Fulfillment For An Empty Life
(Ephesians 1:1-11 (NT) Also Romans 8:28 (NT))
The ancient philosophers always had three question they debated…
1.) Where did I come from?
2.) What is my purpose?
3.) Why is there so much evil in the world?
Every conversation and debated hung on the skeleton of these three questions
Karl barth the 20th century theologian and philosopher said it this way, “ There is a God-shaped hole in the heart of every man, and this square hole can only be filled with God.
How about you? What do you call it?
You know what I am talking about? It is than fling after you put in a long day, after diapers, dishes and laundry is all done. It is the thoughts that cross your mind as you drive home from work.
Maybe it is the thoughts that fill your mind on the tractor.
What’s the purpose of life.
It is that lingering question that lingers over our hearts as we lay our head down on the pillow at night. Waiting to awake to the next rat-race cycle of life
· Story of the mouse in my sock
Many of us do that every day. We get so got up in the hurry and scurry of life that we don’t stop to fix the nagging suspicion of the cause of all this eating and drinking and being marry
That is why we set goals. We set our minds on things we have not achieved so we do not have to focus on what we don’t have. We don’t have to think about that square hoe in our hearts.
Most of us try substitutes. We try to fill that hole incur hearts with everything under the sun. Bad relationships, credit card bills, high mortgage payments are all symptoms of a unfulfilled heart
Let me tell you friend, I have prayed a lot about this message. And if you fell like I am talking about you then it is true. This message was custom made for you.
It does not matter who we have, What we have or how much we have of it! None of the things offered to us on earth can fill that void in your heart
There is only one thing that can bring peace, purpose and understanding to those lingering tights
I would like to tackle two of those three ancient questions from the book of Ephesians in
I believe the answer to Life’s Problems is…
1.) God’s Plan
Ephesians 1: 11
Despite the Scrooges among us who annually decry the commercialization, the
crassness, and the blatant sentimentality of so much of the Christmas
preparations, it is still a magical time of the year. The daily popping out
of multi-colored lights at doorways and windows, the Christmas tree lots
that seem to spring up over night, the magnificent window displays, the
wreaths, the tinsel, the reds and greens, and sound of bells--it all evokes
a tone of excitement and anticipation. It is as if the entire world is
preparing for a visit from an emissary from another world.
Of course, like typical Americans, we overdo it. Much of the music is too
loud and incessant; we are saturated with carols long before Christmas ever
arrives; many of the decorations are too big, to gaudy; but still, isn’t it
a remarkable time of the year?
Our impulse to create a fairy tale stage seems to take our minds off the
harsh Christmas realities. For even as we are caught up in the glitter and
the tinsel we know that all is not well in the world. Fact, murder and
robbery in the United States reaches its highest peak in December.
Fact, the Christmas season ranks just under Memorial weekend in the number of car
wrecks on the highway. Fact, the suicide rate will begin its annual climb
until it peaks out at what some call the "big downer" New Years Eve. This is
the reality of Christmas. No tinsel, no glitter--just harsh reality.
So we turn from a fairy tale setting that appears to gloss over and deny, to
a Christmas Biblical narrative that appears on the surface to do the same
thing. The story has the ring of a fairy tale. There is Elizabeth, for
example, and her husband Zechariah, an elderly couple who have long since
despaired of having any children, suddenly making an announcement to the
community that she is with child. His name was to be called John. Later he
would be known as the Baptist. Even Zechariah is unbelieving as he says in
amazement, "I am an old man and my wife is advanced in years." Yet, it
Across town there is another birth announcement and this one too has the
ring of mysticism. The young girl Mary, who is barely more than a child
herself, the betrothed to Joseph, suddenly finds herself with child. Like
Elizabeth, she is a peasant, a nobody, a nameless face in the passing parade
of history. Yet, she is told that this child is to be called Emmanuel, which
means God with us.
Some of us put up our decorations and nativity scenes not really believing the story behind each light. Just to ease the pan e of life problems for a few weeks in December.
We know that the next calendar of 12 months hold more heart ache
The message of Christmas is that God intrudes upon the weak and
the vulnerable, and this is precisely the message that we so
often miss. God does not come to that part of us
that swaggers through life, confident in our self sufficiency.
God leaves his treasure in the broken fragmented places of our
life. God comes to us in those rare moments when we are able to
transcend our own selfishness long enough to really care about
another human being.
On the wall of the museum of the concentration camp at Dacha is a large and moving photograph of a mother and her little girl standing in line of a gas chamber.
The child, who is walking in front of her mother, does not know where she is going. The
mother, who walks behind, does know, but is helpless to stop the
tragedy. In her helplessness she performs the only act of love
left to her.
She places her hands over he child’s eyes so she will at least not see the horror to come. When people come into the museum they do not whisk by this photo hurriedly. They
pause. They almost feel the pain. And deep inside I think that
they are all saying: "O God, don’t let that be all that there is."
God hears those prayers and it is in just such situations of
hopelessness and helplessness that his almighty power is born.
It is there that God leaves his treasure. In Mary and in all of
us, as Christ is born anew within.
And life begins to take shape, we her those voice of God in the midst of amour darkness
God is trying to carry our his pan and along that path is some roadblocks to teach us to climb.
On January 23, 1909, a small invention played a crucial role in the lives of 1500 people. The New York-bound ocean liner the "Florida" rammed into the
"Republic." Jack Bins, the Republic’s new wireless radio man, reassembled his contraption which had been destroyed in the collision.
He sent out
distress calls for the next 12 hours until the crew and passengers were
rescued in the dawn light of Sunday morning. Only a few died.
Jack Bins became a national hero. He was given a ticker tape parade.
were written about him. He even testified before congress on the importance
of regulating wireless technology on all ships. Congress listened politely but ignored his message. Bins gave up his quest, accepted no profit from his celebrity, and went back home to England to await reassignment.
Three years later he received an assignment aboard a ship that he turned down. He
had fallen in love and was soon to marry. The turned down assignment?
It is now felt that Bins’ message was ignored because so few lives were
lost on the Republic. It took tragedy on the scale of the Titanic for the
importance of wireless to be understood.
And When something bad happens to a friend or a family member we always as he proverbial phrase “ All things happen for a reason”
And the problem with proverbial phrases is that they are not always true
Sometimes there is no answer to our pain. If we subscribe to the thought that every thing has a reason
Some people might conclude that God’s causes bad things to happen to carry out his plan
I do not believe that. I do believe that God can communicate his plan for our lives midst our pain.
I quoted CS leis a couple of weeks ago when he said, “ God whispers to us in our joy, speaks to us in our sorrow and shouts to us in our pain
I read Ephesians 1:11 that said we are predestined to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will
Rom 8: 28 echoes that same thought “ All things work for the good, for those who love God.
The answer r to life’s problem can b eve oomph in the pregnant idea that God has an ultimate pan for you r life. And some of the pain can be used to get your attention and get you closer to his original plan.
The heavnely father says this to you.” Have created you for myself
Not only is the answer to life’s problems found in God’s plan
But secondly the
Answer to your Existence is found in
2.) God’s purpose
Again Ephesians 1 :11 according to the PURPOSE of him who worked all things according to his will
Turn over to Chapter 3 verse 11
According to the eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord
Romans 8 28 ends with this very idea. “ All thins work our for th good for those who love God for those who arecalled accorfdng to his purpose
This text shins some light on God ultimate purpose and the solution to your lingering doubt
This text is pregnant with the answer of the square hole in the heart of every person
Ephesians 2 :10 says For we are his workmanship, created n Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Friend the answer is not good works the answer is Jesus Christ
We talked about lass week the
· purpose of the cross
When the first man and woman were walking thought the original Martha Stewart garden. Before that first apple fell to the ground. Jesus Christ was preparing to descend the birth canal of marry and to hang on a cross to fulfill God’s ultimate purpose for you
When you start to realize that God’s purpose for you is to fall intimate in love with his precious Son your life begins to have purpose
That is exalt what happened to me
Ever since the first day I found out I was adopted, that my promiscuous mother gave me up
My life had no purpose
Three questions filled my mind “ Who Am I Where Did I come from, What is my purpose?
I felt the huge void in my heart, the throbbing reminder that I a m a second class citizen
Felt like society’s throw-away
Until. Until. The summer of 1990 We ** Got saved
Friend here is the answer today
The Purpose and plan of God is to know Jesus Christ and to make him Known!
You life will never have purpose Your life will always have unexplained pain
You will always be lonely and waiting for the right guy or girl to walk into your life
But until you find jersey Christ not swaddled up in a manger , but rather he fills the mar of your heart and life. You will never have fulfillment
Every funeral will be question mark
Most Americans let God be a slice of the pie. Once slice for family, another for friends, another for hobbles and if there is enough left over the squeeze God a slice out for couple ours on Sunday
Friends Jesus Christ does not want to be a slice of your life. He wants to be the pan that hold the pie
He wants to be the hub of the well so very spoke of your life can be centered round and welded to his will
Conclusion: VA Baily wrote about the time he realized the plan and purpse of life.
I hurried into the local department store to grab some last minute Christmas gifts. I looked at all the people and grumbled to myself, "I am going to be in here forever."
Christmas was beginning to become such a drag. I kinda wished that I could just sleep through Christmas. But I hurried the best I could, and finally made my way to the toy department. Once again I kind of mumbled to myself at the prices of all these toys, and wondered if the grandkids would even play with them.
I found myself in the doll aisle. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a little boy about 5 holding a lovely doll. He kept touching her hair and he held her so gently. I could not seem to help myself. I just kept looking over at the little boy and wondered who the doll was for. I watched him turn to his aunt and say, "Are you sure I don’t have enough money?" She replied a bit impatiently, "You know that you don’t have enough money for it." The aunt told the little boy not to go anywhere that she had to go get some other things and would be back in a few minutes. And then she left the aisle.
The boy continued to hold the doll. After a bit, I ask the boy who the doll was for. He said, "It’s the doll my sister wanted so badly for Christmas. She just knew that Santa would bring it." I told him that maybe Santa was going to bring it. He said "No, Santa can’t go where my sister is, I have to give the doll to my Momma to take to her. I asked him where his sister was. He looked at me with the saddest eyes and said "She has gone to be with Jesus. My Daddy says that Momma is going to have to go to be with her." Daddy said the purpose of their lives was to teach me more about Jesus, I am so gad they did. Because God has a plan for me.
My heart nearly stopped beating. Then the boy looked at me again and said, "I told my Daddy to tell Momma not to go yet. I told him to tell her to wait till I got back from the store." Then he asked me if I wanted to see his picture. I told him I would love to. He pulled out some pictures he’d had taken at the front of the store. He said "I want my Momma to take this with her so she don’t ever forget me. I love my Momma so very much and I wish she did not have to leave me. But Daddy says she needs to be with my sister."
I saw that the little boy had lowered his head and had grown so very quiet. While he was not looking I reached into my purse and pulled out a hand full of bills. I asked the little boy, "Shall we count that money one more time?" He grew excited and said, "Yes, I just know it has to be enough," so I slipped my money in with his and we began to count it. And of course it was plenty for the doll. He softly said, "Thank you Jesus for giving me enough money." Then the boy said, "I just asked Jesus to give me enough money to buy this doll so Momma can take it with her to give to my sister. And he heard my prayer. I wanted to ask him for enough to buy my Momma a white rose, but I didn’t, but he gave me enough to buy the doll and a rose for my Momma. She loves white roses so very, very much."
In a few minutes the aunt came back and I wheeled my cart away. I could not keep from thinking about the little boy as I finished my shopping in a totally different spirit than when I had started. And I kept remembering a story I had seen in the newspaper several days earlier. In the story, a family was deciding on whether to remove the life support. Now surely this little boy did not belong with that story. Two days later I read in the paper where the family had disconnected the life support and the young woman had died.
I could not forget the little boy and just kept wondering if the two were somehow connected. Later that day, I could not help myself. I went out and bought some white roses and took them to the funeral home where the young woman was. In the casket, the young mother was holding a lovely white rose, the beautiful doll, and the picture of the little boy in the store. I left there in tears, my life changed forever.
The love that little boy had for his little sister and his mother was overwhelming. It is the same kind of love that Jesus has for you and me.
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