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Today’s Bible Reading thoughts, Psalm 1:3

A verse from our Bible reading for today:

psalm 1 wed verse
He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
(Psalm 1:3)

In the ’90s I traveled a lot. I kept a travel journal most places I traveled to. One adventure was on an ice-breaking ferry/transport ship in Canada. We we started at Rimouski and went all the way along Quebec’s lower North Shore (of the St. Lawrence River) to Blanc Sablon, a city at the border of Labrador. On the early part of the journey when we departed from Sept-Iles, I wrote,

Got up at 5am to see departure. Whales and birds galore. The shore line is interesting, large rocks smoothed over by the tides. Rock ledges poke through the stands of trees lining the shore. How do the trees’ roots grasp in the 2 inches of soil?

I am not agricultural at all, but even a neophyte can muse upon the physics of it. It’s intuitive.

As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. (Matthew 13:20-21).

That is what made Jesus’ metaphors so excellent.

fallen tree
The verse in the Psalm above refers to the rootedness of a tree that is planted where it can be fed by good soil and good water. Such a tree does not fall away. It bears fruit.

Where does a believer get his rootedness from? By planting him or herself in the Life of Christ, drinking and feeding on His word. By living and growing in obedience and submission to His commands. Those who fall away were never planted in Him to begin with. They had no confidence in Him, in comparison to their own sin and wretchedness. They were only joyful for a time because their consciences were temporarily salved. But unless one is truly repented, that joy will fade at the first hardship and there will be no streams to drink from for nourishment. They fall.

Barnes Notes on the Psalm-

A description of the happiness or prosperity of the man who thus avoids the way of sinners, and who delights in the law of God, now follows. This is presented in the form of a very beautiful image – a tree planted where its roots would have abundance of water.
Planted by the rivers of water – It is not a tree that springs up spontaneously, but one that is set out in a favorable place, and that is cultivated with care.

God cultivates us by the Spirit, but we shepherd our salvation too. Drink deeply from the word, obey and submit with grace without grumbling. Pray earnestly for all things, and praise the One who planted you. May you bear fruit in your time.

psalm 1 wed verse

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What is Living Water?

In our small group discussion on Thursday nights, people come with Bibles in hand and the pastor opens the floor to anyone with a question. We search the scriptures and engage in a discussion regarding the person’s question. Last night someone asked about one of my favorite metaphors in the Bible. What is the Living Water?

It is from the scene from John 4, when in Samaria, a tired Jesus sat down in front of the well, and a woman from the village came out a noonday to draw water. An amazing conversation ensued. Here are verses 10-14:

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, “Give me a drink,” you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” 13Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.

From this verse, we understand the Living Water is eternal life in Jesus. Nowhere else but in Jesus does a person have eternal life. He is the fountain. (Jeremiah 2:13). He is the spring. (Isaiah 12:3, Revelation 22:14, John 7:38).

What about after the moment of regeneration, after the person has received eternal life? The waters do not stop flowing. The living water is eternal life in Jesus, as mediated by the Spirit. It is the flow of the Spirit’s guidance that transforms the newly forgiven creature into a person gradually conformed to Christ for all eternity.


Further reading

Founders Ministries: The Model

GotQuestions: What did Jesus Mean when he said Living Water?

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It was an ordinary day, and the woman was thirsty

The woman was a harlot. There was a moral code and the woman fell far below it. So far below that she couldn’t even see the underside of it anymore. Jumping from husband to husband, bed to bed, with or without benefit of divorce, man after man. She was a slut. Her sins were monumental, public, known to all, and she was regarded with disgust and hatred. She knew it. She didn’t care. She did care.

She was loathed, and also lonely, marginalized, and excluded. The other women in town didn’t talk to her, so that her taint wouldn’t infect them. There were cliques, all right, and she was definitely not part of any of them. She wasn’t invited to baby showers or to weddings or to sewing circles. She wasn’t even welcome at the well, at dusk when the other women went to draw in the cool of the day. The looks…the turned backs… the whispers. Once, even that fight when they said those nasty things. She never went back.

Continue reading “It was an ordinary day, and the woman was thirsty”