Living Water

Let’s be Filled with the Holy Spirit

“Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’ ” – John 4:13,14 In a world filled with so many distractions, let’s be filled with the Holy Spirit instead. Let’s stop wondering what’s the next big thing that will make us feel happy or satisfy our personal desires. When my life isn’t going so well, there’s only one thing that’s certain to bring me joy and a smile on my face, and that is my relationship with God. Being filled with the spirit of God means he is living in my bones! He’s breathing in my lungs; working in my hands and feet; and seeing through my eyes. And maybe most importantly, speaking through my mouth.  If you

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Filled to Overflowing

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” – Luke 6:38 Yesterday we talked about living life with open hands. Today, I want to build on that idea by sharing with you a somewhat spiritual law that enables you to maintain this posture of openness: give away what you desire most.  I firmly believe that one of the best ways to invite God’s blessing into our lives is to give to others the thing that we feel we most lack. To some of you, this may sound like a radical proposition. In light of what the world teaches, it just may be. However, the idea behind it is that the more you give away, the more room you have to be filled

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Filled to Overflowing

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” – Ephesians 3:20-21 Yesterday we talked about living life with open hands. Today, I’d want to expand on that concept by sharing with you a spiritual law that allows you to keep this posture of openness: give away what you most desire. One of the most effective ways to invite God’s blessing into our lives, in my opinion, is to give to others what we most lack. This may feel radical to some of you, and it is in light of what the world teaches; but, the notion is that the more you give up, the more room you have to fill with wonderful things.

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There’s Power in the Blood

“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” – 1 Peter 1:18,19 We’ve learned recently that Jesus sent ten lepers on a journey to Jerusalem in order to receive their healing. He instructed them to go and show themselves to the priest, and the Bible says that they were cleansed as they went. But what most of us don’t know is what happened to them once they got there. In order for a person suffering with leprosy to be admitted back into society, there was a ritual ceremony that took place. After the priest examined and declared them clean, he instructed them to take a live dove and dip it in blood and

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Perfection Not Required

“On hearing this, Jesus said to them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’” – Mark 2:17 It’s probably unorthodox for a pastor to say this, but I want to have a church filled with sinners. There are plenty of congregations filled with saints and people pretending to be perfect, but I don’t believe that’s what the Body of Christ is supposed to look like. The church is not meant to be a country club of righteous friends who meet to pat each other on the back, but rather a gathering of thirsty, weary souls yearning for His Living Water. As disciples of Jesus, we’re broken people who want to be better, and we strive toward sanctification, righteousness, and Godliness. But most importantly, we receive the Lord’s love so we can love each other, especially

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A Refreshing Christian

“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” – Proverbs 11:25 Have you ever stood by a waterfall on a hot summer’s day? If so, then you know what a relief it is to feel the splash of crisp, cool water on your warm skin. Unfortunately, residents of the ancient city of Laodicea, to whom Jesus wrote a letter in the Book of Revelation, had no such source of refreshing in their midst. Though they were a hub of trade (kind of like the Wall Street of today), the 150,000 people who lived in that place had no clean water to enjoy. Instead, they were forced to go to other towns to find it. Thankfully, just a few miles to their north was a city called Colossae, and there was located a fresh and beautiful mountain spring that was a source of hydration for many of the

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Chase After His Kingdom

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” – Matthew 6:33,34 Though it’s not easy, if we want to experience the fullness of God and inherit all of His beauty and riches, then we must pursue and give priority to His Kingdom and His righteousness. Contrary to how it seems, however, this doesn’t happen by running faster and trying harder. When I was in seminary and preparing to step into ministry, I had mentors who walked alongside me to warn me of the hardships of modern pastoral life. There are many things that make running a church difficult, and as I observed the stress and strain endured by a few of my fellow shepherds, I noticed that the ones

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Be An Oasis

“He turned the desert into pools of water and the parched ground into flowing springs.” – Psalm 107:35 As modern-day believers, we often lose sight of how fragile the ancient world was. Though we look at what’s going on today and see chaos, it’s nothing compared to the evil, war, and paganism that were prevalent in Biblical times. In those days, earthly rulers were constantly shedding the blood of innocent people to attain greater power, and even worse, idolatry was the norm. Now when I say idolatry, I don’t mean just bowing down to statues or shrines — I mean the abuse of women and children, and often their death. Slavery was common, and so was human sacrifice — it was a culture of brutality, aggression, and violence. Yet into that dark night, a small seed of hope was born. The God of Creation chose Abraham and his clan, an

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Enjoying Eden

“Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.” – Genesis 2:8 Today, I want to share some interesting information about the Garden of Eden. At the beginning of time, Adam and Eve were put in this very specific place where they could have unhindered fellowship with God. Eden itself was a location — possibly a water spring or a building — somewhere near the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, and the garden was the space that surrounded it. While we don’t know this for sure, in reading Scripture, it seems that not all of Creation at the time was part of Eden. It’s quite possible that outside the entrance to this lush and Spirit-inhabited space there was a world that was barren and not nearly as abundant and beautiful. That said, what made Eden so special is

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