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Life, Love, and Living Waters
August 5, 2006
Dear Friend of Mary Craig Ministries,
What do you love more than money? What do you dream about when it comes to serving the Lord and serving the community?
In Philippians 3, Paul desired the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus the Lord. He wanted to win Christ and be found in Him with a righteousness which is of God by faith, the faith of Christ. He wanted to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings. He wanted to be made conformable unto Christís death in order to attain unto the resurrection of the dead. His goal was to follow after to apprehend that for which he had been apprehended of Christ Jesus. Thatís why he says: "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." He was after Christ, and he was willing to pay the price to gain Jesus.
On a recent Monday afternoon, I had church in a little bedroom with three generations of women. One was 93 and on hospice care. One was her daughter. The other was her granddaughter. We talked about healing. We talked about Jamaica. We talked about the meaning of communion and the gospel. And after we shared communion together, this 93 year old grandmother told me that God had given her two gifts, the gift of love and the gift of life.
You cannot separate love from life. Jesus endured the shame of the cross out of His love for us that we might have eternal life. In 1 John 4, the apostle John tells us that if God so loved us, we should also love one another. Your life will reflect what you truly love.
We know that we have passed from death unto life because we love the brethren. He that loves not his brother abides in death. We perceive the love of God in the life of Jesus. Jesus laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. Donít go saying you love God if you hate your brother in Christ. 1 John 4.20 says thatís living a lie. "For the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?" If we truly love God, we will love the people of God. We will love what God loves and hate what God hates.
But where does the power come from? In John 7 we are told about a great Feast, the Feast of Tabernacles. Jesus didnít go to this feast right off, but came in the middle of this 8 day feast secretly. He came into the temple and taught the people. He taught the people that if you want to know God it must be on the basis of a personal commitment to truth as a result of obedience. In other words, obey Jesus, who is Truth, personally and experientially, and you will know Him truly. John 7.17
And then came the last day of the Feast. Early in the morning priests and Levites, singers and players on instruments and silver trumpets would gather with the Temple Guard for a great ceremony. The High Priest would carry the Sacred Golden Vessel. He would pass through the Temple and walk slowly down the Temple Mount. Joyful singing could be heard. The priest was headed for the Pool of Siloam, the Sacred Stream which flowed out of the earth under the Temple Mount around Moriah and Zion and into the gardens of Ophil. The High Priest would dip the Golden Vessel into the clear, pure Water and reverse the procession back to the Temple. As he reached the Water Gate with the Water in his hand, the priests declared:
Behold God is my Salvation; I will trust and not be afraid; for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and song; He is become my Salvation. Therefore with joy shall you draw water out of the wells of salvation. Isaiah 12.2, 3
Then in front of everyone, the High Priest would take the Water from the Stream of Siloam and pour it out upon the Altar while the Levites sang the Hallel joined by the people waving palm branches.
Suddenly, Jesus showed up. As the Water was poured out on the Altar the priest continued to quote from Isaiah 12.
Cry out and shout, you inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.
There stood Jesus, the Holy One of Israel, the very Fountain of Life and the Substance of all the ceremonies and feast days. He was right there in the crowd standing beside the Sacred Altar. He lifted up His hands to the multitudes on Mount Moriah, Mount Zion, and Mount Olivet, and cried with a Voice that echoed down the Valley of Hinnom:
If anyone thirst, let him come unto Me and drink. The one that believes on Me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow Rivers of Living Water. John 7.37,38
What? Who is this one who steps forward and takes the place of the High Priest and declares that he himself is the Sacred Fountain opened in Judah for sin and all uncleanness? (Zech. 13.1)
Right then Jesus presented Himself as the Giver, by the will of the Father, of the Holy Spirit as Rivers of Living Water. Now we mostly associate the giving of the Holy Spirit with Pentecost because of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at that time. But when Jesus spoke about rivers of living water, He did so at the Feast of Tabernacles.
This Feast speaks of the full harvest. It is the fall feast when all the crops of grain and fruit have come in. It is a feast of abundance, a feast of fullness, a time when the people rested from their labors. Unlike other feasts where it was "a lamb for a household," this feast had plenty for everyone. This feast looked back to the wilderness wanderings and forward to the coming Messiah. The people camped in booths, little tents, to remind them of Godís providential care for 40 years. It was a time of gratitude and great celebration, a time preceded by the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement.
What is the purpose of living waters?
Thank you, as your generous gift helps us reach thirsty souls.
Living life through grace,
P.S. Go to www.marycraig.org for more articles to help you in your faith. Order from our catalog section using PayPal. Worship with us 4:30 p.m. Sundays, grow and flourish in small group ministry at Craighouse®, located in the Pompano Plaza at 114 E. McNab Road, Pompano Beach, FL 33060. Log on to www.craighouse.org for a map and more events and Bible studies. Reach MCM at 954-491-7270. Send in your prayer requests. Mary Craig Ministries, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. Federal ID 65-0429517. Be blessed! We love you.
And the Spirit and the bride say, Come,
And let him that hears say, Come.
And let him that is athirst come.
And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
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