Quench Your Thirst

“But whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty again–ever! In fact, the water I will give him will become a well of water springing up within him for eternal life.”    John 4:14

Ever had a physical thirst that was tough to quench?  We all have had a dryness which at best has only been temporarily quenched.  In contrast, how about the thirst of your soul?  This thirst can only be quenched by Jesus, through His Spirit.  Remember the woman at the well?  After she received from Jesus she left her water jar at the well (John 4:28) because it could not contain what she sought.  Jesus had filled her even to overflowing so that she was compelled to share what she found with others (John 4:29-30).

Jesus does not give a simple drink of water but causes a spring, a never-ending fountain, flowing from the inward satisfaction of the reception of His gifts.  This well of water is so abundant that it is enough for our everlasting needs.  Drinking from this well not only gives abundant water but has the ability to deeply satisfy your thirsty soul.  You will never have to search to find what satisfies again ~ when you turn to Him you get Him.

This water Jesus provides is described as a ‘springing up.’  This is the description of the activity of a fountain.  A fountain represents water in motion and not something at rest.  Can you imagine being gifted by Jesus Himself, a very fountain in your innermost being that wells up by its own inherent ability and does not cease to satisfy?

“Now on the last day, the great day of the feast,  Jesus stood and cried out, saying, If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.  The one who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him.”  (John 7:37-38)
 If anyone is THIRSTY.  Do you thirst for God?  If you physically thirst for water you know what is necessary to satisfy your thirst.  When your soul thirst, do you know it is God it thirsts for?  That it is Him you were created to thirst for?  Yes, when we thirst for water we can satisfy it temporarily with a substitute but the thirst will not be quenched.  Soon it will thirst again because what it really needed was pure water.  The thirst in our soul is the same.  When we thirst for God we may satisfy that need with a shabby temporary distraction but we will soon thirst again because we have not quenched our need.  We will always be left wanting until we receive the longing of our soul.
Don’t be stubborn and don’t be afraid.  We are told to just “open your mouth wide, and I will fill it”  (Psalm 81:10b).  Come to Him and ask Him to quench your thirst forever.  You are the cup, He is the living water.  You were created to not only be filled with Him but to be filled to overflow.  Let’s stop putting things in our cup that do not satisfy what it is we are truly thirsting for.  
In His grace,
Amanda
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Courage Under Pressure

Greetings fellow sojourners!  I have included a particularly long segment of Scripture today.  In order to receive the fullness of the en-courage-ment it offers I believe the entire piece must be read to garner the benefit.  You can do it!

Attempts to Discourage the Builders

“When Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies heard that I had rebuilt the wall and that no gap was left in it — though at that time I had not installed the doors in the gates — Sanballat and Geshem sent me a message: “Come, let’s meet together in the villages of the Ono Valley.” But they were planning to harm me.  So I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work and cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?” Four times they sent me the same proposal, and I gave them the same reply.  Sanballat sent me this same message a fifth time by his aide, who had an open letter in his hand. In it was written:
It is reported among the nations — and Geshem agrees — that you and the Jews plan to rebel. This is the reason you are building the wall. According to these reports, you are to become their king and have even set up the prophets in Jerusalem to proclaim on your behalf: “There is a king in Judah.” These rumors will be heard by the king. So come, let’s confer together. Then I replied to him, “There is nothing to these rumors you are spreading; you are inventing them in your own mind.” For they were all trying to intimidate us, saying, “They will become discouraged in the work, and it will never be finished.”  But now, my God, strengthen me.

Attempts to Intimidate Nehemiah

I went to the house of Shemaiah son of Delaiah, son of Mehetabel, who was restricted to his house. He said:  Let us meet at the house of God inside the temple. Let us shut the temple doors because they are coming to kill you. They are coming to kill you tonight!  But I said, “Should a man like me run away? How can I enter the temple and live? I will not go.” I realized that God had not sent him, because of the prophecy he spoke against me. Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. He was hired, so that I would be intimidated, do as he suggested, sin, and get a bad reputation, in order that they could discredit me.  My God, remember Tobiah and Sanballat for what they have done, and also Noadiah the prophetess and the other prophets who wanted to intimidate me.

The Wall Completed

The wall was completed in 52 days, on the twenty-fifth day of the month Elul. When all our enemies heard this, all the surrounding nations were intimidated and lost their confidence, for they realized that this task had been accomplished by our God.”  (Nehemiah 6:1-16)

~~~~~~                          ~~~~~~                       ~~~~~~                    ~~~~~~                    ~~~~~~

Let’s take a look at the first paragraph.  Nehemiah’s “enemies heard” that he was doing a mighty work of God.  They absolutely were under no inclination for him to finish the work so they attempted to discourage him by ‘planning him harm’.  Confident only in God, Nehemiah responded to the enemy’s taunts resolutely with, “I am doing a great work”  and he did not allow himself to be discouraged.  The text tells us the enemy tried four times and each time Nehemiah responded back with the same confidence.  Seeing that the first four attempts did not provoke Nehemiah to discouragement, the enemy attempted to send the same message again but this time bolstered with additional fear by suggesting an individual with position and influence agreed that Nehemiah had a personal ambition in mind.  The enemy also engaged more of Nehemiah’s senses ~ a written message hand delivered by the enemy’s aid.

The enemy will probe for our self-serving interests and if nothing surfaces, will attempt to convince us we have some anyway.  Don’t get discouraged when this happens in your life.  View it as an opportunity to reaffirm the truth of the reason for your work.  If a circumstance does reveal a self-serving motive, have the courage to extinguish it and thank the Lord for the cleansing!  God is for us and will help us repent as well as help us with our heart.

In this example, the enemy gave Nehemiah the suggestion, “You are to become their king” and have even set up the prophets in Jerusalem, “on your behalf” to proclaim yourself as king.  He told Nehemiah to, “Come, let’s confer together”  in an attempt to persuade him to appear before him and receive counsel by appealing to any self-interest Nehemiah might have.  When we take the enemy’s bait and maintain any self-interest all he will do is attempt to prop self up even more.

Did you notice that when the enemy upped his technique so did Nehemiah?  Nehemiah rebuked the enemy head-on, “There is nothing to these rumors you are spreading; you are inventing them in your own mind.”  He recognized the enemy’s attempt to “intimidate” and “discourage” so that Nehemiah would never finish what he started.  Afterwards, Nehemiah asked God to strengthen him.  Don’t you know He did!  The enemy may or may not be aware of all your efforts but don’t think for a minute God does not see.  He sees and will strengthen you with courage when you are under pressure so that you will not fail!  Allow Him to minister to your heart and mind like Nehemiah did.

Nehemiah proved his courage in God which allowed him to withstand the external pressure.  When Nehemiah’s enemies heard he had completed the task, they knew it had been accomplished by God which not only intimated them but all the surrounding nations.  That, beloved, is how big our God is.  When you feel the mounting of any internal or external pressure, put your confidence in God.  He has proven Himself faithful and will never be found to be anything less.  You are much loved.

In His grace,

Amanda

 

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God Provides Profound Wisdom Not Crippling Condemnation

“Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him.”  James 1:5

Greetings all.  I pray you are finding your delight in Jesus Christ of Nazareth!

I have a hunch most everyone is familiar with the beginning portion of this verse but I wonder if everyone is as equally familiar with the second portion that says He will give without criticizing?  God lovingly gives to his children to commend us in our faith walk; not to criticize our shortcomings or even or failures.  If we ask for wisdom and instead feel a criticism emerge regarding our problems or faults we can rest assured that is not from God. This is not to say we should not be striving to have HIS truth in us and faithfully walk it out in our daily life, but He does not give His wisdom peppered with condemnation.  (Merriam-webster.com defines criticism as the act of expressing disapproval and of noting the problems or faults of a person or thing.)

God IS perfect wisdom and in that wisdom, He knows exactly how to best supply us with that wisdom.  On the other hand, this is an area in which the enemy is skillfully clever.  The point is, we must learn to discern the difference between a prompting requiring repentance and an incitement that brings a crippling.

Here are some places in Scripture that describe God’s wisdom.

God’s Wisdom is Profound

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? Yahweh is the everlasting God, the Creator of the whole earth.  He never grows faint or weary; there is no limit to His understanding.”  Isaiah 40:28

“God is wise and all-powerful.  Who has opposed Him and come out unharmed?”  Job 9:4

“But where can wisdom be found, and where is understanding located? No man can know its value, since it cannot be found in the land of the living.  The ocean depths say, “It’s not in me,” while the sea declares, “I don’t have it.”  Gold cannot be exchanged for it, and silver cannot be weighed out for its price.  Wisdom cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir, in precious onyx or sapphire.  Gold and glass do not compare with it, and articles of fine gold cannot be exchanged for it.  Coral and quartz are not worth mentioning.  The price of wisdom is beyond pearls.  Topaz from Cush cannot compare with it, and it cannot be valued in pure gold. Where then does wisdom come from, and where is understanding located? It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing and concealed from the birds of the sky. Abaddon and Death say,  “We have heard news of it with our ears.”  But God understands the way to wisdom, and He knows its location. For He looks to the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens.”  Job 28:12-24

“How magnificent are Your works, Lord, how profound Your thoughts!”  Psalm 92:5

“I observed all the work of God and concluded that man is unable to discover the work that is done under the sun. Even though a man labors hard to explore it, he cannot find it; even if the wise man claims to know it, he is unable to discover it.”  Ecc 8:17

We are instructed to “not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind”.   When someone asks us for our Christian perspective on an issue that is troubling them lets give from the best of our Christian experience; without a crippling critique tied to it.  Help me Lord to be more like you.  I love your Word and I desire it to take priority position in my life.  Help me Lord to love your Word even in the places where it might be the hardest to accept.  In the powerful name of Jesus, I ask and believe.

In His grace,

Amanda

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R E V I V E Me!

Revive us, Lord!  Have you found your heart has grown cold or even calloused regarding certain circumstances, people, or aspects of your life?  Perhaps the indifference of your heart has stretched further than you have even allowed yourself to realize.  If the glorious joy of your salvation has faded to the background of your thoughts, if your heart equates your circumstances to be bigger than your God, if indifference, bitterness, and anger fills your heart, and if your pride has kept you from daily repentance then it is likely you need R E V I V I N G.

Being revived by God’s Spirit breaks the allure of the world system, complacency with self, and indifference with the status quo.  Our pride will steer us away from a realization that our deepest need is an extraordinary, personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  Search your heart and determine if there are parts of you that have become distant or cut-off from God.  Allow Him access to your entire being.  The Christian walk is not a rote, boring, fit-it-into-your-schedule walk.  It is a joyful skip with a heart ablaze for Jesus and dynamically living in His grace!  It is not about living as a ‘good’ person.  It is a supernatural event.  Pray and ask the Lord, ” R E V I V E me!”  I desire to not live as one who is smoldering but to live as a rekindled flame for You in every area of my life.

Scripture indicates a number of characteristics that precede revival, including repentance, humility, and obedience.  Let’s search the Scripture and allow our heart to be splayed wide open to the truth.

God’s people long for renewal of their lives

“Then we will not turn away from You; revive us, and we will call on Your name.”  Psalm 80:18

“Will You not revive us again so that Your people may rejoice in You?”  Psalm 85:6

God’s people need to be humble

“For the High and Exalted One who lives forever, whose name is Holy says this:  “I live in a high and holy place, and with the oppressed and lowly of spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and revive the heart of the oppressed.”  Isaiah 57:15

“For Yahweh takes pleasure in His people; He adorns the humble with salvation.”  Psalm 149:4

“My hand made all these things, and so they all came into being.  This is the Lord’s declaration.  I will look favorably on this kind of person: one who is humble, submissive in spirit, and trembles at My word.”  Isaiah 66:2

“Mankind, He has told you what is good and what it is the Lord requires of you: to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God.”  Micah 6:8

God’s people must repent

“My people who are called by My name humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

“Therefore repent and turn back, so that your sins may be wiped out, that seasons of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.”  Acts 3:19

God’s people are revived through His initiative

“He saw that there was no man — He was amazed that there was no one interceding, so His own arm brought salvation, and His own righteousness supported Him.”  Isa 59:16

“I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am Yahweh. They will be My people, and I will be their God because they will return to Me with all their heart.”  Jeremiah 24:7

“I will restore the fortunes of Judah and of Israel and will rebuild them as in former times. I will purify them from all the wrongs they have committed against Me, and I will forgive all the wrongs they have committed against Me, rebelling against Me. This city will bear on My behalf a name of joy, praise, and glory before all the nations of the earth, who will hear of all the good I will do for them. They will tremble with awe because of all the good and all the peace I will bring about for them.”  Jeremiah 33:6-9

“He saved us — not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to His mercy, through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit.”  Titus 3:5

People experience inward change as a characteristic result of revival

“But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord:
I will put My laws into their minds and write them on their hearts.  I will be their God, and they will be My people.  And each person will not teach his fellow citizen, and each his brother, saying, “Know the Lord,” because they will all know Me, from the least to the greatest of them.  For I will be merciful to their wrongdoing, and I will never again remember their sins.”  Hebrews 8:10-12

“Instead, this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days” — the Lord’s declaration. “I will put My teaching within them and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people. No longer will one teach his neighbor or his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least to the greatest of them” — this is the Lord’s declaration. “For I will forgive their wrongdoing and never again remember their sin.” Jeremiah 31:33-34

“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to the prayers.  Then fear came over everyone, and many wonders and signs were being performed through the apostles. Now all the believers were together and held all things in common. They sold their possessions and property and distributed the proceeds to all, as anyone had a need. Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple complex, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with a joyful and humble attitude, praising God and having favor with all the people. And every day the Lord added to them those who were being saved.”  Act 2:42-47

People live obedient lives

“And I will give them one heart and put a new spirit within them; I will remove their heart of stone from their bodies and give them a heart of flesh, so they may follow My statutes, keep My ordinances, and practice them. Then they will be My people, and I will be their God.”  Ezekiel 11:19-20

“Therefore I, the prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk worthy of the calling you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, accepting, one another in love, diligently keeping the unity of the Spirit with the peace that binds us.”  Ephesians 4:1-3

“And you became imitators of us and of the Lord when, in spite of severe persecution, you welcomed the message with joy from the Holy Spirit. As a result, you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. For the Lord’s message rang out from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia but in every place that your faith, in God has gone out.” 1 Th 1:6-8

People are joyful

“Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah to them. The crowds paid attention with one mind to what Philip said, as they heard and saw the signs he was performing. For unclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed, and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. So there was great joy in that city.”  Acts 8:5-8

“And the disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.”  Acts 13:52

also see Isaiah 35:1-10

Crowds turn to the Lord

“The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were flocking to him, and they were baptized by him in the Jordan River as they confessed their sins.”  Mark 1:5

“So they came to John and told him, “Rabbi, the One you testified about, and who was with you across the Jordan, is baptizing — and everyone is flocking to Him.”  John 3:26

“Now many Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of what the woman said when she testified, “He told me everything I ever did.”  John 4:39

“…praising God and having favor with all the people. And every day the Lord added to them those who were being saved.”  Acts 2:47

“But many of those who heard the message believed, and the number of the men came to about 5,000.”  Acts 4:4

“The Lord’s hand was with them, and a large number who believed turned to the Lord.”  Acts 11:21

The Holy Spirit Is Active In The Revival of Believers

“When they had prayed, the place where they were assembled was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak God’s message with boldness.”  Acts 4:31

“Then Saul — also called Paul — filled with the Holy Spirit, stared straight at the sorcerer…” Acts 13:9

“Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day.”  2 Corinthians 4:16

“And don’t get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless actions, but be filled by the Spirit:  speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music from your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
submitting to one another in the fear of Christ.”  Ephesians 5:18-21

The Response of the Believer in Revival

“Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.”  Romans 12:1-2

“You are being renewed in the spirit of your minds; you put on, the new self, the one created according to God’s likeness in righteousness and purity of the truth.”  Ephesians 4:23-24

“Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.”  Phillippians 3:13-14

“Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old self, with its practices and have put on the new self. You are being renewed in knowledge according to the image of your Creator. In Christ there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision, and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all.  Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive. Above all, put on love — the perfect bond of unity.”  Colossians 3:9-14

“In Your presence is abundant joy; in Your right hand are eternal pleasures”! (Psalm 16:11)  Revive me Lord to the absolute depths of my heart, soul, and spirit!  I long for your presence!  I turn my will, my heart, my thoughts, my days over to you Lord to do with them what only YOU can do.  I repent of my sin and humble my heart.  Revive me Lord so that I may clearly behold your beauty and truth.  Restore to me the joy of my salvation.  Brind me into Your presence, as in that place I will find joy unending!   R E V I V E me!  Thank you as I know You are faithful.  In the mighty name of Jesus, I ask and believe.

In His grace,

Amanda

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