Saturday, August 18, 2012


The Parting Counsel Of A Dying Man Deserves The Full Weight Of His Life

My father’s parting counsel …

Ecclesiastes 12
9  The Preacher was wise, he continued teaching the people knowledge; yes, he pondered and sought out and set in order many proverbs.
10  The Preacher sought to find acceptable words; and what was written was upright — words of truth.
11  The words of the wise are like goads, and the words of scholars are like well-driven nails, given by one Shepherd.
12  And further, my son, be admonished by these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is wearisome to the flesh.
13  Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all.
14  For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil.

From Genesis to the book of Revelation, we find all encompassing statements aimed at bringing conclusion to the great matters of life.

There are many other conclusions in the Bible which encourage us render the true principles of life in ways that can easily be remembered. Some of these conclusions include:

Micah 6:8  He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?

Hebrews 13:16  But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

James 5:12  But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your "Yes," be "Yes," and your "No," "No," lest you fall into judgment.

Through the years I have taken my opportunities to solicit and catalog the wisdom of God found in the lives of men. I have asked many of my peers what they consider to be the secrets to life as God intended. I have also taken the time to counsel with several men of God who began serving the Lord well before I was born as to the conclusions they have drawn and have asked them to pass them on to me before they pass on to heaven.

Those of you who know me well will attest that the lists of these seasoned convictions have become my disciplines of life. Not only do I review, rehearse and repeat them often, but I also use them to guide me in, or at times back into, the blessed pathway of life.

Like the writers of these passages we have already read this morning, allow me to give you three simple, yet profoundly true disciplines of life which I have drawn from God’s Word. From the heart of this seasoned servant of God, here are my conclusions for living a pleasing and productive life. (providing you are already born again that is …)

        1.  Let your word be your bond
        2.  Pay your just and honest debts
        3.  Treat others the way you want to be treated

We live in a world today that has removed expectancy that a person’s word means anything. No longer do we trust our neighbor to be neighborly or consider a clear and understandable conversation or even a handshake anything that can be depended upon.

More personal than a contract, less passionate perhaps than a covenant, is our word. It is simple and basic, and it should be both powerful and dependable. When all else fails, stick to the agreement without having to be threatened or attempting to make others feel you’re being mistreated. Let your word be your bond. In the end, we are only as good as our word.

When God wanted to reveal Himself --- He sent His Word …

John 1:14  And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

When Jesus reported back to the Father as to what He had been doing since being sent to earth, Jesus simply said:

John 17:14  I have given them Your word …

God’s Word is all we have on which to depend. Let me ask, how can we be sure we are saved?  Only because we have God’s Word in which to trust … As well, the name of Jesus is synonymous with the Word -

Revelation 19:13  He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.

Psalms 138:2  God magnified His Word above all His Name.

If we want to be more like Jesus, we should:
        1.  Say What We Mean
                *  Be honest
                *  Speak the truth without deception
        2.  Do What We Say
                *  Learn the value of commitment
                *  Make quality decisions

The second conclusion I gave this morning deals with paying our just and honest debts.

Debts don’t just deal with money which is owed
        *  The story of Elgin Taylor, the man I owed.
        *  Romans 13:7  Render honor to whom honor is due.
        *  1976 to 1999 - 23 years later God told me to pay the debt I owed

When it comes to bills, taxes, love, tithes, appreciation, gratitude, honor or respect … just pay your debt … God expects no more, but no less than what is owed … and if you are anything like me, you owe others a lot!

Pay your just and honest debts

Finally this morning I want to address our testimony …

You know, we are writing the story that others will one day tell about us. With each decision and every act we are building the testimony that will be used as evidence during eternity’s trial. If our comfort is at all important, then we must get to work building a testimony worthy of heaven.

We cannot afford to live life like it is all about us and ours. If we are only concerned about us then I am concerned that we will miss the whole point of life. The Bible gives us clear instructions:

Philippians 2:4  Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

Matthew 7:12   Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

Simply put - Treat others the way you want to be treated. Put yourself in their shoes:

Romans 12:15  Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.

One day your life will be concluded, what will that conclusion be?

Joke about 3 Cajuns discussing what they want people to say about them at their funeral.  (3rd one: oh!, look!, he’s still breathing)

Providing you are born again by the sacrificial blood of Jesus the Messiah, I conclude that we should all determine to: Let our word be our bond; Pay our just and honest debts; and Treat others the way we want to be treated.

However, if you have not been born again …