Your Water Source

February 10, 2017

The River Jordan originates from the springs of Dan. Geologists have concluded that it is the largest spring system in the world. The spring is at the base of Mount Hermon, which rises 9,232 feet above sea level. In the wintertime, a large quantity of snow accumulates. When it melts, it percolates through limestone and supplies water to these magnificent springs.

From that unseen and inexhaustible source hidden in the depths of the earth springs forth life-giving water. Near the springs of Dan are some enormous fruit-bearing trees growing as a result of close access to water. If you move away from the spring a short distance, you will find fields that are dry and brown.

In the same way, when you distance yourself from Christ, who is your spring of living water, your spiritual life becomes parched and dry. However, if you remain close to the Lord in devotion and fellowship, you will accomplish many things without becoming weary. This is because you are close to your “water source,” the living water, which is Jesus Christ.

The water that flows from the Dan springs is perfectly clear and pure. But as it continues downstream, it doesn’t stay pure. It picks up contaminants, such as dissolved salts and minerals—becoming bitter water.

Is there bitterness in your life that is poisoning God’s gift of living water? If so, you can be refreshed and purified by spending time in prayer with Jesus. Does your spiritual life seem to be parched? All you need is Jesus and His living water—the Word of God.

We cannot live more than seven days without drinking water. But we can live for an eternity if we are drinking the living water God provides through Jesus Christ.

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God (Psalm 42:1).

‘I Am the Living Water’

February 9, 2017

I doubt whether there is any person who would not understand the importance of water for survival. In fact, next to air, water is the most important substance for life.

The Bible teaches that while Jesus is God incarnate, He also was human and experienced the same feelings and temptations that we encounter each day. However, He never succumbed to even one temptation.

In John 4:4-8, we read how the Savior became tired and stopped to rest beside the well of Jacob. While His disciples were buying food in a nearby town, a Samaritan woman arrived at the well to draw water. Jesus, being thirsty, asked her for a drink of the well’s water. Immediately, she protested and reminded him that she was a Samaritan, and He was a Jew.

Jews believed the Samaritans were unclean. Another fact to consider is that this woman was at the well alone at high noon. More than likely, she also was considered unclean and came to the well at a time when no one else would see her.

We know her story. She had been married many times and was in need of a Savior, and Jesus met her need. He told her:

Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life (John 4:13-14).

Christ confronted the deepest need of this woman and offered her a chance to begin life anew. The more you drink from the world’s water, the worse your thirst will become.

Are you restless and discontent? Just as He offered living water to the woman at the well, He offers it to you. When you drink of Him, you will thirst no more.

He will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes (Revelation 7:17).

Listen for His Voice

February 8, 2017

In the Middle East, the relationship between the shepherd and the sheep is special. Sheep know their shepherd’s voice, and they follow him when he calls. If a stranger comes along, the sheep shrink back.

It is no surprise that during World War I, when a group of Turkish soldiers decided to steal a flock of sheep from a hillside near Jerusalem, they had to face the fact that the shepherd was the only one who could control the sheep. But even he knew he could not recapture his flock single handedly against all those soldiers.

He did the only thing he could; he put his hand to his mouth and gave his own particular call that he used each day to gather his sheep. When the sheep heard the familiar sound, they stopped, turned, and came back to their shepherd.

The same is true with us—the body of Christ. Those who are children of God will hear His voice through His Word. Jesus says in John 10:27-28, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.”

The way to know whether you are one of His sheep is in how you respond to His voice and His Word. Do you recognize the voice of Jesus? He knows you better than you know yourself.

Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me” (John 10:14). Jesus is the good shepherd who gave His life for you. However, He longs for you to draw even nearer to Him. Can you hear His voice? Do you know His special call to you? Be still, listen, and pray, and you will be blessed by the Savior’s intimate care.

Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture (Psalm 100:3).

‘I Am the Good Shepherd’

February 7, 2017

Many Americans can’t forget the news that came out of Washington, D.C., after an Air Florida plane crashed into the Potomac River in 1982. Millions heard the reports of a courageous young man who was more interested in saving others than himself.

Each time the helicopter sent the lifeline his way, he would pass it to someone else. No doubt he knew that he could not hold on any longer as he passed the line to the last person. This man’s death, as a result of rescuing others instead of saving himself, was the tragic outcome of an accident.

Jesus said, “I lay down my life for the sheep” (John 10:15). He came from heaven so He could die for His sheep—every person who calls upon His name. This incident was not an accident.

It was not by chance that Jesus came to earth, took on human form, and gave His life so we might be saved. He says:

No one takes [my life] from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again (John 10:18).

The death of a shepherd means disaster for the sheep. If a shepherd dies in defense of his sheep, it is often an accident. The shepherd plans to live for his sheep, not to die for them. However, Jesus is different from any other shepherd. He is the only door into the sheepfold; therefore, He is the only good shepherd. The hired hand runs at the first sign of trouble, but Jesus will never leave.

We can take comfort in the words of the psalmist:

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake (Psalm 23:1-3).

When the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away (1 Peter 5:4).

‘I Am the Door’

February 6, 2017

At the turn of the last century, Sir George Adam Smith, a prominent British visitor to the Syrian hills, watched with fascination one evening as shepherds drove their sheep into the sheepfold.

He noticed that the fold was no more than a simple, four-wall enclosure with only one opening—no door and no gate. He asked the shepherd: “How can you ensure that the sheep will not wander off at night? And what about the wild beasts—will they not come and attack these helpless sheep?”

“No,” was the shepherd’s reply, “because I am the one whose body blocks the opening at night. I lie down across this opening; no sheep can get out without going over me, and no thief or wolf can get in except over my body.”

In John 10, Jesus says:

I am the gate for the sheep. … Whoever enters through me will be saved. … The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:7, 9-10).

Only Jesus can save you from sin. Muhammad cannot save you. Buddha cannot save you. Krishna cannot save you, nor can Joseph Smith, Mary Baker Eddy, or even the law of Moses.

Nothing opens heaven’s door except the One who is the door, and that is Jesus Christ. The moment a person prays the following prayer, Jesus opens heaven’s door: “Lord, You are the Son of God. In You and You alone, I find eternal security. To You and You alone, I surrender my life. I repent of my sins. Please forgive me.”

There is no discrimination—no one is refused. Our loving heavenly Father will welcome us with words of love and acceptance: “Come right in. I have been waiting for you, and I am so glad you have come.”

I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in … and find pasture (John 10:9).

No More Night

February 5, 2017

Throughout the Bible, we see God leading and comforting His people with the presence of His holy light. In Exodus, the ninth plague upon the Egyptians was one of darkness so great that the people could not see one another. However, the children of Israel had light in their homes (Exodus 10:23).

The Light of the World shines not only in the hearts and minds of those who follow Him, but also in the homes and dwelling places of those who know Christ as their Savior.

Once Israel was released from Egyptian bondage:

By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them … and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light. … Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people (Exodus 13:21-22).

However, when God’s people reached the Red Sea:

The angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them, coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel. Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other side (Exodus 14:19-20).

Jesus Christ is the light of the world. He will light your way when you can no longer see clearly. He protects you and stands between you and the enemy’s weak attempts to bring ruin to your life. No matter how dark your world seems, God’s light cannot be extinguished.

Have you taken time to share this life-changing truth that no one has to walk in darkness? Make a commitment to tell someone today that Jesus is the Light of the World.

There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light (Revelation 22:5).

‘I Am the Light of the World’

February 4, 2017

A few years ago, there were a number of scientific writings dealing with the nova experience (from the Latin word novus or “new”). The nova phenomenon occurs when a medium-sized star suddenly gets brighter and hotter for a period of about a week to two weeks. Then it becomes darker and cooler. Each year, scientists observe about 14 of these nova experiences.

Based on this research, astronomers are now concerned that the previously held theory—that our sun could maintain its present heat or energy output level for at least eight million years—is no longer true. Scientists reached this conclusion because they believed that half of the sun’s hydrogen energy has been used up.

When other stars were observed to “nova out” as soon as half of their hydrogen was exhausted, it became popular to believe that the same could happen to our sun. Should a nova happen, within 40 days, the earth would freeze and disappear into the solar system like a small ball of foil.

Can the sun suddenly cease from warming us and from providing the energy we trust and seek each day? The answer is yes! In Revelation, we read that in the final days the earth will be destroyed. There will be a new earth and a new heaven. And there will be no need for a sun because we will have the Lord Jesus Christ. He will be our source of light, which will be much brighter and warmer than the sun.

Jesus is “the light of the world” (John 8:12), and we do not have to wait until the end to walk in His light. Today, He is the one who brings light to the murky areas of our lives. No darkness is powerful enough to eliminate His light. When you step into the light of His love, your pathway will be lit with heaven’s hope.

I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life (John 8:12).