Adapted by our team from Pastor Brett Younker’s message from Summer in the City, The Fullness of Life.
Have you ever challenged the empty gas tank light on your car so much so it actually shut off? That happened to me several times in high school.
I drove a land cruiser I tested to the limits. If there were only five miles left until empty, I drove six. There were many times when I ended up stranded on the side of the road. My car didn’t break down because of anything inherently wrong with it. It broke down because I didn’t fill it with what it needed: gas.
Some of you are testing your limits. You are cruising on empty, hoping your car doesn’t make an abrupt stop. On the outside, you look like you have it all together. But on the inside, you don’t have what you need to keep going.
Our intent isn’t ever to be empty. We are looking for someone or something that can satisfy every desire. Our deepest desire is to feel whole.
We look for fulfillment in our education, career, money, or relationships. We think if we find fulfillment in any of the superficial things of this world, we will finally feel loved, valued, and worthy.
But when we finally reach the peak of what we desire most, we realize we are still empty.
We aren’t alone in this. Humanity has been looking for fulfillment since the beginning of time. It is a deep-rooted, insatiable desire only to be filled by one person.
As we step into the book of Colossians, we are introduced to the apostle Paul. Paul was writing from the confines of prison to a church in Colossae, a city he had never even visited. People attending this church in Colossae came from all over but were united by one thing: Jesus.
We are writing to God’s holy people in the city of Colosse, who are faithful brothers and sisters in Christ. May God our Father give you grace and peace. Paul’s Thanksgiving and Prayer. We always pray for you, and we give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all of God’s people, which come from your confident hope of what God has reserved for you in heaven. You have had this expectation ever since you first heard the truth of the Good News. This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace. You learned about the Good News from Epaphras, our beloved co-worker. He is Christ’s faithful servant, and he is helping us on your behalf. He has told us about the love for others that the Holy Spirit has given you.
You may have already heard the message of the gospel. But this is the starting point: the gospel is the foundation of life.
So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding.
Once we know the gospel is the cornerstone, our prayer is for the knowledge of His will. It is to have a deep understanding of who Jesus is and His plans and purpose for the world revealed in Christ.
Through knowing Him, we gain wisdom, insight, and understanding. Seeing and knowing Jesus helps us navigate life. As we grow in the knowledge of God, we will find God’s will for our lives and align our life with God’s will and desires.
Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.
Inward change has an outward expression. Our alignment with His will and desires will bear the fruit of the spirit. Some of us have been gathering insights, yet nothing has changed in our lives. There is not much obedience following it.
But we want to live a worthy life; bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened for endurance and patience, and giving thanks.
What gives us all of that? The gospel.
Oftentimes, we want an edge or an insight to figure out the complexities of life. The problem is we look to self-help books and podcasts to tell us instead of looking to Jesus and the Scripture.
On this journey to find the answers to this world, we pick up metaphorical ideological baggage. We trust perfectionism, consumerism, mysticism, humanism, and religious pluralism to give us enlightenment.
Suddenly we’re holding five different bags in our hands and are feeling overwhelmed. We have overpacked. God wants to break you free from these patterns of thinking that don’t lead to the fullness of life. He wants you to know He has already given you everything.
God wants to bring clarity to the confusion.
Fullness of life is only found in Jesus.
He is the creator and sustainer of all things.
He is our Savior and our redeemer.
He makes us perfect by the cross and His resurrection.
His love consumes and holds us.
He is the giver of every good thing.
You don’t need a spiritual connection to the universe. You can know and have a personal relationship with the one who made the universe.
You can never move on or move past the gospel. It’s not something you can grow out of. The gospel is deep and wide. It only takes one moment to transform your life.
The equation to life is not Jesus + something. The fullness of life is Jesus + nothing = everything.
Our faith should grow like an oak tree.
Visualize an acorn. It is small but mighty. It fits in the palm of your hand. When an acorn is planted in the right environmental conditions, it grows 2-3 feet every year. It is a slow yet consistent growth that stays standing 100 years later. It bears fruit and endures many storms.
We should mirror our faith to that of an oak tree. We should grow 2-3 feet every year. We should be consistent, steady, and strong in our growth.
Let’s walk away from this life feeling like we lived a life that is worthy. One that bore fruit, grew in the knowledge of God and was strong and grateful.
Jesus is enough. He is always enough.