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No Heavy Lifting Required

“Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
John 4:13-14 ESV

Men and women lined up with five-gallon buckets, while children came carrying empty juice bottles. They brought anything that would hold water. Standing next to the water truck in a rural Honduran village, I was overwhelmed at the poverty and great need around me. We filled bucket after bucket with clean water. Attempting to alleviate an enormous burden in the smallest way, we carried the 40-pound buckets down dirt roads and into their homes. The water sloshed around in the buckets, hitting the dirt beneath us. Deep in my soul I was reminded that this precious resource is fleeting. Soon they will be thirsty and needing clean water again.

The extreme physical needs of this village were overwhelming. Sadly, our team could only meet a few of them in the form of water and shoes, but as believers in Christ, we had something far greater to offer – the hope we have in Christ.

In John 4, Jesus meets a Samaritan woman at the well. She may have been there to quench her physical thirst for water, but Jesus cut straight to her heart, contrasting the water available at the well with the “living water” He offered. Jesus knew her thirst was much deeper than a physical need – it was a spiritual need.

Possibly overwhelmed by her need for love and acceptance or feelings of unworthiness, the Samaritan woman had turned to the arms of men. For us, might we be overcome by the desire to acquire success, wealth and material things? Maybe we long for the love and approval of others? Nothing of this world will quench our earthly desires. Any attempt we make will be in vain. We’ll be left dry and empty, searching for one more thing we believe will finally fill us.

Like the Samaritan woman, our souls are parched apart from Christ. This “thirst” within each of us is not a bad thing. It was created by God and only God can satisfy it.

Jesus tells the woman what you and I already know – drinking that water will leave her thirsty again. Luckily, He offers something much better – living water. Whoever drinks of this water will never thirst again.

To drink this living water means coming to Jesus with a faithful and repentant heart. No heavy lifting is required. No rules and empty rituals, no heavy buckets – just faith and repentance. His yolk is easy and His burden is light.

Savoring the Living Water,

Traci

 

Photo Credit: Sarah Thomas

Part 4 Wanted: Wisdom – Get It? Got It. Good!

“If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him.”

James 1:5 AMPC

As we close out this 4-part wisdom series, let’s review quickly what we have learned so far. Upon recognizing our lack of wisdom, we can go directly to the Source and ask for it. In our asking, we must have faith without doubting because doubt will only leave us feeling like a storm-tossed wave – helpless and out of control. The one who doubts is like a person with two minds, thinking two different things at the same time, very unsteady and unreliable.

As we have digested James 1:5-8, you may have noticed that I skipped over the last part of verse 5. That was purposeful on my part so that I could leave you with what I perceive to be the most exciting and encouraging words found in this Scripture passage.

God promises that if we ask for wisdom HE WILL GIVE IT! Not only will He give it, but He’ll do so with generosity to everyone. That’s right, EVERYONE – not just a few, or some, or the favored, or the elite, but all. In addition, there will be no criticizing, scolding, rebuking, nitpicking, or blaming on God’s part. He does not look for a reason to withhold His wisdom.

Upon understanding what God has made available to us, it reminds me of a scene from the movie The Court Jester. The conspirator, after giving instructions to his accomplice, follows with the question, “Get it?” The accomplice quickly replies, “Got it,” and the conspirator answers, “Good!” I am certainly not suggesting that God is a schemer, but instead, He is the only wise God (Rom. 16:27). When we seek Him for wisdom in our decision making, He will give it. It’s our job to listen, get it, and follow through accordingly. If He asks, “Get it?”, I pray we can answer, “Got it.” If so, we are certain to hear, “Good!”

[Digging deeper – Matthew 7:7-8; Mark 11:24; Luke 21:15]

Finally getting it,

Beverly <><

 

Photo Credit: image courtesy of: pixabay.com

Part 3 Wanted: Wisdom – One Head, Not Two!

“If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God . . . only it must be in faith . . . For truly, let not such a person imagine that he will receive anything [he asks for] from the Lord, [For being as he is] a man of two minds (hesitating, dubious, irresolute), [he is] unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything [he thinks, feels, decides].”
James 1:5-8 AMPC

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have two heads, thus having two minds? For most women that could be a rather disconcerting thought. I often have a difficult time making up my one mind, much less two! For most of us, I doubt we’d be as cheery as the two-headed woman pictured here.

Sometimes I have no problem making a firm decision and sticking with it. Yet, there are the harder choices such as which restaurant to pick when your husband decides to take you out, or which shirt looks best with these jeans. Then, there is the ultimate daily “What shall I cook for dinner tonight?” dilemma!

All jokes aside, we have much to learn from James’ warning in the Scripture text for today. The Amplified Bible portrays the doubter as having two minds. Other translations use descriptions like double-minded man, unstable, divided loyalty between God and the world, two-souled, indecisive, and two ways of thinking at the same time.

I saw a good illustration of the double-minded mentality on a Bonanza episode recently. The show centered on a man and his wife who had fallen on hard times and were struggling to keep their ranch. The man, wanting to provide nice things for his wife and son, had collaborated with some outlaws so he could have more money for his family. No one, his wife, friends, or even the Cartwrights’, suspected such behavior. When the truth came out, his poor choices created chaos, distrust, and great conflict for all involved. He certainly had not prayed for wisdom regarding the circumstances in his life.

O Father, we don’t want to waver in our faith and be unstable in all our ways. As the apostles of old, we plead for You to increase our faith!

[Digging deeper – Matthew 6:24; Luke 17:5-6; James 4:8]

Stay tuned for Part 4 Wanted: Wisdom – Get It? Got It. Good!

Striving for wise single-mindedness,

Beverly <><

 

Photo Credit: Image courtesy of: http://freemybrain.com/wpcontent/uploads/2009/04/two_headed.jpg