…Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water. John 7:37-52 During the Feast of Booths, a libation of water is poured out at the base of the altar in the Temple, flows down the Temple steps into the outer courts. It is here that Jesus boldly asserts himself as this flowing water that goes out not only to all the Jewish pilgrims who have gathered in remembrance of their ancestors dependence on God and his faithfulness during the Exodus, but also to those not within his physical presence and yet come to believe in him. Much like the Israelites, this pilgrimage we travel in Christ is not without testing. We doubt, we complain, we rebel and by the grace of God we remember. God is made known for us through the flowing, living Spirit of Christ’s life death and resurrection and today by our remembrance and praise, we are his evidence of that flowing water.
They love to have the place of honor …the best seats and to be greeted with respect in the market-places… Matthew 23:1-12 Some time ago there was a statement by the Archbishop of Canterbury, voicing his dispute that the power of the cross is being damaged by wearing it as a fashion statement. As one would imagine there has been varied response surrounding the issue. We know Jesus’ response to some (not all) Pharisees and scribes concerning their broad phylacteries and long fringes worn to be seen by others. No doubt we’ve all seen those “bigger than life” crosses that both celebrities and unknowns wear all the time. It is perhaps true that some (not all) have no idea as to its power or significance in the heart of believers. The challenge at hand, is how in seeing these displays, does it affect who we are and what we do as Christians today? Does it still have power for you? Does it have power in you?
…do not do as they do…. All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.
Acts 16:6-7 …having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. When they had come opposite Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them…
Don’t be discouraged when the direction in which you are trying to go is either interrupted or changed. Everyone is not going to be ready for what you have to offer. The spirit of Christ will reveal the direction in which you need to follow. The challenge is having the patience to listen so that we can hear what the spirit is saying. The Apostle Paul tried several times to preach in the province of Asia but the Holy Spirit wouldn’t let him. While he rested it was revealed to Paul that the people of Macedonia were crying out for him and his disciples to come to them. Paul changed his course and it was this journey that led him to a group of women at the river eager to listen and become disciples of the risen Lord. In the same way that God opened the mind of Paul and the heart of Lydia and the other women at the river, he will open our heart and mind to hear him so that we will always know the way to go. We may not always know God’s vision but God always knows ours.