Practical Application of Worldview: Living Water

Where does living water come from? What is living water? Why is living water significant? Where is living water talked about in the Bible?

John 4:10-15 Jesus answered and said to [the Samaritan woman], “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”
The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water?…”
Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 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.”
The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.”

Later in front of a crowd, the Pharisees, and the chief priests Jesus speaks again about living water. Why is living water significant?

John 7:37-41 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
Therefore many from the crowd, when they heard this saying, said, “Truly this is the Prophet.”
Others said, “This is the Christ.” But some said, “Will the Christ come out of Galilee?

Why does this statement make people jump to conclusions about who Jesus is say either “Truly this is the Prophet” or “This is the Christ?” These are both New Testament references to living water, do you know who else is called living water?

This is God speaking to Jeremiah.
Jer 2:13 “For My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water.”

Jer 17:13 …
“Those who depart from Me
Shall be written in the earth,
Because they have forsaken the LORD,
The fountain of living waters
.”

Challenge: Why is living water significant? Check out Jer 17:7-8. What happens to the tree? Why does it flourish, why is it blessed, why is it not anxious, why does it yield fruit?

Rev 7:17 “for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

Rev 21:6 And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.

Rev 22:1 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.

Why do we thirst and why does His water quench our thirst?
Have you drank from His living water?
How has His living water sustained you?

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Practical Application of Worldview: The Rainbow

Where did the rainbow come from? Why is the rainbow considered a Christian Symbol?

Most people recognize the rainbow from children’s Bible stories as being part of the Noah’s ark flood story and a symbol of God’s promise.

Gen 9:13-16 “I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; and I will remember My covenant… The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.”

Why choose a rainbow? Was the rainbow just something God picked because it goes along with rain and is very visible? Or is there a bigger picture God is conveying through the rainbow in this story?

Gen 6:5, 17-18“Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually….And behold, I Myself am bringing floodwaters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die. But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark—you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.

Sin was a problem yet God provided a way of salvation. Those who accept it are saved while those who reject the way of salvation perished.

Luk 17:26 “And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.”

This tells us more about the symbolism of the ark, but what about the rainbow?
Where else is the rainbow spoken of in Scripture? Do you know?

Eze 1:26-28 “… the likeness of a throne, in appearance like a sapphire stone;… with the appearance of a man high above it. Also from the appearance of His waist and upward I saw, as it were, the color of amber with the appearance of fire all around within it; and from the appearance of His waist and downward I saw, as it were, the appearance of fire with brightness all around. Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. So when I saw it, I fell on my face…”

Rev 4:2-3 “…behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.”

Rev 10:1-3 “I saw still another mighty angel coming down from heaven, clothed with a cloud. And a rainbow was on his head, his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire. He had a little book open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roars….”

The rainbow is closely associated to God on His throne. God, who does not hesitate to destroy evil but also always provides a means of salvation.

Challenge: A rainbow is beautiful, but don’t forget Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”

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P A of Worldview: Capital Offenses

Is capital punishment good or bad?
Did you know the term death penalty is actually from Scripture?

Num 35:30 “Whoever kills a person, the murderer shall be put to death on the testimony of witnesses; but one witness is not sufficient testimony against a person for the death penalty.”

Murder isn’t the only thing on this list though. I went and searched capital offenses in Scripture, basically what things God commands people to be put to death for doing. This is not an all inclusive list, but here are twenty things that were/are considered capital offenses in Scripture.

List of Capital Offenses:
Kidnapping/Abduction (Ex 21:16, Deu 24:7)
Assault on Parents (Exo 21:15)
Deadly Assault (Exo 21:12, Num 35:16-18, Num 35:21)
Trespassing on Holy Ground (Exo 19:12, Num 1:51)
Cursing Parents (Eso 21:17, Lev 20:9)
A Rebellious and Unrepentant Son (Deu 21:18-21)
Keeping an Animal that Kills People (Exo 21:29)
Having Sex with an Animal (Exo 22:19, Lev 20:15-16)
Profaning the Sabbath (Exo 31:14, Exo 35:2, Num 15:32-36)
Giving a Descendent to Molech (Lev 20:2)
Adultery (Lev 20:10, Deu 22:22, Deu 22:23)
Rape (Deu 22:25)
Insest (Lev 20:11, Lev 20:12)
Homosexuality (Lev 20:13)
Being a Harlot (Deu 22:13-21)
Being a Spiritist, Medium, or Witch (Lev 20:27)
Blaspheming the LORD (Lev 24:16)
Murder (Lev 24:17, Num 35:30)
False Prophet (Deu 13:5, Deu 18:20)
Enticing Others to Worship other Gods (Deu 13:6-10, Deu 17:2-5)

There is a capital offense not on this list, one we have all committed. Which one? Look up Romans 6:23 to find out.

Challenge: Why do you think God would command for those who have committed these acts to be put to death? Did anything in this list surprise you? How does God being a loving God line up with this list and with putting people to death? Why is understanding the death penalty and God’s role in it significant to each of us today?

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P A of Worldview: Love Declared

This July 4th, I find myself contemplating The United Sates of America’s declaration of separation.

“IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America…When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.” (The Declaration of Independence, 1776)

What is the reason for their necessary separation?

“The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.” (The Declaration of Independence, 1776)

“Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.” (The Declaration of Independence, 1776)

What is the goal for their independence? And how do they intend to bring about the accomplishment of these goals?

“That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.” (Emphasis added) (The Declaration of Independence, 1776)

Read the whole Declaration of Independence for yourself.

The pledges of these men remind me of several verse from the Bible.

1John 3:16-18 “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.”

John 15:12-13 “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”

Challenge: Are we willing to stand against tyranny? What are we willing to sacrifice to love one another?

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P A of Worldview: Social Introductions

I have noticed an interesting phenomenon in social introductions of late, or more like a lack thereof. Many people, particularly young people of today, seemed to have either never gained a knowledge of proper social introductions, or else they have the knowledge but lack the skill or else the desire. In whatever case, many people have come to disregard the decorum of social introductions.

What do you think? Are social introductions important? Does God care about our ability to introduce ourselves and/or others?

In case there’s any question as to what I mean by “social introductions” let me clarify. Social introductions are when you introduce (name and give a brief information/background about) two or more people, who you know, but who do not necessarily know each other.

Example: “John, this is my cousin Quinn, who is currently going to school for software design. Quinn, this is my friend John Gilbert, CEO of MainStream Design.”

The business world utilizes introductions often and well, but is this the only realm in which introductions are important?

The art of introductions (an announcing of someone or something) is actually an expertise we, as Christians, should have and utilize. For, we are supposed to be in fellowship, building one another up, and sharing the good news of Christ with each other and with others.

How do we share what we know with others if we don’t even know how to introduce ourselves, God, or anyone else, to others?

Let’s take a look at a few Biblical introductions, and ask as you read, what would have happened had these Biblical introductions not taken place, and what was accomplished as a result of these introductions taking place?

God introduces Adam (humanity) to earth

Gen 2:7-17 “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and…The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed…to tend and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

God introduces Adam (man) to woman.

Gen 2:22-23 Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”

God introduces Himself (as LORD) to his servant Samuel
& Eli introduces Samuel to the LORD.

1Sa 3:8-11 And the LORD called Samuel again the third time…Then Eli perceived that the LORD had called the boy…said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and it shall be, if He calls you, that you must say, ‘Speak, LORD, for Your servant hears.’ ” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. Now the LORD came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel answered, “Speak, for Your servant hears.” Then the LORD said to Samuel: “Behold, I will do something in Israel…”

God introduces His Son (Jesus) to humanity.

Mat 3:16-17 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and…a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Mat 17:1-5 (& Luke 9:35, Mar 9:7) Now…He was transfigured before them…And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him….and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!”

God introduces Himself (the Trinity) to Saul—an intended disciple.

Act 9:3 “As [Saul] journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven… “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting….”

God introduces Ananias (a disciple) to Saul
& Ananias tells God how Saul has already been introduce to him.

Acts 9:10-15“…a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” So the Lord said to him, “Arise and…inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying. And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight.” Then Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done… to bind all who call on Your name.” But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.”

Ananias introduces himself (as God’s servant) to Saul—whom Ananias treats as a disciple.

Act 9:17 “And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on [Saul] he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

Challenge: Learn how to introduce yourself, others, and God, and learn how to do it well.

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P A of Worldview: A Successful Life

It’s easy to get caught up in everything we feel we need to get done and to stress when we are not finding time to do them.

A verse often references in these situations is Matthew. 6:30-33 “…if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

This is an incredible verse with a promise. Do you believe this promise? Because you know it’s a true promise, one that you can count on. God does provide for us (not always is it in the ways we would expect, but He does provide what we need).

There are a few other verses, though, that I want to share with you.

Isa 6:1-3 “…I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!’”

Rev 19:16 “And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”

Why these verses you might ask, well because, in moments when we are stressed with life’s goal’s, it’s good to stop and be reminded of who God is and what He has accomplished.

The truth of the matter is, if all we have at the end of the day is life and salvation in Jesus Christ the Son of the living God, then we have everything we need and the one most important thing accomplished.

Challenge: Take a deep breath and remember if all you have accomplished at the end of the day is that you are a child of the KING of KINGS then your life is a success.

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Practically Application of Worldview: Trees

I am surrounded by trees and often don’t even think about them. The other day, though, I was laying in the yard and staring up at the tree I was under. A breeze was stirring through its leaves, causing the sun to glimmer through the beautiful green and cast the perfect cozy summer warmth down upon me, and I thought, trees are amazing. They offer shade, protection, food, fuel, makings for furniture, etc.

Then I got to thinking about how often trees are used as illustrations in Scripture. I love trees as an illustration for us as Christians.

Jer 17:7-8 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is the LORD. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.

Trees are also often incredibly resilient.

Job 14:7-9 “For there is hope for a tree, if it is cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its tender shoots will not cease. Though its root may grow old in the earth, and its stump may die in the ground, yet at the scent of water it will bud and bring forth branches like a plant.”

Psa 1:1-3 “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.

Pro 11:30 “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.”

Rev 22:14 “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.”

Being a tree though means we need water. Where do we get water?

Jhn 4:10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

Rev 22:17 “And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.”

Challenge: Be that one who trusts in the Lord, and delights in His law, and who ask Him for His living water.

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