That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty. Ecclesiastes 12:13
Have you ever been really, really thirsty? I’m not talking about needing a drink to go along with your meal, but so thirsty that you know if you do not get water immediately, it will not be good for you? Maybe you have felt like this after extreme exercise or spending a lot of time outside in the heat of summertime. Soda or coffee cannot quench this kind of thirst. Only water can quench this kind of thirst. Any other alternative to water may be satisfying for a moment, but it will leave us thirsty again. We need water, and until we drink sufficient water, our thirst will never be quenched. On a deeper level, every person is looking for meaning and fulfillment. This kind of “thirst” is different and even more significant than literal thirst. We may look for that fulfillment in several areas, but Scripture teaches that it can only be found in one place, and that is Jesus.
When looking for fulfillment, Solomon, the writer of Ecclesiastes, looked everywhere. He looked to fame, wealth, relationships, education, and everything else “under the sun.” In pursuit of all of these things, he ultimately found these things to be meaningless. He was left empty after achieving these things. You see, he was looking for fulfillment in places where it could never be found. In the end, he came to realize what mattered and where He could find meaning. At the very end of the book of Ecclesiastes, he wrote, “That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty” (verse 13). His conclusion? True purpose and fulfillment could only be found by looking to God.
As we consider the lesson that obeying God and keeping His commandments is what will bring us purpose and fulfillment, the question is, “What are the commandments that we are to obey?” Perhaps the best place to turn is the last recorded interaction with Jesus and His disciples. One of the places in Scripture where this interaction is recorded is in Matthew 28. Before He returned to Heaven, He looked at His disciples and said, “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” In other words, Jesus explained that the disciples’ calling and purpose was to follow Him and make more disciples or followers of Christ. Simply put, we find fulfillment and purpose by knowing Christ and making Christ known. This is the only place we will be fully and completely satisfied and fulfilled.
My friend, we will only find true purpose and satisfaction in Jesus. We find complete joy when we look to Him and share Him with others. So may we devote our lives to knowing Him and making Him known.
What are some areas of your life where you have looked for fulfillment apart from Jesus? Think about these areas for a moment and remember how each of these areas has left you empty and searching for more. Cling to the promise from Scripture that God is the one who provides ultimate fulfillment and satisfaction. You might want to write John 10:10 out on an index card to remind yourself that only Jesus brings life!
Ecclesiastes 12:8-14 (NLT)
“Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless.”
Keep this in mind: The Teacher was considered wise, and he taught the people everything he knew. He listened carefully to many proverbs, studying and classifying them. The Teacher sought to find just the right words to express truths clearly.
The words of the wise are like cattle prods—painful but helpful. Their collected sayings are like a nail-studded stick with which a shepherd drives the sheep.
But, my child, let me give you some further advice: Be careful, for writing books is endless, and much study wears you out.
That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty. God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.
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