In 1972 Dean M. Kelley released the results of a sociological study of religion titled, “Why Conservative Churches Are Growing,” the conclusion was because they were conservative. But what does being “conservative” mean? It doesn’t mean conservative culturally, socially, ethically, … Continue reading
Colossians 3:12-17; “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But … Continue reading
Our story begins early in Joseph’s life after his dreams of exaltation. When Joseph arrives where his brothers had gathered, he suspects nothing which is natural considering it’s his brothers. As the scene unfolds we see his brothers tearing his … Continue reading
The ivory tower of my pride, my own (self-perceived) judgments which by our impeccable morality seeing so clearly the gaping pits into which others have stumbled? It is my natural inclination to say, “How could they be so careless, and … Continue reading
With this title you’re probably ready to or not to read or perhaps just gloss over this article. Why, your attitude most likely stinks; or you’re trying to figure out why someone else’s attitude is the way it is. Many of us … Continue reading
A lot of us have disagreements and conversations bringing discomfort, and anxiety about legitimate issues which sometimes divide us. We call that conflict, not complaint. Conflict can be healthy, as long as we have resolution and reconciliation as the final … Continue reading
I refuse to attempt to manufacture a quick conformity to man’s ideas about a superficial picture of how a church should look. — Don Qualls (@DonQualls) August 20, 2014 Not appealing to outward appearances rather than patiently allowing God’s Spirit … Continue reading
Revelation 21: 1-2; “Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations.
This section of Scripture is quoted from Ezekiel 47. In Ezekiel we can see a deeper meaning as the Prophet Ezekiel and John the Revelator metaphorically using to press us into searching deeper into the Spirit of God. Some things concerning God we find some easy to understand as the water up to the ankles; others more difficult, which require a deeper search such as the waters up to the knees or loins; others beyond our reach, of which we can only adore the depth of which we find bottomless as Romans 11:33 states; “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” Also see Romans 8:39; Ephesians 3:18.
The deepening of the waters in their course shows the continual deepening of spiritual life and multiplication of spiritual blessings in the growth of the kingdom of God. So long as the stream is confined to the temple-courts, the residing of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers upon conversion, others don’t see the greatness of God’s presence, and for the most part goes unseen by the casual observer. In order for them to see and acknowledged God’s abiding Presence, they need to see it flowing from our lives. Too strong is God’s abiding Presence, too great to be held up within the dams of our lives. It needs to overflow the limits of our humanity, breaking through the borders of our lives to not only invade every part of us but flow out to others.
So here in these Scriptures we see the Abiding Presence of God proceed from the courts of the Lord proceeding out of the temple and all at once it begins to deepen and to widen.
This is what happened on the day of Pentecost as the Holy Spirit descended upon this small company of believers, a little and then overflowed its banks into the lost world the early church lived in. this infant Church in Jerusalem is the beginning to all of us today.
The end result of this river is the flushing of the Dead Sea of our lives enabling a fruitfulness that feeds the nations and heals the land.
This fruitfulness depends on adequate source of water. How can we bear the fruit of the Spirit without this abiding river of God. In Galatians 5:17-21 Paul is contrasting fruit to the “works of the flesh.” Our “works of the flesh,” are the outcome of our actions independent of God’s abiding presence in our lives. It is the “thorns and thistles” of like what we see in the Garden of Eden which happened through sin. Thorns and thistles represent our untamed nature. In other words when we remain unfruitful the thorns and thistles of our lives strangle our spiritual life.
We need the water of God’s presence to cause our fruitfulness to feed others of the goodness of God.