the days of your youth". And that just runs against the grain of the way most young people think. A lot of young people think that, you know, "I don't need to be serious about God now. There's time for that later. I'll get serious about God when I'm older, you know, when I've lived more". No, Solomon says, "Here's the key. Here's a key to life. Get your stuff with God together when you're young so you can carry that into your adult years and you will have this foundation that will give you such stability people will marvel at who you are and how you function. Remember," he says, "your Creator".

He's not just talking about having a memory of him. The word "remember" means to get involved in mentally and committed to him. Be committed to your Creator when you're young. When the days are not dark, when the clouds don't come back after it rains. In other words, in the good days of your youth, when you're enjoying your young days, don't forget to embrace God and spend time with God. Learn what it means to be disciplined and spend some time in devotions every day and get somebody to partner with you and be accountable to one another. Get in a small platoon. Whatever that you do that can help you wrap your spiritual arms around Almighty God when you're young so that you carry that foundation into your adolescent years and on up into your young adult years.

We all who grew up in Christian homes look back and see how many times we came close to really messing up good. But what would have happened had we not had the foundation that we had to start with? I'll tell you the truth, I don't wanna go there because it's scary. Get your stuff together with God, kids, when you're young. And don't wait 'til you get old. Now, he's talked about experiencing every day totally, and enjoying your youth thoroughly, and expressing your faith thoughtfully. Now he's gonna talk to the rest of us who aren't young and he's gonna say, "Embrace your aging thankfully".

And verses 3 through 7 could be depressing if they weren't so picturesque and accurate. Take a deep breath, everybody over 40. Solomon is gonna give us a little picture, sort of poetically about getting older. And I wanna read this to you and what I'd like you to do is look down at your Bible. Instead of my reading the text like it is, one phrase after another, I'm gonna read the phrases and tell you what they mean metaphorically. So you follow. I might miss one or two but you'll be able to stay with me if you stay in the text.

He starts out by saying in verse 3: "In the day when the keepers of the house tremble," well, the keepers of your house are your arms and your hands. And he says, "As you start getting older, they start to tremble". "The strong men," those are your legs, your knees, and your shoulders weaken and you walk bent over. And then it says: "When the grinders cease because they are few". That means you're losing your teeth. And then it says: "When the windows grow dim". That means your eyesight isn't very good. "And the doors". It talks about the doors shut in the street. That means you can't hear what's going on outside anymore. And then it talks about grinding again. You can't chew your food. And it says: "You rise up with the birds". Soon as a bird starts chirping, 4 o'clock in the morning, you get up.

Do you ever notice how early old people get up? My parents used to stay at our house. No matter what time I got up in the morning, my dad was sitting at the kitchen table and I asked him several times, "Dad, did you go to bed last night"? "Oh yeah, I just like to get up early". Old people get up early and they go to bed early. And some of you are, "Yeah, right, yeah". Then it talks about music. It says your voice starts to quiver and weaken and you're afraid, you're terrified of heights and you're afraid of falling when you walk down the street.

And then I love this one. It says: "When the almond tree blossoms". Your hair turns white, that's really what it's talking about. You get white hair. And it says: "The grasshopper is a burden". It's a picture of a grasshopper at the end of the summer. It's all worn out, it can hardly pull this little creature that was so invigorated in the beginning of the summer, is pulling itself, just barely making it across the ground. And then it says, and this one here, I gotta be careful with: "And desire fails". You can take that wherever you want to. And then it says, "Man goes to his eternal home, and mourners go about the streets". What's that? That's a funeral procession.

Then you get to verse 6 and he says, "Remember your Creator before the silver cord is loosed, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher shattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the well. Then dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it". Those are three metaphors for what it's like to die. Now, remember what our point is here. Our point is: life is short, enjoy it. What Solomon is trying to do is he's taken us on a little journey from being real young to the very last days of our life. And he wants us to understand that we're supposed to enjoy life.

I heard a story this week about a fella who loved to play golf but he was over 80 and his vision wasn't very good anymore. His windows weren't working. And he always had these guys that would go with him to the country club to help him. When he went out to play, they would watch where he hit the ball and they would tell him where it went, then he'd go hit it again. Well, one day he went to play golf and his buddies didn't show up. And it was such a beautiful day he wanted to play golf so bad, so he just hung around the club house, groaning and moaning and the more upset he got, the more people began to notice him and finally this other guy in the clubhouse walked over to him and said, "What's wrong? You look so depressed".

And he explained his predicament. He said, "I was looking forward to playing golf today but I don't see well anymore. So I gotta have somebody to watch the ball after I hit it". Well, the second man was older than he was but, miraculously, he said, "That's no problem. I'll ride around with you. I have 20/20 vision. I can see like a hawk. You just hit the ball and I'll watch the ball fly down the fairway". So they went out on the first tee and the old man hit the ball right down the center. He turned to the spotter and he said, "Did you see it"? He said, "I saw it all the way. I watched it all the way 'til it stopped rolling. I saw it every inch of the way". He said, "Where did it go"? The older man paused for a moment, he said, "I forgot". That's what it's like.

I read this week about a little boy who asked his grandmother how old she was and she said, "I'm 39 and holding". And the little tyke thought for a moment and he said, "How old would you be if you let go"? Well, you know what? I think Solomon would enjoy church today because what he's trying to tell us is we need to enjoy life. You know, I love to hear you laugh because it reminds me that just a lot of things we have to cry about around here but once in a while we can just sit back and church is not a bad place to laugh. Solomon says, "Enjoy life. It's pretty short".

You better not let it pass without understanding how important it is to enjoy it. And then he says thirdly, "Life is mysterious so examine it". Life is mysterious; examine it. Verses 9 through 12, he teaches us that life is like an exam only the exam comes first and the learning comes second. How many of you notice that? In school, you study and then you take an exam. Well, in real life, you get the exam and then you study. You get the test first and then you figure out, "What is God doing here"? He talks about the fact that wisdom comes through instruction. He says, "Moreover, because the Preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; and he pondered and sought out and set in order many proverbs". And wisdom comes through insight, verse 10: "The Preacher sought to find acceptable words; and what was written was upright, words of truth".

Solomon's teaching, by the way, was like our Lord's. His words were acceptable and they were words of truth. Jesus was full of grace and truth, and Solomon taught the same way. And then wisdom comes through inspiration, verses 11 and 12. He says, "The words of the wise are like goads, and the words of scholars are like well-driven nails, given by one Shepherd. And further, my son shall be admonished by these. And of making of many books there is no end, and much study is wearisome to the flesh". A lot of young people and college students love that last verse. Yeah, study is wearisome to the flesh and of making of books there is no end. Solomon points us at the end of this treatise to the fact that there is some wisdom that comes and he calls the one who gives it, the one Shepherd.

Look down at your Bibles and notice the Shepherd is capitalized. He's talking about God. He's saying, "Get your wisdom from God. Just remember, he's the one who nails wisdom and clenches it in your heart. Get your wisdom from God". And then when he talks about this fact that don't get into many books. A lot of people think, "Well, what that means". I've actually heard preachers say, "What Solomon meant was the only book you should ever study is the Bible". So they never read a commentary. They never read a history book. They just read the Bible. Well, you know, you can say what you want to about that. I read the Bible every day but I read everything I can find. It helps me understand what the Bible says too.

What Solomon is saying, I believe here, is that Christianity and knowing God is not primarily about searching. It's about finding. It's not about questions, it's about answers. How many of you know people and I meet 'em all the time who, when you started talking to them about their faith, they'll say, "Oh, yeah, I'm searching". Well, why are you searching? Let me show you where the answer is. They believe that reality is in the search, not in the answers.

I remember reading in C.S. Lewis's, "The Great Divorce," a little story about a confrontation that happened. One of C.S. Lewis's characters, and he captures the tone of what I think this passage is saying. Listen carefully. In the scene in his book, they're on the borders of heaven. A lifelong searcher is outside of heaven and he's being told to come in. In the story, the person who meets him at the border is called the White Spirit so that's just in C.S. Lewis's story, it's not a biblical story, it's a paradigm. And the White Spirit invites him in and he says to him, "Only thing I can give you when you come in is forgiveness for having perverted all of your values and all of your brain and all of your intelligence. There is no atmosphere in this place called heaven for inquiry. I am going to bring you to the land not of questions but of answers and you will see the face of God".

He says that to the inquirer. Well, the inquirer answers and he says, "Oh, but we must interpret those beautiful words in our own way". Sound familiar? "For me, there is no such thing as a final answer. The free wind of inquiry must always continue. It must always continue to blow through the mind, must it not"? "Listen," said the White Spirit. "Once you were a child, once you knew what inquiry was for. There was a time when you asked questions because you wanted answers and you were glad when you had found them. Become that child again, even now". "Ah," said the inquirer, "but when I became a man I put away childish things". And the encounter ends when the inquirer mentions that he has an appointment and he makes his apologies, leaving the borders of heaven and hurrying off to his discussion group in hell. That's how the story ends.

Do you get the message? He was right next to the answer but because he thought reality was in the quest, he wouldn't accept the fact that there are answers. Solomon says, "Take the wisdom from the one Shepherd and don't get so caught up in the many inquiries that you forget about the fact that questions are for answers, and the answer is already out there. The answer is Almighty God and his Son Jesus Christ, amen? That's the answer. That's where you're going. So if you wanna spend your whole life on a journey going nowhere, well, let Solomon tell you what that's like. He spent a lot of years there.

Finally, Solomon comes to the very end of his book and this is where we've been headed since day one and we're almost finished. Life is obedience; express it. Notice what he says in verses 13 and 14: "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter". Here it is: "Fear God, keep His commandments, for this is man's all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing". Solomon says that the answer to the search is to fear God and to obey what he has to say. Do you wanna know where meaning is found in life? We just read it. Meaning in life is found in a relationship with Almighty God. When it says to fear him, it means to have awe and reverence for him, to stand in awe of who he is and what he has done. And when it says to keep his commandments, it means exactly that, to find out what God wants and do it.

Do you know how to be happy in life? "Trust and obey, for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey". And the verse is even more powerful: "When we walk with the Lord in the light of his Word, what a glory he sheds on our way. When we do his good will, he abides with us still, and with all who will trust and obey". Do you wanna be happy? Do you wanna find meaning? God created you. Listen to me now. God created you with a place in your heart that only he can fill. The third chapter says God has put eternity in your heart. Solomon said he spent the majority of his older years going through this process of trying to find something to stuff in that place that would give him meaning and he couldn't find anything because nothing will give you meaning until Almighty God is at home in your life and God comes into your life through his Son Jesus Christ.

When you receive him into your heart and into your life, he becomes your Savior and, as you give him Lordship and control over your life, you find that missing joy and peace that you've been searching for. "Here's the conclusion of the matter," said Solomon. "Fear God. Keep his commandments. God's gonna bring every work into judgment including every secret thing, whether good or evil". Walk with God faithfully. I've been testing that out for a bunch of years. I've believed that for a long time. I've been testing it out well over 40 years.

I wanna tell you that my joy and my peace and my excitement about life is directly proportionate to my obedience to God and my reverence for who he is. If I ever get very far away from that little circle, I start to fall back into the disappointment and discouragement that can take you down the wrong road. But when I fear God and I keep his commandments, it's high-five time. There is joy in this life. Solomon wants us to know it. It's found in a person and that person is the Lord Jesus Christ, about whom we read in the New Testament, "I have come that you might have life, and that you might have it," you know the rest of it, "more abundantly". God wants you to have abundant life.
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