A RIVER OF LIVING WATER

John 7:37-39

If you’ve ever lived in a desert or experienced a long-term drought, you understand how essential water is. Without it, plants dry up, crops fail, animals languish with thirst, and before long the ground cracks and dust starts to blow. Sometimes, this is how life feels, too—dry, fruitless, unsatisfying, and futile.

But this should not be the case for believers. Even if the externals of life resemble a drought, inside we have the ever-flowing living water of the Holy Spirit. Of all the word pictures employed in the Bible to depict the Spirit, a river of living water ranks among the most powerful. He is seen as the source of vitality and abundance in our lives. Like a continually moving stream, He flows through us, performing His sanctifying work of transforming us into the image of Christ.

Getting to know the Spirit is a lifelong process. As we walk in obedience to Him, we experience both His quiet guidance through life’s challenges and His power displayed in our weakness. We marvel when He brings to light a passage of Scripture and find solace in His comfort when we’re hurting. His convictions guide us to repentance so we can be cleansed with living water. And His promptings and warnings keep us from heading down the wrong path.

Because the life-giving Spirit dwells within us, no Christian has to live a dry, fruitless life. Of course, if we opt to live as we please and indulge in sin, we’ll quench Him. But the more we learn of Him in Scripture and walk with Him in obedience, the more His life will flow through us.

 

STAY BLESSED

YOUR THREE-WAY CALLING

In Jude 1, we read the following greeting,
Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ.

The Greek word for called here is used in three different ways. As believers in Jesus Christ, this word tells us we are called to three things:

1. It is used for those who are summoned to an office, duty, or a responsibility. Friend, every believer has been called. You have a duty, you have an office, and you have a responsibility. We have all been called to do something for Christ. We are ambassadors for Christ, and we need to represent Him to a lost and dying world.

2. The word called is also used in the Greek language to summon someone to a feast or a festival. And you know what? You have been called to the marriage supper of the Lamb, and you will sit down one day to enjoy all the things God has planned for eternity.

3. Finally, the word translated called in this passage is used to summon someone into court to give an account for themselves, or to summon them to judgment. One day we will have to give an account of our lives. One day every one of us will stand before the judgment seat of Christ and give an account for the works done in the body.
You have a responsibility to represent Christ to our dying world, to someday celebrate the marriage supper of the Lamb, and to ultimately give an account of your life.
I pray you will embrace and fulfill your calling today!

STAY BLESSED

MEMORY BANK OF FAITH

Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” Philippians 2:4 (NLT)

It had been a long drive, and my stomach was growling like a bear. Since I’m a don’t-stop-until-you-get-home driver, I decided to enjoy the drive-thru dining experience. I called out my order into the bulky box, drove around the building and received my meal from a kind lady. Before I drove away, she said, “I just love your scarf!”

With an “Aw, thank you,” I prepared to drive away, but I felt the Holy Spirit nudge me to give the woman my scarf. Rather than immediately obeying — and in total disregard for the patrons behind me — I took my sweet time and put up an argument.

Why, Lord? She doesn’t need this scarf. It won’t even match what she is wearing. Please. No. It’s my favorite.

Despite my stalling, I eventually came to terms with what God was asking me to do. Like yanking a bandage off a wound, I pulled my scarf from around my neck and politely handed it to the cashier. With a forced grin and clenched teeth, I said, “Here, I’d like you to have it.”

I was secretly hoping she’d say, “Oh no, I can’t,” so I could get credit for the obedience (pitiful, I know). But she smiled and said, “Thank you so much.” I drove away with my food and without my scarf. But the sacrifice of a scarf was nothing compared to what I’d deposited in my “Memory Bank of Faith.”

Building Spirit-filled trust works like receiving money. Each time we receive funds, we deposit the money in our bank account, where it remains until we need it. Our Memory Bank of Faith works the same way. As we obey, we experience God’s faithfulness.

We deposit His acts of faithfulness in our bank; then, when He asks us to do something we don’t understand, or maybe don’t want to do (like give away a scarf), we can make a withdrawal from our Memory Bank and confidently obey. Having previously experienced His faithfulness, we know that what He has asked us to do is completely trustworthy — even if it involves something unexpected.

You might be thinking, if obedience means giving away my favorite things, then I’m not sure I want to participate.

Yet as we begin to naturally respond to God with yes, we will realize that what we sacrifice or give away doesn’t mean nearly as much as obeying God. I wrestled with my initial reactions and desires to obey. I was tempted to hold on to my wishes rather than harness myself to God’s ways. It’s okay to wrestle with our reactions, but God longs for our final response to be yes. We can never go wrong when we say yes to God.

In the drive-thru, I was given the opportunity to obey the Spirit’s nudge and follow God’s Word, “Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too” (Philippians 2:4).

The next time the Holy Spirit nudges your heart to help a senior adult move her groceries to her car, assist a mom in carrying her family’s food to the restaurant table, or drive past the close parking space so another person can park near the door, obey. Each time you do, you make another deposit in your Memory Bank of Faith and experience God anew.

I’ll be the first to admit, trusting God through obedience can be fearsome, because we never know what He will ask us to do … even while ordering lunch at a drive-thru.

Lord, I long to participate in the work You are doing around me. Quicken my ears to hear You. Stir my heart to obey You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

TRUTH FOR TODAY:

John 14:15, “If you love me, you will do what I command.” (ERV)

John 13:35, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (NLT)

STAY BLESSED

SOURCE: Culled from Encouragement for Today.

TODAY IS YOUR BEST DAY BECAUSE OF FAITH: WALK BY FAITH

For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith’. ROMANS 1:17 KJV

There are two ways that we can walk through a day. One is to walk by sight and the other is to walk by faith. If we walk by sight we can easily become discouraged, disappointed, and downhearted. To walk by sight means to evaluate our day by what we see with our eyes, hear with our ears, and know in our minds. To walk by sight means to allow the “reality” around us to impact our thoughts, our motivation, and our emotions.

To walk by faith means to walk in a different kind of reality. The Bible tells us that there are two realities (II Corinthians 4:17–18). One reality is what is seen; the other reality is what is unseen. There are two realities because there are two worlds. One is the physical world; the other is the spiritual world. The physical world is the temporary world; the spiritual world is the eternal world.

As you walk through this day in both worlds, God wants you to live by faith and not by sight.

Faith sees what your physical eyes can never see;

Faith knows what your natural mind can never comprehend;

Faith possesses what your physical arms can never hold.

Faith says “yes” to everything God declares to be true;

Faith stands upon everything God says is certain, it leans upon everything God says is unmovable, and it counts upon everything God says will come to pass.

He shall strengthen your heart. Psalm 31:24 NKJV

STAY BLESSED

SOURCE: Culled from Dayspring Devotionals.