Thursday, May 17, 2012

Spiritual Thirst

Scripture:  John 7:37
"In the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink."

I will use the last part of this verse for the text for my message - Spiritual Thirst.
Thirst can be a terrible thing if you are unable to quench that thirst.  The result is death.  This is true both physically and spiritually.  But, Jesus said if any man thirst for spiritual satisfaction, there is a place to quench that thirst.  Jesus is the place.  You need not die...come unto Him and drink and you shall live.  You shall live abundantly and out of your inner most being...out of your belly shall flow rivers of living water.  

There are a few things I would like to share with you about THIRST.  We will take what is true naturally and apply it to the spiritual.
**Thirst is an instinct.
If it were not, the human race would not exist.  As soon as a baby is born it begins to thirst.  It has an instinct of suck.  The instinct is automatically there.  As new born babes thirst for their Mother, so the soul of man thirst for it's maker...and can never truly be satisfied without Him.  Spiritual thirst is an instinct.  In Psalm 42:1,  David said, "As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God."  Later, in Psalm 63:1, "O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirtieth for thee, my flesh length for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;"  Actually, everyone is thirsting for something that will satisfy the deep longing of their soul.  That satisfaction cannot be found in ourselves or in the world or in the things of the world.  Jesus is the only fountain of true satisfaction.  He said, "Come unto me......"(Matthew 11:28)

In our scripture text -  **Jesus is speaking about a thirst that is intense.
A profound spiritual craving - a craving for the spirit of God.  In this modernistic, materialistic, permissive and perilous age - how much do we really crave the things of the spirit of God; the spirit of the living God?  In the natural there is a condition called dehydration.  It is an abnormal pathological condition due to deficiency of water.  Without the water of the spirit we become spiritually dry - spiritually dehydrated - parched and shriveled in our souls.  Oh how we need to drink of the springs of living water!  Oh how we need to continually come to Jesus and experience those rivers of living water from deep within.

Then, Jesus makes it clear that ...**thirst is individual.
"If any man thirst let him come unto me."  The spiritual life and spiritual fullness is a private affair.  It is as private as a drink.  No one can drink for us.  We have to do that ourselves.
Jesus tells us that if we want spiritual fullness and spiritual power - the condition is thirst.  We must drink. We appropriate His supply by drinking.  Matthew 5:6 tells us, "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled."  Believe - Accept - Receive.  Yielding to and partaking of the spirit of God.  It is up to us individually.  If we crave for the spirit we can have of His fullness.  His supply is limitless - measureless and inexhaustible!  He promises that you will receive.

If we are to cause the world around us to thirst for spiritual things, our family, our friends, neighbors and our children...if we want them to crave for the things of God we must be full and overflowing ourselves.  We can create a thirst in others around us.  Jesus told us in Matthew 5:13, "Ye are the salt of the earth:..."
Salt creates thirst.  I wonder, are we craving things of God and are so salty and full of Him that other people around us are watching and saying, "I want what they have?"


Jesus talked about a thirst that is **Instinctive

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Palm Tree Christians

Psalm 92:12-15  (King James Version)
"The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.  Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.  They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; To shed that the Lord is upright: he is my rock, and there is n unrighteousness in him."

The Palm Tree indicates the presence of water.  It is always green and lively.  In Exodus 15:27, Moses said he came to Elim where there were 3 score and 10 palm trees and found 12 wells of water.  ("And they came to Elim, where were twelve wells of water, and three-score and then palm tree: and they encamped there by the waters."  John 4:14, Jesus said, "But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."  A couple chapters over in John 7:37-38 Jesus again talking says, ".....If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.  He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water."  A Palm Tree Christian is a spiritual Christian, one who is alive and springing up with the living water!

The Palm Tree grows upright.  Jeremiah says of God's people in Jeremiah 10:5, "The are upright as the palm tree......"  Our lives are to be upright in all things.  Please note verse 15 of our text in Psalm 92..."To shew that the Lord is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him."
Notice the first part of verse 12 again, "The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree:........." and then in verse 14, "They shall still bring forth fruit......"
Palm Trees flourish- sometimes in unlikely places -  because their roots go down deep.  Did you know that they only grow as tall as their roots grown deep?  As Palm Tree Christians we are spiritually tall because our roots go deep in the Word of God.  Today - as a Christian, are rooted and grounded deep in the Word of God?

The Palm Tree develops from the inside out.  Most trees grow by adding to outward girth.  There is a saying I have always appreciated that says - "As the inner man grows, the outward man glows."  Christians mature from the inside out.  Palm Tree Christians are individuals that have a heart solely devoted to God.

The Palm Tree has more uses than any other tree.  I read one time that the Palm Tree had about 400 uses....(and I certainly won't go into all that right now).  But, as Palm Tree Christians, under the shade of our "palms of influence," the world in which we live can find comfort, help and rest.  We are useful!

The Palm Branch is a symbol of praise and victory.  We are victorious in Christ.  The green Palm Branch also speaks of everlasting life.  Palm Tree Christians live a victorious life, a life of praise and worship.

You may notice while observing the growth of trees they have a marked overspread of foliage.....umbrella like...reaching out for the earth.  The Palm Tree, however, reaches upward like a living arrow.  It is as if it were looking up to the throne of God.  To me this suggests Prayer.  Palm Tree Christians should be vigilant in their prayer life.

To be a Palm Tree Christian we can only remain:
*spiritually strong*
*well developed*
as we constantly look upward to the throne of God.

You Are The Salt Of The Earth

Matthew 5:13
"Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, where-with shall it be salted?  it is thence-forth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot or men."

Jesus was saying this to His church - His followers.  He was speaking to them about the type of life they ought to live and the kind of people they ought to be.

In ancient times people connected salt with purity.  It is a fact that salt comes from the two purest things...the sun and the sea.  The Jews salted their sacrifices before offering them to God.  If the church - God's people are going to be the salt of the earth they must be pure.  In His Sermon on the Mount, in Matthew 5:8, Jesus said, "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God."  The people of God must be pure.  Pure in deed - pure in word and pure in thought.  We cannot help clean up the world and make an impact unless we are ourselves clean.  "Ye are the salt of the earth" is not only a description of the church, but it is a description by implication of the world.  The world is corrupt, impure and unclean.  Without the salt - the church - God's people, the world would completely rot away.

The people in Jesus day were quick to learn that salt had great power to preserve from corruption.  Did you know that salt is the oldest preservative in the world?  If we are to be the salt of the earth we must be a preservative.  We must preserve the truth; everything good and wholesome.  We must have high ideals, morals and Christ-like principles.  God's people must take our stand against evil and its influences in our current day.  We must take a stand against all that is damnable to the souls of men, wrong doing in every level of government - County, State and Federal.  We must be pure and use our power to preserve purity.

Another thing the people of Jesus day knew about salt was that it was useful.  Of course, we know that to be true in our day as well.  If the church - God's people are to be the salt of the earth it must be useful.  Former President John F. Kennedy was famous for saying, "Ask not what can my country do for me but what can you do for my country."  The church of God has two types of members.  One who thinks in terms of what can the church do for me.  (If every member felt this way we'd be in a bad way.)  The other type of member thinks in terms of what can I do for my church and if there is a job to be done this member is always right on the job.  We need more members like that!  We need members of the body that help make the world see their need for Christ.

Salt gives flavor to things.  Food cooked without salt is dull, flat and tasteless.  There are many people who feel that Christianity take the flavor out of life.  They say we can't do this and we can't do that.  But, the reality is that the Christian is the life, the flavor and soul of society.  Our lives should radiate with the joy of the Lord and the peace of the Lord.  We should radiate faith and encouragement.
Love should be overflowing within our existence and add such a flavor that the world would hunger and thirst after what we have.