Wednesday, April 26, 2017
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When I'm speaking for some event, my needs are pretty simple. Just get me a bottle of fresh water, and I'll be able to keep going like the Energizer Bunny. You know, I realized once that I was heading into a speaking session without my trusty bottle of water. Someone directed me to a hospitality room the host had set up for those on the program. I actually bypassed all the goodies and I reached for the first bottle of water I saw. As I sat on the front row of the auditorium, awaiting my time to go up on the platform, I mindlessly twisted open the cap on the bottle so I could get a swig. Well, much to my surprise and chagrin, the contents immediately began erupting out of the bottle! I hadn't read the label. I didn't know what was inside until I opened it. It was sparkling water, and it was sparkling all over me!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Surprising Effervescence."
Effervescence-something sparkling and alive. Apparently, that's what's supposed to characterize the life and the attitude of someone who belongs to Jesus Christ. After all, He said in John 7:37-39, our word for today from the Word of God, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me...streams of living water will flow from within him. By this He meant the Spirit."
That's a great picture. Those who have gone to Jesus to have the thirst in their soul finally quenched are now to be conduits for the living water of the Holy Spirit to pour over all the thirsty lives around them. And, believe me, you're surrounded by some thirsty lives: people you live with, people you work with, you recreate with, you go to school with. When situations arise that show what's inside you that, in essence, take the cap off your bottle, they're supposed to see something inviting, something exciting pouring out.
Peter underscores one characteristic in a Jesus-follower that will cause the people around them to want what they have. It's in 1 Peter 3:15, "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the beliefs that you have." Nope! It doesn't say that. "... for the meetings you go to." Nope! "...to give the reason for the 'hope' that you have." That's hope as in a positive outlook on life, a joyful attitude, a sense of peace under pressure, a buoyancy in the midst of trouble, a sense of ultimate confidence about the future. Now, honestly, is that what you're known for by the people who are with you all the time?
Sadly, Christians have too long been associated with being negative, narrow, condemning, angry, and even miserable. You've got to be the living proof of that "life more abundantly" that's the real result of belonging to Jesus. Maybe you've let the sparkling water of the Holy Spirit go flat inside you. You're known more for complaining and criticizing, for always seeing what's wrong, for being grumpy and grippe. What kind of impression does that give them of your Jesus?
If you're wondering why your friends or family members or coworkers don't seem interested in Jesus, consider this: could it be because you've been more a taste of bitter water than sparkling water? After all, the word "enthusiasm" literally comes from the words "en Theos." That means "in God." The "in God" folks ought to be more enthusiastic about life than anybody!
At a time when David had lost everything he held dear and others around him were succumbing to bitterness and blaming, the Bible says, "But David found strength in the Lord his God." Maybe that's what you need to do today-go deep into your Lord's bottomless well to bring up some fresh water, some sparkling water for your parched soul. You need it. The people around you need it.
When what's inside you comes out, let it be the joy of Jesus, because that's a magnet for thirsty people.