Are you empty?

themissingpieceEmptiness is something which we all feel at times. Sometimes it is during times of stress or severe testing in our lives. Sometimes it is because of how we feel about ourselves. I feel it at times when depression comes on my day. I never know when it will come, but I know it when it does. Emptiness is a feeling that makes you feel like you don’t have enough..of something. At times you can’t put your finger on what is missing exactly, but you know inside that something just isn’t right.

Some people try to fill that place with stuff or sex or money or ???? You know what you put there and many times it still doesn’t feel full or maybe it doesn’t feel like what you have in that spot isn’t quite enough. So what do you do then? Most people go out and try to find something else to add to the pile. Like traveling, spending money on trips for no apparent reason because every trip can’t be for business and most of us don’t have family scattered all over the place.

Why am I writing about this today? Because, it is usually during the holidays when people feel empty most often which is why most suicides happen during this time. Make sure that you are close to your family and friends, especially if they are empty-nesters and their house feels that way. Holidays are bad for those of us who have lost a loved one, especially if it happened on a holiday. My mother passed on Christmas in 1995 and a few months earlier around Easter of that same year, my grandfather passed, so I do know a bit about how this feels.

There is an empty place at the table when someone isn’t there, an empty room or closet but most of the time the emptiness is felt inside yourself, as if something is missing from your life and you just don’t know what it is. That is where knowing Jesus comes into your life because that spot which has felt empty for a while is shaped specifically for and filled only by your Savior. It is a part of each person on Earth which each one of us has, it isn’t there because of something we did or didn’t do. That longing for feeling is part of your life and mine until we find the Person Who actually fills that space.

The only One Who does that is Jesus, the Son of God. It cannot be filled by a person that you have a relationship with except the Person of Jesus. It can’t be filled by anything other than Him either, so if you are reading this and you know what I am speaking of, don’t go looking for something or some other person to fill that place because it can’t be done. Only Jesus fills that space, so give Him the chance to make you whole and you will never feel empty again. I promise.

Superficial Christianity

Have you ever been accused of being a superficial Christian? Why do I ask? Because it seems that today that is exactly what most of professing “Christians” really are. They listen to sermons and maybe read a verse or two of Scripture and maybe even get baptized at some point but then they pull out their cell phones and forget what the sermon was about. Do they read the Bible after church and pray for God’s guidance in their lives on a daily basis? Only God knows the answer to that question. Are they real Christians in their hearts or just pretending? Still, only God knows for sure.

themissingpieceMany people play at church and many of them think that they are saved because until you can see a real change in their lives and hear it in their speech or in their actions, you truly cannot tell. Some of them can pretend so well that those around them may not be able to tell if there is a change happening in their lives or one which has already happened. Now, don’t read something into my writing which isn’t here! I am not saying that a certain percentage of people who claim Christ as their Savior are really not saved.

What I am saying is that there are a number of people who are very shallow in their Christianity. Like children, they are in the wading pool or maybe in ankle deep in the surf but they feel comfortable being there. Many, if not most, will never venture any further in their walk with Jesus. Which is a shame because being a Christian is more than having your own salvation, it is about telling or showing others what a life with Christ in it can be!

We have been given the most valuable gift in the history of the world…forgiveness and eternal life to go with it! Why in the world would you hold that like a spoiled child and not tell others how they can have it too? It didn’t cost us anything, yet it is the most precious gift that anyone could receive and because it is worth more than all the wealth in the world…why not give it away?

God has plenty of room in His Kingdom and all we should do is tell others what Jesus has done for us and how they can have this too! I know that the Truth in the Bible is not the truth that everyone wants to hear. Nor do they want to know about our Savior because they don’t believe that He is the Savior!

But consider this…if you did have access to one trillion dollars would you keep it all to yourself? No, the government would get a huge chunk of it in taxes, but even then you would have hundreds of billions of dollars left. There is only so much stuff that you can get before it is just…well stuff! Of course if you had all of that wealth, you would have more friends and kinfolk than you ever knew you had, so for me I would find a place back in the mountains somewhere and hide…but then what? You can’t hide forever!

Jesus told His disciples to go and tell others about the salvation which comes through belief in Him. We aren’t to beat them with a Bible or have a temper tantrum because they won’t listen, just tell them what He has done for you. If they want it great! If they decide that they have time to wait, maybe they will hear it another time or place. The problem we face today is that we are coming to the end of the age of Grace. I have no idea when He will come back and I have no idea when He will call the believers in the world up to Heaven as the Scriptures tell us.

So…what are you waiting for? Have you been guaranteed time on this Earth? Do you know for sure that you have another week or a month or maybe a year to live? I may die in a car wreck tomorrow, my wife may get killed at the place where she works, my son might get killed in a car accident next week. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. Think about it and then seek Him.13239362_10154180220593879_708192815796487421_n

Image problem

The idea that we can be Christians, have Jesus in our life and yet not experience the REAL relationship that we desire is never taught in church. Is it possible that we can do all of the things, be a “pillar of the church” and not be fully and totally committed to our life in Christ? Actually, it is totally possible and many Christians are doing exactly that without even knowing it. There are many who “go through the motions” for years in their self-righteous delusion and they may never find Jesus in this life!

We tend to trust God because the preacher said that we should and because it is in the Bible. But, is that enough? We also create God in our image and place our personality traits in the relationship and look at Him as if He is a reflection of us rather than the other way around!

We are supposed to be reflecting Him and His Son’s image to those who see us, not making God into an image of us. Then when something doesn’t go exactly according to the plan that we have in mind for our life, we blame Him when it is actually our “version” of Him that is the culprit and the REAL problem.

We actually have a problem with our image, not that the image of God isn’t perfect because the real image of God is actually us. The problem is that we, each one of us, tries to make God conform to our image of Him. We try to make Him look like and act like us.

God doesn’t work that way, but He will allow us to make a mess of things while we do this so that He can come in and show us exactly what He can do for us. The image that we have created of Him cannot heal us or bring us to a point of surrender with Him because our image of God is NOT God!

Can this “image” thing be fixed? Yes, but it usually gets fixed when we finally come to a point where we acknowledge that we can’t do it ourselves and things begin to fall apart around us. Then we get angry at the “god” who allowed this and hopefully we will come to the point that we see that we were the cause of our problem and also the cause of the answers not being delivered to us by God like we thought they should be. Why did all of our prayers and tithes and all of the service which we performed in His service not count for what we thought it should?

Because, we were doing all of those things for OUR version…OUR image of God, not the real God but a fake copy of Him which closely resembles us! Our idol, our image, our reflection of us into and onto God. We were trying to do pottery in reverse, and it doesn’t work that way!

Consider that we are like Adam was before God gave him the breath of Life. To a perfectly holy God and our Creator, we are like a clay man or woman. Dirty and not useful for much more than planting things in, but if we realize that God is nothing like us because He is our Creator then we can come into a real relationship with Him. We should get to know Him as a friend and our Teacher, because it is necessary that we learn from Him the way to truly live in Him and allow Him to live in us and through us every day.

Our image is nothing compared to His and we shouldn’t try to imagine Him in our image because we are bringing Him down to our level at that point, in truth we should be striving to be more like Him!