The Presence

Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.  John 7:37-52  The little village of Nazareth in the region of Galilee was written off. The Authorities could not believe that God would rise someone up from such a lowly place. The writer of this Gospel explains that the rivers of living water is the very Spirit we today experience as a result of the one who did in fact rise out of that lowly place, die and rose again. For us today that lowly place could be a physical space or an emotional one. Yet the presence of the Spirit of God moves under it’s own authority. No matter how far deep we find ourselves, God is able to reach those who continue to believe and seek him out and raise us up out of that place. Yes, under the most difficult circumstances, this can be very daunting but is there any place we can go where God has not already been?

I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall continually be in my mouth (Psalm 34)

Neighbors

“Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” ...‘Go and do likewise.’ Luke 10:25-37  The lawyer in this passage of Luke thought he was being rather smart by asking Jesus “Who is my neighbor?” However, his question reveals that what he was asking, is about who is to be the neighbor that he should love. It’s one of those kinds of questions that has the potential to separate and divide the haves and have-nots, the righteous and sinners; if we allow our sense of who we are, to be defined by the world’s standards rather than by God.  I like the way Jesus addresses the question with a question after first telling a parable about four men. Jesus challenges the lawyer to identify himself in the parable. Of course the lawyer would not see himself beaten at the side of the road. How many of us would? He could however see himself as the Priest or the Levite. That is until he realizes that both in the story show more folly than compassion as would be expected from a Priest or Levite. At the very least, Jesus’ question briefly forces the lawyer to identify with the Samaritan (considered to be “unclean”). The parable helps the lawyer and us to understand simply, that the one who acts is the neighbor. At all times, each of us is to be the neighbor because in Christ it’s who we are. A scripture from Ecclesiastes 10:1-18  …folly is set in many high places, and the rich sit in a low place, really begins to take shape in times of need. We don’t always have the luxury of determining who will help us. Perhaps one day we may find our selves “fallen at the hands of robbers.” Which of the three would we want to pass by? Is it not the one who acts on our behalf?

Matthew 7:1-2  “Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgement you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get.”