Wholeheartnedness The Measure of the Fullness of Christ
WHOLEHEARTEDNESS:THE MEASURE OF THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST
SONG OF SOLOMON 3:1-4; EPHESIANS 3:3:17-19; JER.29:13; Matt. 16:13,15
After quite some time of teaching, training and ministry Jesus gave a pop quiz at the foot of Mount Hermon (Source of the Jordan), Caesarea Phillipi. “WHO DO PEOPLE SAY I AM”? “WHO DO YOU SAY I AM”? Peter = “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Fullness that Jesus had been looking for. Finally, among the closest on earth to him was a knowledge for which he longed. For one brief moment the clouds of doubt dispelled and someone saw who he was. He was seen in his fullness by a man. CHRIST THRILLED.
When the disciples woke up that morning, did they know that one of them was going to receive the fullest revelation of God ever to enter the mind of man?
THEME: FULLNESS OF CHRIST/FULLNESS OF TIME. Sparked by question by one of our own recently: How does one get to the fullness of Christ, I am awakened in my spirit to a seeking after God. For most of my life as a Christian I have been on a quest to know Him in his fullness = Last 12 years. This week as I have meditated on the THEME: FULLNESS, I have asked the Lord to show me what he means by FULLNESS. What is a true seeking after God? What is this FULLNESS for which I long?
Transition: Text: Song of Solomon 3:1-4 “On my bed by night I sought him whom my soul loves; I sought him, but found him not. I will rise now and go about the city, in the streets and in the squares; I will seek him whom my soul loves. I sought him, but found him not. The watchmen found me as they went about in the city. “Have you seen him whom my soul loves?” Scarcely had I passed them when I found him whom my soul loves. I held him, and would not let him go until I had brought him into my mother’s house, and into the chamber of her who conceived me.”
I. A TRUE SEEKING AFTER GOD IS BORN OUT OF DEEP LOVE.
v.1 “On my bed by night I sought him “whom my soul loves…”
A. The heart who truly seeks after God is the one who is full of love.
Not a matter of discipline alone…or sacrifice…but UNBRIDLED
“On my bed I sought Him” – How many of us have sleepless
nights? Why? Worry? Overeating? Cares? Most of us are Xians
in this place…how many of us have lost sleep because we MUST
KNOW HIM? When you lie down at night and thoughts swarm
your mind, how much of it is of Christ?
APPLY – How much of the Church today has a real passion to know
Christ? Where is the depth of love for him?
ILLUSTRATION – Just this week – speaking with Pastor who had been in a
conversation with a leader in one of the largest Churches in the U.S.
After some pleasantries – “How are things at your Church”? “Oh how I
would love to seem some depth. We have 26 acres of Christians at our
Church and all of them not more than 1 inch deep.” He said, “the main
leaders in our Church get people saved and then move on. We don’t know
what to do with them.”
In those quiet alone times of life seek Him.
B. Singular Obsession – unrelenting hunger
C. Mark of the mature
D. Language of Desire – She cannot live without him.
II. A TRUE SEEKING AFTER GOD DOES NOT SETTLE FOR BLESSINGS.
This bride mourns: “I SOUGHT HIM WHOM MY SOUL LOVES, BUT FOUND HIM NOT.”
A. The mark of the immature is that they get easily sidetracked towards
gifts, callings, feelings, emotions, knowledge about God, information,
ILLUSTRATION – Augustine – “God is not found on the surface”.
He will not be found with bulldozer and a backhoe, but with much smaller
tools of the spiritual archaeologist. The fullness of Christ will not come by
skimming off the top but by putting on your light helmet and delving deep
into the mines of heaven. The knowing of God is far beyond goose bumps,
tears, teachings, healing and ministries…to know him fully-shaft must run deep.
III. A TRUE SEEKING AFTER GOD TAKES RISKS.
V.2 “I will arise and go about the city…streets and squares.”
Hist. Bkg. ancient middle east. A woman did not go out in public after dark.
No security-No safety. There was a testimony to save, a reputation to protect.
A. Throw caution to the wind. ILLUSTRATION – Recently, I watched the face of a woman who had committed to jumping off a bridge with only a bungy cord attached to her. For the longest time she tried only to fail, only to say, ‘I’m so scared’. Finally, throwing caution to the wind and trusting in the people who said it was safe and the man-made materials holding her fast, SHE JUMPED. Happily, she had an exhilarating ride.
APPLY – There comes a time in your walk with Christ – Throw caution to wind – Put it all on the line. Not for an hour, day, week but forever.
THIS WILL BE YOUR LIFE’S GOAL - FULLNESS. Leave your BED, GO TO THE STREETS, TO THE WATCHMEN. Reputation cast aside. Fears be damned to hell. Dreams on edge. I have seen Christ the son of the living God.
B. Face religious traditions – V. “The Watchmen found me...Have you seen the one my soul loves?”Illus – Woman swept house to find lost coin.
IV. A TRUE SEEKING AFTER GOD BRINGS CHRIST TO THE CHURCH.
V. 4 “I found him whom my soul loves.”
A. To the Church of Yesterday. Mary of Magdela said, “I have seen the Lord…” I lost him. He died…I buried him…but Hallelujah, I have found him. She brought a message to the disciples…MEET HIM IN GALILEE. She brought Christ to the Church (Her mother’s house). WHAT DID SHE BRING? Deliverance for Mary… Forgiveness for Peter…Faith for Thomas…Grace for Matthew…Patience for the Sons of Thunder…Peace for Simon the Zealot.
B. To the Church of today – Needy and Hurting – When Christ is brought to any Body of Christians by a member of that body who has sought him with all his heart ( Jer29:13) “You will seek me and find me…all your heart…”, the FULLNESS OF CHRIST IS PRESENT. No partials, or portions, but Christ in his heighth, depth, breadth and width…(Eph. 3.19). Today we have a partial Christ. He not much different from the Hindu knowledge of Christ, the Muslim, Scientologist. The Post-Modern culture says that there are many paths to God but if the world ever sees the true Christ found by true seekers there minds will be changed.
Today is a new day. Today we stand before the Holy Scriptures which speak of Christ. Today, Christ asks us the same question he asked his close followers 2000 years ago. WHO DO YOU SAY THAT I AM? Now we have an advantage for an answer. Peter gave it but his giving of the answer came from Revelation…seeking…truly seeking. What kind of Christ do we present to one another today? What kind of Christ do we present to the world… We have our beliefs, political stances, doctrines. But do we have HIS FULLNESS? Are we taking the risks, what is the measure of our love? Is our heart beating with anticipation for his Presence. If not, we need to repent.