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Los Lunas Cornerstone

Church of the Nazarene

A Fulfilled Life (1 Kings 10)

    Who here would like to have the guarantee that you will live a fulfilled life? You can raise your hand if you want to. I don’t mean that you won’t have any difficulties or struggles, or confusion or disappointment, just that you get to the end of each day, each week, month, year, and you are satisfied by your life. It’s full of all the things that really feed you as a person.
    I think that would likely be most of us. We want to live lives that are fulfilled. Nobody walks around thinking, “I just want more of all the things that make me feel awful! I want all the bad things!” And we generally try to avoid situations and circumstances in our lives that really drain us and leave us feeling useless, don’t we? Yes, I think that most of us want to live lives that are fulfilled.
    This may not come as a surprise to you, but the Bible actually tells us how to do that. It’s not a secret. It’s written in plain black and white for us to read.
    I want to jump back into King Solomon’s story this morning, to talk about living a fulfilled life. We’re going to be in 1 Kings 10 this morning, and this chapter is the pinnacle of Solomon’s splendor and wealth and God’s blessing on Israel. Things were so great for Solomon and Israel, and it really can only be attributed to God.
    1 Kings 10 opens with the queen of Sheba coming to Israel for a little visit. Let’s start with verses 1-5, “Now when the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord, she came to test him with difficult questions. So she came to Jerusalem with a very large retinue, with camels carrying spices and very much gold and precious stones. When she came to Solomon, she spoke with him about all that was in her heart. Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was hidden from the king which he did not explain to her. When the queen of Sheba perceived all the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built, the food of his table, the seating of his servants, the attendance of his waiters and their attire, his cupbearers, and his stairway by which he went up to the house of the Lord, there was no more spirit in her.”
    Solomon was famous! Not just in the region, but he was famous throughout much of the known world then. The queen of Sheba was associated with South Arabia, the area now known as Yemen. She had heard tales of Solomon’s fame all the way in Sheba. The thing about what she had heard though, wasn’t that she had heard all about Solomon, but that she had heard about Solomon’s fame concerning the name of the Lord. All that she had heard about Solomon was because the Lord had given it to Solomon, and it was well known.
    Verse 24 of this same chapter says, “All the earth was seeking the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom which God had put in his heart.” The whole earth was seeking Solomon’s wisdom because really, it was God’s wisdom. We know this from the account given in 1 Kings 3, that it was God who gave Solomon his gift of wisdom.
    It was such an amazing gift, and Solomon, up to this point, had lived in that gift so well that when the queen of Sheba came with all sorts of tricky questions to try to trip up Solomon, after Solomon shared God’s wisdom with her, we’re told that there was no more spirit in her. She came to TEST him, and the Lord, and that’s your first bulletin blank if you want to take notes this morning. But, after she did that, and Solomon answered all her questions, she no longer had a mind to try to trick Solomon or catch him in a situation where God’s wisdom fell short. God’s wisdom was proven solid, and she had no other course of action but than to recognize that the Lord’s gift given to Solomon was real!
    Listen to what she said to Solomon, verses 6-9, “Then she said to the king, “It was a true report which I heard in my own land about your words and your wisdom. Nevertheless I did not believe the reports, until I came and my eyes had seen it. And behold, the half was not told me. You exceed in wisdom and prosperity the report which I heard. How blessed are your men, how blessed are these your servants who stand before you continually and hear your wisdom. Blessed be the Lord your God who delighted in you to set you on the throne of Israel; because the Lord loved Israel forever, therefore He made you king, to do justice and righteousness.”
    She saw all that Solomon had and realized that it wasn’t even all that she had been told about. He was all that she had heard and had all that she had heard, and more. And she blessed God. She praised Solomon, yes, but ultimately, she BLESSED God because He was the One who gave Solomon everything that he had. That’s your next blank in your bulletin.
    I want to point out part of Solomon’s prayer of dedication in 1 Kings 8 over the Lord’s Temple. Solomon prayed for a lot of different scenarios, scenarios where different kinds of people would come to the Temple to worship the Lord and to pray to Him and for Him to bless them. One of the kinds of people Solomon prayed for was for foreigners who would come to Israel seeking the Lord. This is what Solomon prayed, “Also regarding the foreigner who is not of Your people Israel, when he comes from a far country on account of Your name (for they will hear of Your great name and Your mighty hand, and of Your outstretched arm); when he comes and prays toward this house, hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and act in accordance with all for which the foreigner calls to You, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know Your name, to fear You, as do Your people Israel, and that they may know that this house which I have built is called by Your name.”
    Solomon, in the wisdom that God gave him, recognized that some day, foreigners would come to Israel because of God’s great name. Solomon prayed that God would even hear those people, and would bless the foreigner and hear their prayer so that God’s name would be blessed all the peoples of the earth would know His name.
    It’s clear to see that Solomon’s wisdom, wealth, and world-wide fame brought Solomon glory, but the point of all of it was to bring God GLORY! That’s your next bulletin blank. All that Solomon had was to bring God glory…and it did, as long as Solomon used what God had given him in the way that God intended.
    So, back to the main thing we’re supposed to be talking about, and I’m sure you’re wondering what on earth this has to do with living a fulfilled life? Well, here it is:
    The key to living a fulfilled life is to use the gifts and talents God has given you to bring Him glory.
    While Solomon does go off track and ends up using his God-given gifts and talent in ways that didn’t bring God glory, we can clearly see from Scripture that he didn’t start out that way. He used what he was given and used it in a way that God directed. This goes all the way back to God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis 12:3, with a promise to bless all nations through Abraham’s descendants.
    Now, we know that the ultimate fulfillment of that was Christ. Through Christ, who is one of Abraham’s descendants, all nations on earth are blessed.
    But, we can see in 1 Kings 10 that Solomon was a part of that blessing as well. Through his wisdom, all the nations that came to seek Solomon’s wisdom were blessed by that wisdom, the wisdom that God gave. We’re told in verse 23 that Solomon became greater than all the kings of the earth in wealth and wisdom. Other nations valued the wisdom Solomon offered them so much that their gifts of appreciation made Solomon more wealthy than any other king! All those nations were blessed by God’s wisdom through Solomon, and Israel was blessed as well.
    Yes, it’s clear that up to this point in Solomon’s story, the key to his fulfilled life was to use the gifts and talents God had given him to bring God glory. What about the end of Solomon’s life though, after he fell away? Solomon wrote a book that’s included in the Bible that he wrote in his old age, after he had lived his life and seen the difference between a fulfilled life: a life lived for the Lord; and an empty life: a life lived for himself. In the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon talks about the meaningless and futility of pretty much everything in life: wealth, splendor, pride, people, everything.
    This was his conclusion, at the end of his life, with all that he had done, “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:13-14.
    Nothing means anything at all if it’s not for God’s glory. No ambition can fulfill like a life lived for God. No amount of money made will be enough. No love will be strong enough.
    I want to have a life that is fulfilled. We all do. I want to know that what I do with my days, with my time and energy, will be something that feeds me and is good for me. I know there will be hard days, that’s guaranteed. But I also know that in order for me to have a life that is fulfilled and meaningful, I have to life my life for God. I have to use everything that I have and have been given for His glory.

1. What are some dreams, ambitions, gifts, talents, possessions you have now that could be used for God’s glory?

2. What does the parable of the bags of gold in Matthew 25:14-30 tell us about the importance of using our gifts for God’s glory?

3. Read 1 Peter 4:10-11; what are the ways we can use our gifts to give God glory?

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