New Living Translation (NLT)
10 Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”
11 “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? 12 And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?”
13 Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again.
So I must apologize, I have been slacking!! Some changes are happening in my life and we are in pursue of a house to rent and work has been busy. In the mean time I seem to have put my writing aside a bit and I know that I need to prioritize things better so as not to begin back-sliding in the things of God. So, I am back and I will continue to push for at least 5 blogs a week. On that note, here is today’s blog:
Rivers of living water are suppose to flow from our bellies when we are walking with God. People should know right away that we are different in some way. They should also be able to detect that we bring life with us where ever we go. How is it that so many Christians are not portraying this? Is the water we carry with us fresh and untainted? Is it worthy to be shared so others may come to know this Jesus we carry in our hearts?
Let me just begin by saying simply, we once drew from the river of life, but now it seems as if we all draw from our own water supplies instead of seeking God for fresh water. Let me explain how I feel about water supplies. Once upon a time, long ago, there was one religion. One way of seeking God. One river which brought life to anyone who touched it. Is Christianity today having the same affect or does it seem stagnant and not worthy of even possessing? In my opinion, somehow we have gotten too far away from the main water supply and we are drawing from whatever suits our needs the best.
Not trying to step on any toes here are far as to religions, however, if we look at Christianity as a relationship then we all have to drink from the same well. God loves each person on this planet, equally. He desires for all mankind to come to know His Son and to be saved so that they may spend eternity in heaven. How is this going to happen if we are all on different pages and in different books? Christianity is a call for unity. A call to be free in the things of God. If this is to be proven true, then why are so many Christians in disagreement? If we all love Jesus then why is there so much separation?
There is only one answer that makes any sense…Satan has used the conquer and divide method very well. The more he can bind our thinking, the more confusion he brings to the body of Christ. So we think we have all the answers and we take our “portion” of living water and set ourselves apart from the unity of the body because we think we are more right than the next person. I feel that no matter what church we belong to, we should all be seeking the same water supply.
In conclusion, I just want to make it clear that it really does not matter how we get to God in the end, but it matters that we are all in the river of life when Jesus comes, not in our own little pool. The purpose of our lives is to love one another and spread the gospel, so how did things get so out of focus? We should not be focused on the number of people attending our churches but rather on the number of lives we can save from hell.
- So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
I like cucumbers, he likes pickles and won’t eat cucumbers. He hates tomatoes but likes ketchup, I like both. At first I disliked intimate worship but because of his love for it I also began to enjoy it. Do you see the picture I am painting? We has humans have many dislikes and likes and when we marry someone or merge into someones life we have to learn how to work out our differences. Even if someone does not understand the concepts behind the likes or dislike (take the tomato/ketchup issue) we have to learn that each person is different.
This also applies to Christian life. We all have grown up in different church settings. We have learned may different ways of worship. We learned ways of praying. We read different versions of the Bible. Each of us interpret how to love God in the way we were raised and no one has the right to force anything on anyone else as far as how to believe in God or have faith. We as a body of Christ need to learn how to weave our differences together to make a whole church. No matter if one is Catholic or Methodist, we should be able to come together in unity to serve as Christ did.
Even in the midst of disagreement, we are children of God. No matter what we put down as our church affiliate at the hospital before surgery, we are still going to pray to the same God in heaven. We are still seek the same God to heal our wounds. We all search for acceptance from God in our own way and we do not have the right to stand in judgement of another’s belief system. We need to come to the understanding that we can not change people, only Jesus can and the only way we are going to influence others into seeing Jesus for who He is, is by our own actions and lifestyles.
So, to bring this to a point, I like revival. I like the feeling of God working on my heart every time I set foot in the church. I like the conviction He brings to my heart when I begin to step out of His plan for me. I love the free worship. I love the freedom I have to worship God right where I am in that very moment of time and no one will judge me for it. I love Jesus and to me this is where I feel the closest to Him. Revival may not be for everyone, but Jesus is.
Are you standing in judgement of someone else’s belief system? Is it hard for you to stand side by side with someone from a different religious background than you? If so, I urge you to let it go and seek God for the grace to love like Jesus does. We are called to love one another as Jesus did and this means religion does not matter, it is the heart that does. Any heart that Jesus resides in is looking for the same unity in the body. I know I struggled at times with the same things and I finally learned to come to the understanding that only God can change hearts and minds, my only task is to love them right where they are.
And whoever gives to one of these little ones [in rank or influence] even a cup of cold water because he is My disciple, surely I declare to you, he shall not lose his reward.
Ever just done something knowing it was God? Maybe just bless someone and wonder why? Ever felt lead to do something out of the ordinary knowing God was using you? This happens almost every for me at a local music festival, Unity, that we have here in Muskegon, Michigan in August. This was me fifth year to attend and four of them I have volunteered in the inflatable games. Mostly teens run the games and being a youth leader I feel right at home. Every year God sends me a child of some significance that just touches my heart. Usually it is a child who is having difficulty with the climbing wall and I share Philippians 4:13 with them for encouragement. One year it took this little girl all three days of the event to finally get to the top. I rewarded her with some happy meal toys and by the end her mom, myself and the child had tears of joy.
This year was no exception but this one was really specially. This little boy, approximately age seven, came through the line for the climbing wall and as I was putting his harness on, he said this was his first time here and he was staying with his uncle. He came through the line again and explained his parents were divorced and it was sad. Then once again he goes through and tells me his mom is in Italy on her honeymoon. By the time he had finished for the day, I knew enough about him to feel his pain of divorce and the uncertainty of the new marriage. Tears fill my eyes now as I remember his little voice crying out for peace even if he did not say it directly. The last time he came through the line, he reminded me he did not go to church and wondered what I was telling the girl ahead of him about.
I had been sharing Philippians 4:13 with her because she was nervous. I told him about this and he was still confused, and finally he asked, “What is a Bible and these verses?” I took a moment and explained this to him and and I could see he was really interested. My night as a volunteer ended and I went on to enjoy the concerts not giving another thought of this little one until I was at work the next day and I kept hearing that still small voice, “Buy a Bible today.” I was suddenly filled with excitement! God wanted me to bless this child! So after work I bought one all excited to give it to the little boy later that day. I searched for him during my four hour shift and after asking several little boys if they were the one I was looking for, I was pretty sad to discover he had not returned.
Saturday arrives and the weather is ify. It had stormed earlier and more were on the way. We opened the inflatables for a few minutes only to end up standing in the pouring rain. Bummed again I wondered if I was going to be able to give this Bible to the person it was intended for. The storms passed and we were able to reopen the inflatables and I began my searching again. Finally I saw a teenager whom I thought I had seen chaperoning the little boy two days before and I approached him asking if a particular boy was with him and if the boys mother was in Italy at the moment. The teen looked at me wide eyed and asked how I could possibly know this, I laughed and said the boy had shared with me the last time he was in line for the wall climb.
I instructed them not to move while I retrieved my gift. I presented the Bible to him and wrote his name on the inside. I had highlighted Philippians 4:13 for him and showed him how he could find it. He was so excited I was fighting back tears. He promised me he would read it and tell me all about it next Unity if he could come. God is so awesome! Who knows, that little guy could be the next Billy Graham! My friend asked me later if I realized that I had just placed a lethal weapon in the hands of a seven year old! I said give me some more! I am always honored to volunteer at Unity. For me it’s not about the music, as awesome as it is, but it is about serving and being obedient to the things of God. I look forward to next year, wondering what God will do with me next!