When I was in college and traveling between Culbertson, MT and York, NE there were many times that I was literally running on empty. With many miles between towns I had to strategically plan out my gas station stops. The wind and the traffic at times negatively impacted the fuel efficiency of my compact car. There were times that I was 50 miles from the nearest gas station when my fuel gauge flattened out on empty. Somehow, I never ran out there always seemed to be enough reserves or fumes in the fuel tank to power my car into the next town.
Jesus emptied himself when he came to this earth. He left heaven to become a man and as a man he emptied himself by becoming a servant. As a servant he become obedient to death, even death on a cross (Phil. 2:6-8). See what the Lord was able to accomplish when he gave up everything. The call of Jesus to become his disciple is also call to empty oneself. The first disciples left everything. Upon calling his disciples, Jesus expects the response to be a complete denial of self and a total following of trust and obedience. He says, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62).
If you would like to have a full life this year, then be like Christ and follow him. Following Jesus is a life of emptying yourself of all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and seeking him first. Being a disciple of Christ means choosing to be last, leaving everything behind, and taking nothing with you on the journey. Deny yourself and take up your cross daily and follow Jesus. If you want to gain your life you will lose it. If you want to live a life to the fullest, then you have to become nothing. Choose to become less that he can become more. May God bless you with a full life this year.
Bryan Johnston, preaching minister, North Bend, Oregon USA Church of Christ