Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
Philippians 4: 8-9 (NIV)
“And he called the people to him and said to them, “Hear and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.”…But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, [and acts]…murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.”
Matthew 15: 10-11, 18-19 (ESV)
When she was younger, our granddaughter, Ellie Kate, began referring to him as her “pastor.” She so looked up to and respected Ken, that she couldn’t believe that her daddy had his cell phone number. Of course Pastor Ken always made Ellie Kate feel as though she was the only little girl in the room, wherever they saw each other.
Pastor Ken Whitten is the Senior Pastor at Exciting Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz, Florida, just north of Tampa, and is a special servant of our God. Ken commented on those words of Christ about what comes out of the mouth showing what’s inside of us, not too long ago, when he said that—“What’s down in the well will come up in the bucket.”
And in that simple analogy—he’s nailed it. That’s what Christ is warning us to guard against, and calling us to be different than. To not conform to, or follow—the ways of the world.
And the Apostle Paul reinforces that with the followers of Christ in Philippi, by reminding them that the best way to make sure that what comes out of us is truly Christ-like and Christ-honoring, we need to think on and dwell on, things that are noble, right, things that are pure, lovely, and admirable.
That is, we need to make sure that what is within us is God-honoring. Because whatever is within us, will in turn come out of us to touch the world for the good of others and to the glory of God, or not.
In 1670, Blaise Pascal gave a defense of the Christian religion in a book he wrote (Pensées VII (425)). In that book, he has a quote:
“What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness… [but now there is an emptiness]? This [emptiness or hole] he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find…[but] none can help, [because]…this [hole, this void in his life] can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words [it can only be filled] by God himself.”
Since then, this emptiness, vacancy within our core, which Pascal wrote about has also been referred to as a “God-shaped-hole” within each of us. A hole that we try to fill with everything including things like accomplishments and achievements, climbing up one career ladder after another, money, drugs, championships and trophies, alcohol, doing religious things, trying to meet the expectations of the world, while seeking the approval of anyone who will give it—all of which are temporary, some of which are destructive, and none of which will satisfy.
None of which will fill the hole which is within us that only God can fill.
We all have that “space,” that vacancy, which many things seek to fill, to satisfy our longing for a sense of worth, fulfillment and accomplishment. But only one thing can forever and completely fill that “God-shaped-hole” within us. That is simply—God through His Son, Jesus Christ.
What is filling the “God-shaped-hole” within you? Something temporary, worldly and fleeting. Something which is simply numbing the pain and emptiness you feel for whatever reasons, maybe some from long ago, or some you have long since forgotten.
Or is that “God-shaped-hole” being filled with a relationship with God through Christ? A relationship that is lasting, eternal and satisfying.
What comes out of us, what we do, what we say, gives the world a clear indication of what is within us.
So again, what is it that is filling that “God-shaped hole” within you?
In His Name—Scott
Copyright 2016. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.