The Wells of Salvation

The Wells of Salvation

Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.  (Isa 12:3)

This Scripture has always fascinated and intrigued me.  This is beautiful language from the heart of our Savior God.

Here is what I hear when I read this passage:

“With great jubilation and rejoicing, I shall pull forth the knowledge of God’s love, goodness, and power from the never-ending source of blessings within me. (That source is Jesus Christ, the Lord.)”  Wow!  What a powerful confession and testimony!

Deep within God’s wells of salvation, we shall experience the cool water of God’s grace, strength and joy.  This will refresh and strengthen our hearts and motivate us to praise and give thanks to our God.

On another level, we all know that water is necessary to sustain life.  Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.  (Joh 14:6)  We cannot have eternal life without Him.  We can’t experience the blessings of God upon the righteous except through Jesus.  He is the mediator and connection between God the Father and mankind.  (1 Tim 2:5; Heb 8:6)  The Word reminds us that Jesus lives to make intercession for us!  (Heb 7:25)

The term “wells of salvation” indicate an ever-flowing, enduring, and unfailing supply of water.  Jesus is not only the fountain but the water of life itself!

“. . . but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”  (John 4:14)

“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”  (John 7:38)

Take a little time to think about the “wells of salvation” that Christ has placed within you. Consider that they were put there to not only bless, heal, and to prosper YOU; but also to bless, heal, and to prosper ALL with whom you come in contact!  You are a Christ-carrier so allow Him to operate through you.

Be Tenderhearted

Be Tenderhearted

And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.  (Eph 4:32)

Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous . . . (1 Pet 3:8)

. . . because your heart was tender, and you humbled yourself before God when you heard His words against this place and against its inhabitants, and you humbled yourself before Me, and you tore your clothes and wept before Me, I also have heard you,” says the Lord.  (2 Chr 34:27)

Tenderhearted means kind, gentle, compassionate, or sympathetic.  We don’t often consider this, but tenderheartedness is an attribute of Jesus.  This is why He was reported to have wept over Jerusalem.  (Lk 19:41)  He saw into their future, and He had compassion for all of the people who lived there.

So, too, the Lord wants us to be tenderhearted toward others.  He wants our compassion and gentleness to move us to help others and to be merciful to them.  Someone who is tenderhearted would never rejoice over someone else’s calamity or misfortune.  Rather they would be moved to have sympathy for them, and to pray for them and consider how they might be able to help them.

And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He [Jesus] said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.”  And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored.  (Mk 3:5 – parenthesized word added)

Jesus did this miracle deliberately even though He knew that the scribes who were in the crowd were silently critical of His actions.  Their hardness of heart angered the Lord, but He determined to continue to minister His love and mercy in spite of their doubt and criticism.  He demonstrated His tenderheartedness to the man with the withered hand.

Let us always have a tender heart towards ALL who need salvation, healing, and mercy.  Jesus gave us His example to follow by ministering to those who were hurting, in pain, or impoverished due to a sickness or disease with which they had been afflicted.  Jesus came to bring salvation to mankind, and He tenderheartedly fulfilled His assignment.  Hallelujah!

We Need One Another

We Need One Another

Human beings need other human beings!  Everyone wants to be loved, welcomed, and valued.  There are times in life when sorrow or disappointments overtake us when we simply need human contact.  We may need a touch on the hand or a smile or hug.  We might need someone to encourage our faith.  Or we may simply need help moving a heavy dresser or bookcase.  The Scriptures give us insight into this topic.

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor.  10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.  But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up.  11 Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.  And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.  (Eccl 4:9-12)

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.  (Pro 17:17)

Open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed.  Faithful are the wounds of a friend . . .  (Pro 27:5-6)

Ointment and perfume delight the heart, and the sweetness of a man’s friend gives delight by hearty counsel. 10 Do not forsake your own friend or your father’s friend,
nor go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity; better is a neighbor nearby than a brother far away.
 (Pro 27:9-10)

As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.  (Pro 27:17)

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.  (Jhn 15:13)

. . . that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.  (Rom 1:12)

People who have a lot of friends have proven themselves to be friendly. (Pro 18:24)

When the enemy wants to harm us, one of the tricks that he will use is to separate us from dearly loved friends or relatives.  (Pro 16:28; 17:9)  That is one of the enemy’s favorite past times—destruction.

Jesus is truly our best friend and Savior.  He loves us and pours out His blessings upon us as a result of His love.  One of the most beautiful gifts that He gives to people is the gift of friends!  Our faith is not intended to be lived out in the wilderness by ourselves.  We are intended to live within a community of faith, and an extended community of family and friends.

Friends give us wise counsel, warmth, help of all kinds, laughter, and encouragement.  Just knowing that we’ll be seeing a friend in a few days, can brighten our outlook and fill a person with joyful anticipation.  Often, when the Lord wants us to know how very much He loves us, He will send a caring friend (or several) to wrap their arms around us and tell us how very much they love us.  They may even send us an email, text, or greeting card to enumerate all of the things that they like about our friendship. 

Value your friends and remember to show your appreciation to them.  Don’t try to be a solo act; God intends us to have friends! 

God Is In Control

God Is In Control

There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand.  (Pro 19:21)

This article is a meditation upon the concept that our God and Savior is in control of life’s events.  Even in those cases where something that is negative or harmful occurs, the Lord can ultimately bring glory to Himself by delivering us.  He can also cause something that was intended to harm us turn into an opportunity for us to receive a blessing!  (Gen 50:20; Rom 8:28)

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (Ps 46:1) – God is not with us in trouble merely to comfort or strengthen us, but to protect and help us.  Hallelujah!

The Lord has made all for Himself, yes, even the wicked for the day of doom.  (Pro 16:4) – The Lord has created everything for His own purposes, and He gave human beings a free will even though He knew that a percentage of us would rebel against Him and reject Him.

A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.  (Pro 16:9) – We make our own, fleshly plans; but the Lord in His mercy and goodness directs the circumstances of our lives according to His good plan for us. 

The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.  (Pro 16:33) – Even the most seemingly accidental, chance, unexpected, or unplanned events are under God’s control. Trust Him and rely upon His love for you.

But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases.  (Ps 115:3) – Our God is a merciful and loving God, so He will show mercy whenever and wherever He chooses to do so.  Because He can see the end from the beginning, He knows what events need to take place in our lives in order to accomplish His good plans for us.

The Lord of hosts has sworn, saying, “Surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass, and as I have purposed, so it shall stand . . . (Isa 14:24) – God’s good purposes and plans for us shall stand for He will bring them to pass.

“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?”  (Jer 32:27) – Whatever our difficulty or challenge or heartache, NOTHING is too difficult for God to turn it around.  Praise the Lord!

Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will.  (Mt 10:29) – We know that God cares for us vastly more than the sparrows, so this verse opens our eyes to the truth that He diligently watches over us in all of the details of our lives.

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.  (Rom 13:1) – We must recognize that God even determines who will have authority at every level of a nation’s hierarchy.  He determines when and for how long a person will be in authority, even our employers, overseers, or business partners. 

God has spoken once, twice I have heard this: that power belongs to God.  (Ps 62:11) – All power comes from God because it all belongs to Him.  Therefore, whatever position of power, authority or influence that you may have, be conscientious, kind, respectful and merciful to others.  You will one day give an account of yourself.

. . . not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.  (1 Pet 3:9)

We are called to bless others and to be a blessing.  Living in obedience to God’s will always causes us to inherit blessings.  Recognizing that God is not only in control of all things, but that He watches over us in order to be able to bless and help us will make it quite easy for us to want to help others.

The Abundance of Peace

The Abundance of Peace

In His days the righteous shall flourish, and abundance of peace, until the moon is no more.  (Ps 72:7)

This Psalm is discussing (in a highly poetic style used by the author) the future reign of Christ.  It is saying that in that day, righteousness itself shall spring forth, thrive, and increase.  Glory to God!

The phrase abundance of peace means that ALL needs are met for as long as the moon remains.  Peace and prosperity are prominent characteristics of Christ’s reign.  Imagine what a different world it will be when each and every person in it is satisfied and have their every single need met!  It’s a beautiful hope.

In that day, anyone helpless or needy will be protected by the King, and oppressors who may want to ruin or injure the peace of others will be rendered powerless to harm anyone.  

And it’s all thanks to our Savior, King Jesus.  He is the fulfillment of all of the Old Testament prophetic scriptures about the Messiah.  Because that is true, Christians have been given these things already!  We are protected:

  • We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him. (1 Joh 5:18, emphasis added)
  • For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.’”  (Lk 4:10-11)

All of our needs are met:

  • . . . as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue . . . (2 Pet 1:3)
  • If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. (Joh 15:7)

Righteousness is flourishing:

  • But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. (Rom 3:21-22)
  • But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— (1 Cor 1:30)

Meditate upon God’s “abundance of peace,” and have a beautiful day! 

Surrounded by the FOG

Surrounded by the FOG

You are surrounded by the FOG!  “What’s that,” you ask?  It stands for Favor of God.

For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround him as with a shield.  (Ps 5:12)

And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be, when you go, that you shall not go empty-handed.  (Ex 3:21) 

And the Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they granted them what they requested. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.  (Ex 12:36)

For You are the glory of their strength, and in Your favor our horn is exalted.  (Ps 89:17)

For whoever finds me finds life, and obtains favor from the Lord . . .   (Pro 8:35 – Mercy is speaking to us in this verse.)

The verses I’ve shared with you (above) all talk about God’s favor upon His people, and upon the righteous.  We have been justified and made righteous in Jesus, so these blessings apply to believers.

In the book of Exodus, God so blessed (favored) the Israelites when they were preparing to leave Egypt that chapter 12, verse 36, says that the Israelites PLUNDERED the Egyptians! 

Do you know what a strong statement that is?  To plunder means to destroy; damage; loot; or overexploit someone or something. The Egyptians gave the Israelites whatever the Israelites asked of them—whether it was food, jewelry, clothing, tools, or livestock!

This is the very same kind of favor with which God has surrounded each and every Christian!  If you can meditate upon this, it will help you to understand how much God wants to bless us and to give us “the wealth of the sinner” (Pro 13:22).

You’ll notice in Psalms 89:17 (above) that it says “in Your favor our horn is exalted.”  What does that mean?

The horn denotes beauty, plenty, and power; these those have who are made accepted in the beloved. What greater preferment are men capable of in this world than to be God’s favorites? (Source:  Matthew Henry Commentary on Psalms 89)

When you’re applying for a job, making an offer on purchasing a home, or a thousand other things, remember that God’s favor is upon your undertaking.  So trust God’s Word and confidently await the outcome that has been influenced by God.  Hallelujah!

Accepted In the Beloved

Accepted In the Beloved

. . . to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.  (Eph 1:6, emphasis added)

And whoever offers a sacrifice of a peace offering to the Lord, to fulfill his vow, or a freewill offering from the cattle or the sheep, it must be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no defect in it.  (Lev 22:21, emphasis added)

Accepted means:  received; recognized; admitted; acknowledged; welcomed; understood; or allowed. 

In Christ, we are accepted by Almighty God as perfected.  How wonderful and awesome a gift we have been given!

As the verse from Leviticus above demonstrates, an offering (in the OT) had to be perfect in order to be acceptable to the Lord.   Jesus was the perfect sacrifice, slain in our place for our sins and iniquities.

Now, we are accepted into the household of faith, the kingdom of God, and the family of God!  No matter what our past may look like, what our personality is, or what our appearance is—we are welcomed by the loving arms of Jesus!  Hallelujah!

Jesus invites us to come to Him in every circumstance of life and in the face of every challenge, need, or failing.  He is the very embodiment of perfect, unconditional, and unfailing LOVE.  There is mercy (forgiveness, kindness, humanity, generosity) in Christ’s embrace. 

Know, trust, and believe that you’re accepted in Jesus and rejoice!