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Christ in Your Home Christian living family God our Father Handling Life's Problems

You Look Like You Could Use a Drink

Stressed out? You need a drink.

Disappointed? You need a drink.

Unfulfilled? You need a drink.

No, I’m not talking about the drinks that come by way of a neon sign and a frosty glass. Not a pretty colored drink with a tiny umbrella either.

The drink I’m talking about is much stronger.

In a really familiar story from the gospel of John we see Jesus having a conversation at a well with a Samaritan woman. (It’s important to note that at this particular time, the Jews and the Samaritans were hostile towards each other’s cultural and religious practices. So this interaction between Jesus and this woman is a huge deal!)

Jesus and the Samaritan woman have a casual conversation about needing a drink of water from the well. Jesus tells her if she knew who he really was she would be asking HIM for a drink! The absurdity right??

Jesus says in John 4:13-14

“If you drink from Jacob’s well, you’ll be thirsty again, but if anyone drinks the living water I give them, they will never be thirsty again. For when you drink the water I give you, it becomes a gushing fountain of the Holy Spirit, flooding you with endless life!” 

Imagine never thirsting again? Imagine the freedom that comes with that? Imagine living in such a way that no matter what your circumstance or situation you are satisfied.

It’s possible friend.

The reason we live stressed out, disappointed, and unfulfilled is simply because we search for our thirst to be quenched in unsustainable sources.

Your spouse isn’t a sustainable source. But wait, isn’t it my husband’s or  my wife’s job to make me happy? Nope. Marriage is meant to make you holy, not happy. It’s meant to be treated as a covenant not a cup.

Your kids can’t be where your fulfillment comes from either. And all the parents say “But my kids are my life”! Well..they’re not meant to be! Making your kids the well you draw from isn’t fair or attainable for them. Kids (yes, those perfect little angels..) will unintentionally disappoint you at some point in life.

Your relationships (dating, friendships) are not meant to keep you going either. People are messy! People aren’t perfect! Relationships are complicated. They can be on track one day, and a complete rollercoaster the next day. Trying to pull from that well will always lead to hurt.

Jesus offered the Samaritan woman a drink from a never-ending supply of goodness and grace. A sustainable source that when consumed becomes a flood of abundant life. And her response is yes.

Why?

Because she was tired of being stressed out, disappointed, and unfulfilled by the other sources she was trying to draw from.

“The woman replied, “Let me drink that water so I’ll never be thirsty again and won’t have to come back here to draw water” John 4:15

Quit going back to what hurt you over and over again. Quit putting pressure on those closest to you. Quit searching for that quick, easy fix. Quit running back to that well that will run dry.

Instead, respond to Jesus with a ,“Yes, I want what you offer Lord”. Let me find my fulfillment in you”.

Jesus is waiting to meet you at that dry well you’re at. He’s waiting there with a drink that will overflow with peace, mercy, love, and kindness. A drink that will never, ever run dry.

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Christ in Your Home Christian living God our Father Handling Life's Problems

I Am Your Father

If you read that title in your best Darth Vader voice, you are my kind of people. We are HUGE Star Wars fans in our household and every summer we re-watch the trilogies for family movie night. One of the most iconic moments in the whole saga is when the evil Darth Vader reveals that he is indeed Jedi in training Luke Skywalker’s father. Luke’s entire sense of self comes crashing down and he’s left with more questions than answers about who he really is.

In response, Luke lets out a perfect cinematic scream of “NOOOOOOOOOOOO! That’s impossible”! Talk about some family drama? If you know anything about Star Wars you know this Skywalker family has got some MAJOR issues that stretches across decades and many generations.

(If I just happened to ruin this entire movie series for you, my deepest most sincere apologies but it’s for a good reason I promise! Hang with me!)

As we enter into our May series that is all about families, I can’t help but think of all the times I have let out my own yell of “NOOOOOO” and “That’s impossible”, at the expense of my own family issues. Anyone else been there?

Family, no matter what it looks like, is difficult to navigate. Things are always changing, always shifting. What was ok yesterday is not ok today. What we said last week doesn’t mean anything this week. What worked last month isn’t making any difference this month. It can feel like an intense game of tug of war where one minute you’re pulling that rope with ease and the next your face first in the mud with no idea how you even got there.

Here’s the really good news though.

God doesn’t change.

His ways are solid. His ways are steady. His ways are trustworthy.

David asks God this exact thing when he says:

“Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground”. Psalm 143:10 NIV

No matter if you’re single, engaged, married, divorced, widowed. No matter if you’re a whole family, a step-family, a blended family. Whether you have one child, 10 children, no children. Whether you have been married for less than a year or married for 20 plus years…God wants your household built on the solid foundation of Christ. All other ways are unstable and fleeting.

See, you may change. Your family may change. Your ideas of family may change. But God has never changed.

The God that brought Ruth to Boaz is the same today. (Ruth 4:13-16)

The God that gave Sarah a baby is the same today. (Genesis 21:1-3)

The God that brought redemption to Joseph’s family is the same today. (Genesis 45:1-28)

The God that brought the prodigal son home is the same today. (Luke 15:11-24)

The God that restored Gomer to Hosea is the same today. (Hosea 3:1-5)

The God that transformed Saul to Paul is the same today. (Acts 9:1-19)

The God that forgave the adulterous woman is the same today. (John 8: 1-11)

God is at work telling a story of restoration, redemption, and miracles through your family. No matter what that family may look like in your current phase of life. Don’t buy into the lie that you need to have it all together or be the “right kind of family” for God to use it. Instead choose to believe that Gods foundation is steady, safe, and secure. Choose to believe that He is for you and your family. That his ways are better than yours. That everything else you may try and build your life on is sinking sand.

God is saying to you today, that you matter to him. That you are his precious child. That he cares deeply for you. He longs for a relationship with you.

How do I know that?

Because God also said, “I am your Father”.

And He’s really good at being a Father to you and your whole family.

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Christian living faith God's plan God's Word Handling Life's Problems victory

Coffee with a Bug

I was sitting on my patio enjoying the privilege of taking my time with a good cup of coffee.  No daily rush just relaxed and letting my mind drift.  I spotted an interesting little bug.  I am not a fan of bugs but I believe in live and let live the best that I can.  He was not like any other bug I had seen.  He was a colorful little guy.  Busily going about his day.  He was extremely purposeful.  He showed no doubt in his mission.  Gave everything he had to its goal.  Never stopped to look around.  He was committed to his destiny.  His only distraction was if something got in his path.  He always corrected direction and continued on.  There was no doubt the bug knew its purpose and path and plan for his little life.

In some ways I began to envy him.  In others not at all.  From what I know of science this little guy had no choice.  He was programmed with only one thought. Locked into a life of no choice. Sounds kind of dull and unexciting and certainly restrictive from a people perspective. 

I am pretty sure he didn’t know any other way and seemed content in his life chore.  Or at least so it appeared.

Just about every Christian can recite Jeremiah 29:11.  They may not know it is Jeremiah 29:11 but when they were saved, they heard and adopted it into their heart.  “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you  Plans to give you hope and a future.”  It’s the “plans” part most of us struggle with.  How many mornings when I walked out of my house, I had wished that God had just written those plans on my fence for me to read.  Then I would know which way to turn, what choice to make.  What distraction to turn from.  What was the most important goal for that day, besides drawing close to him?  Ah but there in that last one is where you find the answer.  God doesn’t give us a map that says turn here, nope wrong way.  Or my favorite thought to myself often after an apparent wrong turn.  “Are you kidding me!”  

We aren’t programmed.  Instead, He has gloriously given us talents, and abilities beyond our wildest understanding.  Not one but many.  Supportive of each other in ways that often don’t make any sense to us.  But as Jesus said to His disciples in John  “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper to be with you forever.  That Helper is the Spirit of truth.”

That truth, if we draw close to it and learn its voice can and wants to guide us through every step, every choice of our day.  Talents and gifts and abilities are gifts to be valued and used to bring glory to our creator.  However, it is the voice of truth, the Holy Spirit, that guides us to fulfillment on both the easy and hard days. 

The “plans” aren’t programmed into our DNA like the little bug.  The plans are placed in our heart when we seek them.  The Holy Spirit is our guide and the Word is our truth.  Without both of them working together it is easy to get lost in the endless choices we face each day.  The little bug had no choice in his life but was secure in his mission.  We have choice and sometimes get off the intend path and our not so secure in our mission.  Unlike the bug we have a loving Lord who sent the Holy Spirit to guide us back when we get “off path.”. 

Matthew 7:8 “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”

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. Christian living God's Word Handling Life's Problems victory

Connect

It has been said a thousand different ways in a thousand different languages; the value of connecting with someone. A spouse, friend, loved one, or even co-worker. When there is a heart connection it does something majestic for the soul. I sometimes think “where do we get this from?” or “why are we wired this way?” and I believe the answer is found in Genesis chapter one, two and three.

We see God telling, revealing “..it’s not good for man to be alone..” and creates Eve for Adam. This is a clear picture we are made for connection. But, notice it starts with our connection with God.

I believe this, we can correctly and in a healthy way connect with others ONLY after we connect with God. If we try any other way it is like getting the cart before the horse.

And when we connect with God it overflows into every relationship we have. When our connection to God is our first priority it flows into every other area of our life. Jesus said “..if your eye is healthy, then your whole body is full of light.” Matthew 6:22

So the question becomes; How do we connect with God who’s name is Yahweh, the creator of the universe?

One, big practical step: Spend time with Him.

This can look like reading the Bible, reading a devotional, reading a Christian book. It can look like taking a walk or a ride. It can look like praying no matter where you are. This can look like worshiping while you cook or drive. Take the time to get the words of Christ into your heart, however it may look in your life.

The whole goal is to make time to connect with God, because He greatly desires to connect with you.

“Move your heart closer and closer to God, and he will come even closer to you…” James 4:8 [TPT]