Living Water

This morning as I was sharing our double sink bathroom with my husband, I was struck by the ease of which we enjoy fresh water. Water is plentiful for us, for laundry, cooking, and showers. We even have a brook that meanders through our property. How often I have turned on the faucets with never a thought in mind.

This morning my thoughts went to the millions around the world who have no water available to them. Water is such a basic necessity for life. Many struggle each day to find enough to stay alive, yet I most often take it for granted. I foolishly forget that water means life! 

In John, Jesus is having a conversation with a woman He had never met before.

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that is saying to you ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water. ” (John 4:10)

The woman answered him, sir you have nothing to draw water with and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? (John 4:11)

With the woman’s response it is obvious she has no idea what Jesus is talking about. She thinks He is talking about physical water that sustains life, yet He is speaking of Himself, the spiritual water, the Gift of God, who is eternal life. 

Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but who ever drinks of the water I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14)

Just like water that sustains our physical life, Jesus is the spiritual water that gives and sustains our eternal life. Only a relationship with Him will give us constant fulfillment, a steady replenishment that quenches our thirst, and ultimately an eternity in Heaven. 

Not A Chance

Over this summer, my husband and I decided to raise chickens for our family. What we did not think about when purchasing the chickens, was how God would display Himself to us even through chicken raising!

Did you know that when a chicken lays an egg, an outer covering called a “bloom” protects the egg from harmful bacteria?

This is amazing to me. A simple fact about a chicken, a little tiny piece of creation, displays and points us to the power of God. Only The Divine Creator can weave such intricate detail into all of His creation for the well being of all, with His glory in mind. “Chance” does not stand a chance.

“For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20)

When we look around our world, there is no excuse to not see God. His power is on display everywhere, in all things, even a chicken egg.

Suffering: Our Christian Commission?

 

The one thought that I have been continuously reminded of as of late is that life is hard.

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There are so many people around me that are struggling.  And as I pray for those I love and ponder what the Lord may be doing, I have become keenly aware that walking through these challenges without the hope of Christ would break me.  We have only two options: We can allow the hard things in life to rule us and steal away our joy and our testimonies or we can look to the refiner and perfecter of faith and trust that even in this pain, He is faithful and knows what is best for us.

"Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him" Job 13:5a

When I think about what Jesus chose to do, I look at my own circumstances in a different light.  You see, when we navigate through pain and suffering it's usually not something we volunteer for.  But Jesus knowing full well the pain and anguish He would endure, chose to suffer because of His love for us.

 "Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:4-5

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I refuse to believe that God has no purpose for allowing suffering and pain in our lives.  If anything, it's a reminder of what the Gospel preaches. We as believers need to be willing to step into suffering and hard places.  We need to be willing to shine light in the dark.  It's our calling. Our commission.

Being refined through pain is not enjoyable, but it gives us an opportunity to watch God deliver and redeem.  It refines our characters and our hearts. It helps us become more like Christ.   It is my prayer for all of you that are walking through a challenging season, that you keep your eyes wide open watching for your deliverer to come.  We are never alone and we can trust Him!

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Jesus our only Judge

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I am glad that it is not up to the people of this world to Judge me, it is my Lord Jesus who will judge, I am glad because He wants to save us. If we give our lives to Him, He will save us.

I think sometimes social media can be dangerous when people find that they are under peer pressure. People express their opinions and then a “witch hunt” follows, some hateful words are spoken and people take the “holier than thou” approach uniting in opinions of the world. There is a serious lack of compassion.

I was thinking about the woman who was caught in the act of adultery, the scribes and Pharisees brought the woman to Jesus to test Him and said, “Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?” John 8:5. Jesus replied to them “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” John 8:7. Jesus knew that they all had sin in their lives too. One by one, convicted by their conscience they left.

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Jesus is compassionate and says to the woman, “hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” John 8:10-11.

This also explains why I am glad that Jesus is my judge, He was not willing to be pressured by man to make a judgement on this woman, but He reflected the accusations back on the scribes and Pharisees. God is a just judge, He will make His judgements based on His infinite wisdom and He is merciful, we do not even deserve His mercy but He gives it to us. Therefore, we can rejoice that we have a future hope in Him.

The world does not have compassion but our Lord Jesus, even though we are sinners has compassion on us. He wants to save us, each and every one of us as it says in 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

In this fallen World, when we follow the Bible, it is hard to speak openly on some issues, as it is now seen as prejudice and hateful. Following His Word, every word of it will make us unpopular but it isn’t man who we should fear and their opinion of us. It is the Lord Jesus we need to please and follow His best for our lives.

Matthew 10:28 “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Peaches

My backyard in Utah has a few fruit trees. When we first moved in, they were all dried out from super sunny days and lack of water. Hidden in the brown withered leaves, I couldn’t tell which type of fruit they would yield or even if they would ever produce anything good. But, not too long after some steady watering, one peach tree is now growing some delicious looking peaches.

I have learned that a peach is ripe when its soft to the touch.. And that the red spots they have are from direct sun exposure. When peach trees, which are actually related to the rose family, are ready for harvesting, on a warm sunny day, you should be able to smell the sweet fragrance just by standing near it. It begs to be eaten!

We can learn a lot about living for Jesus from a peach tree.

Like the peach ready for harvesting, we need to be soft so that Jesus can mold us to look like Him and to be ready to do His work. 

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).

We need direct exposure to the Son of God! The more we are in the sweet presence of Jesus, and being watered with His Word, the more we will carry the sweet fruits of the Spirit. If we are not watered by His Word, those in our life won’t know what we are!

Spending time with Jesus, is huge in allowing us to be attractive to those who do not know Him. There are people in my life I can tell are in the Word a lot, they have a gentleness about them and a deep love for people. They know where to point me when I need encouragement. They are like peaches in my life.

Dear Lord, help us to be changed, to put aside our old self. Make us soft, sweet, yielding Your fruit, and attractive to the lost. Give us new life in the areas where we can’t tell Who we belong to. Let everyone around us know that we are Yours. When people stand near us, help them to smell the sweet fragrance of You. 

It is Written 

This week I have been meditating on Matthew 4:1-11. These are the verses that talk about Jesus being led into the wilderness to be tempted.  


Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. (Matthew 4:1)

If we continue reading, we realize that Jesus is in serious need. He is extremely hungry and exhausted, having gone forty days without food, and of course that’s when the enemy arrives. That part of these verses always seems unfair to me. How sneaky of the devil to wait to arrive until Jesus is completely exhausted. But, let’s face it, we know that the enemy never plays fair, ever.

And after fasting forty days and forty nights He was hungry. And the tempter came to Him and said… (Matthew 4:2-3)

It’s then, however, that Jesus shows us how to win over the temptation and not fall for the devil’s schemes. Hungry and thirsty, He speaks God’s written word. He knows it. He trusts it. He has it memorized. It is hidden in His heart. 

But He answered, “It is written… (verse 4) Jesus said to him, “Again, it is written…” (verse 7). Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone Satan! For it is written…” (verse 10)

With each temptation that the devil brought His way, Jesus knew exactly what to say and quoted out loud the Word of God. He knew the power of God’s word gives victory over satan.

Then the devil left Him… (Matthew 4:11)
You see, it is God and His Word that has complete power over the enemy. Jesus proved it by speaking God’s written Word each time a temptation came. 

These verses are about Jesus being led into the wilderness to be tempted. They are also about Jesus showing us that victory over temptation comes with God and the power of God’s spoken Word.  

I am thankful for the example Jesus gave us to follow. How about you?  

While We Were Still Weak

Television is so not my thing. However, if you give me a house fixer upper show with my hubby, I can enjoy a program or two. There is something about the before and after, the transformation, that captivates me enough to settle into the show.

One of the things I appreciate about the show, is the eye of the new buyers. Though their eye is completely aware of the mess and condition that their soon to be house is in, they choose to look past it and they purchase it despite all the issues in front of them. They see its best potential. Did you know that this is how God views us and this is what He did for us!

“For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:11-12)

We do not have to clean up for Him to accept us. He is the remover of our junk, just like the new home buyers. How amazing is that! With ugly wallpaper over our hearts, unstable flooring directing our paths, dirt and dust in our nooks and crannies and a foundation needing a complete transformation, Jesus purchased us anyways.

Aware of the sin in you and in me, He still paid the price for us. Jesus paid the price of our messy yucky sin. He paid it with an eye for our potential and a desire to make a home in our hearts.

So, when He knocks on the door of your heart, please do not delay because you believe you need to clean up first. He loves us and meets us in the middle of our mess. Open the door and let Him in. After all, He has already paid for you.