Beside Still Waters (Day 3 from Beside Still Waters)
It was later that night when I was sitting on the back deck just enjoying the stillness of the night the Lord began to speak to my heart. At first, I struggled with the scripture I was given, perhaps because I understood it more than I wanted to admit. It was after the resurrection, Jesus was asking Peter, “. . . do you love me more than these?” (meaning the others he was with); Peters answered, “. . . Yes, Lord, you know that I’m your friend.” A second time Jesus asked, “. . . do you love me?” Again Peter answered, “. . . Yes, Lord, you know that I am your friend,” Jesus asked him a third time, “. . . are you my friend?” and Peter stated he was his friend. (John 21:15-17, CJB) Did you see the difference? Most translations use only the word ‘love,’ but in this text, two different Greek words are used for love, agapao, implies a total commitment and phileo, which is more of brotherly love. Did you notice when Jesus asked the third time he used the same term Petered had answered him with twice before? Unfortunately, as humans, we don’t grasp the concept of unconditional love; we feel we have to earn it. You see the Lord brought me to this scripture, not because he wanted to know if I loved [agapao] Him because He already knew my heart, just as He knew Peters, but He wanted me to know that nothing could separate me from His love. As I began to softly began to speak I could almost hear Him whispering these words back to me, “. . . neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate [me] from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus [my] Lord” (Romans 8:38-39, NKJV).
Zechariah 14:8 tells us there is the living water that will flow from Jerusalem, referenced to the same water that Ezekiel was lead into, will divide flowing into two directions, one into the Mediterranean Sea and the other into the Dead Sea. As you know The Dead Sea has no outlet for water and contains a very large salt content, therefore, no life exists in it. When the living water flowing from the temple in Jerusalem enters the Dead Sea the water will be refreshed and full of life. For too long I was like the Dead Sea, there was just no life there, I had nothing to give, but the Lord was restoring my soul. I had new hope and purpose in my life and I looked forward to each day and what the Lord would show me beside the still water of our lake home.
Before Jesus left this earth he gave us the commission to tell others about Him that all the world might be saved. If each one of us would just reach out to those around us; in our homes, neighborhoods, and communities just think of the people we could share Jesus with. Not all of us are called to be preachers or even teachers, but we are all called, to let the love of God show through us, and by example, others will come to know Jesus in you.
If I could leave you with one word of advice it would be to always remember God loves you, unconditionally loves you, you don’t have to try to earn it because it’s freely given. I did want to see the disappointment in His eyes because of what I believed to be my failures. I know that look, I had seen it all my life in my fathers’ eyes and I couldn’t bear the thought of seeing in it my heavenly Fathers as well. I had allowed my mind to take me where my heart knew not to go and began to relive the pain of my youth. The only father I had ever known died when I was fifty-two years old and I never heard him say he loved me or that he was proud of me; all I ever saw was the disappointment in his eyes. There is a key to understanding love that can be found in 1John 4:18 it says, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love cast out fear because fear has torment . . .” Perhaps you have had a battle going on in your mind, as I did, wanting to turn to God, but your mind is keeping you from taking that step; child of God that’s call torment. Without God’s word as a guide, we can’t truly define love because we base it on an individual emotional need, but His word gives us the true guidelines for love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8; “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, love is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails . . .” The peace of God can quiet the mind and free you from the chains of torment that have held you back from experiencing the love of God. I want to pray with you, heavenly Father I bring this precious child before you asking that you would break the chains of torment from his mind. Your word tells us that those you set free are truly free now shower him with your love that he will know nothing can separate him from your love ever again. Hold him in your everlasting arms until peace is restored to his life and give him a hunger and thirst for righteousness as you teach him your ways. I ask this in Jesus' name.
Beloved of God as you allow His light to shine through the brokenness of your life others will see Him through you and the love of God will touch their lives. Go in peace a beautiful life awaits you.