Summary: No matter where you are, ¾ full, ½ empty, ¼ full or the ‘e’ light is on, you need to fill up. Today we’re going to look at how Jesus refills our tank, revitalizes and re-energizes us when we’re running on empty.

How Jesus Revitalizes When You’re Running On Empty

John 20:19-31

Background image of tank on empty

We’ve all done it. We’ve set our mind to something. We committed ourselves. We let others know our intention. We research and studied. We trained and prepared and when the moment came, we hesitated. And in that moment, we knew the opportunity had passed. Fear swept over us and we were paralyzed in the moment. And then came the sense of failure, the feelings of guilt that we had let down the people around us. And we felt worthless and foolish. And we may have even questioned who we really were.

When Jesus Christ was crucified and died on the cross, His followers fell apart. They scattered to the winds. They were devastated. It wasn’t supposed to happen that way. They had given everything up to follow him. For three years they had watched, been taught, mentored, challenged and corrected so they could follow Him no matter what. Yet when Jesus was arrested all of His followers ran away. They fled like cowards. Some of them even denied they knew Him. In the days after Jesus’ death, they were frightened, discouraged, defeated, disillusioned, demoralized and depressed. In a word, they had hit rock bottom and were running on empty.

Three days later, Jesus came back to life and that night, He went to meet the disciples. What happens in that room so forever changed them that the transformation is unbelievable. Those who were once cowards are now full of courage. Those who were once empty are now empowered. And those who were once defeated, discouraged and demoralized are now confident and daring. They’re bold, afraid of nothing and no one and they’re ready to take on the Jewish leadership, the Roman Empire and the entire world. What happened? What changed them? How did Jesus refill their empty tanks when they were running on empty?

This week is the beginning of our new series “Running on Empty.” We know a little bit about that since Katrina, don’t we? I want to begin with a little survey. How many of you when you’re driving never let your gas tank get below half empty? Anybody here? How many of you fill up when you get three-quarters empty? You never let it go beyond a quarter left. How many of you see how far you can go after the little light goes on? How many of you think “E” means “Enough to keep going”? How many of you have ever in your lifetime run out of gas?

No matter where you are, ¾ full, ½ empty, ¼ full or the ‘e’ light is on, you need to fill up. Today we’re going to look at how Jesus refills our tank, revitalizes and re-energizes us when we’re running on empty. I don’t know what kind of week you’ve had and I don’t know what kind of month you’ve had but I do know what kind of the past 2 years you’ve had. We feel like were running on empty, just out of gas and thoughts are running through our mind like, “I don’t know whether I can go on. I’m at the end of my rope. I’m ready to throw in the towel. I’m at my wit’s end. I feel like I’m going to pack up and leave this place once and for all.” If you’re feeling frustrated, fatigued, fearful or just weary. If you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired – you’ve picked a good Sunday to come to church. I’ve got good news for you: there’s a solution available to you. The seven things that Jesus did with His disciples when they were at their lowest and running on empty He wants to do in your life.

“Redeemer” ppt slide background

The first thing that Jesus does when He wants to refill your tank when you’re running on empty is first He meets you where you are. The disciples were scared to death, hiding in a room with the doors locked. They were probably second-guessing themselves. Were we wrong? Was Jesus not who He claimed to be? Was He not really God? Were we deluded and made fools of? And Jesus passes right through the locked door and greets the disciples. When you’re running on empty, Jesus doesn’t wait for you to come to Him. He comes to you. He takes the initiative and goes to where you are. In the midst of their fear, self-doubt and questioning, Jesus shows up. When He did, they didn’t recognize Him. Why? They weren’t expecting Him. This is very common. In fact it happens in your life all the time. God shows up in your life and you don’t even know it. He shows up in circumstances and situations and people, and you don’t even recognize Him. Why? Because you’re not looking for Him. When you’re running on empty, it can feel like God’s a million miles away but know this: He’s closer than you realize. He’s here and He’s near and He wants to help you today.

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