Definition: Achieve God’s purpose.
Synonyms: Satisfy, Accomplish, Carry Out
Read Exodus 1: 6-13 & 22; 2: 1-22
Known as the Hebrew child Pharaoh’s daughter rescued; Moses was different. Like many adopted children, he developed an interest in his biological roots. Consequently, as an adult, the plight of the Hebrew people disturbed him, and he wondered what he could do.
One day he saw a Hebrew slave being abused and he murdered the slave master. Of course, he wanted to help, but not this way. Killing the Egyptian was a mistake; he lost control.
To escape Pharaoh’s wrath, Moses flees to Midian. He was safe in this foreign land. The Midian priest didn’t ask about his past – even gave him his daughter to marry. Of course, they were pagans, but he was raised in the royal palace – not much talk of the God of Abraham there either.
Suffice it to say, Moses lived his life apart from God; resulting in a downward spiral from royalty to murderer to a shepherd among foreign people. Not a fulfilled life
No different today, life without God sends us in the wrong direction. Like Moses, it isn’t that we detest God or deliberately ignore him- we just don’t give him any thought.
Moses’ life changes when he encounters a burning bush years later; but that is a devotion for another time.
Thought or Action Step for the Day: Is God part of your life every day?
Read Ecclesiastes 2: 1-11.
Solomon opines about how he sought pleasure in laughter, materialism, wisdom, wine, entertainment, sex, work, accomplishments – nothing was worthwhile. In other words, Solomon lacked fulfillment in his life.
Unfortunately, it’s the end of his life before Solomon understood that chasing worldly pursuits was unfulfilling – and he was a wise man! Fortunately, he warned us by writing the book of Ecclesiastes.
Solomon’s conclusion: … And the spirit will return to God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7b New King James Version). Ultimately, we return to our Creator, the source of life; and the only path to fulfillment.
Thought or Action Step for the Day: The only way to find lasting fulfillment is to seek God.
Read Joshua 1: 1-2 & 10; 4: 10 & 15; 5:1; 6: 1-5; 21: 43-45
“Our parents and grandparents should have conquered this land years ago, and let us grow up here. What were they afraid of? Just a shout brought down the walls of Jericho, and God defeated every enemy; now we inhabit the land promised to Abraham years ago. What a trip!”
Remember last week’s devotion on focus; we read the story of the Israelites disobeying God by not invading the land God promised them. Because of their disobedience, the Israelites brought out of Egypt were not allowed to enter the Promised Land. They spent decades wandering in the wilderness until they all died.
Forty years passed and their children and grandchildren are permitted to claim the property. And, of course, God fulfilled every promise, and the Israelites settled in Canaan.
Broken promises are part of a fallen world, but God is holy; he always keeps his covenants. The land was there for the taking four decades ago, but their lack of trust in God left them in the desert, unable to fulfill their purpose.
Thought or Action Step for the Day: Trust God to always fulfill his promises.
Read Luke 19: 12-26
“I am going to take the money our master gave us and invest it. I think I can make ten times the original investment.”
“Are you kidding? He entrusted you with money to keep it safe – not take risks. Our master is one of the hardest men I know. If your investment flops, you might as well commit suicide. Play it safe by keeping his money close to the vest.”
Which servant resembles you? Don’t allow apathy, laziness, or fears derail your purpose; invest your talents to glorify God and bless others. Of course, taking a risk can result in failure and disappointment; but the adventure is stimulating, and following God’s plan is always fulfilling.
Full-time ministry is not the only way to utilize God’s gifts effectively. What are your interests, passions, and talents? Put them to use in your work. Join a ministry in your church or community that needs your gifts – or start a ministry. Be open and willing to develop your God-given gifts, and opportunities for service will naturally follow.
Thought or Action Step for the Day: Be a risk taker for God.
Worldly success, material possessions, or a life full of fun and pleasure is not fulfilling. Genuine fulfillment is found by following and obeying God.
Read Acts 9: 36-41
One of my favorite women of the Bible is Dorcas. We barely know anything about her. There are only seven verses dedicated to her life in Scripture. Yet, I can tell she was a fulfilled woman.
How do I know? She spent her time fulfilling her purpose. She didn’t waste her talents as a seamstress on the red carpet crowd but instead clothed the poor, especially the most vulnerable in society – widows.
We all are kind and helpful some of the time. It makes us feel good about ourselves. But Dorcas’ life was full of kindness and charity. It was a lifestyle. Only a person filled with the Holy Spirit (fulfilled) has the internal resources to live a life of constant giving and caring for others.
Take some time this weekend and pray about ways to serve and use your gifts as Dorcas did.
Volunteer at a food bank.
Visit a prison.
Relieve a mom or caretaker of responsibilities for a while.
Visit residents in a nursing home; prompting a smile with a gift bag or craft.
There are countless ways to serve. Where does your heart lead you?
Fulfillment is not all about giving of self, but it’s a start.