January has traditionally been a difficult month for me. Something about the dreary, dark days affects my mood and energy levels. All the beautiful Christmas decorations come down and the house seems so bare. So this year I decided to grow some indoor hyacinth bulbs on my mantel. I had purchased a whimsical fur wreath before Christmas and a little jeweled bird and so I lined up hyacinth bulbs above the fireplace. They fill the room with the most wonderful scent and bring a smile to my face as I come down the stairs and see how they have grown in just a simple vase of water that I keep filled. The bulbs have stored up the nutrients and minerals necessary for them to grow. Each morning I turn the vases a little because the flowers will tip over trying to grow toward the morning light in the windows. They need light to become beautiful blooms.
As my cheery white bulbs in water greeted me this morning, I thought about how often the Lord will use simple lessons in nature to remind me of spiritual truths. The bulbs are flourishing with just a fresh supply of water and light each day. Jesus describes Himself as the Living Water in a proclamation that He made on the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles.
“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.
” By this he meant the Spirit,
whom those who believed in him
were later to receive. Up to that time
the Spirit had not been given,
since Jesus had not yet been glorified."
John 7:37- 39 NIV
The invitation is open to all. “If anyone is thirsty come to me and drink.”
Each of us has a soul and that soul has a deep thirst. Our bodies need water to survive.
Our souls need the living water of God to survive.
John Piper says it this way in a sermon on this passage,
“This is the most important thing to know about yourself. You were made to live on God. You have a soul, a spirit.
There is a you that is more than a body. And that you, if it does not drink from the greatness and wisdom
and power and goodness and justice and holiness and love of God, will die of thirst.”
If we are going to truly follow Christ wherever He leads us in this New Year, we need more than head knowledge of who He is. We need more than the words of an inspiring sermon that another has studied to deliver. We need more than the words from a book by a great Christian author. The wisdom and inspirtation from the faith journeys of others can help to lead and guide us, but Jesus says, “Come to me and drink.” We need to personally drink of Jesus. It begins with the choice to believe in Him as Savior.
I believe that there is a great danger when we as believers limit our view of God to what we have experienced or fashioned Him to be in order to feel comfortable with our circumstances in life. This false portrayal of God is rampant in our culture and even in some of our churches. We as believers must purpose to delve into the wonder and mystery of who Jesus has revealed himself to be in Scripture and then respond to Him with all that we are.
In order to grow and flourish, like my bulbs, I need to let my roots reach deep into the water of a life of intimate devotion to the Savior. The same is true for you. When we choose to spend time for ourselves studying His words in the Scripture and drink from His water of life, the light of truth illuminates our hearts and then we spread the fragrance of Christ wherever we go. His life begins to define us in the choices that we make and the words that we speak.
Just yesterday, I had a conversation with a friend about the power of our words. It is so true that our words will reflect what our minds and hearts have consumed. Words have the power to build up or tear down.
“…out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45
When you fill your heart and mind with Scripture, His truth and love will spill out of you. Our words, through the power of His Spirit at work within us, have the ability to restore, to heal, to inspire and to offer hope. As we seek to know our Lord more intimately, we learn to rest in Him and trust in His character. In that place of intimate devotion and study we learn that it is life in Him that sustains and guides us in the journey. Then, by the power His Spirit we reflect His beauty in this desperate world by the way we live and the words we speak.
The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
Isaiah 58:11 NIV
Dallas Willard writes, “Spiritual growth and vitality stems from what we actually do with our lives, from the habits we form and from the character results.”
When you come each day to the Word, Jesus spreads before you a banquet, a feast of life to nourish your soul.
When you come to Christ to satisfy the thirst of your soul, you receive the gift of His Spirit living in you.
There in His fullness and by the mystery of His grace, you become like that well-watered garden - even in the cold days of winter. His spring of water, the risen, living Spirit of Jesus will never fail you.
For you see the source of life for your garden is Jesus in you.
Maybe you are already feeling a little discouraged in this new year. That list of goals and resolutions seems overwhelming, like too much to achieve. Or perhaps like so many I know, you are already weary from a winter illness that has drained your strength and energy. God is faithful and compassionate. He longs to refresh our spirits with the truth found in the Scriptures. But, we must make the choice to let the life giving water of His Word wash over us.
I have made My light to shine in your heart to give you the light of the knowledge of the glory of God
in the face of Christ. You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.
Live as a child of light.
Beloved, if you are willing, I will flood your soul with My Spirit and life. Will you choose to let Me possess your whole being so utterly that your life will display the radiance of My Son?
Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise Your Father in heaven.
I have come to offer you living water so that you will never be thirsty again. Trust in Me and don’t be afraid.
I am the Lord, your strength and your song. Draw from the well of My salvation with joy!
(paraphrased from Mt. 5:16, John 8:12, Eph. 5:8, 2 Cor. 4:6, John 4: 10, Is. 12:30)
I’m encouraged that each day is a new day, full of choices and opportunities.
Won’t you join me today and make the choice to drink freely from the water of life, Jesus.
I'm so grateful for the simple faith lessons I was reminded of this morning from my little hyacinth bulbs -
Feed on the water of the Word, turn toward His light
and watch your life bloom with the fragrance and beauty of Christ!
You have been created with a soul thirst that can only be satisfied in Jesus.
So drink of Him!
Please join us for our March Retreat!
Scholarships are available. Please don't let financial need stop you from
participating in this wonderful retreat with a special woman in your life.
We invite you to come enjoy the beautiful grounds of Solomon Conference Center.
Your heavenly Bridegroom, Jesus, wants to satisfy your thirsty soul.
Spend quiet time letting the water of God's Word wash over you and be encouraged through powerful worship, teaching, prayer and fun fellowship with other women.
Don't miss this great opportunity to explore the Scriptures and grow in your spiritual journey as one of His Beloved.
We only have twelve rooms available so register today!
Resources: desiringgod.org - Out of your heart will flow Rivers of Living Water, Living Water by Kathy Drake, The Spirit of Disciplines by Dallas Willard, Pinterest photos
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