Above All Else: Keeping First Things First

As another semester comes to a close, this devotional from Dr. Joy Greer is a great reminder about placing our work and studies in proper perspective.

Part of my daily Bible reading this morning was from Ecclesiastes 12.  Verses 11-14 really struck me today as an important reminder of where our priorities need to be in the midst of our academic pursuits (course work and upcoming exams, clinical practice, and research–even when we’re working as unto the Lord)…and a challenge for self-examination.

“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 [daughter], be aware of anything beyond these.  Of making many books there is no end, and much study 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.”

While we need to work and study hard to glorify the Lord and help our patients, we cannot lose sight of our primary aim.  “The most important [commandment] is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’” (Mark 12:29-30)  Without this priority, all our academic efforts are in vain and misplaced.  I pray for each of you that the Lord, through the Holy Spirit, will awaken new passion to love Him with all our heart, mind, soul and strength during this Christmas season.

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