Tag Archives: The Living Water

(John 6:47-59) Eat Your Fill

I bet you think I’m talking about Thanksgiving dinner, right? Wrong. In fact, my thoughts today might cause you to lose your appetite all together.

I gotta be honest. Jesus’ words revealing Himself as the Bread of Life is gross. If a person didn’t know how often Jesus used metaphors and spoke in parables, they would be right to be disgusted by Jesus’ words in this passage. Be warned, my friend, before you turn to John 6.

But Jesus is not talking about cannibalism. He is not inviting anyone to gnaw on his physical flesh or drink the blood running through His veins here. It is true, however, that people who feed on Him will live forever.

Confused much?

Think about what Jesus is saying while using His body as an example. Being a Jesus-follower isn’t merely a nod at His diety, or acknowledging He is the Savior. Christianity isn’t merely a set of rules to follow, although obedience is certainly proof of being a Christian.

Jesus’ example of eating His flesh and drinking His blood tells me there is something uniquely different about being His. It’s an all-in, total transformation from the inside out. Here’s the correlation: when we eat and drink physical food and water, it enters our bodies and becomes nutrients, calories, energy and makes us healthy and strong. Eating and drinking sustains life.

And that’s what Jesus want to do in us. When we “take Him in,” He becomes our energy, strength, and spiritual health that will help us in this life and take us into eternity. He will transform us from weak, sinful people, into strong and healthy eternal individuals. It’s not about these rundown flesh and blood bodies. It’s about our spirits and souls.

When we ask Jesus to come “into our hearts,” we are asking Him to fill us completely, to become in us what we need for living today and forever. Just like food does for our bodies, Jesus does for our souls.

And Jesus isn’t talking about an occasional taste here. A nibble of food now and then isn’t enough to sustain a physical body. Neither is an occasional connection with Jesus. Read these verses. Jesus is talking about gorging ourselves on Him!

Take a bite. Read His Word. Take another bite and put your trust in Him. Eat some more by spending time with Him, growing in your knowledge and love of Him, allowing Him to transform you, strengthen you, direct your steps so that you look more and more like the One who fills you to overflowing.

Eat your fill. Then eat some more. You can’t get too much Jesus in you!

July 5; The Answer

2 Chronicles 29:1-31:1; Psalms 66-67

I believe that, as the Jews were worshiping pretend gods, deep inside they knew something was not quite right. Something was missing. Then, when Hezekiah cleaned house, restored the temple, reinstated the Passover and worship of God, the Jews could hardly contain their joy.

They came from all around, traveled many difficult miles to get to Jerusalem, to go to where God was.

Have you ever been really, really thirsty? Your tongue probably felt like it was made of cotton balls, you might have begun to see stars. When you took your first sip of water – what was it like? Could you feel the moisture slide down your throat? Were you aware of every drop as it worked its way through your body, refreshing and energizing you down to  your fingers and toes? With each swallow you began to return to your former state of health.

I think that was kind of what the Jews must have experienced as they returned to God.

I look at our present day world full of restless people. I see them worshiping all kinds of pretend gods: science, self, religion, money, relationship, excitement, whatever. And I know the reason they are restless is because deep down they know they are missing something. They are dying of thirst.

Using my analogy, I see these restless people trying to satisfy their thirst by eating potato chips, or drinking toilet water, or convincing themselves they aren’t really dying of thirst.

They make new idols, thinking that’s the answer. Or they turn their attention within themselves believing they’ll find what they need. They might tell themselves they’ve found what they were missing, but deep down inside they keep looking. The restlessness continues.

Friend, I know the answer to the world’s problem. I know it’s exactly the same answer we read about in the lives of the Jews under Hezekiah. It’s what Jesus called, “Living Water.” It’s Jesus Himself.

You might disagree. But that doesn’t change what is true. You might choose to continue to try to find fulfillment making pretend idols, and trying to quench your thirst with pebbles. But I am here to tell you, the answers you are looking for are written to you in love from God Himself. It’s in the pages of the Bible.

I know that if you read it, if you accept who God says He is, and allow Jesus to change you, you will find the answers you were looking for all along.

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us, that (His) ways may be known on earth, (His) salvation among all the nations. (Psalm 67:1)

 

April 13; How Much Better Would It Be?

I Samuel 13:24-14-52; I Chronicles 8:1-9

The Israelites were at war, and God gave them one victory after another. Saul had tunnel vision, which probably isn’t really a bad thing for a leader. But what I see here is that Saul’s tunnel vision had him wanting to defeat the enemy, without caring for the fighting men who were putting their lives on the line. The Bible tells us Saul was so intent on winning, he threw out an oath and cursed anyone who ate anything until he had “avenged himself on (his) enemies.”

“Fight!” he seems to say. “Attack and kill! And don’t you dare stop even long enough to eat anything until I have the victory.”

The Bible says the men were in distress because of it. I love what Jonathan said when he heard what his dad had demanded of them. In effect, Johnathan replied,

“That’s just stupid.”

Just a taste of honey made a noticeable difference in Johnathan’s appearance and strength. How much better would an entire meal be?

We are at war with our enemy Satan. And I wonder if some of us aren’t fighting one battle after another without stopping to feed our souls. We neglect our private time with the Bread of Life. We don’t drink from the Living Water when we don’t pray, when we don’t meditate on His Word.

Yet we’re out there fighting Satan, weak as we are. Johnathan asked, “How much better would it have been if the fighting men had stopped to eat…?” I’m asking the same thing of us.

How much better would our day be, how much more decisive would our victory be, if we’d take on every day, every battle, not in our own strength – but in the strength of the Lord? Thinking we can fight Satan without a nourished soul is, in effect just… well…

stupid.

 

August 13 – Roots

Jeremiah 14-17

It’s been a hot and dry summer here in Ohio. The grass is brown, the flowers have wilted, leaves on trees droop. The last few days there has been an occasional shower and even a few heavy rains, but so far it doesn’t seem to have had much effect on the landscape.

In fact, I went out in bare feet yesterday to get the mail, and the grass was still dry and brittle. It’s been that parched here. Even a bit of rain isn’t enough to quench the ground.

Jeremiah says people who put their trust in mankind, or even in themselves, are like that. (17:5-6) Like tumbleweeds in a desert, like a desolate land of salt, they are cursed with a thirst that cannot be satisfied. Oh, many will say that’s not true, that they are just fine without God. Jeremiah says they’re so used to living in the wilderness they won’t even see when prosperity comes.

Then the prophet goes on. People who put their trust in the Lord are blessed!

For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit. (17:7-8)

We who plant ourselves close to the Living Water will have deep roots, we won’t fear the heat of battle or hardship, and our faith will stand firm even when things around us dry up. Then, because of our witness, people will want what we have. We’ll bear fruit!

Where are your roots planted?

 

 

June 29 – Best. Food. Ever.

I Kings 17-19

Elijah was a great man of God, and God revealed Himself through Elijah in extraordinary ways. But Elijah was human.

So when Jezebel threatened Elijah’s life, the prophet was afraid, and ran. He hid in the wilderness, feeling alone, betrayed, and fearful.

Ever felt like that? No one understands the depth of our pain. It seems like life itself is against you, and you are afraid. You are at a loss where to turn or who you can trust.

I Kings 19 shares something I find incredibly helpful. When Elijah was at his most vulnerable, God sent an angel with freshly baked bread and cool water. The prophet ate it, then took a nap.

The angel came again with the food and water, then said something I want you to hear today:

Arise, eat, because the journey is too great for you.

The truth is, folks, sometimes life is too hard, the journey too tough to handle on our own. We need what God provides.

I love this picture of the heavily bread and water the angel gave Elijah. Didn’t Jesus say HE is the Bread of Life, and the Living Water? Didn’t He say if we drink Him in we’ll never thirst?

Elijah’s story doesn’t end there. After eating and drinking the heavenly food, he got up, “and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty night…” (vs 8)

That’s some good food!

I don’t know where you are in life. You may be on a mountain top or right there with Elijah under that jumper tree But I know that getting your nourishment from spending time in God’s Word, praying to the Bread of Life, drinking in the Living water every day, is exactly what you need.

We don’t have to make it last forty days. When Jesus taught us how to pray He said, “Give us today our daily bread.”

Are you partaking of the Bread of Life every day? It’s even better than the Olive Garden’s bread sticks!

Jesus is the best food ever!!!