The Bottom Line
by David M. McNabb

Americans are more and more concerned with the bottom line. In our fast-paced society, U.S. businesses often are more concerned with showing a profit this quarter, than with the long-term. The internet/stock market savvy day-traders are the newest addition to our "I want it now" society.

Fast food, microwaves, e-mail, faxes, etc. These things all reflect our high speed world. Information is ready in an instant either online or on one of the every growing number of 24-hour news channels.

Frequently in a conversation, someone growing impatient with the duration of the dialogue will ask, "Whatís the bottom line?" One would suppose, then, that if the Bible offered an answer to that question, every member of our society would want to know.

Throughout the entire history of man, the question of our purpose for existence has prevailed. Philosophies and religions in every age have sought the answer to this very question. Complex answers, which would take a lifetime of study, have been formulated.

Truly, the Bible holds the key to why man is here. From Genesis to Revelation, we are given example after example, explanation after explanation, detail after detail. Many lifetimes have been spent studying it Ė many theories formed, but Godís Word does offer the answer simply in one verse.

Open your Bible to Ecclesiastes 12:13. I found itís positioning amazing. You will notice that you are about at the middle of the Bible Ė that it is a central scripture.

This is the epilogue to the book of "The Preacher," which, like the book of Proverbs, encapsulates the keys to living. It begins with a very bold statement: "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: ..." The following sentence sums up all of this wisdom in one fell swoop:

"Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man."

There you have it. The WHOLE reason for manís existence is, simply, to fear God and do what He said. The final verse of Ecclesiastes gives a brief explanation of why this is so. "For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil."

We must live for God, because, in the end, we must give an account of our lives before Him.

Once we have realized our purpose, we must carry it out, or else die a failure. Man was created with a need to worship. He will worship someone or something. Many teenagers paper their walls with images of musicians or athletes, whom they "idolize." Television commercials "sing the praises" of products, people and ideas.

We seek to fill the void with excitement at sporting events or pep rallies. Sometimes we turn to alcohol or drugs for satisfaction.

Accepting Jesus Christ into our hearts and applying His will to our lives seems to some to be the end of fun. Not true.

If you would but do so, you would finally fulfill your true destiny Ė the purpose for which your were put on this earth.

Believe in Him with all your heart. Confess your sins. Accept His sacrifice. Live for Him.

Thatís the bottom line.