I’ve been thinking about dedicating Saturday night/Sunday morning to just a random, surprise day of gold to send out! Since everyone is getting fed and getting their church on, from now on expect everything and anything to be sent out this day of the week! It could be some throwback gold, a song, video, or just a good funny for ya! This is going to be fun! Hope y’all enjoy and have a good Lord’s day resting up for the week!
A couple had two little boys, ages 8 and 10, who were excessively mischievous. The two were always getting into trouble and their parents could be assured that if any mischief occurred in their town their two young sons were in some way involved.
The parents were at their wits end as to what to do about their sons’ behavior. The mother had heard that a clergyman in town had been successful in disciplining children in the past, so she asked her husband if he thought they should send the boys to speak with the clergyman.
The husband said, ‘We might as well. We need to do something before I really lose my temper!’ The clergyman agreed to speak with the boys, but asked to see them individually. The 8 year old went to meet with him first. The clergyman sat the boy down and asked him sternly,’Where is God?’
The boy made no response, so the clergyman repeated the question in an even sterner tone, ‘Where is God?’ Again the boy made no attempt to answer. So the clergyman raised his voice even more and shook his finger in the boy’s face, ‘WHERE IS GOD?’
At that the boy bolted from the room and ran directly home, slamming himself in the closet. His older brother followed him into the closet and asked what had happened. The younger brother replied, ‘We are in BIG trouble this time. God is missing and they think we did it!!!
Galatians 6:8/ Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
This verse has been sitting on me pretty heavy lately. You’ve probably heard it before, “you reap what you sow.” You’re probably wondering what “Golden Goose” has to do with a truth about farming and I promise I’ll get to that, but first I want to share something that’s been so heavy on my heart. So in my short Christian life through the process of learning more about Christ and growing in faith, it’s been extremely tough to find that balance of how God’s grace and forgiveness works. For the longest time I struggled with thinking that I had to earn His forgiveness and grace so I tried to be perfect. Of course, I fell short every time so when I failed I felt unworthy of Him. Then on the other side of it, once I started to understand that Jesus’ blood covers my sins and by God’s amazing grace and mercy I’m forgiven but then I started to look at my moments of sin as, “well it’s no big deal, I’ll ask God to forgive me after I do this one little sin and the grace of Christ will cover me.” Both sides are completely wrong and both lead to heartache and the wrong idea about what Jesus has done for us and the forgiveness that allows us to stand before God. The balance is so tough because on one end you sin and feel unworthy, weak, like a failure. On the other end, it’s like saying Jesus died on the cross and took my sin so I can sin?? Like I said, this Christian life is such a process and learning the balance of grace has been quite the journey.
So what does this have to do with sowing and reaping, and golden gooses, here it is. I’ve always heard this verse and it’s made sense but not in the terms of Gods grace. If Jesus has already taken care of our sins, why would we care about what we reap and sow? It’s like someone living like hell 6 days out of the week then coming to church on Sunday expected a big ole harvest. That makes no sense but the sad part is I’ve lived like that so much of my life and watched other Christians do the same. What gets me is since Jesus took care of our sins, paid the debt that we couldn’t pay, then there’s nothing really that bad that could happen if we did sin right? Well this verse from Galatians explains it perfectly, when we sow out of pleasing our flesh, whether saved or not, we reap a harvest of destruction. Something I’ve overlooked for so long is the fact that Jesus has taken care of my sins, He’s washed me white as snow but there is still consequences for our actions and decisions we make in this life. Yes if you’re a follower of Christ you have been forgiven, will always be forgiven, you have eternal life, but when you sin and mess up there is still consequences.
I heard it said like this that made a lot of sense, if a guy gets drunk and decides to drive. Then he gets in a wreck that causes him to lose his arm. Will God forgive him? Yes sir! Will he grow that arm back. Nope! Whether we can see the consequences or not from our sin, they are there. The awesome thing about the grace of Christ is when we are forgiven of our sins, His grace allows us to come to Him, seek Him, open our eyes to see where we messed up. His grace is not just forgiving grace, its life transforming grace. Jesus didn’t make the sacrifice He made on the cross so we could make a one-time confession of faith and of our sins then keep living in whatever way pleases us the most, or living like the world around us. When we realize the power of transformation in His grace we realize a lot about our sowing and reaping game. He allows us to see where we need to stop sowing, where we need to put more time into, when we reap a bad harvest how we can learn from our failure and focus on getting better the next crop.
To take it a level deeper on how important sowing good spiritual things allows us to reap good things, eternal life. Had a friend tell me one time “your mind is like a golden goose that lays golden eggs. It’s so priceless, so to make sure you protect your goose and keep receiving those golden eggs. You have to pay attention and protect your goose by constantly putting good stuff in, then your goose will keep producing golden eggs and just like the good stuff goes in, the good stuff goes out.” It’s crazy how much we take fore granted the root of why our harvest is so bad. Our mind. Jesus’ grace is powerful enough to renew our mind daily but a lot of the time we decide to pour in a whole bunch of crap that leads us to living in ways that pleases us, like the world, no golden egg harvest. This made me take a lot of inventory on what I feed myself or what I sow into my mind. Even to the point of looking at what I spend most of my time doing. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Netflix but how many shows on Netflix really pour some good Godly stuff into you? Not that many. How much does watching tv or the news really pour some good positive Godly encouragement into your life? Not too much. The news these days is so negative and I’m not saying to not watch tv or the news cause you gotta know what’s going on. I constantly find myself wondering why my goose isn’t laying golden eggs and my harvest is so negative or filled with bad thoughts, decisions and actions. When I look at what I put in majority of the time, that’s the problem. If we pour in negative, lustful, evil things into us then we gotta expect that’s what’s coming out.
It’s been such a blessing to realize the power of God’s grace and forgiveness, how important it is to focus on my sowing game and protect my golden goose. I constantly ask myself why I sin the way I do or act the way I do, it comes down to how we spend our time, what we’re putting in front of our eyes, what our ears hear, the people we associate with. Our reaping is a product of where and what we spend our time doing. On the other end of grace, this doesn’t mean we have to read our Bible, go through Christian books or devotionals like crazy, because we can’t work ourselves into renewing our minds or changing what our harvest looks like. It’s His grace, the more we trust in Christ and trust in His grace to make us a little bit better each day. When we realize how much He truly loves us and how He so faithfully and constantly fights for us to move from the sin and despair we get so caught up in then we sow out of faith, love for Who He is. Only He can help us sow good Godly things into ourselves and only He can produce a harvest of righteousness that leads to eternal life. Honestly for me to see these truths in how powerful they truly are, I had to see the consequences. I had to get mad at the way I’ve looked at my sin saying it’s no big deal, I’ll still get to heaven and God will forgive me. It’s so much bigger than that. It’s so much bigger than us. Just think about it, the harvest you reap and golden eggs you lay when you live under His powerful grace, focus in on your sowing game, it won’t just change your life. That harvest that Christ produces changes everything and everyone around you. Kind of makes me feel selfish to have already wasted so much time sowing what pleased me instead of what glorifies Christ. Sow God, reap God. Grace of Jesus changes your world then changed the world. Oh yeah and PROTECT THAT GOLDEN GOOSE!!!!
John 4:15-18/ The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.” “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband.18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
I thought it was funny that I had plans of looking into WWJD throughout this story but every day God reveals new and awesome truths to show me how my plans don’t really mean that much. That’s been the cool part of typing out these God Gold messages, as much as I want to do it my way and dig into stuff that I want to talk about, He’s always showing me that His ways are so much better. It’s tough to step aside from what I think is best and that’s the same way with anything in life. At the end of the day, He’s always going to be so much better than I could ever be and I’m stinkin thankful I can share Him with y’all!
Looking at what the woman says responding to Jesus’ statements of truth about living water, of course she’s like “yeah give me some of that! Then I won’t have to continuously come to the well day after day trying to be filled and find my peace and joy in something that’ll always leave me wanting more.” I can’t tell you how many times in my life I’ve went after everything and anything to try and fill that void of emptiness with the hope that maybe I’ll finally have that peace and joy in my life. The result of trying to fill myself with what I got or what this world offers is me being empty at the end of the day. I don’t know how many times I’ve said “Yes Lord, I’ll take all the living water I can get because I’m tired of feeling this way.” Going through the same temporary pleasures, listening to the same lies I tell myself on how this time maybe they’ll give me the comfort and strength I need to overcome my situation or to just make me feel better. It’s so easy when you come to the end of yourself and you realize how incapable and weak you really are, and also realize just how much you need Christ to be your Savior. It’s easy to say you need Him but to come to the point where you truly and desperately need Him so you stop chasing all these things that you used to put your hope in and chase Him even harder, that takes more than just saying it.
It’s awesome how in the moment this woman starts saying “oh yeah that living water that sounds great, I’ll take some.” Jesus then asks her a question about her husbands, because he already knew how many husbands she had. He already knew that she was a prostitute and this was big area of her life where sin was present. So before she gets all excited about drinking this living water, Jesus makes sure she realizes her weakness and sin. Jesus is wanting to show her that anybody can say they need Him but to actually need Him, that starts with the humbling of ones self to see the sin, weakness and brokenness of themselves. Then the need for Jesus and His living water is magnified even more. He wants her to realize how she can’t do this life on her own, that her struggles are too much for her to handle and her need for a Savior. Her desperate need for Living water!
One of my biggest downfalls has always been honesty. Most of all honesty with myself. One of the hardest things to do is admit that I messed up or I need help. In the world we live in it teaches us to be self-confident and self-sufficient but to truly embrace Christ and our need for Him, we have to put the word, “self” aside. It’s so hard to confess that we are sinners, that we’ll sin everyday the rest of our lives, we’ll mess up, we’ll fail because we are weak, broken, and we suck. It’s hard to speak that truth to yourself, to come to terms with who you really are. It’s hard even hearing that but it’s the truth. That’s the beauty of the gospel, we suck and if it wasn’t for Christ coming to save us we still suck so everyday we’re still going to suck. Since Christ gave us Salvation, it’s not just a one time thing, He saves us daily and He also gives us the power and opportunity to realize every day our need for Him. The easy thing to do is lie to yourself, rationalize and justify the things you do, the moments of failure and we do that to make ourselves few better.
These truths are a big part of my relationship with the Lord because without realizing them I’m afraid I’d be stuck in the same old lies and excuses that I used to make, living life everyday thinking that I could figure it out or that I wasn’t really that bad. Living that way only leads to going throughout your years on earth in a sleepwalk. Walking throughout your days listening to the same old lies, putting your hope in the same old regular water, always having to go back to the well every single day for more water because you can never quite quench that thirst for more.
The good news is that Jesus gives a way out of that life of sleepwalking and lies. Jesus allows us to realize the need for Him, the need for change, the means by which to change and become better, to realize Who He truly is, what He’s sacrificed and won for us, what He’s promised us, and how much we desperately need Him. That all starts with coming to terms with the fact that we suck. By ourselves we don’t stand a chance and we’ll always look for that “more” in all the wrong places but speaking truth to yourself, confessing your mistakes, sins, and weakness. That’s the moment you realize your need for a Savior and when you come into His truth. He’ll show you through daily learning about Him and what He’s capable of doing in your life that Jesus “secret stuff” or living water, is victory. He’s the truth, through Him He allows us to be filled with that “more” we were looking for and to believe and put our trust in the “more” He’s made us for and He’s promised to give us! I’m excited to tell ya that you don’t have to keep going to the well. Even if you went to the well yesterday, just speak truth over the lies, embrace the suck, embrace the need for a Savior and just because you went to the well yesterday or the last 1,000 days, Jesus says with Him you don’t have to go to the well today. He’s going to supply you with the Living water you’ve been looking for!
Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.” “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? 12 And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?” Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” “Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.” /// John 4:10-15
When I was in high school I was always one of the taller guys on our basketball team but guys smaller than me would be dunking. No matter how hard I tried my hops just weren’t there. I jumped so high you could barely slide a piece of paper under my feet! I know, impressive right? I wanted to dunk so bad but I couldn’t figure out what I needed to do to get there. For awhile one of the dumber things I did was I found some ankle weights laying around the house. I started wearing them all the time and if I was sitting, standing, you best believe I was doing some calve raises. I was sold that wearing them was going to get my vertical up so I could dunk but after awhile of wearing them, I went in the gym and no surprise, I was still short. So at that point all I had was a Velcro rash on my ankles from wearing those things so much but no results. I didn’t know what to do next and honestly wanted to give up but thank goodness somebody told me, “dude do you jump rope?” I was thinking “well I used to in elementary school when we did jump rope for heart lol. He told me to jump rope and do line drills which is pretty much the same thing. I didn’t have a lot of hope, I felt like I was always going to be held back from throwing one down but I tried it anyways. Went back in the gym after a few weeks of jumping rope, just jumping all the time and that was it. I was playing pickup at my church, I picked off a pass and nobody was in front, I went up like I was going to try and dunk knowing it would probably hit the rim and everybody would laugh saying nice try. When I jumped I got a lot higher than I thought I could, while I was up there I did it! I finally dunked. I turned around jaw dropped, stunned and I think the guys I was playing with were just as surprised.
When looking at these verses where Jesus is telling this woman about living water, I couldn’t help but think of that experience and that memorable scene from space jam where Micheal Jordan went up from half court to dunk it, it was looking good until the Monstars grabbed on to him, holding him back from dunking it. But he kept stretching his arm out, kept reaching even when it looked impossible because the monsters were so big and weighed him down. But at the end of that play, he dunked on the monstars and the looney toons won the game.
So what does all that talk about dunking have to do with living water? Jesus tells this woman that if she knew that she was talking to the Son of God, the Savior of the world, then she would ask for living water. She then responds in such a human view, the well is too deep, you don’t even have tools. I just thought about situations and struggles in my life, how often do I realize the opportunity in front of me in my relationship with Jesus? How often do I keep my eyes set on how deep my well is or how bad my problems and not realize that Jesus gives me living water to handle those situations and even more have victory over them? It’s hard when when no matter what we try or how far we reach out, dunking and overcoming our circumstances seem impossible. What makes it even harder is when I look for all my answers and solutions in my strength, my tools the world gives me to the point that I trust way more in me and the resources of this world than trusting in the only way to truly dunk and have victory over what’s in front of me.
Living water is what Jesus promises this woman and when she hears that she is jacked up saying, “yeah I’ll take 10 cases!” Jesus explains it to us by comparing it to regular water, or the things we put our trust in to solve our problems whether that ourselves, a substance, anything that the world offers. He says when we put our trust in these things of the world or even ourselves, we’ll always be thirsty. It’s like wearing the ankle weights, it seemed like a good idea for a short time, seemed like a quick fix to my problem but do we really want a quick fix? Then always end up falling a few inches short of deliverance. The living water Jesus promises comes from Him and him alone, only He can supply it, only He can give us the satisfaction and victory we truly seek. And His water isn’t just a quick fix or temporary solution, it gives life, a lasting life, filling us for eternity. It’s Jesus and just Jesus. Only He can supply us with what we need to fight these battles we face. Even when it feels like the hits keep coming from every direction, you’re constantly being weighted down by the failure, insecurity, and doubt making this Monstar size problem bigger and scarier than ever. Jesus gives us living water, everything we need and then some to be strengthened, have peace, joy, and hope knowing that no matter what comes my way I don’t have to look to all these horizontal answers because my only answer and life, is vertical in Christ.
I don’t know where you’re at right now with your relationship with Christ or even if you don’t have one. I don’t know how many battles you’re facing each and every day that have you feeling beat and discouraged. I do know that I have struggles too and one of my biggest ones is letting go of myself and things of this world to truly embrace the power, love and faithfulness of the Savior. It’s a hard life and we’re always going to have tough times, we’re always going to fail, but the good thing is that we don’t have to live off regular water because we have the Son of God by our side. Constantly showing us and giving us everything we new to handle and live in victory over every and any battle we may face. It doesn’t matter how deep your well is, Jesus will bring the water to your life to the point of overflow. All we can do is put our hope and trust in Him and the gift of this living water. Embracing Him in every way we can whether through the Word, talking to Him in prayer, just looking to Him above all else. It’s a long tough road to get to dunking but keep seeking and sipping, Jesus has promised us living water. They are going to have to replace the goals before Jesus gets done because the dunks are going to be coming in hot.
John 4:10-11/ Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.” “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water?
After spending a few days learning about WWJD and how to apply the example of Christ to our lives, it was too hard reading verses 10 and 11 in the story of the woman at the well and limit these truths to one thing. In a way the lesson I learned today is from what Jesus did but more importantly, it’s what Jesus says that is so huge. Just a little background to set the scene, Jesus is in enemy territory (Samaria), sitting at a well and when a Samaritan woman comes up to grab her a ice cold bottle of water, Jesus asks her for a drink. The woman is in shock that Jesus, a Jew, would much less be in the same area but speak to her, a Samaritan, who was looked down upon by the Jewish people during this time. After trying to wrap her head around this unlikely and weird situation, Jesus responds to her questions about His openness and love towards her and look at what He says.
What Jesus says here may not make a lot of sense, I even thought what in the world is living water, like can water be alive? Is Jesus not talking about that fresh Disani water you get from the well and I’m with the woman here, how’s He plan on getting this water from a deep well without any tools? This woman’s reaction is exactly what mine would be because in my human eyes, this doesn’t make a lot of sense. It’s crazy how much of God”s Word sounds wild and crazy, sometimes it’s really hard to understand the truth in it, but majority of the time it’s because we immediately resort to our means and resources of seeing it the way we want it. That doesn’t help much if we have a relationship with the Lord and when we read what He’s literally speaking to us, we don’t spend time to see Him as speaking and Him as the Word. It’s hard to treat the truths found in God’s Word and the time we spend in reading it and not try to read it like any other book. The thing is, it’s by far not just any other book so this was a big reminder for me to be more intentional about that time in the Word knowing that with every word, God is speaking to me, teaching me something about myself and most importantly about Him. Just like anything else we do in life, when we operate out of our strength and our lack of knowledge, we are putting aside the importance of our intimate relationship with the Lord. Even in Seminary classes, I don’t have a clue to understanding the ways of Christ and the Word. Something I’ve done for years and something I still do is go into the Word, prayer, or any moment spent with Christ and just glance at it thinking “oh that’s good stuff.” Then I go about my day like nothing happened. What I usually realize during my day when I’ve just been glancing at my relationship with Christ is that I feel like I’m running on fumes, the struggles, temptation, and trials that come up easily tear me up and I definitely don’t have a lot of Joy.
This woman at the well is meeting Christ for the first time so she obviously doesn’t have a clue about Who He is or what He’s capable of. Of course, she’s going to answer in this way acting like Jesus is speaking in another language. What really hit my heart was the fact that I know Jesus personally and know that He’s capable of literally anything but here I sit, daily asking the same questions to Him as I so easily forget WHO it is I am talking to and living with. It’s hard to think of how often I do this but also relating to this women again, I doubt in the midst of conversation she really looked deeply into Who she was talking to and the words He spoke. She was glancing at Christ and His Word. I try so hard to make sense of Jesus, my relationship with Him, and God’s Word but in my human thinking and terms, He’ll never make sense because His ways our so much higher than ours. So when I heard living water my first thought was regular water. To get regular, plain, normal water, we go to the store and buy it in large quantities. Maybe aquafina or disani, whatever your preference, you have to do something to get it just like this woman thinks the only way to get this water Jesus is speaking of is to lower a bucket down in the well on a rope and pull it up. The truth is we don’t have to do anything because if you have salvation in the name of Christ, that loving relationship with Him, He’s already offered and given you living water. The part we get wrong because it’s what makes sense to us is He’s given us this out His grace and love, we didn’t have to go to the store, put our bucket down in the well, we didn’t have to do anything.
In tomorrow’s God Gold we’re going to look at what Jesus means by living water but today it’s all about the opportunity and the blessing of knowing Christ personally. And Who Christ is, the One who has given us life and life eternally, the One who gives us this living water. It’s been such a huge lesson for me to not just glance at these verses and get what I want from them, but to really look at them and look deeply, intensely at what Jesus is saying here, what this woman’s response means to me. Jesus basically tells her, if you only knew then you wouldn’t be asking these questions. The same goes for us, when we come to Jesus asking things of Him, when we respond to His answers and His words trying so hard to do something on our own to achieve what we want instead of just trusting in Him, trusting in Who He is. Our relationship begins and ends with our identity with Christ. I fight my identity everyday, trying to be someone I’m not or who the world tells me I should be but the foundation of my life and my true identity is in Christ. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Who is God in the flesh. He came down to earth, walked as we walked, making Himself available to such a weak and sinful people, knowing that without His sacrifice on the cross and raising from the grave, we would remain a defeated people to sin and death. Christ made the sacrifice for our sins, He was resurrected from the grave on the third day and in His raising to new life was victory! After walking out His life on this earth, enduring temptation and the sorrows of this world, He walked perfect not falling once. He was the living example of victory over sins and in His resurrection He was the victory over death. So in His resurrection and victory He broke the chains of the life of slavery to sin and the death we deserved so we too could be raised up from our old life and into the newness and fullness of Christ. He gave us life and life eternally. In this life with Christ He has given us victory over sin so we don’t have to walk in our desires of our flesh but so we can truly live in freedom with our hope in that victory. Jesus did all this so we could lay our sins at His feet while the His blood washes our sin debt clean to the Father. He’s our mediator to God, giving us access to the creator of all, the Holy, loving, and only God. With our lives in Jesus’s salvation and victory we have freedom, freedom to live in this world without a worry or insecurity about our struggles or bad circumstances because we have Him by our side and we have the hope of eternity with Him after this life is over. Jesus is the King of Kings, our deliverer, our victory, the always loving and always faithful Savior that gave up everything so in return He could give it all to us.
Knowing the gift that God has for you and Who Jesus Christ is, that is the root of our salvation in Him. He’s the foundation on which we build our lives and I’m not a construction person but it seems like to make sure we have a strong foundation. All we can do is sit back and really look deeply at Him, look into Who He is, the gift He’s given us, studying Him, seeking Him to learn more about Who He is, what He is speaking to us, and learning more about His heart. Jesus Christ is the secret in “Jesus’ secret stuff.” Sent a link at the beginning with the Space Jam scene where they drink Micheal’s special stuff. What better way to prepare to drink Jesus’s living water than defeating the Monstars and dunking on the enemy? Hope it hypes you up for learning about Living Water in tomorrow’s gold!!!