Wednesday, July 9, 2003
Water. Drinking lots of water is good for your health. So I usually have a big mug of water in my office and bottles of water with me when I travel. Well, a while back, my wife and I were driving to some ministry events, and another couple from our team was traveling with us in the back seat. And they got to be the keeper of the water - and the snacks. But let's stick with the healthy stuff. This little drill developed, thanks to the thoughtfulness of my buddy in the back seat. When I finished a bottle of water, I handed the empty bottle back to him so it could be dumped in our garbage bag. But as I handed my empty to him, there he was with a full bottle to place in my other hand.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Trading Empty For Full."
Not a bad deal. I gave my friend what was empty and he replaced it with what was full. Just like Jesus. I handed him a life that was pretty empty, and He gave me back a life that is amazingly full. He's done that for countless people, and He would love to do that for you.
I know that because of what He said in John 10:10, our word for today from the Word of God. "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; (that's the devil He's talking about) I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." I remember talking with a senior football player at our local high school about all the great things that had happened in his senior year. He told me he had wanted four things - a championship, a scholarship, more friends, and a closer family. He had gotten all four. But then he looked at me with tears in his eyes and he asked in total frustration, "Then why am I so empty?"
That's the question many people have - people of all ages. Two days after I talked with that football player, the successful, deeply religious president of a local service club said basically the same thing to me. There is this emptiness that nothing seems to fill. And it's not for lack of trying. We've hoped that the hole in our heart would be filled by a relationship, by achievement, by experiences, by a family, or by a religion. But we keep coming up empty, unsatisfied, unfulfilled, and wondering what goes in this hole in our heart.
Jesus goes in the hole in your heart. The Bible actually reveals that "all things were created by Him and for Him" (Colossians 1:16). You were created by Jesus, you were created for Jesus, and you're going to have a hole in your heart until you have Jesus. Tragically, we've chosen to live "for me" instead of "for Him." And this hijacking of our life from our Creator - this sin - has put us in a futile orbit away from Him. But that's why Jesus came. That's why Jesus died - to pay the price for our rebellion so we could finally belong to the One we were made for.
This day could be the day when you hand your empty to Jesus, and He gives you in exchange a life that is finally full - because He's in it. But you have to reach for Him, surrender the self-rule of your life, and put your trust in Him to be the forgiver of every wrong thing you've ever done. Now, if you've never done that, and you are ready to belong to Him, tell Him, "Jesus, I'm Yours." And then, I would like to send you my booklet, "Yours For Life". It's all about beginning your personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Just let me know you want it.
You've been empty because you've been missing the One you were made for. Today is your day to trade in empty for full.