Last week, we saw the woman at the well in John chapter 4 as the one who tried to quench her “soul thirst” through relationships with men.
Today, we see a man named Nicodemus in John chapter 3 who had possibly been trying to quench his “soul thirst” through self effort, or through obeying all of “God’s rules”.
Which one are you more like? I think I’m a pretty even mix of both. I know I’ve looked to things like being able to have kids, or more financial security, or recognition from certain people as my thirst quenchers. I’ve also been like Nicodemus and put my hope in my moral living and all my church work to satisfy. Both have at times left me even more thirsty in the end.
In the Gospel of John chapter 4, in the famous story of the woman at the well, Jesus describes Himself as the Living Water. He continues by saying, “those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” (John 4:14 NLT)
I KNOW that ALL of Jesus’ words are true. I KNOW I can trust Him completely. And yet, there have been times in my friendship with Him that I have been thirsty. That I haven’t felt alive.
Maybe you’ve been there.
Maybe you’re there right now.
The following are some of God’s truths and some of my thoughts that I pray will inspire hope, and point you in the most likely direction to “re-find” the Living Water you thirst for.
One of the perks I enjoy while serving as a kids pastor is having the opportunity to review and use the curriculum written by talented servants in the body of Christ. Recently I found a curriculum series written by Brian Dollar over at High Voltage Kids Ministry, called “Alien Kids”. The very first lesson in that series sparked the four main thoughts of this week’s post.
Sabbath Rest or Sabbath Trust?
In this week’s video, I ask, “What do you think is the most important of the Ten Commandments? Maybe I was having a “Pharisee Flashback”. In Matthew 22:36-40, a pharisee asked that of Jesus and He answered,
“ Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Corny question of the week:
If you go to the doctor to get a physical checkup, it’s called a physical. If you wanted to get a spiritual checkup, would you call it a “spiritual”? Doh.
Whether we do it or not, most of us think having a physical every year to evaluate how are bodies are performing is a good idea. Business executives take time, often quarterly, to evaluate their company’s growth strategy and monitor the execution of that strategy. What if WE took time quarterly, monthly, or even weekly to evaluate our “growing closer to Jesus” strategy?
I encourage you to take some time today to ponder these questions.
Last Wednesday night at church, I was trying my best to teach a room full of kids something that would really help them in their future – something that would potentially save them a lot of heartache if they put it into practice.
I tried every trick in the book to capture their attention, with zero success. But when all was said and done, I thank God for those uncomfy moments.
Moments when God uses these kids to show me how I often respond (or fail to respond) to Him.
Moments that cause me to become more intentional about knowing His purpose for me in this life.
Moments that cause me to want to get off the stage, and listen to Him as long as He wants to talk.
I wish the trick to getting our eyes off of ourselves and our perceived flaws was as easy as buying a new pair of glasses, don’t you?
In the burning bush story of Exodus chapter 3, God was calling Moses to lead His people out of bondage and into freedom. He (while speaking out of a burning bush that didn’t burn up, mind you) performed amazing miracles to help Moses get his eyes off of himself and onto the Lord, but Moses was still overcome by his own insecurity.
Moses asked God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
God’s answer never made mention of Moses. It came in the form of five reminders designed to help Moses get his eyes off himself and onto the character and plan of God. These same five “I” statements are for us today.
Exodus 3:12 “I will be with you.”
He promised to never leave us or forsake us. He gave us His Holy Spirit to live in us. We are never alone. Our Creator is always with us.
Exodus 3:16 “I have watched over you and seen what has been done.”
He knows when we sit and when we rise. He perceives our thoughts from afar. Knowing this truly is too wonderful. (Psalm 139) Sometimes we feel as though He doesn’t know our story, our pain, or the injustice around us, but He does.
Exodus 3:17 “I have promised to bring you up out of your misery…”
He knows the plans He has for us – plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11) We can’t fully understand why He chooses to heal some and not others, but He …
I had the privilege of attending a BGMC conference this past week in Springfield, Missouri. BGMC stands for “Boys and Girls Missionary Challenge”. In Assembly of God churches, boys and girls are challenged to help missionaries meet the needs of people around the world by giving sacrificially, praying, and by being open to God’s call to BE a missionary someday.
It was so inspirational to hear stories from the missionaries about what a huge difference kids are making by having a heart of compassion and acting upon it.
But that’s not what this post is about. Oops. I guess I’m still really excited about it!
On the last night of the conference, we had the opportunity to attend the Moses show at the Sight & Sound Theatre in Branson. The theatre’s tagline is “Bringing the Bible to life through story, song, and spectacular effects”. Spectacular it was! (If you ever have the opportunity to see one of their shows, I highly recommend it.)
OK, so get on with it, Caryn. What’s the point of this post? 🙂
At the show, through other people’s amazing creativity, I got to imagine on a deeper level just what life may have been like for Moses. The part that kept me thinking long after the show was over, was just how inadequate and insecure Moses may have felt about God’s calling on his life to lead God’s people out of slavery and into freedom.
The story happens in the first few chapters of Exodus in the Old Testament.
Chapter 1 – As a baby, Moses is put in a basket that floats down the Nile river, and he is saved and raised by Pharaoh’s wife.
Chapter 2 – One day, after Moses had grown up, he goes out to where …
I have a confession to make.
I am dangerously attracted to wet cement.
Every time I see it, I desperately want to at least put my hand and footprints into it. The greatest wet cement temptation came last year when one of the pastors on staff at my church moved his family into a house just down the road from me. Just days after they moved in, they hired someone to turn their gravel driveway into a beautiful new cement driveway, and I happened to walk by while it was still prime sculpting material, and no one was around.
I think about my Jesus story, and I can’t help but be in awe of a God who loves us so much, and that He continually pours out grace into our messy lives.
Into our lives that sometimes reject Him, even after we’ve accepted Him.
I gave my life to Jesus, then years later told Him I didn’t mean it, and then years after that told Him I had changed my mind one last time. I’m still amazed that He took me back.