VIDEO Miracle Water

But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. John 4:13-14

The “medicine show” was a staple of the nineteenth century in America, especially in the “Wild West” where access to doctors and healthcare was lacking. Traveling salesmen would set up shop in towns and peddle a variety of “miracle” elixirs and tonics promising to cure all manner of illnesses, ailments, and conditions.

When Jesus met a thirsty woman at a well in Samaria, He offered her miracle water: living water, the consumption of which would satisfy her thirst forever. She thought He meant a special kind of liquid; He meant spiritual “water” that would satisfy her spiritual needs forever. It took her some time to understand who Jesus was and what He was talking about. But she soon realized He wasn’t offering her a kind of miracle water, but a relationship with God. Jesus spoke of this living water on other occasions (John 7:37-39), referring to the Holy Spirit.

If you are spiritually thirsty today, you can quench that thirst by yielding your life to God through faith in Christ—the greatest miracle “water” of all.

A miracle would not be a miracle if it could be explained! J. C. Ryle


The Samaritan Woman’s Story – Pastor Robert Morris

Hotel Corona

Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all . . . . From now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view.2 Corinthians 5:14, 16

The Dan Hotel in Jerusalem became known by a different name in 2020—“Hotel Corona.” The government dedicated the hotel to patients recovering from COVID-19, and the hotel became known as a rare site of joy and unity during a difficult time. Since the residents already had the virus, they were free to sing, dance, and laugh together. And they did! In a country where tensions between different political and religious groups run high, the shared crisis created a space where people could learn to see each other as human beings first—and even become friends.

It’s natural, normal even, for us to be drawn toward those we see as similar to us, people we suspect share similar experiences and values to our own. But as the apostle Paul often emphasized, the gospel is a challenge to any barriers between human beings that we see as “normal” (2 Corinthians 5:15). Through the lens of the gospel, we see a bigger picture than our differences—a shared brokenness and a shared longing and need to experience healing in God’s love.

If we believe that “one died for all,” then we can also no longer be content with surface-level assumptions about others. Instead, “Christ’s love compels us” (v. 14) to share His love and mission with those God loves more than we can imagine—all of us.

Reflect & Pray

When do you find yourself most prone to forget the “bigger picture” of your shared humanity with others? What helps remind you of our equal brokenness and need for Jesus’ love?

In hard times, Jesus, thank You for those moments when I see a glimmer of breathtaking beauty through the love and joy of others. Help me to live each day this way, regarding “no one from a worldly point of view.”

The Impact of Prayer

Psalm 139:23-24

When we think about prayer, we frequently focus on what we want the Lord to do for us or others, but communing with Him also impacts us in spiritual ways that we may not realize. Scripture tells us to devote ourselves to prayer and to pray without ceasing (Col. 4:2; 1 Thess. 5:17). Continuous conversations with our heavenly Father are one of the means He uses to impact us personally.

Prayer changes us. As we seek the Lord and regularly spend time in His Word, we’ll be transformed. Our desires will be replaced by His, and our thinking will align more closely with His thoughts. As our understanding of His character grows, we’ll have a better idea of how to pray in accordance with His will.

Through prayer, we invite God to accomplish His work in us. While we can’t alter a single divine plan or make the Lord change His mind, we can invite Him to alter us. In prayer, we submit to God’s will, repent of sin, and ask Him to shape us into the image of His Son. And He will hear and answer this kind of prayer because it is exactly what He desires to do in each of us.

God’s Remnant

“It may be the LORD thy God will hear all the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master hath sent to reproach the living God; and will reprove the words which the LORD thy God hath heard: wherefore lift up thy prayer for the remnant that are left.” (2 Kings 19:4)

These words were part of King Hezekiah’s plea to Isaiah for help in prayer against Rabshakeh and the Assyrian army besieging Jerusalem. It marks the second time in which this particular word is used for “the remnant,” the first being in Genesis 45:7, when Joseph assured his brothers that God had sent him into Egypt to preserve for Israel “a posterity” in the earth. However, this word (Hebrew sherith) is prominent later in the writings of the prophets, who frequently refer to the faithful Israelite “remnant” during times of apostasy.

The same doctrine appears in the New Testament. Speaking of the children of Israel during the time of their dispersion among the nations because of their rejection of Christ, Paul says: “Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace” (Romans 11:5). There are many Jews even today who have received Jesus as their Messiah and personal Savior, even though Israel as a nation still rejects Him.

This biblical doctrine of the remnant applies especially to faithful Israelites who witness to God’s truth even in times of national apostasy. Nevertheless, the principle seems also to apply to so-called Christian nations as well—such as the nations of Europe and America. Although nominally “Christian,” each of these nations, like the church at Sardis, “hast a name that thou livest, and art dead” (Revelation 3:1), as far as true biblical Christianity is concerned. Nevertheless, in each, there is still a remnant of real, believing Christians, and these have the great responsibility to maintain a true witness for Christ in just such a time as this. HMM

Cursing The Wicked-Psalm 109

O God of my praise, do not be silent. For wicked and deceitful mouths open against me; they speak against me with lying tongues… Set a wicked person over him; let an accuser stand at his right hand. When he is judged, let him be found guilty, and let his prayer be counted as sin. Let his days be few; let another take over his position. Let his children be fatherless and his wife a widow. Let his children wander as beggars, searching [for food] far from their demolished homes… Let his forefathers’ guilt be remembered before the Lord, and do not let his mother’s sin be blotted out. Let their sins always remain before the Lord, and let Him cut off [all] memory of them from the earth (vv. 1-2, 6-10, 14-15).

David, the man “after God’s own heart,” is never seen in his true humanity more graphically than in this psalm. On the surface he appears vindictive and cruel. His rhetoric is sharp and his attitude toward his enemies is harsh. David minces no words in letting God know how to dispose of his persecutors. He wants them blotted off the face of the earth! Exterminated! X-ed out!

In explosive terms the psalmist describes the scenario as he’d like to see it played out. He asks that these wicked and deceitful men be opposed, accused, found guilty, condemned, yanked from positions of leadership, their families made fatherless and husbandless, and their children left to become homeless scavengers of society. As if that isn’t punishment enough, David goes on to suggest that their sins be remembered while they themselves be forgotten as if they had never existed!

How do we mesh this diatribe with the New Testament imperative to “turn the other cheek”? (see Luke 6:29). One must bear in mind that David anticipated a theocracy, an earthly kingdom dedicated to righteousness. He did not have the full biblical revelation we possess today. Heathen peoples in the ancient world were corrupt and licentious, and David’s righteous stance stood in bold contrast to their debauchery. What we have here is bold, passionate poetry cursing sin and immorality and defending righteousness and morality. In short, David does not deny his angry feelings but freely vents them!

Personal Prayer

O God, I learn from David that, if I must let off steam about my circumstances, I can do it safely in your presence!

Praying in the Spirit

I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with my understanding.—1 Corinthians 14:15

What does it mean to pray “in the Spirit”? Here again, there is a good deal of misunderstanding among Christians as to the true meaning of this phrase.

There are times when one feels deeply affected emotionally as one prays, but this is not the meaning of the phrase “praying in the Spirit.” It has no relationship to the emotions that we feel in prayer. I am not saying that feelings are unimportant in prayer; I am simply saying that I do not believe this is what Paul had in mind when he used the phrase “praying in the Spirit.”

The “spirit” spoken of here is not the human spirit but the Holy Spirit. Some believe that “praying in the Spirit” takes place when we pray in other tongues, and although it can include that, I believe it is much more than that.

Prayer that is “in the Spirit” is prayer that is prompted and guided by the Spirit. One commentator puts it this way: “It means that the Holy Spirit directs the prayer, creates the prayer within us, and empowers us to offer it and to pray it.”

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones calls praying in the Spirit “the secret of true prayer” and goes on to say: “If we do not pray in the Spirit, we do not really pray.” I would hesitate to make such a sweeping statement myself, but I would go so far as to say that if we do not know what it means to pray in the Spirit, our prayers will have little impact upon Satan and his forces.

Prayer

Dear Father, I have so much to learn about prayer that unless You take my hand and guide me, I can soon lose my way. Teach me how to enter the deeper levels of prayer. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Further Study

Rm 8:1-17, 26; Lk 11:13; 24:49

To what does the Spirit bear witness?

What was Christ’s promise to His disciples?

The God Who Is There

John 1:14

Thousands of families take to the mountains or the ocean when summer vacation rolls around. Some even leave their air-conditioned homes, pitch a tent in some chosen spot and live there for a period of time.

Nothing can quite test the endurance of a family like living together in a tent. Whether a two-room deluxe style or the one-person pup variety, camping means togetherness. You’re together—cooking, eating, sleeping. A sudden thunderstorm threatens just as you unfold the tent and lay it out flat on the ground. You pour over the enigmatic symbols that sort out the short poles from the long poles. All the while the kids insist they’re dying of hunger. Mom discovers that Dad must have slept through the entire Boy Scout program. As for Mom, she’s been sweeter. Frustrations mount.

With patience, compromise and undiluted doses of love, the fun may come. There will be those delights of nature you left home for, those warm, fuzzy experiences that delight your heart. There may even be some unimaginable insight that explodes in the soul and changes who you are forever. But make no mistake; it will cost you something.

God promised Moses that He would pitch His tent and dwell in the midst of His people. It is a central theme throughout Scripture. From Exodus to Revelation we find the imagery: a holy God “pitching His tent” among His people. In the familiar passage in John 1:14, “The Word became flesh, and made His dwelling among us,” the Greek work for “dwelling” literally means to “pitch a tent.”

Talk about leaving the air-conditioned order and serenity of suburban living! God left the perfection and unimaginable beauty of heaven where legions of angels sang His praises, to pitch a tent among unholy people.

He is, in Francis Schaeffer’s words, “the God who is there.” He is personal and among us in a way that is extraordinarily reassuring but disturbing. We cannot avoid Him or revoke His claims upon us.

To bring us to the highest and best our souls can become He pitched His tent among us. Our Lord took the abuse we hurled at Him all the way to the cross. Yes, when He pitched His tent among us, He was in for the long haul. We can be sure that He has come to stay, even as Scripture reminds us: “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).

Marlene Chase, Pictures From the Word