Have you ever gone to a thrift store when they were having one of their “Everything you can fit in a bag for $2!” sales?
I’m not a big shopper, but that sounds like a deal that’s hard to pass up!
A few years ago we held a yard sale to raise money for a youth mission trip, and as it neared lunch time, we busted out the “Shove it all in a bag for a buck!” marketing scheme.
People who had been leisurely perusing the merchandise with no sense of urgency soon became ferocious, focused, and driven. They crammed as many knick-knacks, toys, shoes, shirts, and pairs of pants in that little plastic shopping bag as they could.
Bags were ripping open. Pants legs were overflowing, hanging out of the bags on the sides, trying their hardest not to fall out.
Sometimes the goods were a little questionable – “Is that really in the bag?” But, we didn’t care – we just wanted it all gone.
As I was reading Romans 15:13, I thought about this yard sale and those overflowing bags.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” – Romans 15:13
I did a little word study and found that when Paul hoped that God would “fill” the Romans with joy and peace, he used the word plēróō, which literally means “to cram” as in a fishing net.
In those days fishing was a pretty big deal. Remember that up to 7 of the disciples were fishermen? So, the picture of a net filled so full that the fish could not be contained within it was a pretty amazing visual.
It may be a stretch but think about our shopping bags the same way as those fishing nets. Our customers had shoved so much stuff into their shopping bags they couldn’t hold any more. Their bags were busting at the seams and random socks and shirts were falling out all over the place.
THAT’S what Paul was talking about. We should be SO FULL of excitement and anticipation about what God is going to do in us and through us that we can’t contain it. Now THAT’s a deal that’s hard to pass up!
Our joy and our hope should be bubbling over the edges, spilling out on everybody else around us.
This verse really spoke to me as a wake-up call and jumped up and down all over my toes when I read it.
Can I honestly say that I walk around every moment of every day, overflowing with peace and joy in Christ? Okay – how about most days? Some days? Some moments of some days?
What about you? Can you say that your life is so full of excitement about God’s future for you that others can’t help but notice?
If you’re like me, and you can’t honestly say “yes,” I’ll share with you what I plan to start doing. It’s a developing plan, but I’m starting here:
Get to know God’s name.
“Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.” – Psalm 9:10
Who is God to you?
- Your Deliverer (Psalm 18:2)?
- Your Hope (Psalm 62:5)?
- Your Friend (John 15:15)?
- Your Heavenly Father (Galatians 3:26)?
Those are just a very few examples, but who is God to you? Take a while – maybe a few days – and really reflect on WHO God is to you.
What has HE done for you? What has HE saved you from? Who has HE made you to be? What has HE provided?
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” – Matthew 16:15.
Jesus is asking you right now – “Who do you say I am?”
Get to know his name. Who is he to you?
Let’s Get FIT Together!
PRAYER: Lord, I pray that you will reveal to me the ways you have touched my life. Open my eyes to see your works and how you’ve loved me. Show me who you are so I may know your name. Help me trust you so that I may be overflowing with expectant joy and excited anticipation.