Friday, April 6, 2012

F is for Filled

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio


Today "F" could be for a lot of things. Forgiveness comes to mind, but I have hit that pretty hard and often in past posts. It is often an underlying message in the things I write. "F" could be for Fun, John Eldredge does a great job of describing the fun side of Jesus in his book Beautiful Outlaw. I noticed on his site that they are offering the downloadable video of the  OutlawCAST for free now through April 8th. I would highly recommend it to you. Here the link http://www.ransomedheart.com/?q=node/1727
It would not be hard to write about faith but I have decided to tackle "F" is for filled. You are likely to get a bit of faith, and forgiveness as well.  
 
2 Corinthians 4:7- 8
7But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

We are jars of clay, simple earthen vessels with the capacity to hold with in us the things of heaven. 
You may not feel like a very worthy jar. You may even feel like a cracked pot, broken and valueless to yourself or the people around you. As a mosaic artist, I love broken things. The first thing they hold is possibility. I am likely to break those things a lot more so they can become part of my pallet and fit in with the other broken things I will use. Together those things will become something of beauty. Then like living stones in a spiritual house they work together to hold the presence of God among themselves. (I suppose that was yesterdays post)
 
The thing that I have noticed about broken people is that they have generally hit the bottom. They have exhausted their own means to solve their problem. As a result they are less likely to try and manage and control how God would fix them. They go from being set in their ways to being willing to be shaped. It is when we get to the end of ourself and cry out to God that he steps in. Most often the things we are asking him to fix are only the beginning.  Once he starts he does not stop working until we arrive at perfection. Which reminds me of another "F" word - Faithful to finish what he has begun. Philippians 1:6 "being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

 
Ephesians 5:18
Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit." You might not notice that "filled" is a present tense verb which carries with it the idea of needing to be regularly filled and re-filled. It is also spoken in the form of a command.  Here is the message in Margot speak. 
Don't just numb your pain with addictive substances that leads to stuff that will mess you up, instead take that pain and need to God and allow him to fill you with the Holy Spirit.  I suppose that takes a humble heart to first of all admit that you need help. You may also be going about trying to solve an addiction when you need to tackle the root of the pain and the need for numbing it.  We can numb our self with lots of other things than wine and drugs. To often we fill ourself up with other mind numbing activities - workaholism comes to mind - oh dear, even work can become a numbing addicting thing in our life. For some it is the idiot box or mind numbing activities on their computer. Often people with addictive tendencies simply trade one addiction for another that is seemingly less destructive. Don't just trade that addiction for another one - face the root of the pain, face the failure, the guilt, the shame once and for all. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9

Matthew 5:6
'Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." This one is a promise. If you are hungry for God and the things of God - He will fill that hunger. Honestly most of the time my part of the deal is to be willing and available and the Holy Spirit does the rest. If you are running on empty - ask the Lord to fill you up. Again you need to admit that you are empty and that you are powerless to fill yourself. That the stuff you have turned to to try and fill yourself has left you still hungry and thirsty. I have to put my self-sufficiency to death - I can go a long way in the wrong direction on my own strength before I come to the end of myself and realize I am hopelessly lost, exhausted and badly in need of help.
 
 Prayer:
Dear Lord, 
For this reason I kneel before the Father,  from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.  (Ephesians 3:14-21)
 

3 comments:

  1. I've always like the clay pot allusion in scripture. We are made the way we are supposed to be whether for noble or ignoble purpose, but we all have a purpose.

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  2. Those Ephesians verses are some of my favorites! This was a beautiful reminder today. You are so right--we easily turn from one addiction to another in order to soothe the pain of living in a broken world. So much so, we forget it's even painful sometimes because we are so numb. Appreciate your post! Can't wait to see G!

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  3. Thank you Merrit and Elizabeth for your comments. I have been writing these devotionals Monday - Friday since July. It is nice to have people beginning to leave comments.
    I have been mostly been being obedient to write and share and have simply left what becomes of it in the hands of the Lord.

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