the full gospel
"Consider your ways! You have sown much, but have brought in little." —Haggai 1:5- 6
Have you worked hard but gotten little out of it except a feeling of discontent? Have you eaten, bought, or consumed a lot but "not been satisfied"? (Hg 1:6) Have you stimulated yourself through drinking, distractions, sexual sin, sports, or entertainment but "not been exhilarated"? (Hg 1:6) Do you have a sense of emptiness and loss?
We can be empty for many reasons. One common reason is that we may have put our concerns before those of God (Hg 1:2-4) and thereby have committed idolatry. "The worship of infamous idols is the reason and source and extremity of all evil" (Wis 14:27). When we go after empty idols, we become empty ourselves (Jer 2:5).
If you want to become fulfilled rather than empty, deny your very self (Lk 9:23) and give your life to Jesus, in Whom absolute fullness resides (Col 1:19). Hunger and thirst for righteousness, and you will be filled (Mt 5:6). Seek first God's kingdom, not yours, "and all these things will be given you besides" (Mt 6:33). "Do whatever He tells you" (Jn 2:5). Then, in response to your obedience, Jesus will fill you with the choice wine (Jn 2:10) of the Spirit (Acts 2:4). Jesus emptied Himself (Phil 2:7) to give us life to the full (Jn 10:10). Give your life to Him.
Prayer: Father, I empty myself for love of You. Fill me.
Promise: "The Lord loves His people, and He adorns the lowly with victory." —Ps 149:4
Praise: The chief of an African tribal nation visited America without his normal security protection. He wanted to observe the people as would a humble citizen. He witnessed to a retreat audience: "Jesus is my Protection. I trust in my Jesus!"
Reference: (For related teaching, order our leaflet, Seek First the Kingdom.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 1, 1997
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 4, 1997