Summary: We prefer full over empty! Jesus says He came that we might have abundant (full) life. Do we? Do we even know what we should be full of?
Pt. 2 - Thank Full
At the start of new year I have challenged you to examine your own life and determine whether or not you are full. Your "fullness" will determine what overflows to every area of your life. Our difficulty is that we will do our very best to fill anything that is empty . . . Space, time, relationships, etc. and unless we know what we should be full of then often our lives are crammed with clutter, the trivial and the unnecessary to the point that we have no room left for that which God intended to fill us. Make no mistake He does intend for us to be full!
The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance - to the full, till it overflows. (Amplified Version)
You don’t need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without him. When you come to him, that fullness comes together for you, too. His power extends over everything.
For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness.
The accurate and mature understanding is knowing that salvation was only part of the picture. He came to save but He also came to enable us to experience fullness in life!
So I want to clearly state for us some of the things that should fill us so that we are able to experience this fullness that Jesus came to give us.
Luke 17:11-19 (Message)
It happened that as he made his way toward Jerusalem, he crossed over the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten men, all lepers, met him. They kept their distance but raised their voices, calling out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” Taking a good look at them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” They went, and while still on their way, became clean. One of them, when he realized that he was healed, turned around and came back, shouting his gratitude, glorifying God. He kneeled at Jesus’ feet, so grateful. He couldn’t thank him enough—and he was a Samaritan. Jesus said, “Were not ten healed? Where are the nine? Can none be found to come back and give glory to God except this outsider?” Then he said to him, “Get up. On your way. Your faith has healed and saved you.”
We must be thank full!
Jesus goes out of His way - actually traveling to an off limits area for Jews - adjusts His travel route, detours, and breaks rules to bring a healing, life changing, hope restoring touch that changes a death sentence, terminal situation for 10 men.
We can focus on the 9 that received this touch and continued with life and say that their actions and response is indicative and the most accurate picture of our society and unfortunately most of us as Jesus touched people. We find ourselves living in and often living like those around us - we are consumed by an attitude and position of entitlement which then leads to a lack of gratitude and thanklessness. Desperate for help, receive help and continue on our way. No pause. No hesitation. No gratitude. The unexpected . . . expected and demanded. However, I want us to only take enough time to view the 9 as a cautionary tale and instead focus our attention on the 1 who got it right.
I think the attention must rest on the 1 because although the different version from which I read the account is accurate it may also diminish the contrast of what Jesus did and said. Listen to verse 14 in KJV - Vs. 14 - And it came to pass that as they went, they were cleansed.
Notice all 10 are cleansed. But now read what Jesus says to the one who returns thank full.
Vs. 19 - And He said unto him, "Arise; go thy way, thy faith hath made thee whole."
Did you catch it? 10 were cleansed . . . 1 was made whole. The key to being whole or full was thankfulness. I must challenge you because you have the choice to settle for touched, healed, blessed, favored or you can choose to take the steps to have the right attitude and posture that will produce wholeness or in other words you will be "full". Healed or whole?
Here are some key things about being thank full.
To be thank full we must leave the crowd.
This man walked away from the thankless. He went against the flow. In order for us to be thank full we must distance ourselves from an entitlement mentality. You will not be full of gratefulness if you think you deserve what you have only gained by grace and mercy. This means we can't be like others and allow ourselves to believe we deserve what Jesus has done for us. Like Paul, we must remember we are the chief sinner. We didn't earn healing. We didn't earn a blessing. We didn't earn the unexpected. It is by grace alone and so we must leave the crowd and return with a heart filled with gratitude. In order for you to be full, many of us are going to have to distance ourselves from the thankless.