A Life that Satisfies
Dr. Roley McIntosh, Creek

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I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. 

John 10:10b

 

Finding a life that satisfies or maybe a better question I will try to answer is “Where can I find fulfillment in life?” I believe the best place to look is in the Bible in the Book of Ecclesiastes. The Book of Ecclesiastes is written by a king named Solomon, a man who had an abundance of everything.

In 1 Kings 3:5, God appears to King Solomon and says, “Ask what I shall give thee?” King Solomon answered “ . . . an understanding heart to judge Thy people, that I may discern between good and bad.” v.9 “And this pleased the Lord and the Lord answered in verse 12 and 13, “I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou has not asked, both riches, and honor; so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days.”

In 1 Kings 10:1, the queen of Sheba had heard about Kong Solomon’s wisdom and made a visit to question him. After spending time with him, the queen said “ The half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard. (v.7) “In chapter 11 v 3, the Bible says that “he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines.” In 2 Chron 1:15, the Bible says the king made silver and gold at Jerusalem as plenteous as stones . . .” That’s a lot of silver and gold! But a man would need it if he had 700 wives, just had to put that in there.

You may be wondering where I am going with this. Well, what I want you to think about is the mind set of King Solomon as he penned the Book of Ecclesiastes. I want you to think about not only the wisdom he possessed but also the wealth he possessed. He had more wisdom and more riches than any man that ever lived on this earth. Who better to listen and learn from than a man who is the wisest man that ever lived and who had access to any pleasure or possession this world had to offer. In Ecclesiastes chapter 2 vs. 9-10, he writes, “So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me. And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour; and this was my portion of all my labour.” He had whatever he wanted at his fingertips. From a world’s point of view, he had it all.

He not only had it all, but he tried it all. In Chapter 2 vs 12, he says “And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly; for what can the man do that cometh after the king? Even that which hath been already done.” King Solomon is saying that he lived a time of his life doing what was wise but he also lived a time of his life doing what was foolish. Scriptures tell us that King Solomon didn’t always live a life that was in obedience to God for it says, “that his wives turned away his heart after other gods” and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father (1Kings 11:4).” What he was saying in verse 12 was that there is no man that can do more than what he has done and whatever a man might think he might do to find fulfillment in this life, King Solomon had already done it.

Most Bible scholars believe that King Solomon wrote the Book of Ecclesiastes in the latter part of his life as he reflected over his life. In Ecclesiastes, he tells of his search for fulfillment in gaining wisdom, achievements, wealth, sex, partying, being a workaholic, not working, possessions, religious rituals, and anything else this world had to offer but nothing was the answer to his longing for fulfillment or contentment in this life.

At the beginning of the Book in Chapter 1, King Solomon makes some profound statements. Verses 2 and 3 read, “Vanities of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?” In his search to find fulfillment in his life, he came up empty. Everything in this world gave no value to his life. Sort of like “blowing bubbles”, things of this life only satisfy for a moment, and then it is gone. Even though he had it all, nothing in this world brought him lasting satisfaction to his life. He stressed this point in using the word “vanity” 38 times in the Book of Ecclesiastes and at least once in every chapter except chapter 10.

The key to understanding Solomon’s perspective is to pay attention to the phrase “under the sun”. His words “under the sun” are a description of what life is like from a human standpoint or perspective if there is no God of this universe in our lives. Life just becomes an endless cycle of emptiness. An illustration would be like a hamster in a cage running on that little wheel. No matter how much it runs, it doesn’t get anywhere. But it repeats the cycle over and over. And we think, what’s the use? But if a hamster viewed our lives, it would probably think the same thing – we repeat our life cycle over and over every day of our lives. And we can fall for the lie, if I could only make more money or get a new car or had a different spouse or live there, my life would be better. Often people will look at their situation or circumstance thinking that nothing will ever change and they lose hope so they turn to a life of destruction by turning to drug addiction, alcoholism, crime, etc. King Solomon indulged in every desire and fantasy this world has to offer to find fulfillment but nothing brought lasting satisfaction.

In Ecclesiastes, King Solomon paints a pretty gloomy picture of his life. He wants to make us aware of the futility of searching for fulfillment in things in this messed up world. He wants us to see that how much we make, how much we learn, how much we own, or how popular we become is all meaningless if that is the goal of our life. To answer the question, “What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?” King Solomon would say “Nothing in this world. All is vanity!” King Solomon, in all of his wisdom, thought of his life’s search. He comes to a conclusion in the last verses of Ecclesiastes, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (Ecc 12:13-14.) Only when we realize we were created by God for His purposes and that one day there will be a final judgment when every one of us will be judged for the way we lived the life the Lord gave us will we begin to understand our purpose in life.

The bad news is that we all have turned away and rebelled against God’s will for our lives which is called sin and fallen short of God’s standard for our life. Because of sin, we stand guilty before God. Romans 6:23 reads, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our lord.” We deserve death – eternal separation from God, but the good news is that Jesus paid our sin debt we owed by dying the death we deserved. By confessing we are sinners, repenting of our sin, and trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sin, Jesus will redeem us from the death penalty we deserved and give us eternal life.

Only by surrendering our lives to the Lord Jesus Christ can we live in obedience to God and only by faith in Him can we be saved to eternal life in heaven. Jesus says in John 10:10 “. . . I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” Life apart from the Lord Jesus Christ will end in disappointment. When everything around us seems meaningless and monotonous, Jesus Christ fills our lives with love, joy, and a peace this world does not understand. Only when we give our lives to Jesus Christ and follow Him will we know what true life is all about.

Everything that King Solomon wrote in the Book of Ecclesiastes boils down to two choices: one is, if this world is all there is – there is no God of this universe, no life after death, and no final judgment – then life and everything we live for is meaningless and has no purpose, OR that there is a God above that has a standard for living who will judge us at the end of our lives, but in His love for us, He sent His Son Jesus to die on the Cross, paying our sin debt, and offering us forgiveness so that we may stand right before Him, not in our righteousness but in the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

Having a good job, having money, enjoying good things, and good times are not bad and we should want those things but we understand that none of those things in and of themselves can give us what we truly want in life. Only by accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and following Him can we obey the commandments of God.

Are you trusting in things of this world to bring you satisfaction but keep coming up empty?

Finding a satisfied life begins with Jesus Christ.



I am the pastor of Big Arbor Indian Baptist Church and also a dentist in Eufaula, Oklahoma

 

Posted with permission by GW - Victory Ministries of Middle TN - VMMTN.COM

I have met Bro Roley and he is truly a mighty servant of the most high God

Thanks for Taking Five - God bless and bless GOD

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