Welcome to the PMF Workshop for the week of January 4, 2021. I’m your host, T. M. Moore. Each week we provide teaching, encouragement, and resources to help you in working your Personal Mission Field. By adopting the perspectives and practicing the disciplines we present in the Workshop, you can become more consistent and effective in realizing the presence, promise, and power of God’s Kingdom in your daily life.
Today’s Workshop is entitled, “Fill Your World.” Our text is Acts 5.27, 28:
And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest asked them, saying, “Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!”
Fill ‘er up
I suppose you have to be at least my age to remember the time when you’d drive into the gas station, the attendant would come to your window and ask how he could help, and you’d say in response, “Fill ‘er up.”
He knew exactly what you meant: Put gas into the tank until it’s topped off and will hold no more.
Now, of course, we do it ourselves, and the gas pump senses when the tank is full, and shuts off the nozzle. It knows what “fill ‘er up” means, even though we may be off doing something else.
In the book of Ephesians, Paul twice said that Jesus’ declared purpose is to fill the world with Himself. Here’s how He put it in Ephesians 1.22, 23: “And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all [things] in all [things].” Jesus is filling all things in all things through the work of the members of His body, the Church.
Paul is even more pointed on this matter in Ephesians 4.7-10: “But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore He says: ‘When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.’ (Now this, ‘He ascended’—what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)” From heaven, by His Word and Spirit, Jesus is filling all things with Himself.
He does this work in us, His people, making us day by day to be more like Jesus (2 Cor. 3.12-18). Thus, as we come before the Lord each morning, opening His Word and seeking Him in prayer, we should pray earnestly concerning our soul, “Fill ‘er up.” Fill our souls with Jesus, that is.
Then, as we turn our thoughts toward the day ahead – the people we’ll see, the places we’ll go, the things we’ll do – all the various and sundry things of our world, we should ask the Lord again to, “Fill ‘er up.” Jesus sends us to fill our world with Himself, even as He is filling us with Himself increasingly, day by day (Jn. 3.30).
That might seem like an impossible task. But the first Christians did it, and they did it so thoroughly that, as we see in our text, even their enemies had to admit that they were filling the city of Jerusalem with their teaching about Jesus.
And not just their teaching. The first Christians talked readily and eagerly about Jesus (Acts 8.1-4). But they also showed Jesus to the world by doing the good work He had begun. As people kept coming to Christ – by the thousands – the Church became visible as a new community, where people loved one another, shared their lives together, generously helped with one another’s needs, worshiped exuberantly together, enjoyed hospitality in one another’s homes, and did good to the needy around them. They were the body of Christ, and wherever they went, some aspect of the holy and righteous and good Savior was present in their deeds as well as their words.
Nobody had to tell the first Christians to “fill ‘er up” when it came to letting Jesus work in and through them. It just happened. As they were faithful in the Word of God, in prayer, in hearing the teaching of the apostles, and in encouraging and helping one another, they became the witnesses Jesus said they would be in the power of God’s Holy Spirit (Acts 1.8).
What they realized then, we can realize in our own day. By our words and deeds, and by our life together as Kingdom communities, we can fill the world with Jesus, so completely, that even our enemies will take note.
Filled and filling
One of the goals we pursue as we work our Personal Mission Field is that we might fill our part of the Lord’s world with Jesus. We want to take Christ to every person, and we want to be Christ in every way we can. Wherever we go, whatever we’re doing, whomever we’re with in our Personal Mission Field, we want to be saying in our minds, “Fill ‘er up.”
Filling our part of the Lord’s world/field entails four acts of filling, which I can summarize briefly.
First, fill your mind with a vision of your world becoming increasing filled with the Presence of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ask the Lord to show you what to expect and how to give of yourself so that filling your world with Jesus becomes the guiding vision of your life.
Second, day by day, fill your soul with Jesus through the study of His Word and prayer. Get close to Jesus, and stay close to Him throughout the day. Let His Word dwell in you richly, and He will grow throughout your soul to show Himself in new ways in every aspect of your life.
Third, be filled with the Spirit. Ask the Lord to fill you. Sing those psalms and hymns and spiritual songs that He longs to sing in you. Show His Presence to others by serving them in every way you can.
And finally, be ready for good words and good works by filling your plans with Jesus, and you’ll be more likely to fill your world with Him as you are going.
For the Fellowship of Ailbe, and for the Personal Mission Field Workshop, this has been T. M. Moore.
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.