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Experiencing the Fullness of God

When I met the parents of my students for the first time, I developed an active learning exercise using a glass of water, a paper towel and a sponge. Since the desks in my room were shared with 2-3 other students, there were low areas on each one. I poured water on a desk in the middle of the room, let it sit for a moment, added a paper towel and then a sponge. Each scenario represents one of the three choices that students make daily.

For it has pleased [the Father] that all the divine fullness (the sum total of the divine perfection, powers, and attributes) should dwell in Him [p]permanently. 20 And God purposed that through ([q]by the service, the intervention of) Him [the Son] all things should be completely reconciled [r]back to Himself, whether on earth or in heaven, as through Him, [the Father] made peace by means of the blood of His cross, Colossians 1:19-20.

Like a parable of Jesus, the table is symbolic of a heartened heart with the water the information I share with students daily. When students don’t care, the water just stays in the room. However, when a piece of information catches a student’s attention, the paper towel absorbs what they want to hear. This half-hearted nature picks and choices when students want to listen and when they tune out. The final option and ultimate goal is to become a sponge by pouring your whole heart into learning every day.

For in Him the whole fullness of Deity (the Godhead) continues to dwell in bodily form [giving complete expression of the divine nature]. 10 And you [f]are in Him, made full and having come to fullness of life [in Christ you too are filled with the Godhead—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—and reach full spiritual stature]. And He is the Head of all rule and authority [of every angelic principality and power], Colossians 2:9-10.

Until Christians develop a whole heart for the Bible by making Jesus the Lord of your life, Romans 10:9-11, you only receive a portion of the abundant life, John 10:10. This is like reading the Cliff Notes version of a book to study for a test rather than the actual book; taking the path of least resistance. While we all stumble and fall short of God’s glory, Romans 3:9-12, God is searching for men and women who are willing to put their whole heart into faith. When you become all in for Jesus, you will begin to experience the fullness of God.

by Jay Mankus

Trust the Process of Faith

My high school youth group used active learning exercises to illustrate biblical truths. The one I remember the most is where someone was asked to stand up on a platform. Instead of jumping into a crowd of teenagers, the volunteer is asked to turn around and close their eyes. On the count of 3, this person would fall backwards as two additional volunteers lock arms to catch the person falling.

Strengthen (complete, perfect) and make you what you ought to be and equip you with everything good that you may carry out His will; [while He Himself] works in you and accomplishes that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ (the Messiah); to Whom be the glory forever and ever (to the ages of the ages). Amen (so be it), Hebrews 13:21.

If you have ever struggled with trust, this is a good exercise to participate in. You are forced to place your trust in two strangers that you can’t see since your eyes are closed. The author of Hebrews urges readers to be strengthened in their faith. If you trust that God is working in your life, each day provides a series of obstacles and trials to complete the process of spiritual maturation.

Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing, James 1:2-4.

The earthly brother of Jesus adds joy to trusting the process of faith. Like an athlete who thrives in the midst of competition, Christians should embrace opportunities for spiritual growth spurts. Whether you are forced to endure hardship, persecution or undergo temptation, consider any of these situations a pure joy. By trusting the process of faith, maturity will continue as you grow and draw closer to Jesus in 2022.

by Jay Mankus

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