The first event I want to tell you guys about is the Kick-Off Event that the River hosted at the Union this Sunday night. It was an awesome, encouraging time, as we heard from a local pastor from Waterloo as well as Maria Van Hoorne, the Development Associate at Hagar USA, a nonprofit organization fighting the injustices of human trafficking.
Here are some of the wise things which were shared tonight:
1. Over 2,000 verses in the Bible talk about God’s heart for the poor. Sometimes we rant about how unjust the world is, how many people live in slums, and how the government doesn’t do anything about it. ( Let’s be real. We blame the government, not ourselves; because it’s easy to blame popularized faces and a ‘system’ which doesn’t pinpoint blame to specific people we know and have relationship with). If WE have such a big problem with poverty, think of how GOD’S heart is when it comes to the issue of poverty! HIS heart is HUGE!!!! These are His children – His creation we’re talking about! Nobody cares for people more than God. Let me repeat that. It’s important for me to remember. NOBODY CARES MORE FOR PEOPLE THAN GOD.
2. “Theology affects sociology.” I’ve never heard it stated this way before, but I like it! Our theology (our understanding of God) affects our sociology (how we relate to people). This is so true! Jesus says that what we do to others, we also do to Him. (Mathew 25:40) Why? Because God created us in His own image! (Genesis 1:27) God made us to be image bearers of Himself. He wants us to serve and to love others, because He values us EACH as more valuable than oil or money or fame or even His ONLY SON’S BLOOD! Now, that’s love. He loved us first, so now we love Him in return AND we obey Him by loving others. (And, it’s not just a commandment for us to show Him that we love Him. We also are rewarded with community and relationship when we love others. This was all God-intended, too!)
3. I hold on to the promises of God WAAAAY too loosely. Check out Isaiah 58:10-12. I like to find these types of passages in the Bible, because I can easily understand them. I call them cause-effect promises. The result DEPENDS ON ME DOING SOMETHING, but I get a promise! What is the action I need to take here and what is the promise?
10 if you pour yourself out for the hungry
and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
then shall your light rise in the darkness
and your gloom be as the noonday.
11 And the Lord will guide you continually
and satisfy your desire in scorched places
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters do not fail.
12 And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
the restorer of streets to dwell in.
Now, this is the funny part. This happens a lot when I look at these cause-effect passages. The ACTION I need to take is bolded. The promise God gives me is italicized. Now, take a look….is there more bold or more italicized? Is there more action I’m taking or more promise God is giving? Ha….it’s funny. All I have to do is pour myself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted. That is ALL I have to do. In light of what God promises, that’s not a big deal, because you know what? He promises us the same things PLUS more! He promises…..
- our light will rise in the darkness
- our gloom will be as the noonday
- He will guide us continually
- He will satisfy our desire in scorched places
- He will make our bones strong
- we shall be like a watered garden
- we shall be like a spring of water
- our waters will not fail
- our ancient ruins will be rebuilt
- we will raise up the foundations of many generations
- we will be repairers of the breach
- we will be the restorer of streets to dwell in
I have so much more to write, but I’m just overloaded right now by this promise! God has promised me so much in these verses, that it overwhelms me! I am blessed, because I have a rich inheritance from my rich Heavenly Father! He promised to give me back what I gave! He told me that I will be satisfied, that I’ll be like a watered garden and that my water won’t run out! This promise is HUGE in realizing that God will restore and replenish me when I fear that I will be dry if I do something.
I’ve find myself saying lately, ‘but Lord, if I go to this place, I will be discouraged and become exhausted. I will be worn out, and I won’t be able to encourage them or speak Truth; because I won’t be satisfied and my water will run dry.’ Haha! It’s almost funny to me, now; because I can just hear God say, ‘Who’s water was it in the first place? It’s not like you created it or even dug the well to get to the water! I just gave you a glass and you drank it! Then when you became thirsty again, I offered you water and refreshment; but you choose to not drink it even though you were thirsty.’
In a practical sense, this is what ‘choosing to not drink His water’ looks like. I’m spiritually and physically tired and I want to sleep or do something mindless. Instead of relying on Christ, the Living Water, to quench my thirst with His Word, I choose to fill my time with something else, hoping that it satisfies. We all know that nothing else satisfies except Christ. Therefore, my vain attempts to become ‘rested’ only results in me waking up to another day where I may be physically rested, but am still spiritually dry. I’m done with that lame routine and am ready to claim the promise Jesus gives in John 7:37 – 39 when He says,
37 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”
Out of us will flow rivers of living water IF we believe in Him. Sweet promise! I’ll take that one! 🙂