Showing posts from April 29, 2012

Watering You

“Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’” John 4:13-14
Speaking to a Samaritan woman Jesus asks for a drink of water from Jacob’s well. She pushes back recognizing his nationality and the enmity that exists between Jews and Samaritans. Jesus ignores her diversion to racial bias and challenges her to the discovery of living water.
The difference between natural water and living or supernatural water is explained. Natural water enters the body and refreshes it but only satisfies for the moment. It is limited in quantity and quality and always necessitates another drink. Spiritual water, living water, is a spring fed from a deep and greater source. It is fresh continually coming from that protected place where it cannot be polluted. It does not diminish but perpetually bubbles out to refresh the drinker.

Conforming to Christ

“For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit.” John 3:34-35An Old Testament prophet would receive a limited outpouring of the Spirit but Christ, much more than a prophet being God the Son, would be given the Holy Spirit without limit.
What we see here is the specific involvement of the Spirit with the Son while he went about his daily life on earth. In Philippians 2:5-11, Paul explains the steps Jesus took to come to the earth. He limited, not eliminated, his divine abilities for those years to live by the empowerment of the Spirit.
God’s purpose in the example of His Son shows us how to live the Christ-like life. It is obedience to the Spirit. A life empowered by the Spirit is the only way to do any works that are righteous. If we take the credit, then it is human works without reward. If we do the works of God through the empowerment of the Spirit, it is His work done through us. Then, we can give praise to God and reward awaits us.

Being Neighborly

A lawyer sought to trap Jesus with his question about how to inherit eternal life. Jesus responds, “what is written in the law?” The lawyer replies to love God…and love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus encourages him to “do this and you will live.” The lawyer responds, “And who is my neighbor?” Luke 10:29

This facilitates Jesus’ story about the tragic mugging of a Jew traveling the 17 miles between Jerusalem and Jericho. He has been left for dead and then three different men approach. The first, a priest, steeped in the law and whose job it was to always be doing the “right thing,” walks around the man ignoring his situation. The second, a Levite, or one who worked in the Temple to facilitate the priests, does the same. Two Jews have ignored this opportunity to extend compassion to their fellow Jew.
Then approaches a Samaritan, certainly a “scoundrel” in a Jew’s eyes, but he, of all men, acts in kindness, cleansing the wounds, putting salve on them to insure quick healing, removing the …

Leader Lessons

“Samson said, ‘Let me die with the Philistines!’ Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived.” Judges 16:30 Samson “led” the people of Israel for twenty years but his leadership was far from sterling. Samson’s leadership was filled with blunders. He was never obedient to his parents and allowed his personal passions to rule over his decision making. He disobeyed Jewish guidelines to marry within his tribe and chose three different Philistine women to cavort with. He used his physical prowess to fight battles against the Philistines but never used his intellectual prowess to engage the men of Israel to assist him. He was a leader without followers.
Most of all we can see that although he felt the power of God in his battles he never attributed his victories to the Lord. All that Samson did was in his own self interest and he remained in pain all his life.
There are lessons for…

Steps To Wisdom

“A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps.” Proverbs 14:15 An old saying clarifies this verse, “To believe every word of God is faith. To believe every word of man is to believe too readily.”

Three types of unwise people are presented in the book of Proverbs: the simple, the scorners, and the fools. Wisdom called to all three in Proverbs 1:22; called just to the simple and fools in Proverbs 8:5; and called only to the simple in Proverbs 9:4. The scorner and the foolish had turned away from these calls of wisdom to seek it and only the simple remained to heed wisdom’s call and change their life.

Here is the problem of the simple person. They are na├»ve ones who believe anything and fall for everything because they have not built for themselves a means of “sifting” a person. We used to sift flour through a strainer in order to get the lumps out and keep from eating a bug.

So, how do you smooth out your life and keep it from leaving a bad taste in your mou…

Blameless Life

“I will sing of your love and justice; to you, O Lord, I will sing praise. I will be careful to lead a blameless life..” Psalm 101:1-2aAt the height of his leadership as King, David in this Psalm reveals the reason why he is held up as an example.

He walks in his house with a blameless heart and allows no vile thing to be placed before his eyes. He exhibits honor, obedience, respect, trust, truth and all that makes up a pure heart. He is careful about practicing what he preaches.
Second, he separates himself from evil. He confronts the slanderer and those who look down on others with their pride and arrogance. He does not associate with those who “practice” deceit and are constant liars but associates with those who are faithful. He wants to remain faithful and to do that there have to be faithful persons around him.
This is a lesson to us about our own associations. Our friends will mirror us, so, make sure you reflect the virtues of God and your inner circle will draw those who do like…

Shackled Minds

“They asked each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?’” Luke 24:32Two discouraged and disappointed disciples walk with the risen Christ on a journey to Emmaus, just seven miles northwest of Jerusalem.
They knew these facts: it was the third day since Jesus had died after being crucified; women had gone to his tomb that morning but could not find the body of Jesus instead an angel had greeted them telling them that Jesus was alive; then men had gone to the tomb and found the women’s testimony to be true; and their hearts were “strangely” warmed by discussing all this with their fellow traveler.
They had been hoping for a conquering Messiah but instead had received a suffering Savior. What they wanted was not what they got, so, they were depressed, discouraged, and disillusioned. They could not see the center of their discussion right there beside them.
How sad it is when we allow our expectations about our life …