Where Do You Get Your Fulfillment?
Posted in Serving/Missions
Scripture: “But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, and put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:8-11
We are called, as members of the Body of Christ, to willingly lend to and meet the needs of others. God made the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf, and he has given us all that we need and more, both financially and spiritually. In today’s passage, we are promised salvation and are called to encourage one another and lift one another up.
As I reflect on today’s scripture, I can point to many instances over the last several years where I have achieved this standard, and there are other times I have certainly fallen short. We live in an ever-changing world where pressures seem to build daily. How can I sacrifice time and/or money for others if I am not fulfilled myself?
We (by we, I mean me) often find fulfillment in things that quite honestly just don’t matter. Where do I rank at work? Are my children the best dressed, smartest, best behaved? Who has the biggest house, the nicest car, the best clothes? Finding fulfillment in these things is both exhausting and expensive. I will be the first to admit I have ranked several items on this list much higher than they should be ranked. As I reflect on that, I find that many of these items have, at times, added stress to my life.
Conversely, when I find fulfillment in Christ, my stress levels decrease. I feel at ease! When my focus is more focused on serving the needs of others, things seem to run much more smoothly. This applies not only to my relationship with God, but my relationship with my wife, my children, my friends, and my colleagues. Most of us who are married know the things that are important to our spouses, whether that is not leaving clothes on the floor or doing little things that make them feel special. How many times do we fail to achieve this with the people we see the most? I’m the luckiest man on the planet, but I don’t tell my wife that enough because I get caught up navigating for me. The point I’m trying to make is, when I focus on me, only I win– sometimes. When I focus on God and on others outside of myself, everybody wins.
While I have fallen short on many occasions, I am fortunate to serve a God who has molded my life such that I have a wife there to encourage me and lift me up. I am surrounded by a church family who encourages and lifts me up. Throughout our time at Eastminster, we have seen this put into action. As Youth Group leaders we watched both parents and volunteer leaders pour into the young people of this church. As a member of the GIFT Sunday School class, we watch our peers encourage the lives of those in our community. As a server at Transitions, I have watched people cheerfully serve others so that their day may be a little brighter. As a Deacon, I have watched countless members of this congregation give more of themselves than seemingly possible.
My wife Erin and I talk about how we share our happiest moments inside the walls of this church, and many times we share our saddest. This church is always there no matter the need. God is alive and well inside these walls. Erin and I choose to serve this church because we have seen first hand how this church serves all of us. We choose to give financial gifts understanding that they are first gifts to us from God, and also in support of how Eastminster uses those gifts to serve this church and our community.
I ask each of you to continue serving God’s Kingdom, both inside these walls and out, through service as well as monetary gifts which make that service possible.
Prayer: Lord, help us find our fulfillment in you alone. Amen.
Submitted by: Ryan Causey