Kathy Bernard - Publisher

Let them no longer fool themselves by trusting in empty riches,
for emptiness will be their only reward.  Job 15:31

IN my mind's eye, I can picture the scene taking place in Jerusalem over two thousand years ago.  I see Nicodemus, a Pharisee, a member of the Sanhedrin and ruler of the Jews seeking out the man called Jesus.  Revered by many because of his standing, here he was, under the cover of nightfall and anonymity, making his way to see this religious Man Who was saying things that could endanger Jewish beliefs.  Some were even embracing Him as the long awaited MessiahBut this secret meeting was something he felt compelled to do.  For there was a pull, a part of him that made him want to speak to Jesus about the salvation and the eternal life He was preaching about and promising to the throngs. 

NOW Nicodemus did not want anyone who knew him to observe his furtive foray in the dark for he wielded much influence in the Council.  He was frightened since the crowds were carefully watching all the Jewish leaders.  They wanted to observe what the members believed and would do about Jesus (read John 7:26,48).  As he made his way,  he was troubled about how the members of the Council (the Sanhedrin) would feel about this visit.  If they found out, they would suspiciously question him at length about his actions.  They might even take away his membership.  And so, he hid himself from the crowds, choosing to see Jesus in private.  There was a part of him that needed that "something more" and this honest man was on his way to find it.  Hearing the Lord speak with knowledge of glorious salvation, it touched something important, something he had never heard before; filling that vacant place he had never realized was absent in his life.

AND like Nicodemus, we too need that “something more”. 

HAVE you ever sat quietly and tried to figure out why you feel empty, lost, and dissatisfied with yourself?  Or took a good look at that palpable void in your life?    Something is lacking, a keen yearning that will not go away.  There is that nagging disquiet at odds with even the best of days.  You are in a constant state trying to find something, anything that will tease your senses and make you feel whole. 

SOME people ask, “Why is that empty place within me so important that it lurks on the edge of everything I do?  Something is missing; a vital and necessary part of me is not there and I can feel it.  I realize I am not complete and I do not know how to fix it.  I need to be a completed person.  I am in a vacuum of discontent and sadness. 

WHY do we feel this way?  What do we need to be total?

THERE is a place within us all that God put there.  It remains empty until we fill it with Him.  It is tailor made for His Presence and nothing else will fit in that space. Some have searched for alternatives, changed lifestyles to accommodate what is lost, not realizing what you have been searching for is right at hand, and has been since you entered this world. 

ONCE it is recognized, we know what it is we have longed for; we know we have found our deepest and profound desire.  It is a relationship with Jesus Christ.  And once we have it, we no longer hunger for fulfillment for it is right there in abundance.  Anything else is counterfeit and doomed to fail.   Money, sex, drugs, movies, sporting events, concerts, and empty pursuits become just white noise, drowning out the craving that tells us we are still missing something significant and important. 

THIS is good news for those who will listen.  It cannot be found it in the streets, the movies, the loudness of a club, or people who promise instant gratification.  Why?  Because it is only a surface band-aid covering the bruise of desolation.  The healing for your secret place can only come from one source and that is Jesus Christ.  2 Corinthians 1:3-4 tells us  All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort…..”   

WHEN we realize this is what we need, our eyes are opened to the truth and the joy that comes from accepting and knowing Jesus Christ as Savior, the Prince of all Peace.    We begin to see that we have repressed who we were made to be and that is to know with certainty and acceptance that we are children of the most high, Almighty God.  We are heirs to the kingdom of God.  Only then can our thirst be filled, for He pours His joy into our empty places with His presence.  John 7:38 says “Whoever believes in me, if anyone is thirsty, let him come to me."

I cannot be complete without that crucial piece of the human puzzle.  Nothing this empty world offers will work in that space.  Nothing.  If  I allow myself to be controlled solely by my earthly body, I ignore the most important part of me; that yet unrecognized place God put there Himself.   If I allow it to take precedence, I might temporarily beat down that empty place and find transient solace.  But it is a make believe stopgap because it shows up during my quiet times, coming through with a hollow roar of presence.  We are told in Ephesians 1:23   “…the fullness of Him Who fills all in all, for in that body lives the full measure of Him Who makes everything complete, and Who fills everything everywhere with Himself.”   

WHAT can I do about this? 

I must listen willingly with my heart, for the Holy Spirit will gently prod me along, bringing understanding that will turn into joy so intense, nothing the world offers can surpass or equal it.  I must choose, through free will, to accept this revelation for He is my creator and He wants me to know Him, to love Him, and build my trust in His promises.   He wants me to accept the gift of salvation His Son, Jesus Christ gives to us all.  From Ephesians 3:19 comes this  … “that you may really come to know practically, through experience for yourselves, the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge (without experience); that you may be filled (through all your being) unto all the fullness of God and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself.” 

It is not just those who do not believe who feel this emptiness.  Many times believing Christians can experience that same emptiness.  We feel as if the world is spinning around us, and offering nothing to ease the sadness deep within us.   It can be that we have taken a step away from our faith, or feel isolated from God.  This is the time we need to pray and ask the Lord to fill our souls with His loving presence.   This is a time to renew ourselves, a time to sit and be still, letting God in, letting Him move within our hearts and speak to us.  This is the time to strengthen our trust and ask Him to give us courage to battle this empty world and Satan with all his empty promises.  

JESUS promised us His peace in John 14:27 when He said  "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives".  Only He can offer peace and an eternity of joy forever.  Only He can come in and dwell in that secret place within me, for He prepared that special place there before I was even born, and through my free will of acceptance of Jesus Christ, He  knows He is the source of my joy, that I have acknowledged Him as the originator of my faith, for He is my Alpha and Omega.  He is my Warranty to eternal tomorrows.

AND so, like Nicodemus, we look to be filled, to be complete, and to be whole.  Through faith and God’s grace we will find it.  Like Nicodemus, are you willing to pay the price of standing up for Jesus?  Are you willing to come out of the darkness of sin and ignorance into the light?  If you do, you will receive the fullness of God's grace and His peace here on earth and most of all, you will be granted eternal life with Him.

John 14:2
”There are many rooms in my Father’s house.   If this were not so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you.”


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