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Monday, September 8, 2014

Conodoquinet Creek
Conodoquinet Creek

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"Living Water"

"Now on the final and most important day of the Feast, Jesus stood, and He cried in a loud voice, If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink! He who believes in Me as the Scripture has said, From his innermost being shall flow springs and rivers of living water
" (John 7:37,38).

This last weekend I joined a group of men and boys from our church in the mountains for a campout, although I had the comfortable arrangement of sleeping on a bed in a modern cabin! This is an annual event which many of us look forward to. It's held along Conodoquinet Creek which provides a scenic backdrop, fresh water for swimming and bathing as well as a place for the boys to play, fish and of course catch crawdads.

Men and boys playing in Conodoquinet Creek 9/6/14

Conodoquinet Creek is a mountain stream that starts only a few miles above where we camped. The water flows steadily; it's clear as glass and cold as ice water. But upon close observation you can find small still pools where the water has gathered. With no movement the pool becomes stagnant.

One of the earliest principles we learned in our walk with Christ was the importance of flowing water. We 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 (one versions states "Jesus shouted to the crowds") He gave the following invitation; "
If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink! 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"."

"Living Water" bottle
Jesus 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.com 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.

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 and then share it through this online writing ministry, face to face, and through preaching as opportunities arise. Perhaps you are a Sunday School teacher, youth leader, worship leader, lead a ministry in the nursing home. There are so many avenues in which we are given opportunity to extend to others what God has instilled in us.

Today, let the streams of God's living water flow through our lives to a parched, needy world!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily 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.

Brooksyne's Note:  We never recall buying bottled water as children or even in our younger adult years, nor do you who've been around as long as us. Tap water was just fine! But bottled water continues to be a very popular commodity available in just about every retail store. Their prices vary based upon the name brand.  Of course, for those who are name brand conscious they're willing to pay the big bucks to sip from their bottled water with the brand name exposed assuming it to be better water.  Due to a very shallow well in our agricultural area we fill jugs from a mountain spring for our drinking water now. 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 bottled 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 source throughout the day?

The next several days I will share some photos from my camping trip to the mountains.

Campfire smoke over Conodoquinet Creek 9/7/14
Yesterday morning we had breakfast prepared around the campfire. This is not mist but campfire smoke drifting out over Conodoquinet Creek.

Campfire smoke in trees 9/7/14
The early morning sunlight filtering through the trees and campfire smoke.

Boys playing with turtle 9/6/14
Three curious and energetic boys had nonstop play over the weekend and plenty of opportunity to observe nature. I'm sure glad the turtle was in the stew pot for play, not for turtle stew! (I think but knowing outdoorsmen Nelson it may have been a meal later)

Al playing with turtle 9/6/14
The boys weren't the only ones playing!

Mike sharing at men and boys campout 9/7/14
Mike Gardner, our men's leader and avid outdoorsman, shared a message yesterday morning drawn from trout fishing.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

 "There is A River (Psalm 46)"
Maranatha! Singers

"I Will Delight"
  Video  Fernando Ortega

"Springs of Living Water"  Video  The Calvary Men's Choir Magherafelt, N. Ireland Some of you old--timers will recall singing this happy melody!

"Wonderful Peace"  Video  Don Moen  Dedicated to friends who have recently entered a period of trial and found solace in this song.

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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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