Living Water or Leaky Cisterns
Jeremiah 2:13 – “My people have committed two sins; They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.”
A cistern is an artificial reservoir or underground tank for collecting and storing rainwater. It was used as a visual image to God’s people to ask them to look at their lives. I look in my own life at how easy it is to turn to many things for stability, for peace, comfort or happiness – except the Living God. I can cling to transitory things, activities, other people, work, alcohol, online activity or games, even my own self-effort of good works to try to make me feel better, buoyed, right or happy.
God calls me out with this image, calls this way of living as building a leaky cistern – it’ll always run out, the water may grow foul. Seeking Him is where I will find what I am looking for despite my circumstances and surroundings.
I can visualize ways I do ... Continue Reading.
2 Cor 3:17 says, “Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
I can’t imagine a context in which freedom is ever a bad thing. Freedom is great and we all probably want it. But even though we know that freedom is a good thing, what is it?
The Oxford Dictionary defines freedom as, “the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.” This is actually a pretty good start. This definition is basically saying what we all kind of feel about freedom “that it is doing whatever we want to do”. Of course if you are a believer then you would probably somewhat object to this definition. After all, the Bible can’t be saying that the Spirit came to enable us to do whatever we want – can it??? We still have sinful desires. Are we free to engage our sinful desires? The answer is obviously, “no”.
But I still think that this is a very good beginning to our definition, it’s just incomplete. What ... Continue Reading.
Forgiveness is not only liberating to the debtor but also to the forgiver.
Jacob and Esau were twins at odds with each other. Esau, who was technically the firstborn, was entitled to a double portion of the inheritance and also (in this case) a special blessing from their father Isaac. Isaac, near the end his life, called Esau to himself so that he could bless him. Isaac told Esau to first go hunt, kill, and prepare some wild game and then come back so that Isaac can eat of it and bless him. Esau’s brother Jacob, in a deceitful move while Esau was gone, pretended to be Esau and ended up receiving the blessing that Isaac intended for Esau.
When Esau came back he was furious and pleaded with his father to bless him as well. Isaac basically told Esau that what is done is done and there was no undoing it. Esau pleaded with his father for any left over blessing that there might be. Isaac reluctantly spoke over Esau’s life as well, but what Isaac gave to Esau amounted to a complete anti-blessing – yet with one glimmer ... Continue Reading.
My Bible reading plan has me reading through both Amos and Revelation at the same time. These books of the Bible are no joke about a God who is no joke. Both books prophecy the harsh destruction of the ungodly, and both books are at times hard to read.
As I was reading I began to wonder how many people want to view God with one eye closed. They embrace the kindness of God, but not the severity. They love grace, but neglect godliness.
I encourage you to begin to view God with both eyes wide open. View God as God has presented Himself in the Bible. Take in both the harsh and the gentle. Embrace everything scripture reveals about the One who made us. At times it will be hard to synthesize the two apparently opposing displays of God, but work through it, wrestle through it. In the end it will help build a depth and paint a more accurate picture of who God actually is.
As one person said, “God created us in His image and we are ever prone to return the favor”. ... Continue Reading.
Each February we call the church to pray and fast for God’s direction. We hope that you will consider fasting with us this year on Wednesdays throughout the month of February. Some people fast the entire day, some only until dinner, and some fast just one meal. The point isn’t the quantity of food that you aren’t eating, the point is to seek the Lord.
Last year Shane put together an excellent post about fasting that addresses common questions about fasting. I am reposting an excerpt from his original post below.
Fasting- What is It?
Fasting is the abstaining of some good thing (most often food and/or drink) for a time period in order to devote oneself to God. Fasting is often combined with times of prayer as a way to devote oneself to God.Fasting – In the Bible In the Old Testament, fasting was often done as a group of people realized they needed to seek God’s will for their life or the lives of their community. Since most of the Old Testament centers around ... Continue Reading.