Stagnant Waters to Life Giving Streams
04/06/2023 - Zeke Murley
4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
1 Corinthians 12:4-7 ESV
Common Good – Sumphero – Literally to Bring Together
This is a beautiful picture of the various “parts” of the body of Christ brought together for the benefit of the whole! Which means that what God has given you isn’t just for you, it is for the benefit of everyone.
All In, No Out
The Jordan River is the main source of water flowing into the Dead Sea, but with no exit point, the water accumulates and evaporates, leaving behind a dense concentration of minerals and salts.
“14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food,16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”
James 2:14-17 ESV
Saltiness is Good, but Only When Uncontaminated
During the time of Jesus, salt was often obtained from the Dead Sea region. The salt from this area had a higher mineral content compared to other salt sources, which made it more prone to impurities. As a result, the salt collected from the Dead Sea could lose its saltiness or become less effective in its flavour-enhancing properties.
“34 Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? 35 It is of no use either for the soil or for the manure pile. It is thrown away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Luke 14:34-35 ESV
We believe that all people are created in the image of God, with inherent worth, dignity and value. And we believe that every person and every community have unique gifts, ideas and assets. We continually mine for and invest in these strengths, rather than focusing on deficits or needs, reminding people and communities of their inherent value.
The Consequence of A Life Consumed with Self: Lifeless, Fruitless, Stagnant, Spiritually Dead.
The Prophetic Message to the Dead Sea
“6 And he said to me, “Son of man, have you seen this?” Then he led me back to the bank of the river. 7 As I went back, I saw on the bank of the river very many trees on the one side and on the other. 8 And he said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah (Jordan Valley), and enters the sea (Dead Sea); when the water flows into the sea, the water will become fresh. 9 And wherever the river goes, every living creature that swarms will live, and there will be very many fish. For this water goes there, that the waters of the sea may become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes. 10 Fishermen will stand beside the sea. From Engedi to Eneglaim it will be a place for the spreading of nets. Its fish will be of very many kinds, like the fish of the Great Sea.”
Ezekiel’s prophecy described the miraculous properties of this river. As the river flowed out from Jerusalem then down into the Dead Sea, those lifeless waters were healed.
“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.’”39 Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” John 7:37-39 ESV