Is that you? Is that me? Every person needs to be filled. You can’t deny it. We are always trying to fill up our lives. We fill up our lives with work. We fill up our lives with more activities than we can possibly do. We fill up our lives with stuff. We look for fulfill-ment in relationships or money or power. We struggle for approval or acceptance or praise from someone—from anyone! We’re striving to be full. But we’re not! Do you know what this all means? We don’t grasp how deep Jesus’ love is. So we feel empty. It’s awful feeling empty, so we chase after all sorts of things. We need to be filled—with something!
But did you catch the result of the disciples’ preaching about Jesus’ resurrection? “Much grace was upon them all.” It was preaching about Jesus’ death and resurrection— again and again—that built up much grace in the hearts of those believers. That’s what we need! We need Jesus’ love and forgiveness to go deep into our hearts. If you were to grasp the depth of Jesus’ love, you wouldn’t need that person’s approval. If you were to grasp the depth of Jesus’ love, you wouldn’t be crushed by criticism. If you were to grasp the depth of Jesus’ love, you wouldn’t be afraid of dying. If we were to grasp the depth of Jesus’ love for us, we would be full. It’s that deep!
But Jesus’ love isn’t just deep. It’s wide. When the gospel fills us deep in our hearts, it will have an impact on every part of life. Too often people say, “My faith is just between me and God.” We divide our life up into little sections. The church part. The family part. The sports part. The work part. The fun part. When we do that, we still don’t get it. We don’t understand how wide Christ’s love is. Jesus’ love is like a blanket on a bed or a wave sweeping over the ocean. It’s meant to cover every part of life. To affect every relationship, every job, everything. It’s wide!
There’s an amazing statement about the early Christians: “All the believers were one in heart and mind.” It didn’t matter what race they were. It didn’t matter how rich they were. It didn’t matter who their favorite gladiator was. God’s love covered all that. It’s wide! The gospel of Jesus brings people together from all walks of life. Those Christians all wanted one thing—to go to heaven. They were thinking about one thing—to be faithful to their Lord Jesus. Nothing unites people like the gospel. Rich or poor, black or white, we’re saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus. “All the believers were one in heart and mind.” The love of Jesus is wide.
It’s Mother’s Day today, and I heard something lately that would be great for moms and dads to think about: “100 years from now, the only thing that will matter in the life of a child is their relationship with Jesus.” Think about that: “100 years from now, the only thing that will matter in the life of a child is their relationship with Jesus.” That puts things in perspective. In 100 years, kids won’t be playing the sport or musical instrument that dominates their lives today. In 100 years—whenever their life ends—the only thing that will matter is their relationship with Jesus. How does that fact impact your life now? Is Je-sus’ love spread wide in your family’s life? Does it affect all the decisions you make?
Here’s how wide Jesus’ love spread for those Christians: “No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.” Those believers recog-nized something radical—that we often don’t want to hear: Jesus’ love even changes the way we look at money. They looked at every possession, at every dollar, differently be-cause of their faith in Jesus. Jesus had given up everything for them. Jesus had given every-thing to them—it wasn’t their own. Jesus had stored up treasure for them in heaven. Jesus’ love touched even their money. “No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.”
That sounds crazy! Other than “mom” or “dad,” what’s the first word kids learn to say? “Mine!” That never goes away. “That’s mine!” Why are we like that? We’re looking for something to fill us. It’s just that money never will. Remember the rich man who asked Je-sus how to be saved? Jesus said, “Sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me” (Matthew 19:21). Remember what hap-pened? “When the young man heard this, he went away very sad, because he had great wealth.” How much of our sadness is a result of not letting Jesus’ love spread throughout our lives—even to our money? Our homes are filled with stuff, but we’re not full.