Reading: Ephesians 3:14-21; John 7:37-39
. . . that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:19b
I. Streams or Sprinkles? (Jn 7:37-39)
A. Is anyone Thirsty? (v.37b)
1. Any dehydrated Christians out there?
a. Rivers, or sprinkles of living water?
2. Thirst: annoyance or motivation?
a. What do we do with our thirst?
b. Learn to live thirsty, or find a drink?
3. With what do we quench our thirst?
a. Wholesome or “junk drink”?
B. Jesus offers us Overflow (v.38)
1. We come thirsty, we become a stream
a. We come needy, He satisfies us
b. One drink and a stream springs up!
2. Life to the full!
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (Jn 10:10)
3. More than full! Streams flow out of us!
a. Allusion to Ezek. 47:1-12 (temple?)
b. “Stream”=river large or small
c. We overflow for others to find drink!
C. The Spirit comes in Excess (v.39)
1. This is about the Holy Spirit!
a. The Holy Spirit comes like more than a fog!
b. More than a drizzle!
c. Not an underground river
2. Jesus gives more than “barely enough”
a. God isn’t miserly about the Holy Spirit!
b. Note: thirsty–>drink–>flowing river
c. Not drops on your tongue, but a river
3. If it's not overflow, it's not all He has to give us.
a. Do you have more Holy Spirit than you need?
b. Then ask for more!
c. According to Jesus, we can expect this!
II. Filled or Fallow? (Eph. 3:19b)
A. Do we feel Empty?
1. Do you feel full, or empty?
a. First question. of diagnosis, “How do you feel?”
b. Are we full, if we’re emotionally empty?
c. Inventory our heart, soul, mind & body
2. Instead of bearing fruit, our fields lie fallow
a. So many fields un-watered, untended
b. Could be full of wheat, grapes, figs
c. Like our lives they are dry, barren, fallow
3. Are our hearts full of Christ & His love (17-18)
a. What if we still feel empty?
b. Ask “Clean out our hearts for more!”
c. Enlarge our hearts for more!
B. That we may be Full (v.19a)
1. Beyond having sufficient, or the minimum
a. Who wants barely enough? (Some!)
b. The offer is abundance, not sufficiency
c. We’re not talking ‘bout just gettin’ by
2. To be full of Him, be empty of all else
a. To hold on to Him, let go of all else
b. To be full with Him, be empty of all else
3. Full means “full,” i.e., no room for more
a. “Fill ‘er up!” As much as will fit
b. Filled with His love the other stuff goes!
C. Filled to be Fulfilled
1. We are the fulfillment of His promises (?)
a. What do they see when they look at us?
b. The Kingdom of God coming more clearly each day
c. The blessings of God = Bible promises?
2. His fullness satisfies all our emptiness (?)
a. What we really need is God.
b. Not a new job–what we really need is God
c. Miracle? Therapy? Friend? A way out? No, God!
III. Bounteous or Barren? (Eph. 3:19b)
A. Do we settle for Meager?
1. Are we satisfied with the crumbs?!!
a. Syrophonecian woman: even the dogs...
b. Emotional, or spiritual highs, Bible studies., healings
c. Forgiveness without triumph over sin?
2. Is it okay to live in spiritual rags, when the robes of righteousness are freely available to us?
3. What right do we have to live defeated, when Christ has conquered sin & death?
B. Filled up with All of God
1. Know beyond knowing; filled beyond filling
a. How could this be?!
b. Wouldn’t we explode? Die? (Yes!)
2. He doesn’t fit, does He?
a. No, but he makes room!
b. No, but He gives all we can receive
c. No, so we overflow, spill onto others!
3. Like Jesus
For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. (Col 2:9-10)
a. Jesus, was Spirit-filled–we can be too
C. A Preposterous prayer!
1. Is it okay to pray for this?! Yes!!!
a. Unless you want to condemn Paul!
b. Selfish? NO! The exact opposite!
2. Is it OK to expect an answer to this prayer?
a. Does Paul tease us with the impossible?
b. Is this just sentimental nonsense?
c. Besides, Jesus promised (John 7:37-39)
3. Pray boldly for all of Him!
a. Paul doesn’t pray this in a corner
b. Why should we?!
c. Let your desperation turn to boldness
d. Prepare for life–change
The Bottom Line:
|Unsatisfied with Crumbs, we Boldly ask to be Filled with All God gives.|