Come and Drink

But whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14

I walked down the hallway and up the ramp to the water fountain. I was surprised to see several waiting. I fell in line and watched the clear liquid splashing in each cup or bottle. I listened to the chatter of my coworkers and smiled at the quips. I thought about how fortunate we were that we have water flowing clean, clear, and crisp. It gushed in an unending stream. Filling cup after cup. Just there for the taking.

Holding my empty bottle, the story of the woman at the well sprang in my thoughts. (John 4:1-42) Like the people of the day, we each had brought vessels to carry our water back to our respective desk. One even had a coffee pot. We each waited our turn for our share of the filtered refresher. Without a doubt, we all would return for a refill.

The woman at the well came late in the day to fill her jugs. She came late because she was despised by those in her village. She wanted to avoid their stares and judgment. She quickly followed the lonely path to the well. The midday sun heated the sand and scorched the bottom of her bare feet. Sweat beaded on her brow her tongue was parched. She had been waiting all morning to come for her share.

I imagine she was more than just surprised when she came into the clearing and found a man there. A Jewish man with kind eyes that he did not divert when she emerged from the pathway. Instead, his eyes met hers with compassion she had never experienced. He was poised on the bricks that of the well, his hands folded in his lap as if waiting. He addressed her kindly and asked for a ladle of water. In return, He offered her a gift. Living water. She did not have to wait in line. Instead, He waited for her.

You do not have to wait for His forgiveness or salvation. You don’t have to wait until you feel worthy or ready. He is waiting for you by the well. Waiting for you to come and drink.

Typist for Jesus

Is Your Heart a Clanging Cymbal to God?

 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  1 Corinthians 13:1

Scene: Walmart Super Center Saturday early afternoon.

Internal monologue: “Oh my gosh!  This woman is the human equivalent of a sloth!  What in the world is her issue? Just scan the stupid thing, how hard is that?  Just pass it over the stupid scanner! That scanner laser hit her in the eye one too many times!  For saint’s sake! No! I do not care that you think the other brand is better and that your aunt swears by it! OH if she doesn’t get her butt in gear I’m coming across this counter and give her ring up 101!  I could scream and if that woman on the next counter doesn’t stick a passie in that brat’s mouth! I’m gonna put my fist in hers! UGH! I’ve got too much to do than to put up with this! Just ring up the …..”

     On the outside, I was smiling, nodding and behaving in a civilized and proper fashion.  However, on the inside, I was in a full-blown tirade and it continued to escalate into an insult, parentage questioning harangue.  You may be saying, “well good for you for not exploding on the woman”.  “Good for you for keeping it together” but, God was not as impressed. 

 Recently, for a previous class, I read the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5)  and in my current class I am reading the book by John Stott, “Basic Christianity.”  These two resources brought an awareness to me that somehow I had allowed to remain unexplored.  

“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder,  anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.  (Matthew 5:21-22)

I was just as guilty as if I had begun shouting and berating this woman out loud when I allowed my thoughts to run on and on with angry insults internally.  We judge each other and ourselves by what we observe on the outside, but God judges the heart. Let me tell you, that Saturday morning, my heart was black as coal.  Throughout the Bible we are taught to be in control and that control extends to your thoughts. Was I irritated and should that lady had attended to her child? Yes, I think so.  However, for me to allow those thoughts to take off was nothing more than fodder for my anger that extended throughout the day. Being angry was not my sin it was how I allowed myself to lose control and wallow in my aggravation. 

We as Christians are to not just be in control of our actions and words but our thoughts.  Yes, you will have thoughts and maybe an internal groan, but when you allow those thoughts to take over, you have lost control.  Or in my case, just gave over control.

God is looking and listening to your heart.  Does He like what He sees and hears? Christian behavior extends beyond what you let people see and it is more than outward action.  Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13:1:

  If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

Do not be a clanging cymbal. Instead, do not just temper your external words and actions but you internal as well.  Exercise as much restraint on the inside that you do on the outside.  

Typist for Jesus

Where do I find My Confirmation Number?

And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. 1 John 5:11-13

The blue circle spun…..endlessly on my screen.  I checked my watch, and I needed to go. I waited another moment and reluctantly, I shut the laptop, grabbed my purse, and headed to work. As I drove, my mind continued to return to the spinning blue circle.  Had the payment gone through? Was my car insurance paid for the month? My mind, like the circle, spun out hypothetical scenarios.  

What if the payment didn’t go through and I get canceled?

What if I have an accident or get pulled over?  

What if there wasn’t enough in the account to cover the amount?

My phone dinged it was a new email.  When I got to work and parked, I sifted through my purse to find my phone.  Opening my email, I sighed with relief. My payment was processed, and I had a confirmation number.  I moved the email to my 2019 bill folder. Now I had proof, of payment if any questions arose, I could refer to my email.

Wouldn’t it be nice if when you came up out of the baptismal water your phone dinged, and you got an email with confirmation?  After you repented and accepted Christ into your heart that a registered letter with a certificate of salvation came to your house?  Sure would make it easier. Make you feel more secure. However, that’s not how it works. Salvation is about faith, trust, and belief.  There is no confirmation number or certificate; there is only faith.

One of the most common fears and doubts for a Christian, new or seasoned, is “am I saved?”  I’ve heard it many times, and honestly, I have asked the same myself. Our enemy wants nothing more than to fill you with doubt, fear and anxiety and what better way than to make you doubt the truth and your salvation.

Salvation is not a feeling; it is not an emotion; it is the belief, trust, and faith in Christ Jesus. And these things are decisions, willful, and deliberate choices on your part.  If you are waiting for emotion or feeling to give you confirmation of salvation, then you will always be waiting on that blue circle to stop spinning. There is no certificate or email for salvation because if there were, your faith and belief would be in that tangible proof and not in Jesus.  Place your faith and trust in Him, the one who sacrificed all for you. 

Typist for Jesus