Summary: Fulfillment in life can be found through focus on Christ and defining His calling for your life.

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Introduction: The elusive experience of completion

Throughout my teenage years I had a Golden Retriever dog named Genny… tennis ball was her life focus… and when she retrieved it… retuned… proud… wagging… her calling was complete.

Birthday party for her.. a friend brought an entire box of tennis balls he’s collected and poured them out across the lawn…. The result was a frantic dog who could find no completion.

> Many of us may feel our lives are like that… too many balls spread out across our path… never able to feel the joy of completion.

> It’s hard to find rest in the vast sea of potential ‘shoulds’ we’ve created.

We do well to reconsider the type of rest that Jesus offers. Jesus is offering us a new way of life… which he is intending to live through us.

John 17:1-4 (NIV)

Jesus … looked toward heaven and prayed:

"Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. [2] For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. [3] Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. [4] I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.

“Completion”… an unqualified sense of all encompassing completion…

> Such a sense of completion may be the most elusive key to experiencing peace in life… for how often do we enjoy that sense of fulfillment?

‘How could Jesus talk about a "completed" work? His three-year ministry seems painfully brief. One prostitute at a banquet was given forgiveness and a new life, but many others still ply their trade. For every withered muscle that flexed into strength, hundreds remain crippled.

The blind, maimed and deceased abound throughout the country. Yet on that last night, with many urgent human needs unmet and useful tasks undone, the Lord has peace.

The answer to our question lies in the words that follow: "the work you gave me to do”

Jesus did not meet all the human needs he encountered-many urgently desired by family and friends, and by others along his path. But he completed the mission his Father gave him.’

-Charles E. Hummel-Freedom From Tyranny of the Urgent: Page 23+

Critical…. to realize that this experience of completion… of fulfillment…. Came in relationship to his CALLING.

Jesus’ sense of completion isn’t in relationship to some endless list of needs… but in relationship to a more defined sense of calling… priority… focus.

Jesus found fulfillment through a sense of focus that came from His Father above.

The life which God our Father has for us, through the life of Christ in us, involves a sense of calling that offers our days to be defined with completion. What is Christ imparting to us about this life of calling and completion?

7 things about the nature of Christ’s calling that can help us grasp how God intends us to live out our lives.

Some were difficult to state as simply as I’d like, but I think you’ll grasp them as I explain them.

1. Our calling transcends the life circumstances we have often considered necessary for personal fulfillment (i.e. marriage, parenting, and work.)

In our culture we often direct our sense of personal fulfillment to marriage, parenting, and work.

> Jesus had no marriage, no children, and no regular job during the very years by which he defined his sense of fulfillment.

When Jesus claimed fulfillment…. Completion… it reflected something that transcended such circumstances and roles.

Luke 19:10 (NIV)

“…the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost." > The redemption of creation.

> Every one of us is connected to that calling in a unique way.

· It will involve our life circumstances (marriage, parent, job, etc) but isn’t simply them. (i.e. ‘through’ them not ‘in’ them).

Critical distinction… If not married… If dating… not fulfilled in ‘result’ but the process… love

….if getting married … if struggling.

If unemployed… underemployed… prestigiously employed.

2. Our calling is to become internalized into our daily reality… a qualitative priority that can be fulfilled in the present more than just a quantitative project that is fulfilled at the end.

John 4:34 (TEV) Context: Jesus stops to get water… Samaritan woman…

"My food," Jesus said to them, "is to obey the will of the one who sent me and to finish the work he gave me to do.”

“Food” = My satisfaction… fulfillment… inwardly he was feeling full.

> Yes he had a sense of the fact that more may lie ahead… but he was enjoying the fulfillment of the moment… faithful participation. = faithfulness > success.

Illus – Clarence Jordan… ‘faithful…. Not successful”

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