Stephen Covey famously suggested that one of the habits of highly effective people is that they “begin with the end in mind.” I was thinking of that phrase recently while studying the book of Ecclesiastes at the very time that we have started a brand new year.
“Besides being wise, the Preacher also taught the people knowledge, weighing and studying and arranging many proverbs with great care. The Preacher sought to find words of delight, and uprightly he wrote words of truth. The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd. My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is a weariness of the flesh. The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:9-14).
Consider the power and value of the Word of God!
• It is given to us by the very Shepherd Himself (v.11).
• It is the truth (v.10).
• It is beautiful and delightful (v.10).
• It will not be changed — it is firmly fixed as by nails (v.11).
• It prompts and guides us to where we need and want to be — like an animal prod (v.11).
Being ready for judgment begins by knowing what is expected of us. Let us begin this year with the end of the matter in mind. Let us be devoted to the words of truth!
- Bart Warren, South Green Street church of Christ Glasgow, KY