A courageous life
LIVES FULL – DIES EMPTY
By Pastor George Lehman
Ephesians 2:10 (Amp) – For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above-spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us].
(You’ll never succeed beyond your wildest dreams unless you have some wild dreams.)
Paul said in 2 Timothy 4:7 “I fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith
(I have given all – I’m empty, now I can go home)
More people fail through lack of purpose (determination) than lack of talent.
If you’re not sure where you are going, you’ll probably end up some place else.
A story by Mark Twain illustrates this point:
A man spent his entire life searching for the world’s greatest General. He never found him. He finally died and went to heaven. He asked St. Peter: “ I am looking for the world’s greatest General.”
Peter said: “Come with me.” He pointed out a man and said: “There’s the world’s greatest General.”
The man said to Peter: “You must be mistaken – that man was the blacksmith in my hometown”
Peter said: “That’s true, but if he had been a General, he would have been the world’s greatest General”
You’ll end up living empty and dying full.
The truth is – God has placed a lot more in you than what you are living out right now.
God did not only save you to ensure your passport to heaven. God wants for you to:
- Fulfill your potential
Potential is untapped power, unused strength
What potential does:
It’s what you can do but haven’t done yet.
How far you can go but haven’t gone yet.
What you can accomplish but haven’t accomplished yet
- To live with purpose means: Rom 8:25 – But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait eagerly for it with patience and composure
- To reign in life – Rom 5:17 (NIV) – For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!
- He wants you to be fruitful and productive (What’s the use of Matthew 28:19 in heaven)
It’s the John 3:30 vision. Paul understood this when he wrote to the church in Colossae.
We are going to look at Colossians 1:3-10 (Amp)
Col 1:22-23 (Amp) - 22Yet Christ has now reconciled you [to God] in His physical body through death, in order to present you before the Father holy and blameless and beyond reproach – 23[and He will do this] if you continue in the faith, well-grounded and steadfast, and not shifting away from the [confident] hope [that is a result] of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which [gospel] I, Paul, was made a minister. – (Introduction.)
Rom 5:17 – For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!
Col 1:3 – We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, as we pray always for you.
We give thanks for what?
Col 1:4 – For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus [how you lean on Him with absolute confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness], and of the [unselfish] love which you have for all the saints (God’s people).
We have heard of your faith – Heb 11:1 (NIV) Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Putting Faith into action
A) loving God
- B) loving God’s people
Col 1:5 – Because of the [confident] hope [of experiencing that] which is reserved and waiting for you in heaven. You previously heard of this hope in the message of truth, the gospel [regarding salvation].
because of what is laid up and waiting for us – we live full and die empty.
Col 1:6 – Which has come to you. Indeed, just as in the whole world the gospel is constantly bearing fruit and spreading [by God’s power], just as it has been doing among you ever since the day you first heard of it and understood the grace of God in truth [becoming thoroughly and deeply acquainted with it].
A church finding its potential
- The gospel we have received has to bear and produce fruit.
- How are you doing spiritually since that day? Growth is inevitable, unavoidable, it’s bound to happen –
1 Cor 3:6 – I planted, Apollos watered, but God (all the while) was making it grow and He gave the increase.
The point is if you’re not growing you better check who you are connected to.
You cannot give what you don’t have.
John 15:4 – No branch can bear fruit by itself, it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you abide (remain) in me.
1 John 2:17 - And the world passes away and disappears, and with it the forbidden craving (the passionate desires, the lust) of it; but he who does the will of God and carries out His purposes in his life remains abides forever).
Col 1:7 -8 – 7You learned it from [our representative] Epaphras, our beloved fellow bond servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf 8and he also has told us of your love [well-grounded and nurtured] in the [Holy] Spirit.
We learn and grow by encouraging one another – by being committed and getting
The ministry is an extremely important part of your growth process. I can never over emphasize:
1 Church attendance
- Cell attendance
- Bible school, growing in grace
- Fellowship with one another
- Praying – worshipping, hearing the Word
Show me a person that’s fully involved – I’ll show you someone who projects Jesus alive – wherever they go!
Someone who “lives full” and when it come to die, “dies empty”.
Col 1:9 – For this reason, since the day we heard about it, we have not stopped praying for you, asking [specifically] that you may be filled with knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom [with insight into His purposes], and in understanding [of spiritual things].
These dudes were showing Jesus alive in 50 – 50AD
- Paul’s prayer was specific and directed for further growth and fruitfulness.
To live full and die empty.
- Do you know that it’s Gods desire to fulfill that request – tonight, here.
Close Col 1:10 – So that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord [displaying admirable character, moral courage, and personal integrity], to [fully] please Him in all things, bearing fruit in every good work and steadily growing in the knowledge of God [with deeper faith, clearer insight and fervent love for His precepts].
The question is – how do you shape up to these verses?
The year ahead is bright – exciting.
God’s message to you is:
- You are valuable; you are precious.
- I love you
Take a R200,00 note:
- Go back to its creation of the note
- Since that day the note might have been – abused, misused, unloved, involved in criminal activity, even given up for sexual activity, even handed over for drugs and alcohol. It may never have been used for anything good, yet if I offered it to you, you would take it.
- Why: For the same reason I won’t give it to you. You see, it’s creator, the SA reserve bank, determined its value and all it had been through did not determine its value. That’s why your personal value is worth as much to God today as the day you were born.
Col 1:22-23 (Amp) – 22Yet Christ has now reconciled you [to God] in His physical body through death, in order to present you before the Father holy and blameless and beyond reproach – 23[and He will do this] if you continue in the faith, well-grounded and steadfast, and not shifting away from the [confident] hope [that is a result] of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which [gospel] I, Paul, was made a minister.
He became as we are so that we can become as HE is.