August 13, 2019
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Water! Drinking lots of water is good for your health. So I usually have a big mug or bottle of water in my office, a lot of bottles of water with me when I travel. My wife and I were driving one time 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 of course. 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. He would love to do that for you.
I know that because of what He said in John 10:10. It's our word for today from the Word of God. He said, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy" - that's the devil. You know, he comes along to steal, kill and destroy our life. "I have come," Jesus said, "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 said he had wanted four things in his senior year: a championship, a scholarship, more friends, and a closer family, and he got them all. And then he actually looked at me with tears in his eyes in this restaurant and he asked in total frustration, "Then why am I so empty?"
That's the question a lot of people have - people of all ages. "Why am I so empty?" Two days after I talked with that football player, the successful and 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 sure not for lack of trying. We've hoped that the hole in our heart would be filled by a relationship, or an achievement, or by experiences, or 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 of our heart. The Bible actually reveals "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 have chosen to live "for me" instead of "for Him." And this hijacking of our life from our Creator, 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's finally full, because He's in it. But you have to reach for Him. You have to surrender the self-rule of your life, and put your trust in Him to be the forgiver of every wrong thing you have ever done. He's the only one who can forgive it, because He's the only one who died to pay the price for it.
If you don't know you belong to Him; if you don't know there's been a time in your life when you've taken what He died on the cross for yourself, well this could be the day for you to do that. And you do it by talking to Him, and maybe in words something like this: "Jesus, I was made by you. I was made for you. I've lived pretty much for me, and I'm done with that. I resign the running of my life, Jesus. I believe that you died to pay the death penalty for every wrong thing I have ever done. You loved me that much. I want you, and beginning today I give myself to you."
You ready to begin a relationship with Him? Then you need to go to our website. I've tried to put there exactly what you need to know from God's own words about being sure you belong to Him. It's ANewStory.com.
You've been empty because you've been missing the One you were made for. But today, this is your day to trade your empty for His full.