Pastor Barry/ The Gathering Church Filled#2: Running Over To hear this message and more download our free app @ the App Store. Search The Gathering connect.
Running Over Luke 6:27-38, Psalm 1:1-3, John 7:37b-39a, Matthew 5:13-16
Last week we learned that those of us who have made Jesus Lord of our lives should never be pessimistic and consider ourselves “half empty” when it comes to God’s blessings. In fact we are neither to consider ourselves optimistic by calling ourselves “half full”. According to God’s abundant promises, revealed to us in His word, we are “overflowing!” That’s right—in any situation we are to consider ourselves overflowing with God’s grace and mercy because “we live by faith and not by sight” (1 Corinthians 5:7) and “He who has promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23b). “He has given us everything that we need” (2 Peter 1:3). “Nothing can ever separate us from Christ” (Romans 8:31). Since we are “overflowing” with God’s blessings (promises), Christians should be “running over” in good works and service to others. In fact, God’s word tells us so.
In Luke’s gospel he records Jesus telling His disciples to show love and mercy to people because God had been so merciful to them. He promised blessings “running over” to such a person. Do you want to be that person who runs over with God’s blessings? If you do then seek God to help you to be loving and merciful to others. We can do good to those who hate us, give without repayment and forgive because Jesus has done this and more for us. He has planted us, so to speak, in the “streams” of His “living water” (Psalm 1:1-3, John 7:37b-39a) and the result of His watering (blessing) should bring fruit from our lives that will nourish others with the good news of Christ and “glorify our Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).
Stagnant Water 1 John 3:18, 4:7-11, Revelation 3:15-20
The whole concept behind the Spirit of God “flowing rivers of living water (blessing) out of the Christian’s life is just that—the blessings are living, active and flowing. God’s blessing in our lives are not to be hoarded selfishly for ourselves. Like a river, we are to be running over with God’s love, mercy and grace. We are to be “splashing Jesus” all over the place in deed and truth and not just with words like “I’ll pray for you” or “God bless you”. A stagnant pond of still water refreshes no one. It stinks, breeds disease and makes anyone sick who takes it in. Sadly, some Christians are like that stagnant pond—lukewarm (Revelation 3:16-20). We must not be like that. When God’s blessings flow into our lives we must pass them onto others to keep the river of life living, active and flowing. Do you have a river of life flowing out of you?
Purifying the Bitter Heart Psalm 51:10-12, Job 1:21
It is so easy to become bitter when we take our eyes off of the promises of God by faith and look instead at others who seem to have “blessings” easily seen. When we are sick and others are well, when we are struggling and others have plenty, when we are grieving and others seem happy— bitterness can set in. We must look beyond our circumstances and remember in faith…”God has given me all that I need and His promises are sure.” At times like these we must especially seek God and ask Him to create in us a pure heart. Only He can bring the refreshment we need. Call on Him…He is enough.
Amazingly, giving of yourself even in your time of need will purify and refresh even the most stagnant of hearts. When someone gives even in their need it is a powerful witness of Christ. Consider the Widow at Zarephath who made food for Elijah the prophet when she had no more for her son and herself (1 Kings 17:12-13). Think of Jesus hanging on the cross and saying to the weeping thief: “Today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:42), or the Apostle Paul encouraging the churches with letters while he himself was a prisoner in chains (Philippians 1:12-14). Consider Job, at the end of himself, who fell to the ground and worshiped the Lord saying: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD.” Job 1:21 Christians we are called to live by faith and “bless” God and others as long as we have breath…let us show them that He is truly all we need! We are not “half empty” or even “half full”. We are “running over” into eternity! As the prophet Habakkuk said in his time of need: Though the fig tree does not bud and no fruit is on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though the sheep are cut off from the fold and no cattle are in the stalls, yet I will exult in the LORD; I will rejoice in the God of my salvation!… Habakkuk 3:17-18
My Cup Overflows Psalm 23
As we come upon this season of thanks let us practice being rivers of life. Let us remember and live out the words of Jesus, who according to the Apostle Paul said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” (Acts 20:35).
The Lord is our great shepherd and as His children we lack nothing. So let us give generously from our hearts! He refreshes our soul and directs our paths so we will fear no evil. He is our comfort and we are running over with His blessings. His goodness and love will follow us all the days of our lives, and we will be with Him forever more!