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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Pump, Lancaster County PA
Pumping a stream of fresh water in Lancaster County, PA

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"Streams Of Living Water"

"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" (Jeremiah 2:13).  "Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him" (John 7:38).

Yesterday we drove by an old order Mennonite Church along 322 east of Ephrata Pennsylvania. Right in front of the meeting house is a well with a pump, not for decoration, mind you! Three tin drinking cups hang on the handle, available to quench the thirst of churchgoers, or other passersby.  There are many old order Mennonites in the area who ride bikes for transportation instead of cars, so they probably fill a cup now and then to refresh themselves. Most all of our churches have drinking fountains or water coolers and some provide bottled water, but I don't imagine very many of you attend a church where you take turns using the same cup or dipper at a well in front of your church!

Pump, Lancaster County PARecalling an old childhood memory of the pump at the side of my grandparent's house in Harwood, Missouri I just had to stop and pump for some water. Ester held a tin cup and after several vigorous pumps the icy cold water spurted out and thus Ester's surprise face in the photo!

The Bible uses timeless illustrations to convey spiritual truth. Methodologies change (such as the way water is piped for drinking through a faucet), but the diligent student of Scripture can study and apply the lessons of Scripture to our present lives. Some 2,700 years after Isaiah wrote the first passage we all, regardless of where we live, need water to survive! In fact, at the heart of the relief effort in Haiti, is the absolute need for distribution of water.  Many who have been deprived of this life saving substance end up dehydrated and must be hooked up intravenously to restore the bodily fluid they've lost.

Water makes up to 70 per cent of an adult's total body weight and, without regular intake, our body's survival time is limited to a matter of days. Water is essential for the body's growth and maintenance. For example, it helps get rid of waste and regulates temperature, and it provides a medium for fighting off disease as biological reactions occur in the body. Chronic dehydration contributes to a number of health problems, and in cases of severe dehydration death follows soon if rehydration is not started quickly.

As essential as water is to our physical bodies, the living water that God supplies is essential to our spiritual lives.  The daily text is the very first Biblical reference to "living water". Jesus would later use this phrase concerning Himself with the woman at the well in John 4.

Jeremiah lived during a time of great national apostasy and persistently called the people to repentance. In the daily text God declares, "My people have committed two sins."

1) "They have forsaken me, the spring of living water." Living water is a wonderful descriptive phrase concerning the spiritual life God desires to impart to His people. In this prophetic declaration Isaiah is speaking spiritually using a natural example all can identify with. Yet then, as now, so many have forsaken the Lord and this source of living water, the only source of truly abundant life.

2) "And have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water."  God desires to supply living water but man seeks temporal flawed substitutes. "They seek life and pleasure in the idolatrous things of the world, things that have no real or lasting value" (Full Life Study Bible note).

Jesus said in John 7:38 "Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him."

Today I encourage each reader to receive from the Lord and partake of the living water from the Lord!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer:  Father, we know that drinking of fresh water is essential to our health, and without it we battle bodily disease and struggle to survive.  Drinking from the springs of living water is also essential to our spirit as we battle sin diseases of pride, jealousy, rage, bitterness, lying and so many other carnal attitudes that can result in spiritual death.  As we drink from the springs of living water we flush out those sin diseases that would seek to destroy us. Scripture assures us that we will be fully alive in Your Spirit as we drink regularly from Your life giving streams of living water.  Amen. 

Study Note: The final reference to "living water" is in Revelation 7:17: "For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their Shepherd; He will lead them to springs of living water."  The Lamb (Jesus Christ), who died for our sins on the center cross is at the center of the throne! He is the Eternal Shepherd.  The first reference to God being our Shepherd is in Genesis where Jacob blesses his son, Joseph, with this testimony: "May the God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has been my Shepherd all my life to this day…" (48:15).   It's a consistent theme through Scripture ending with the daily verse. He leads to springs of living water.  Although this is a scene in heaven the living water is available right now to all who believe.  Jesus taught, "Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him" (John 7:38).

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

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"Fill My Cup Lord"  Video  A studio version of a song that especially compliments the theme of our message today.  It's a prayer for each of us, "Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole."

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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, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. 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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