COME TO THE WATER
By Michael C. Lewis
“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come, And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Revelation 22:17
Water is the stuff of life. It nourishes and sustains, and three quarters of our planet is covered with it. It refreshes and it necessarily precedes the harvest. And, as a metaphor for the life-giving truth found in the Word of God, “living water” brings life to the spiritually dead, and if a weary, journeying Christian will drink of it, he will become refreshed and restored to produce fruit to feed a hungry, dying world.
Come to God’s inerrant, infallible fount of truth. Drink your fill, wash away the filth of this world, and refresh yourself with its precious precepts. Come to the water . . . .
Wading in . . . .
“For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.” Psalm 119:89
Most serious writers ply their trade with the understanding of the old adage, “writing is rewriting.” Few published works come about after only a single session at the word processor. Multiple drafts, replete with changes of word or phrase, or even the introduction of new information normally precede the completed story or article.
Thankfully, the Christian guide—the Holy Scriptures—remain wonderfully immutable (unchanged) from the day of Moses to the present. Since the day God first whispered His Word into the ears of His chosen scribes, He has not changed His mind! There has been no divine “rewrite!” As the psalmist assures us, the original words of God stand firm and unchanging—even in heaven!
In the New Testament, our Savior declares that unlike the philosophies and ideologies of man which come and go with each new theory in the market place of ideas, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” Matthew 24:35. What a gloriously comforting promise! It is this unchanging nature of the Word of God that gives us confidence and security as wayfaring believers navigating through life in an ever-changing, deceitful world!
Swimming out . . . .
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” II Timothy 3:16, 17
Scripture does not “contain” the Word of God; it “is” the Word of God. And as such, “all” of it is profitable to mankind. The more the Christian immerses himself in the precepts of God’s Holy Word, the more he will learn about God (doctrine), the more he will know how to identify what is wrong (reproof), and how to correct that which is wrong (correction), and he will know how to live right with God (instruction in righteousness). God’s Word is “profitable” because it completely equips the Christian to live as an effective and powerful servant of God in all areas of life!
The Lord Jesus Christ showed us how to apply the Word of God to the trials and temptations of life. As He was tempted in the wilderness, the ancient Holy Scriptures were the only answers He employed against the enticements of the evil one (Matthew 4: 1-11). This should be our example to follow when we are confronted by Satan or his minions. We don’t flee from the devil; we confront him with the Word of God!
The Holy Bible is clear that it is a living, and powerful “sword” (Hebrews 4:12) that pierces the heart of man to reveal his sinful nature, and it is also an effective weapon—a “sword of the Spirit” (Ephesians 6: 17) — that arms the Christian and allows him to hold his ground against “the wiles of the devil.” (Ephesians 6: 11)
The Scriptures exhort us to:
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4: 7
Just remember to heed this verse in the order in which it is written. Satanic resistance is a futile exercise for the person who remains in rebellion against God!
Diving deeper . . . .
The Lord Jesus Christ prayed on our behalf:
“Sanctify them with thy truth; thy word is truth.” John 17: 17
Jesus Christ, the “truth” personified (John 14:6), endorsed the written truth of God! Every idea of man must be measured by the inerrant, infallible truth of God’s Word. There is no higher standard.
God’s Holy Word stands “pure” and perfect, regardless of the ideologies of mankind. It has been tried in the fiery trials of human lives, and it has been found to be without impurity! Just as the psalmist proclaims:
“The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” Psalm 12: 6
The preservation of the God-breathed Holy Scriptures is in the hands of our almighty God!
“Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation forever.” Psalm 12: 7
And finally, consider this remarkable verse:
“I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy loving-kindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” Psalm 138: 2
It is almost impossible to hold God’s Word in too high esteem! While the names of God give general descriptions of God, the Holy Scriptures teach us of the person of God. For example the name, Elohim means “God Almighty”, and speaks of the godhead’s unequaled power, but the Scriptures magnify or expand our knowledge about this omnipotent Being. They teach us that God is also honest and just (Numbers 23:19; Titus 1:2), and loving (John 3:16)—even the very essence of love (I John 4:8)!
The Holy Scriptures help us to truly know our God as Creator, Savior, and coming King! Explore the depths of God’s Holy Word! And when you swim back to shore, don’t towel off! Let the waters of life sink into your very pores! When we pray, we speak to Him. Let us also listen to what He has to say!
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17
By Michael C. Lewis
Sometimes I teeter . . . .
The fence seems relatively safe and noncommittal. It borders the crossing of two very different roads. I sit, clinging tenaciously to its smooth rail . . . and procrastinate.
On one side of the fence a wide path opens like a super highway; its billboards flashing neon promises. A suspicious darkness lies beyond the glitz, and a still, small voice in my head warns of worldly pleasures crouching with velvet shackles. Yet, the allure of this wide path, with its advertisements of instant, sensual gratification is strong. . . .tempting me.
On the opposite side of the fence, a narrow path stretches toward a distant brilliant light. Not much wider than a sheep trail, its shadowy passage requires a provided lamp to light the way. The provided lamp seems very dim in comparison to the billboards that line the wide path. It gives just enough illumination for each individual step of the way. A loving voice calls from the luminescence at the end of this rough, and rocky path proclaiming promises of an eternal hope . . . .but passage to that light at the end looks ponderously slow!
And I remain precariously perched . . . . as time ticks relentlessly by . . . .
The options seem obvious. The wide path offers indulgences and satisfaction for the “here and now”. And it reveals only darkness beyond its flashing signs. While the narrow path offers a hard road to a gloriously bright eternity. . . but a traveler is bound to stumble along its rocky path, or perhaps even lose his way in its dusky darkness! And his progress would be so slow — just one lighted step at a time!
I cling even harder to my fence of indecision.
The siren song of the wide path is like a powerful magnet to my desires. Although its fulfillment may be finite, I lean heavily toward its promises of instant pleasure, and gratification! It is by far, nature’s most appealing path.
And yet . . . the wondrous whisper calls so sweetly from the end of the narrow path, promising eternity . . . and life . . . beyond the hardships of its difficult and foreboding trail!
I must soon decide! I cannot remain perched here forever . . . I’m bound to fall off!
I feel my very nature pulling me toward the wide path . . . yet, the narrow path’s voice of promise calls so sweetly . . . .
Again, I teeter . . . .
Choose wisely . . . .
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Matthew 7:13, 14
But, choose today!
“ . . . behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” II Corinthians 6:2
And rest assured . . . .
“For whoso ever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13
To remain “on the fence” is to choose the wide path “that leadeth to destruction”, because to sit on the fence is to not choose Christ!