Summary: How Christ takes our empty lives and fills them with His goodness. Based on Ephesians 3.
The Fullness of Christ
Ephesians: Riches in Christ, part 6
Turn to Eph chapter 3
Continuing in our series on the book of Ephesians.
Eph 3:14-21 (NLT)
14 When I think of the wisdom and scope of God’s plan, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, 15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. 16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit. 17 And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God. (might want to underline that on your outline)
20 Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope. 21 May he be given glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever through endless ages. Amen.
Once there was a woman with nothing.
She had no husband,
no food, no money, no income, no prospects of any improvement in her situation, nothing.
She had two sons,
but her creditors were coming to take them away as slaves.
And in her emptiness,
she went to find the prophet Elisha.
The story is found in 2 Kings 4
And this is what he told her.
Elisha said, what do you have in your house?
Nothing, she said, except for a little oil.
Now this desperate, terrified woman,
was about to learn something, about nothing.
Because then Elisha told her
go ask all your neighbors if you can borrow their empty jars,
and don’t just ask for a few, ask for a bunch.
Then go inside and shut the doors,
with just you and your sons.
Now this is a strange story.
Its like the prophet was saying,
I know you have almost nothing,
I know that your life seems completely empty,
but you don’t have enough of emptiness.
I want you to really get, really empty.
So he said,
I want you to gather up all the nothing you have,
all the emptiness you have,
and then I want you to go to all your neighbors,
and borrow all their emptiness too,
then go back to your house,
close the doors with the 2 boys that are about to be taken from you,
so they’ll be emptiness too.
And after you’ve done that,
then lets see what God will do in your life.
So the woman did that.
She left him and afterward shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. When all the jars were full, she said to her son, "Bring me another one." But he replied, "There is not a jar left." Then the oil stopped flowing. She went and told the man of God, and he said, "Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left."
When did the oil stop flowing?
When their was no more emptiness to fill.
All the emptiness had become fullness.
If you are not experiencing God’s presence and provision in your life,
maybe its because you’re not empty enough.
Many times we won’t look to God for help,
and look to him for strength,
until we have no other option,
until we realize our emptiness.
I want to talk this morning about how God turns emptiness into fullness.
Because that’s what Ephesians is talking about in Chapter 3.
Paul prays a prayer for the Ephesians,
and in that prayer,
he tells us the process by which
God turns our emptiness into fullness.
Before we get back to Ephesians though,
I want to look more at what the rest of the Bible says about emptiness and fullness.
Because Jesus whole ministry was about
turning emptiness into fullness.
Remember when Jesus was with his disciples,
and a great crowd gathered to hear him,
and Jesus had compassion on them,
because he said,
they’re like sheep without a shepherd.
When Jesus looked at them, he saw that they were spiritually bankrupt,
They had nothing.
And not only nothing spiritually,
but nothing physically,
nothing to eat.
So Jesus asked Phillip,
how can we feed all these people?
And Phillip looked at all those thousands of people,