Get honest. When you don't have anything to give, what can you do? All you can do is take. That is why God says He will fill us and satisfy us and energize us. Yet when we don't know Him, or don't spend time with Him, or don't trust Him there is no way to be filled by Him, by our gracious and giving God.
One of the items that is essential to the church and to every God follower is being inseperable from God. That means we are attached, being filled and ready to give to others. Then, the overflow will be sweet. In my ONE PRAYER message, Lord, Make Us Effective, I asked our people to focus on God, seek unity with other God followers, get involved in the work and live out of the overflow God provides. What is that overflow?
Hebrews 12:1-3 (nlt) --- Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God's throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won't become weary and give up.
To make sure the overflow is there and that you have stuff to give, God says there are some things we can do. Here are a couple of those: realize you are not alone and others have been where you are now, take off the stuff that trips you up (most of the time this is sin and habits), look at Jesus and run toward Him. That keeps us from getting tired or from loosing our vision and heart.
Romans 15:13 (nlt) --- I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
What is the overflow? The overflow is hope. Some people will ask you when you are hit or hurt or when bad stuff happens, "how do you get through this" or "how can you still have hope in the middle of the junk"? The answer is simple ... GOD!
Paul prayed in that last verse that we would overflow with hope. To be filled up and giving away hope. When we can give hope to people who have no hope, then we are doing what God called us to do. It is time that the world around us sees something different about the church. We need to and must have an overflow of HOPE....
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