Living Water

Revelation 22

Revelation 22 1 NIV

First off … Revelation 22 is so deep and glorious that I feel inadequate to even write a devotion about it.

The scene portrayed here as Pastor Jake talked about is the main point. This is what the  whole book of Revelation is pointing us to and even the entire  Bible.

The vision described  is magnificent and has a great implication on our lives in the here and now. Verses 1-2 point us to this river of life that is going through the middle of the thrones of God and Christ. Just imagine the throne of God on earth with his son seated next to him. Through the middle of these glorious, holy and spectacular thrones is a river flowing from it. The scripture says this river is bright like a crystal. Have you ever held a crystal in your hand? It’s a beautiful stone that has a certain awe-inspiring quality to it. Now, imagine a river with the same breath-taking quality flowing from the throne of God and Christ! When I imagine this scene, I see everything I hope for wrapped up before me. Imagining being in the presence of a holy God where I in my sinful flesh have no business being near and seeing this stream descending from them overwhelms my heart with gratefulness for the grace of God.

The river in this vision is feeding the Tree of Life. The same Tree of Life that we see in the beginning with Adam and Eve. The tree needs to be connected to this river simply to be alive. This tree is pretty crazy though because I don’t know about you but I have never seen a tree produce 12 different kinds of fruit. I have never even seen a tree produce two different kinds of fruit. There must be something special about this river that it has the capacity to produce twelve different kinds of fruit on one tree.

When we look at the tree and its fruit, we must conclude that without this river, this tree and its fruit would not exist.

When we examine our world today if a tree or plant doesn’t receive the water it needs it will die. There is even a great example of a plant dying from lack of water in my living room right now. It is a proven fact that trees need water.

In the same way so does the human soul. But not physical water, living water. The greatest mistake we can ever make in our lives is when we disconnect from this river that is flowing from God and Jesus. Sometimes we think that the busyness of our lives doesn’t allow us to spend time with God on a daily basis. We think that today I don’t have time to spend with or connect to the river or well that never runs dry. The tendency is to think that I can skip a day or a week and still be fine. We think “After all I’m still doing fine” and its only when we are hurting that we run to God.

We were made for so much more than just existing, though. We, like this tree, were made magnificently to produce multiple different kinds of fruit. I feel like personally I short change myself and my whole existence when I don’t go to the river and well to fill my soul. When we go to God or the river we can allow ourselves to be changed from the inside out by God. Then we start to produce in hearts and in souls this natural fruit  that can come from nowhere else but God. This fruit externally manifests itself in the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5.22-24).

In verses 3-5 it talks about how God will be the light of the world and there will no longer be need of lamps or a sun. God isn’t dwelling on the earth yet; instead, he is allowing us to be the lights in this world. The only way this happens in our lives is through this connection to living water. We simply cannot be the lights in this world without the connection to these waters of life.

So, I encourage you and I frankly am encouraging myself to stay connected to these waters and don’t let the days go by without connecting to God. When we do, we will become the people God created us to be with lives that shine lights reflecting the God we serve.

Daniel Wall

A Different Monday

Mark 2 14

Mark 2:13-14

“Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach them. As he walked along he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth.

“Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.”

It’s Monday.

For many of us, that means going back to work, which can be hard after a normal week, but this is the first Monday after a week of camp. A lot of times it can be depressing coming home after Fuel. We have to jump back into the same old routine, same old habits, same old life.

But you know what’s crazy, we don’t have to go back to the same old routine. We have been called out of the mundane, from simply going through the motions.

We are called to be different.

Because of Jesus, we can live in a completely different way than the world around us. You see, when people think of Monday as the beginning of a long, tiresome, annoying, difficult, boring, frustrating, week, we as Christians can have a different approach. Mondays are the start of a NEW week, full of incredible opportunities and blessings. You have a brand new set of 168 hours for God to work through you. Think of all the people you can meet, how much time you have to get to know God better, and all the opportunities to spread His love!

Last week we learned that being different will cause you to stand out in this world. If you go around without grumbling about Monday, or even better, being joyful that it’s Monday; people are going to notice, and ask questions, and possibly even look down on you because of it. But how blessed we are to be able to be different. We are lights in this dark world. Something as simple as Monday can spark life-changing conversations. How crazy cool is that?

In the second chapter of Mark, we find Levi simply doing his job. Same old stuff he does everyday. But then Jesus entered the picture. Jesus called him out of just going through the motions and into something life-changing.

You are called out.

Now most of us can’t just drop everything and follow Jesus as Levi did, but we can follow his example in the everyday experiences. The people around you are your platform. Your life right now is your ministry. You are different. And you are a difference-maker.

So in closing, I want to challenge each of you to this: Make this Monday different.

Have a blessed week friends,

Katelyn Hawkins

New Beginnings

 

the Light has come!

On this Christmas morning I think back to the beginning of the world when God said, “Let there be light”, revealing that light was in the plan of God since the beginning of time. Shortly following the beginning, sin and darkness slowly crept into the picture when Adam and Eve decided to turn their backs on God and His commands. But darkness would not win because God wasn’t done with us yet.

 

New Beginnings:

 

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4In him was life,a and the life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1-5

 

The birth of Jesus marked the start of the new beginning that God had planned for since the beginning of creation. And it showed that God wasn’t going to leave us in the dark, even though we deserved it. God sent his Son to save us and to be a Light for all men. If we choose to walk in his ways and commands and make him the Lord of our lives we can walk in the Light.  When you walk in the Light of Jesus the darkness will never be able to overcome you. So no matter what you received for Christmas this year, just remember that we were given the ultimate Christmas gift a little over 2000 years ago in our Emmanuel, “God with us”. God gave his son to the world to restore the Light, and to make sure we would never have to unwillingly walk in the darkness ever again. Thank God for His son and new beginnings!

 

“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” – John 8:12

-Luke Elwell

Illumination, Illumination!!!!!!!!! 

John 8 12 (1)

Have you ever had to walk in the dark before? It can be both a challenge and sometimes a bit scary especially if you are alone. I used to walk from my house to my grandma’s when I was younger. Now it was only about 100 yards away which isn’t much of a walk in daylight but in the dark it felt like it was 10 miles long.  There wasn’t much light to see and what little light there was didn’t reach past either porch. I could hear coyotes off in the distance and other weird noises from the trees swaying. And it always made me nervous. But I would sometimes bring a flashlight and that made the whole experience much faster and less scary.

In John 8:12 Jesus tells us he is the light of the world and whoever has him has the light of life. When we are going through our everyday life and we feel the darkness closing in or the dread of the world all around us just remember to “shine” the light of Jesus in your own life to make it less scary

What darkness are you facing?  Ask yourself, “How can I use the light of Jesus to help in this situation?”

-Jesse Allen