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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Grubb Lake (Stagnant portion)
A stagnant portion of Grubb Lake

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"Streams of Living Water"

"If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him" (John 7:37,38).

Yesterday Brooksyne and I took a walk around Grubb Lake, a former iron ore quarry that was long ago abandoned and is now a beautiful lake and township park in Lancaster County.  At one point in our walk we came across a rather pungent portion of the lake where the water was polluted, shallow, and stagnant. It was not an appealing sight like the rest of the lake. Apparently it had no flow and rarely changed.

One of the earliest principles I learned in our walk with Christ was the importance of flowing water.  I recall an analogy based upon stagnant water that illustrates a life that is not taking in fresh water and has no outflow.

Today's Scripture text has the words of the Lord Jesus.  He had stood to deliver a message at the last and greatest day of the Feast of Tabernacles. In a loud voice He gave the following invitation; "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him."

He used an analogy in His teaching that is completely cross cultural. "Streams of Living Water" is a concept that can be grasped by all people. That is what He intends to flow out of those who come to Him and drink from His eternal life giving supply.  "Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him."  He certainly doesn't say or intend that a stagnant pool of diseased water will flow from within him!

Just as water is necessary to sustain physical life (our bodies are made up of approximately 2/3 water), so the Savior and all that He teaches and represents are essential for eternal life.  We need to drink daily from His fresh flowing supply to sustain our spiritual growth and development.

In my personal study I often find value in comparing various Bible translations when I study a verse. BibleGateway is very helpful in this regard, although I have various print versions of parallel Bibles as well.  The Amplified Version states, "He who believes in Me [who cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me] as the Scripture has said, from his innermost being shall flow [continuously] springs and rivers of living water."

As believers in Christ we need fresh inflow and God's Word provides an inexhaustible supply. Although the pure reading of Scriptural text should be the primary source there are many supplements such as Bible teaching, reading godly books, listening to uplifting music and so forth.  Today I want to share with you in the footnotes a resource I have recently come across that I am being blessed by.

We also need an outflow; that is sharing His Word with others in various forms of ministry. In our current form of ministry we seek to continue to grow in the Lord and the knowledge of His Word.  Our overflow is when we share it through this online writing ministry, face to face, and through preaching as opportunities arise.

Today may we all experience the inflow and outflow of God's living water as it flows through our lives to a parched, needy world!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, help us to accept Your invitation to come and drink freely from Your inexhaustible supply of life-giving water.  May it overflow to those around us as it springs forth in our words, our actions and in our thoughts.  Amen.

Grubb Lake
Here's a prettier view of Grubb Lake we took yesterday!
The lake is named for Peter Grubb

Brooksyne's Note: Bottled water is still a relatively new and very popular commodity available in just about every retail store.  Prices vary based upon the name brand.  Of course, for those who are name brand conscious they're willing to pay the big bucks so they can sip from their plastic bottled water with the brand name splashed all over it for others to view.  Would there be a market for those who want to purchase "Living Water"?  Well, I don't believe Jesus is going to get into the Drinking Water Industry, but He does make Himself available for all who will "come and drink freely" from His life giving supply.  Are you sipping from His endless source and offering a drink to others as you go about your day?

Biblical Training is a website that has free downloadable teaching that is excellent in my view. Many of these teachings at the leadership level are actual course lectures from seminaries.  I download this material and listen to it on my mp3 player or at my computer.

BibleGateway The online Bible I frequently use in preparing these messages.

Suggested music:

"Word Of God Speak" (Listen)  

"Springs of Living Water" (Listen to instrumental 50's style).  This hymn is not presently contemporary but it certainly would have been when written in 1950 by John W. Peterson.  There's little doubt that there were those at that time who appreciated its "trendy" style and others who rejected it.

"As Far As The East Is From The West" (Listen) In the early nineties Integrity Music had a series of CD's that were merely Scripture verses set to a variety of musical styles. We listened to most of the series and memorized hundreds of Scripures from the repetition of verses put to music.

Hibiscus growing alongside Grubb Lake.  
This is a plant that likes to drink lots of water!

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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