It is hard to keep going when you don’t feel like you have anything left. Gaining strength for the day is more than just a physical pursuit for food and rest. Our fuel tanks go straight to the bottom of our hearts. Who among us seems to be running on fumes? How does the empty tomb of Jesus make a difference to us when we feel like we are “running on empty?"
Last Gas for Miles
Is the object of your faith greater than the trouble of your circumstances?
1 God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.
2 So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea.
3 Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge! Interlude
Listen! The armies of many nations roar like the roaring of the sea. Hear the thunder of the mighty forces as they rush forward like thundering waves.
Running on Empty
In '69, I was 21 and I called the road my own
I don't know when that road turned into the road I'm on
Everyone I know, everywhere I go
People need some reason to believe
A Mighty Fortress is Our God
A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.
A river of joy confronts the oceans of chaos.
4 A river brings joy to the city of our God, the sacred home of the Most High.
5 God dwells in that city; it cannot be destroyed.
From the very break of day, God will protect it.
6 The nations are in chaos, and their kingdoms crumble!
God’s voice thunders, and the earth melts!
7 The LORD of Heaven’s Armies is here among us;
the God of Israel is our fortress. Interlude
1 Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 It flowed down the center of the main street.
A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.
Turn Around and Slow Down
Running on Empty
Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels
I don't know how to tell you all just how crazy this life feels
Look around for the friends that I used to turn to-- to pull me through
Looking into their eyes, I see them running too
8 Come, see the glorious works of the LORD:
See how he brings destruction upon the world.
9 He causes wars to end throughout the earth.
He breaks the bow and snaps the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God!
I will be honored by every nation.
I will be honored throughout the world.”
A Mighty Fortress
Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God's own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.
The LORD of Heaven’s Armies is here among us;
the God of Israel is our fortress. Interlude
19 For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ,
20 and through him God reconciled everything to himself.
He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.
21 This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. 22 Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.
Kind of a Drag
28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
Come to Jesus and lose the drag.
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”
For no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them to me, and at the last day I will raise them up.
1 At about that time Jesus was walking through some grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, so they began breaking off some heads of grain and eating them. 2 But some Pharisees saw them do it and protested, “Look, your disciples are breaking the law by harvesting grain on the Sabbath.”
27 Then Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath.
“Yes,” said Jesus, “what sorrow also awaits you experts in religious law! For you crush people with unbearable religious demands, and you never lift a finger to ease the burden.”
Take the yoke that bears your weight and gives you rest.
Matthew 11:29a, 30
29 Take my yoke upon you.
30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.
This is what the Lord says:
“Stop at the crossroads and look around.
Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it.
Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls.
But you reply, ‘No, that’s not the road we want!’
So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.
10 “So why are you now challenging God by burdening the Gentile believers with a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors were able to bear? 11 We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus.”
Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Easter - Resurrection Power
The power of the empty tomb supplies peace and purpose for living.
1 Corinthians 15:3-4
3 I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. 4 He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.
1 Corinthians 15:17-19
17 And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. 18 In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! 19 And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world.
1 Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. 2 She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, “They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” 3 Peter and the other disciple started out for the tomb. 4 They were both running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.
The power of the empty tomb restores our peace.
John 20:19-21a, 26
19 That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. 20 As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! 21 Again he said, “Peace be with you. 26 Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said.
For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son.
The power of the empty tomb resources our purpose in this world.
21 Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” 22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
10 And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. 11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.
If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.
28 “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed. 29 Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”
30 The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name.