The Care and Feeding of the Heart: Remember, You are an Oasis!
Welcome Marathoners for Christ (Acts 20:24; 1 Corinthians 9:26; Hebrews 12:4; 2 Timothy 4:7). I hope your week’s worth of race-running in the name of Jesus has been awesome!
Check this truism from God’s holy, God-breathed, inerrant and infallible word out: “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” (John 7:38)
And here’s another True Truth that is coupled to the first one… in spades: Almost without exception, every one God places in your path most every day is incredibly parched!
Especially in our day when the culture is being shaken by the plate tonics of colliding worldviews, the freefall of so many folks being rent asunder by rampant secularism (RE: the lie of no shame), rampant pluralism (RE: the lie of no truth), and rampant privitization (RE: the lie of what we do in our private lives having no bearing on our public life)…
Every encounter we have with another human being, is an providentially-orchestrated Godcidence to minister to one who is:
Fried… from running harried, hard and hectic.
Burnt… from a to-do list way-disconnected from a greater purpose.
Cotton mouthed… from not drinking in God’s Word or daily blessings.
Barren… from fruitless living while repressing unfamiliar and/or too-scary emotions.
Dehydrated… from dieting on junk, innutritious and overly-salty foods.
Scorched… from trusting untrustworthy sources of worldly wisdom… folly.
Depleted… from running on fumes, mainlining Red Bull and Diet Coke.
Withered… from serving out of guilt or seeking merit, and not a redeemed story, passion, and giftedness.
Bone-dry… from going, going… gone… all alone.
Fallow… from unrecognized, dormant, or rotting fruitlessness.
Hardened… from being ill-equipped and bone-marrow-bitter about all of the above.
Here’s the Question of the Way, the Truth, and the… OUR… Life:
Have put your faith in The Living Water, Jesus Christ (John 4:10, 6:51; Revelations 7:17; Romans 10:9)?
If so, you are quite literally (and among other vital, life-giving things) AN OASIS, beloved!
You… you… I’m talking about Y.O.U.… are a cold, refreshing, revitalizing, renewing and replenishing drink of the freshest spring water imaginable to each and every person God places in your life!
“Living Water” is Not About Self-Help… Not About Being a Dam, But a Hose!
As I discuss at length and in-depth in my book, The Weeping, the Window, the Way, of the many dangerous cultural issues we have to face today, the a) nexus between a couple of generations of a self-help philosophy and practices AND the b) experience of Christian conversion (mostly) devoid of sound, biblical discipleship training, we’re faced with c) many, many folks who believe Christianity to be another, higher, holier, far richer… the richest in fact… form of SELF-help!
In this context—in order to stick with our metaphor—this gross misinterpretation of Christianity as “the highest form of self-help” results embracing the faith as all the benefits of the gospel flowing TO ME, as opposed to the truth of the gospel flowing THROUGH ME (Psalm 40:3; 66:16; Isaiah 6:8; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2; 1 Corinthians 11:1; James 1:27; Philippians 2; 1 John 3:17).
“To me”? or “Through me”? The difference and vast array of distinctions is HUGE! (Philippians 2:1-11)
Please… I beseech you… pour yourself into others by offering the Triune God’s (the Father’s electing assurances, the Son’s atoning grace, the Spirit’s heart-changing counsel) streams of living water and other-worldly yet highly practical… comfort, encouragement, a remembrance of true truth, a loving exhortation, a listening ear and your full attention, a time of deeper fellowship (in a way-shallow world), and any form of the fruitfulness of Christ in you: The wellspring and mouth-watering fruit of being in Christ: your love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Please don’t let the Living Water inside of you—the Spirit Who Saves to Send—get putrid, stale or unfit for drinking… Pour it into and on another and let loose The Living Water bubbling up in you “Today…” (Psalm 95:7-8).
For it’s the main reason God’s given you another day, another breath, another heartbeat: The world—by each encounter with another fallen Image Bearer of God—needs more than ever a cup of replenishing Living Water.
‘Till we chow down again, drink up, pour out, and “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of [your’s and those in your midst] life” (Proverbs 4:23-parenthesis added)!