Wednesday, September 7, 2016

When a "Daily Devotion" just fits!

I have a couple of favorite daily devotion books that I have used for years and years.  I often find myself going back to this tried and true book by Oswald Chambers.  I have always loved that the devotion for my birthday is taken from John 7:38.  That verse is my "life verse".  It is the verse that is associated with my name meaning.  That verse says  "Whoever believes in me as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them".  I have read and re-read that days devotion over and over again.  It just speaks into my spirit in such a powerful way.  Today, however, I read the September 7th entry. All I can say is WOW!

This entry begins with the verse John 4:14. "The water I give will become in him a spring of water".
And here are a couple of sentences from the devotion......
*The picture our Lord gives is not a channel but a fountain
*As we receive from Jesus, He will pour out through us
*If life is not flowing out of you, you are to blame, something has obstructed the flow

And I love the last lines of this day's reading...."Never look at this from the standpoint of "who am I".  In the history of God's work you will nearly always find that it has started from the obscure, the unknown, the ignored but the one that is steadfastly true to Jesus Christ."

Today at my small group we were talking about the Holy Spirit and about these exact verses.  We were also reflecting on the key to this entire "rivers of living water flowing out of us".  That key is that we have to have a close relationship with Jesus so that we are getting filled up to overflowing!  So tonight when I picked up this devotional and saw today's topic, it made me sit up and take notice.  As I got to the end of the reading, I just sat and pondered that last line.  Oswald Chambers was making a case for this passage (and the one on September 6) being for EVERYONE!  Not just for the church worker.  Or the pastor.  Or the evangelist.  Not just for the bold person who can easily share their faith with others.  This pouring out of the life of Jesus happens through ALL of us.  That is pretty amazing isn't it.  And if you are thinking that there is nothing flowing out of you right now, Chambers makes the reason really clear.  It is because you have some kind of obstruction in your life that is stopping that flow.  And the answer to clearing up the obstruction is a simple one - get closer to Jesus.

A really interesting thing happened in our meeting this morning.  After all this discussion about the Holy Spirit, we began to pray together.  And suddenly, the heavens opened up and there was a downpour rain!  It was as if Jesus had heard our discussion and He was just pouring out more for all of us.  The rain continued through the entire time that we prayed.  And as our prayer time ended and we were visiting together, the sun came out!  It was a wonderful reminder for me that Jesus is ready to pour out more for us if we just ask.

We had a wonderful birthday celebration after that prayer time.  I am so blessed by these wonderful women who support me through prayer and friendship.  It is easy to feel like we are just not that important in God's plan.  To think that we don't matter.  And to feel that we have nothing to offer and no purpose to serve.  But this devotion just reinforced for me what I feel with this small group.  Jesus uses each of us.  We can never know who we might touch in our daily life.  And I loved the reminder that all we need to do is stay close to Jesus.

Sometimes we all need a wake up call.  We need to open our eyes and see all that Jesus has put around us.  The people, the places that we can let that river flow!  Today for me, it was at my small group.  And it was also the place that I got even more filled up so that I more to share!

My day included receiving these really amazing flowers from my friend.  I love that these are called "Sunset Roses".  They have the colors of the sky!  Yes, this has been an amazing few days of birthday celebrations.  I am so thankful and I am so blessed! It is a fitting end to today and to this blog.
My prayer for all of you reading today is to grow in the understanding of this river of living water that we all carry.  What an amazing and wonderful God we serve that blesses us in the big things and in the little things through our friends and our family and through amazing flowers.  

Jesus, thank you for all of your blessings.  For the rain that reminds us of your presence with us.  For devotion books that point the way to your truth.  For friends who stand with us in good times and bad.  For your amazing creation.  Thank you for your love.  Amen

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