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Summary: How are we, as Christians, to deal with the physical, emotional, and spiritual drains in our lives? How are we, as people of God, to deal with these issues? Paul tells the Colossians and he tells us that Jesus can fill us in the midst of all the drains

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THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST

COLOSSIANS 2:9-15

INTRODUCTION... sermoncentral.com/print_friendly_illustration.asp?illustration_id=6249

A little boy who lived far out in the country in the late 1800s had reached the age of twelve and had never in all his life seen a circus. You can imagine his excitement, when one day a poster went up at school announcing that on the next Saturday a traveling circus was coming to the nearby town. He ran home with the glad news and the question, "Daddy, can I go?" Although the family was poor, the father sensed how important this was to the lad. "If you do your Saturday chores ahead of time," he said, "I’ll see to it that you have the money to go."’

Come Saturday morning, the chores were done and the little boy stood by the breakfast table, dressed in his Sunday best. His father reached down into the pocket of his overalls and pulled out a dollar bill-the most money the little boy had possessed at one time in all his life. The father cautioned him to be careful and then sent him on his way to town. The boy was so excited, his feet hardly seemed to touch the ground all the way. As he neared the outskirts of the village, he noticed people lining the streets, and he worked his way through the crowd until he could see what was happening. Lo and behold, it was the approaching spectacle of a circus parade! The parade was the grandest thing this lad had ever seen. Caged animals snarled as they passed, bands beat their rhythms and sounded shining horns, midgets performed acrobatics while flags and ribbons swirled overhead.

Finally, after everything had passed where he was standing, the traditional circus clown, with floppy shoes, baggy pants, and a brightly painted face, brought up the rear. As the clown passed by, the little boy reached into his pocket and took out that precious dollar bill. Handing the money to the clown, the boy turned around and went home. What had happened? The boy thought he had seen the circus when he had only seen the parade!

Are you experiencing all that God has for you? The Christian life is a marvelous adventure, an exciting journey. Many people-including Christians-seem to be content to float in a sea of mediocrity, emptiness, and settling for second best.

READ COLOSSIANS 2:9-15

I. THE EMPTINESS OF THE WORLD

I would like us to begin today by defining and word and then answering a question relating to that word. The word is “drain” and the question is “what is draining you?” When I say drain, I do not mean the plumbing in your house, but rather I mean the loss of joy, peace, patience., kindness, faith, and love. This passage talks all about the fullness of Christ, which we will get later, but I want to look at the negative side first. Is there anything in your life that is draining you? Anything stealing your joy, your hope, or your faith?

There are many factors in our lives that are a drain on our faith and joy and peace:

* Many times the drain comes from our environment: Everything from the weather to a dirty house can cause a drain on our minds and on our spirits. Right now my office is not as clean as it should be and it drains me to try and find anything in there right now.

* Many times the drain comes from our relationships: One of the most draining things in life is not getting along with the people you work with. That will steal your joy and peace and satisfaction from your work more than anything. How are your relationships at work? How is the relationship with your spouse or your children or grandchildren? I remember someone telling me once that the most draining thing about the Christmas holidays is not the holidays or the business, but the family that gathers during that time. You might have a relationship or a number of relationships that drain you.

* Many times the drain comes from ourselves: Most of the time the biggest thief of our peace, patience, kindness, hope, love, and all of the other good things in life is ourselves. We sin and drain ourselves. We do not live up to our own expectations and so we drain ourselves. We are stressed and so we are drained.

ILLUSTRATION... What’s Draining you? By Lisa Schrader; lisaschrader.com/resources/energy_drains.pdf

As I work with clients on creating the life they want, we first need to clear up areas that drain their energy. If a sizable portion of the energy you have for change and transformation is being siphoned off, you’re not likely to achieve the forward momentum you want. And there’s nothing more frustrating that being ready to move and feeling like you’re going no where. It’s like those dreams of running a race with sandbags strapped to your legs, or slogging through waist-high oatmeal. Taking the time to identify and deal with energy drains frees up the time, space, spirit, and energy you need for getting more of what you want in your life.

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