Week 48 Thursday

An Open Book

Today’s scripture selection: Ecclesiastes 11-12

Key verse: Ecclesiastes 12:13

“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandment, 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.”

Everyone’s got a story.
Everyone has done some things for which they are proud and other things for which they are not proud.
Everyone has struggled with certain temptations; has had some victories and some failures.
Or at least – everyone I know.
But when all is said and done; when, as Ecclesiastes puts it, we come to the “conclusion of the matter” – God knows about it and will judge us appropriately.
It’s not that God is hiding behind every corner or around the next passing cloud, just waiting to pounce on us. It’s that, to use some fancy religious language, God is omniscient; omnipotent; omnipresent.
In other words, God knows you even better than you know yourself, warts and all.
The good news is that God also loves you even more than you know, warts and all.
So consider your life an open book.
If you need a little guidance along the way (as we all do) live your life according to the guidelines found in “the Good Book.”
Take a good long look at the life and example of Jesus Christ.
And everything will turn out just as it should.
Prayer: Lord, I place my life in your loving hands, to be judged accordingly. AMEN.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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