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. 4 - Grace Full
Are you full? If so, what are you full of? Your "fullness" will determine what overflows to every area of your life. And yet the truth is that if we find ourselves closer to the "e" than the "f" we are in the majority. In a recent study of 1,000 churches and the spiritual growth of their congregation the researchers discovered that only 11% (or in other words 1 out of 10) would say they are compelled by their faith to love God and love others! 89% in the wilderness. Saved? Yes. Full? No! Emptiness reigns in the church community. However, I want to remind you and challenge you that God does intend for us to be full! I am going to continue to read these because they are promises that we must allow to come to life in our spirit - not just for my neighbor but for me.
The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that _________ (insert your name) 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 _________ (insert name) came to him, that fullness comes together for _________ (insert name), 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.
I have declared that we must be thank full and purpose full. I want us to continue on this path to fullness.
John 1:14 (NIV)
The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John makes it clear that when Jesus arrives on the scene that He is full of grace. That was apparent wasn't it? You can't read about the life of Jesus and not come to the conclusion that He was full of grace. I don't have the time to reflect or even draw your attention to all of the example of that but here are just a few.
Woman caught in adultery. Others wanted to stone her He cleared her. The woman washing His feet. Others wanted to cast her out He offered entrance. The woman at the well. Others wanted to avoid her and He detoured to get to her. One of His 3 best friends deny Him. Turned his back on Him. Jesus hands Peter a mulligan. And perhaps one of the greatest examples is how Jesus dealt with the thief on the cross. Notice I said the "thief" on the cross. No question of guilt. All appeals had been exhausted. Delays by lawyers have expired. He was a crook. He was tried, convicted and sentenced. You might even be able to draw the conclusion that he was either a repeat offender or stole something so significant that he winds up on a cross. Yet, Jesus was so gracious that He extends entry into heaven to this criminal that cries out for mercy. Jesus' entire life and ministry was marked by grace. It seems Jesus always went out of His way to give grace.
But we forget to read on . . . John 1:16-17
Out of His fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. For the Law was given to Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
John also makes it clear that His fullness made it not only possible but also an expected and foregone conclusion that
We must be grace full!
Said another way grace full people should be full of grace. We have all received grace so that we could in turn extend grace!
Two targets for grace this year . . .
We must be grace full to others.
Have you ever stopped to consider that Jesus wasn't easily offended. His life was so marked by grace that He was almost unoffendable. Your grace level is revealed by how easily you are offended.
Notice that no one Jesus was grace full to deserved it. Prostitutes, promiscuous, pompous and prisoner. Grace undeserved but also unreserved. Who do you have in your life who deserves and has earned no grace?