This past Saturday in my final message in a series titled Master of the Feast (Master of the Feast Pt. IV – Running on Empty) we focused on how to receive what Jesus has to offer. Essentially Jesus offers everyone life as we were intended to experience it. It is a journey of knowing, worshiping, and serving God. It is what we are made for and until we actually encounter Jesus we’ll constantly hunger and thirst for something sustaining, fulfilling, and lasting.
Taken from John 2 the series focused on Jesus’ first miracle of turning water into wine. In the Biblical story the wedding hosts find themselves in quite an awkward position having run out of wine which they were socially obligated to provide. They’ve run out of that which is necessary for the feast. They’ve come to the end of their resources and are “empty” facing complete humiliation. It is in this awkward moment that scripture provides a powerful truth for all of us in that if we desire to receive what Jesus has to offer we must come EMPTY! It sounds easy but the truth is as fallen broken humanity we carry a lot of baggage. We have hangups, hurts, and habits that are often hard to shake. We also have our legitimate accomplishments, achievements, and gifts all of which make us vulnerable to independence and self-reliance. We tend to show up with our spiritual resume and list of qualifications asking God to supplement us in our areas of deficiency. To put it another way, it is difficult to be empty when we’re so full of it!
Nevertheless the prerequisite to a Holy Spirit, transformed life is that we come empty, naked, and bare before Jesus and ask Him to fill us. In reality we are often filled with all sorts of things. We are sticky like a masking tape lent roller! So we pick up things along the way. You name it, as we interact in the world and lug our baggage around our issues emerge. Our family of origin issues along with bitterness, anger, fear, hopelessness, despair, pride, envy, all weigh us down and fill our lives making it difficult for us to experience the fullness of relationship with Jesus. Even our spiritual cultural heritage (church, denomination, subculture) can’t occupy any space. In other words we come to Jesus in the way the old hymn suggests, “Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to the cross I cling; Naked come to thee for dress; Helpless look to thee for grace; Foul I to the fountain fly; wash me, savior or I die.” (Rock of Ages) This isn’t a one-time thing it is the way of the believer. We are constantly pleading and seeking God so that a “dumping” off or a “checking” of our baggage happens every day.
Once we realize our desperate need to be empty then the question becomes how do we get filled? This happens through ongoing encounter with Jesus. Let me be more specific, it is through daily private worship of Him. If he is the fountain of living water and if He is the true Master of the Feast then it necessary for me to constantly drink from His “fountain” and “party” at His feast in order to be filled. Thus a “365” experience of daily worshiping Jesus is where the “filling” happens. In ministry we have a saying, “you minister out of your overflow” meaning that only as we have experienced the fullness of Christ (through private worship) to the point that it overflows are we effective in showing Christ to others. Effectively we minister out of our “emptiness” but in the “fullness” of Christ. Scripture says that, “out of the issues of the heart the mouth speaks” perhaps then if our hearts are being renewed then what flows out of the heart will be blessings, rather than cursings.
I’m praying that this Jesus Worship Him 365 catches on! I believe it is the first step in renewing our church and revitalizing it for effective ministry now and into the future. In essence we are saying that if we are going to invite unbelievers to get to know Jesus (not just know about Him) then we should know Him ourselves. Amen.
I ended the message with this challenge that I’m calling, “Jesus Worship Him 365” and it involves these four emphasis:
DAILY “drink” of what Jesus offers through private, personal WORSHIP.
DAILY pray that God will “empty” you of your baggage!
DAILY worship together as a couple.
DAILY worship together as a family.
In Christ’s love, Pastor Bernie