Monday, January 30, 2017

Pastor's Ponderings, January 30, 2017

The Whole Duty of Mankind

The creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal and executive producer of How to Get Away With Murder, Shonda Rhimes, wrote, “There is no list of rules. There is one rule: there are no rules. “Happiness comes from living as you need to, as you want to.  As your inner voice tells you to. Happiness comes from being who you actually are instead of who you think you are supposed to be.” This quote was from her book, Year of Yes, and was an instant New York Times bestseller. Another book entitled, “Looking Out For Number One” by Robert Ringer says, “Morality — the quality of right and wrong — is a very personal and private matter, thus no one possesses the right to decide what is right or wrong for you.”

Not attempting to castigate these gifted authors, I have pondered their quotes and have concluded that in spite of the popularity of the books and the ideas behind the quotes, they are consistent with our debunked mentality from the sixties.  We advocated, “If it feels good, do it”, “Do your own thing”, “Love the one you are with”, and “Turn on, tune in and drop out”.

However, those hedonistic viewpoints clash with the Bible. God said the whole duty of mankind was to fear Him and keep His commandments (Ecclesiastes 12:13).  Many find great success following their own stars and ignoring the commands of God.  But God says His way of obedience is best in the long run and if you put your trust in Him, you will attain your heart’s desires (Psalm 37:3, 4). Some people seem to be doing well selfishly pursuing their dreams without trusting in God for His direction or priorities. But, God wants to bring us to His expected end in Him (Jeremiah 29:11).  He wants to be our shepherd so that we will have no lack and will be with Him forever (Psalm 23:1, 6).

It is true that people are becoming rich or famous who are neither acknowledging nor giving credit to God for their success. However, let us fear, trust, and obey Him with our whole hearts and acknowledge Him in all of our ways and He will direct our pathways to a glorious end (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Ecclesiastes 12:13
New International Version (NIV)
13 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.

Psalm 37:3, 4 (NIV)
Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Jeremiah 29:11
New International Version (NIV)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Psalm 23:1, 6
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Proverbs 3:5-6
New International Version (NIV)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

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