3/3/08 What kind of water are you? by Pastor Don Moore (Heather says this is a powerful sermon)

Monday, March 03, 2008

What kind of water are you? by Pastor Don

I combined the morning and afternoon service into one – as Pastor Don covered much of the same points, but with some extras. I could not see how to divide this without hurting the flow, so forgive. Please read to the end. There are some wonderful truths about water and types of water that are exciting. I promise the next entry will not be so long!

Pastor Don told us, when Jesus was crossing Samaria, he had a divine appointment so that the Gospel wold flow through the Samaritans. God cares about everyone. The Jews of Jesus’ day did not like the Samaritans. But Jesus entered Samaria for this divine appointment. Jesus was hungry and sent his disciples to get food. As he sat down by the well in the heat of the day, at siesta time, a woman with a bad reputation came to the well to draw water. All the other women looked down on her, so she came in the heat of the day to avoid their looks. She did not want to have to face the sisters’s looks which could be rough.

The woman sees a Jewish man. Jesus would have been easily identifiable as Jewish because of his clothes, his hair would have been short and his sideburns long, and his beard would not be cut on the sides. And then Jesus asks her, “Give me a drink.”

Her response was, “What???” See the Jews called the Samaritans dogs, and went out of their way to avoid them. But Jesus spoke with her in spite of the prejudice of the day.

Pastor Don told us that there is prejudice today in the Body of Christ. We need water from God. Now the truth is that we need more from God than He needs from us. There are parts that we lack, and we need water.

The well that Jesus was at was Jacob’s Well. And Jesus asks the woman this provocative question, “If you knew the one who is asking, He would give you living water.” (paraphrase) That question sparked this woman’s interest, it wasn’t hype, it was knowledge and a presence of mind.

The unsaved are not to be looked down upon, because it was only a few minutes or seconds (God’s time) before that we were unsaved. We need to have consideration for the unsaved, for those who drink natural water and then get thirsty again. Sometimes people do not know that they are thirsty. They go out and get hit by the world and end up thirsty again.

Jesus tells the woman, “Come here, I have water that you need.”

We look at the convenience store (of religions and philosophies) with all the choices and we get confused. We forget the ONE that we can go to for help. We so often do not go to Him because we are so busy drinking the waters of the world.

Sometimes we think that what we need is Pastor Don when we get struck with a major problem in our life, but really Pastor Don should be our second call. God should be our first.

When water is mentioned in the Bible there are many meanings for it. It can be water, sometimes it refers to people and nations (seas). And Pastor Don asked us what kind of water are you?

When Jesus was at the well looking for someone to pour out a drink of something to quench His physical thirst, he was pouring out of His belly Living Water that would change the Samaritan woman for life.

Some people wear the badge “Born Again.” But what does it mean? Others find being born again an insulting idea. Does it produce change in lives? How does it occur? If we try to attain salvation through works or logic we are in trouble. Some of our thoughts are not Biblical, so we have to begin to look at salvation and what the Living Water is by reading John 3.

We look at Nicodemus to begin to understand the water. (Heather’s comment: I still chuckle when I think of a teaching where another pastor referred to this chapter about Nicodemus as “Nick at night.”) Nicodemus was a wise man but he too needed a drink at the fountain of living water. He needed to be born again of Spirit and of Water.

This Water was not the amniotic fluid nor was it natural water.

It was not water baptism which is natural water. Pastor Don told us that in baptism you get wet. Some come out changed saints, but others come out wet and still sinners.

The Bible is its own dictionary. Pastor Don told us that we need to also understand some words in context of the culture of the time. For example when Jesus told people it was harder for a rich man to enter Heaven than it was for a camel to go through the eye of the needle. Jesus was not talking about a sewing needle, but of a low gate in a city. When a trader wanted to come into the city, the trader had to get off the camel, take the merchandise off the camel’s back and the camel would crawl through this low gate on its knees. The guards would search the merchandise to make sure that there was no weapons or forbidden items in the merchandise. Then the merchandise was sent through the low gate and reloaded on the camel.

If we spoke to the people in Jesus’ time and talked about putting on our Nike’s (sneakers) they would wonder what that meant, for Nike was a Greek god and we would have to explain that term to them.

John 3:1-2 There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”

Nicodemus realizes that Jesus did miracles, signs and wonders. Sickness is not from God. The devil will put sickness on you, and sometimes he removes it to put worse on you, and kill you. Only God completely removes sickness. Sometimes God will permit satan to let sickness come on you if He can’t get your attention another way. But it is not God who gives us TB or cancer. God wants us to change, and would prefer that we do it in obedience to Him, not having to be taught through trials and tribulations.

God is a loving father. If our earthly kids are disobedient, we don’t put cancer on them. We will correct them, but lovingly. Somehow we have this mistaken idea that God is the author of sickness and disease but that isn’t so.

Yes, God will permit certain things. Kind of like we as parents, after telling our kids over and over that they have to do their homework or fail, if our kids persist in not doing homework, we may step aside and let them see the consequences of disobedience, and let them go ahead and do the stupid thing. But then God and we as parents tell our kids, “I’ll be right here when you get back.” God would not be a good parent if He let us persist in our sins.

If a person is 25 years old, a diabetic, and their body is a mess. They aren’t eating right and exercising, it isn’t God that put diabetes on the person, but their poor life style choices.

So often we blame God for what we put on ourselves. We get mad at the wrong person – instead of being mad at God, be mad at satan. (Heather’s comment, I spent years mad at God and it took a long time for me to realize who I really should have been mad at.)

Our bodies are programmed to fall apart. If we live long enough we will die, but the less damage we do to our bodies the better the quality of life we will have.

We often ask why stuff happens and how stuff happens, and what is God’s part in it? We can ask God to heal us of unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, anger, and any negative attitudes. We need to forgive others or God will not forgive our sins. Remember, the devil wants to pull us off course so that he can kill, steal and destroy.

Nicodemus was a ruler with biblical authority. Jesus was not popular with the other Judges, so Nicodemus came to Jesus in secret at night.

John 3:3-5 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

Notice the order – First Water, then Spirit. This is the water from the Kingdom of God. Jesus told people that the Kingdom of God was at hand. It is here, now, on earth. Many are stuck in the physical and can’t see the Kingdom of God, for they are still blinded. It is when we become born again that we begin to see the Kingdom of God.

Pastor Don grew up in a Baptist Church, and he says that you did not see many signs and miracles. One Sunday one of the Sisters started jumping up and down and praising God. The other Sisters took her into the Sunday school room and held her down. Pastor Don’s mom was organist (his father was Pastor), and Pastor Don told us that he went up to his mom and asked if she was having a fit? His mom told him that she was, “happy.” He decided that everybody in the church was depressed and something came into the church and people got “happy.”  Pastor Don saw that some people didn’t like it when people got “happy.” When a new pastor came to the church, the people who got “happy” started being put in the back of the church, then later up in the rear of the choir loft, and after awhile they stopped coming to that particular church. Pastor Don realized that this pastor thought that being “happy” was that a person was demon possessed, and he wondered by this new pastor didn’t drive the devil out like Jesus did. Instead the pastor drove the person out. It wasn’t until much later that Pastor Don realized that the “happy” person was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Pastor Don began to ask why does everything spiritual that happens in the church have to be something that we approve of? We approve of what we understand. But God does supernatural and natural things that we don’t understand. We have driven out the supernatural and created a church that we understand, that meets our agenda. There must be three songs sung, the pastor begins speaking at 11:17, and can only preach 10 minutes, then there is the offering and the prayer, and we have to be out immediately at 12 because everyone has things to do. That is not God’s plan for worship.

Nicodemus came to Jesus. He knew that something was special about Jesus. He didn’t need a bachelor’s degree to see that the Kingdom of God was functioning in Jesus.

John 3:5-8 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Being born of the spirit cannot be explained with the flesh. We can’t see it, and we can’t understand with our flesh. It is a Spirit to spirit thing. 

John 3:9-13 Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things?  Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.

We aren’t going to get salvation from buddha or mohammed.

The key is John 3:14-17 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,  that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

Nicodemus was missing what it takes to be Born Again. Signs and wonders were available to the Jews even in Moses’ day, but signs and wonders did not help the Jews to see the truth,. In fact the Jews still went after idols even with the incredible signs and wonders that they experienced. Something had to take the spiritual blinders off of their eyes. 

If we are brought into a room and the lights are turned out, we are blinded. We need to stand still and take the little bit of light that we have and realize that it can be sufficient for what we have to do. Then God will give us more light. Nicodemus is Spiritually Blind and thinks that if he receives a little light he’ll be ok and get by.  We too think a little light is ok, but then the unexpected death comes, an evil report from the doctor comes, the husband/wife leaves, and a spirit of depression comes and the light goes out. We need that little bit of light to hold on to and then He gives us more light and magnifies it.

When we are Born Again we are exposed to faith by being in the Word of God, and we take a little bit of faith over and over again and one day we will have greater faith. As we recall when God has shown up in our lives, we remember experienced faith and that gives us strength to hold on in the tough circumstances. We are all given a little faith, the size of a mustard seed, and that is sufficient. We build that faith with our experience. Faith isn’t hope or believing in faith, those are the antecedents of faith. Faith is I KNOW. I may not see, or smell, or have it, but I KNOW.  When we have I KNOW faith, no one can take it from us.

A person gets Born Again by Water and Spirit. When we spend more time in the Word we get the Water of the Word, and that gets us to faith, to what I KNOW. If you leave believing and faith you end up in doubt and unbelief. We cannot listen to the report of the world. Just because Uncle Jimmy died from diabetes, does not mean that we have to. We need to get ourselves from unbelief, to hoping, to believing, to faith, and then to I KNOW IN FAITH…

God also needs our honesty. Don’t say you are believing in Faith, when you are really wishing and hoping. 

What is this Water?

1 Peter 1:22-23 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,

The water is the Word of God. We have a choice to hear and reject or to hear and believe. When we hear and believe, the Spirit of God comes in and changes our situation. We can then become pregnant with a godly idea, a hope, faith. The Spirit of God is within me and that can produce real change. Drink the Word of God.

Ephesians 5:25-26 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word.

Pastor Don told us that he he has learned that if something is wrong with his wife or kids it is his fault, for he hasn’t taken the responsibilities of being head of the family properly. He hasn’t taught the godly teachings necessary to produce change. He needs to love his wife, meet her needs and see her with the eyes of compassion, showing mercy and kindness. We are set apart by the Word of God, and when the Word of God is poured over him, his wife and his family real change comes. We are washed and sanctified by the Word of God.

The Water is the inspired Word of God. Nothing grows unless you put water (the Word) on it. We need to hear a Word from Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.

Spiritual Maturity is when you speak forth a Word of Life instead of garbage, gossip, put downs, impurity and darkness. We are told that rivers of water will flow, gushing out sweetness and good Words of life, not words of darkness.

Pastor Don started thinking about the different kinds of water that are mentioned in the Bible, wells, flood, streams, etc. and began looking up passages about those kinds of waters to see what was taught. Here is a summary.

Rivers are divine blessings with restorative power.

Living water, divine life giving words, hope, life restoring, and giving birth and hope.

Streams and brooks – are little rivers, a little stream if it keeps flowing can become part of a raging river. The Hudson River that flows both was, started in the Hudson Bay. Even though the tide comes in with each successive tide something floating in the river will ultimately make it to the ocean.

Little streams and brooks are for divine refreshing and encouragement, even though it is not yet the big river (Holy Ghost). Some people you just have need to be flowing with because they give you words of refreshing and encouragement.

Wells, pools and clouds are reservoirs or holding places of inner Spiritual things. Water for someone to draw from us.

In our discipline we refresh and encourage, but some of us are too shallow or narrow in thinking about the Lord, that what we do is we come to the water only thinking of me, me, me. Not thinking about what can I do for somebody.

Cesspools, collected darkness, evil,  2 Peter 2:17-22  These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever. For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”

Pastor Don mentioned latrines which are holes in the ground that nasty waste is deposited in. If you get latrine duty you have to take white lime powder and cover up the nasty stuff with the white powder. But no matter how much white stuff you put on top, the nasty stuff is still there.

When we are known by people beyond the Church, we want them to come to us for refreshing water. We don’t want to be stagnant pools of no refreshing. The only way to clear a stagnant pool is to wash it with water, such as a brook flowing through the pool.

Pastor Don said that sometimes he does a demonstration of having muddy water in a glass and he pours fresh water into the muddy water. The more fresh water that is poured in the cleaner the muddy water becomes as the mud spills out of the glass. Enough clean water and the muddy water inside of the glass is changed to clear and refreshing water.

Jesus wants to get the dirt out of our lives and He does it by dunking us in clean water, pouring in the Word of life so that the sin flows out. When a sinner comes to our church we don’t have to beat them over the head by detailing all of their sins to them. We need to keep giving them fresh water of the Word of God, and the sin will flow out.

Pastor Don also told us that we need to go to him if someone in church is hurting us and our efforts to settle the situation does not work. Instead of leaving the church in a huff, go to Pastor Don so he knows that some clean water needs to be poured into the situation. Pastor Don will not beat up either party in the dispute, but he will show the love of God and the Word of God to help clear the situation.

Iron sharpens iron, and we sharpen each other in love so that we are all purified water, not a reservoir of death. God loves us so much that He wants us to give us Living Water, so that death in you is forced out.

We need to examine ourselves on a regular basis to see where we need Living Water. We also need to pour out the Living Water to others and that leaves us open to receive more Living Water. If someone speaks nasty to you, don’t fire back a nasty statement to them. Storm the gates of hell by pouring out the clean water of the Word of God, so that the situation gets changed by the washing of the Word. This challenges people who walk around claiming that they are members of the Church, for it shows them that they have to step up to the plate and walk in response to the Word of God.

If someone is trying to get you to gossip, don’t go there. Jesus had to take a whole lot of stuff, and He poured out love and the Living Word. we need to imitate Jesus and pour out fresh clean Water..

We’ve all had bad days, have been too busy, and had a lot of things going on in our lives. When trouble comes the first thing we do is call the secretary and get an appointment with pastor. While pastor is glad to see you, he also knows that often people have not been reading their Bibles and getting in the Word of God. We need to drink a fresh Word from God, and often that will ease our situations.

What have we made idols in our lives, idols that come before God? Is it our car? Our TV? Money and things? We work so hard to achieve finances to support our idols, so why can we not also make time to spend time with God and fill ourselves with His Word? We need a Holy Ghost encounter, we need a drink. Sometimes we need a more creative idea and need to draw from a new pool. Get over to the river and drink more. Stop complaining and whining..

Some people are praying for prosperity, and they feel they are so close, but they don’t have prosperity. Pastor Don asked, “What are you going to do in the meantime?” We need to remind ourselves that Jesus is Lord, that He will help, and get over yourself. Begin to work at getting out of debt, follow Jesus’ principles. And try to figure out what you can do for the Lord. And serve others in the meantime.

In Matthew 25 Jesus talks about the 10 virgins. Five were wise and five were foolish. All ten were asleep when the Bridegroom came, and when they heard the noise of His coming they rose to light their lamps. Only five wise virgins had oil to light their lamps, but they did not give oil to the foolish. The foolish went to buy oil, and the wise went in with the bridegroom. When the foolish returned, the gates were already closed.

We want to be like the wise virgins. The oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Ghost. Like the wise virgins, we need to stay steeped in the Word of God, the river of life and let His Spirit flow through us, because we want to be prepared. When He comes we don’t want our streams to be clogged up with self, we want to have His Spirit of Living Water flowing through us. We want to be ready for the power and the presence of the Holy Spirit.

In the Bible 50% of the saints will be ready, and 50% won’t be. Are all the virgins saints? Yes. But not all will be ready when the Bride groom comes to take away His bride. When Christ comes for the rapture, the dead in Christ will come with Him in the clouds (for to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord). Then in a twinkling of an eye, 1/ 11,000 of a second, we will be changed. We want to be prepared for our Bridegroom by the washing of the Word of God.

Unfortunately, everybody that calls themselves “Christian” will not be caught up and changed in that twinkling of the eye, for Jesus tells us only 50% will be ready, the rest will stay through the Great Tribulation.

When that time comes we will be going shoulder to shoulder with Peter, James and John, and Pastor Don asked us how our life matches up with them? We need to position ourselves. Yes, Jesus loves us, and we are saved through His shed blood (No one on earth can save us, not budda or Obama or Clinton). But now that we have that wonderful gift of salvation, what are we going to do with it. Are we going to be wise virgins or foolish virgins?

We need to get ourselves into the flowing river of Life, the Word of God, and let the Word change us. The good news is that it is not too late. The difference between the foolish virgins and the wise virgins is how we go through trials and testing. Do we praise the Lord? Do we seek to wash ourselves in the Word of God and learn from our trials and tests?

Pastor Don told us that we need to pray, “Lord make me a river so that I can spill out on everybody. Help me to be a fountain of living water, bursting forth for His purpose.”

We need to stir up the faith with us. When we stir up the faith we aerate the water, and it spreads out. The Holy Ghost can take that purified water and pour it out of you to touch other lives.

Praying your day is blessed.

Heather

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About Heather Marsten

Welcome to Heather's Blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. I just moved about nine years of material over from another blog site, Xanga, who may close down mid-July. At first I was disappointed to make the move because I had a lifetime membership at Xanga and had to spend weeks transferring posts. But now I'm thrilled. Already I've met new bloggers and read many new websites. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand my horizons and garner new ideas. I'm a happily married mom of three young adults. My husband and I are proud to watch our children grow and venture out into the world. My daughter is still in college but my two sons have graduated. One has a job and the other just graduated and is in the process of finding a job in his field, physics. Anyone know of any jobs out there? I'm proud of our children and love watching them grow and mature. They've become fine, compassionate, and loving people. Empty nest? Nah, I'm too busy to let an empty nest bother me. Not enough hours in the day. My husband and I enjoy quiet time together and I have many interests to pursue - one of which is blogging :D I am a born-again believer and love God. As you read this blog, you will discover that Bible studies thrill me. There is so much wisdom contained between the covers of the Bible and I am fortunate to sit under the teachings of a remarkable pastor, Pastor Don Moore. Members of our church (Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, New York) are encouraged to teach and there are visiting pastors who stop by our church, I also study the Bible on my own and love sharing what I learn. One other passion is writing. My current work in process is a memoir. A scene from my memoir was published in a book called: Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware - an anthology of angelic encounters compiled by Cecil Murphy. I'm hoping my memoir will encourage other survivors of abuse. I grew up in a home filled with abuse, including incest. For most of my life I was searching for something that would fill the void of not being loved by my parents. I tried many ways to find that love -- therapy, relationships, occult studies, and keeping my life so filled I had no way to think about my past. It was only when I discovered God that I was able to put the pieces of my life back together and walk forward in a joyous life. My nickname - wondering has changed from wondering where the heck God was in my life, to wondering what incredible adventure is going to happen next. I hope you enjoy my site. Please say hi, share some thoughts, and ask questions. I look forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. Have a blessed day. Heather
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