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Monday, June 8, 2020

Opposum Lake in Cumberland County PA
Opossum Lake in Cumberland County, PA

"Spiritual Hydration"

Message summary: Today we consider the importance of staying spiritually hydrated.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

"On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, 'Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them'" (John 7:37,38).

Sam BeilerSam Beiler spent most of his career with Auntie Anne's, a worldwide company known for their hand-baked fresh pretzels which started here in Lancaster County. He eventually bought the company from Anne Beiler before developing Spooky Nook, the largest indoor sporting complex in North America.

Sam was born into an Amish family and shared a memory from his childhood. Amish tourism was growing in Lancaster County with many coming into our area fascinated at seeing the Amish culture. Early on he demonstrated his entrepreneurialism.

Amish waterHe and some friends had a marketing idea. They took some quart canning jars from one of their mom's kitchens, filled them with water, and sold them along the road as "Amish Water". They sold out but got in trouble later for selling the canning jars, since these glass jars are used year after year to preserve food harvested fresh from the garden. What little money they earned would not compare to the money saved by preserving one's own fruit and vegetables.

That was before the bottled water craze we have now had for many years. When we were growing up the notion of buying water in a small bottle to drink would have seemed crazy, especially to my depression era parents.

Regardless of where you live water is absolutely vital to life in many, many ways. Our physical well-being depends on staying hydrated. The failure to hydrate can lead to dehydration (hypohydration) which is not only bad for our overall health but can lead to several conditions that make work more dangerous such as fatigue and light-headedness (dizziness). In sports and outdoor construction work this can be a real problem and highlights the importance of staying hydrated.

Handing out waterLast week we were stopped at a red light in Lancaster when we spotted two hardworking men in the hot sun clearing the curbing of weeds and debris. You could see their perspiration right from our car. We rolled our window down to let them know their labor certainly improved the appearance of the street. But before we had a chance to do so the car in front of us also rolled their window down and called for the younger man (40's) to come to the window. The passenger passed on a tall bottle of water. The man gratefully received the water and passed it on to the elderly man who was pushing the wheelbarrow. He wasted no time and immediately began to guzzle down the thirst quenching water which must have been gratifying to the thoughtful donor.

Today let us consider the importance of staying spiritually hydrated. The two above-mentioned conditions in physical dehydration can also affect us spiritually, that is, fatigue and dizziness (not keeping a clear head).

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 version 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." (Amplified)

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

"Living Water" bottle
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 an abundant and eternal life.  We need to drink daily from His fresh flowing supply to sustain our spiritual growth and fruitful development lest we become spiritually dehydrated.

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, or 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 rivers of God's living water flow through our lives to a parched, needy, dehydrated and divisive world! Let's be a source of spiritual hydration.

This "living water" will be a feature of heaven. Jesus said in Revelation, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life"
(Revelation 21:6). "The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life" (Revelation 22:17).

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we accept Your invitation to come and drink freely from Your inexhaustible supply of life-giving water, to hydrate ourselves spiritually. May Your springs of living water overflow to those around us as it springs forth in our words and actions. Thank You for redirecting, refreshing, and replenishing our spirit with Your life-giving, eternal water. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Drinking At The Spring Of Living Water"  Video  Melody Four  A song from our younger years which we haven't heard for many years. But the words and melody came back in considering today's message.

"The Blessing Singapore"  Video  Dedicated to the believers in Singapore especially to Sally and Peter who have been a part of our ministry since 2001. By the way there are several Auntie Anne's Pretzel stores in Singapore!

Sam Beiler, owner of Spooky Nook Sport's Complex  This message has an illustration of selling Amish water.  Video (cued to start at illustration)

Spooky Nook Sport's Complex, Lancaster County, PA
Aerial view of the Spooky Nook Sport's Complex which was formerly an Armstrong warehouse. The line of trees on the left is the Lancaster Junction rail trail which we often ride.

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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 make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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