John Grant, Week 11, 2020
From the overlook, it appears to be so beautiful and full of life. I stood there and partook of its beauty and then thought of its lack of life. The Dead Sea, lies 1,300 feet below sea level and is the lowest and most mineral-rich body of water in the world. A significant landmark, too salty to sustain any marine life, the Dead Sea is famous for the water’s mysteriously buoyant qualities which allow people to float across the top of the water, without needing to swim. The sea is mentioned numerous times in the bible and has long been associated with mysticism, wonderment, and religious significance in the Biblical era.
It begins in the North where pure snow melts from Mt. Herman and cascades to the South through some of the best fishing grounds in Israel. It picks up nutrients along the way that support plant and animal life. Finally, it reaches the Dead Sea, where is stops and goes no further.
The nutrients built up to the point of snuffing out any semblance of life. There is too much goodness to support even the most microscopic forms of life.
Is there a parallel to life? Of course, there is. As we go through life, we build up goodness in our lives and as we pass it on, we sustain a balanced life, but when we hold it all in, it chokes our very being. Now, I am not talking about our nutritional goodness. I am referring to the goodness we get from society and from others as they pass goodness along to us.
When we begin to discipline ourselves spiritually, so much of the work is personal and interior that it is easy to become self-focused. This is why God has given us the task of reaching out and ministering to others. Ministry is crucial to spiritual growth. We are commanded to give and to serve, not because of what it will do for others, but because of what it will do to us.
The Dead Sea is dead because it has water flowing into it, but not out of it. It only takes and never gives. Our spiritual life is like that. If we take in but do not give out, like the Dead Sea, we spiritually stagnate and spiritually die.
The commands of Jesus, the teaching of the Scripture and the needs around us demand that we accept the challenges of ministering to others.
Who will you minister to today?
SOMETIMES TRUE STORIES
There’s an old fable that tells about three apprentice devils who were sent to earth by Satan to finish their apprenticeship. The Devil asked them about their plans to tempt people and lead them astray.
The first demon said, “I will tell them there is no God.” Satan said, “That will not delude many, for they know there’s a God.”
The second said, “I will tell men there is no hell.” Satan replied, “You will deceive some that way.”
The third said, “I will tell men there is no hurry.” Satan excitedly responded to him, “Go, and you will ruin them by the thousands.”
Sadly, many people will be lost because of neglect, disregard, and spiritual lethargy. Maybe this is why there are so many warnings regarding spiritual inattention. —Preacher Man
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When was the last time you were attacked for being a Christian?
Maybe it was a disparaging word. Or exclusion from a group. Maybe it was even physical harm, as so many of our brothers and sisters in Christ suffer across the globe. The fact is: Jesus promised us that, if we are following him, we will face persecution (Matthew 10:22).
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Pastor Ken Whitten on Idols:
• Whatever Gives You Joy and Security Apart From God Is an Idol.
• Idols Evoke the Deepest Emotion in Our Heart.
• Idols Need To Be Protected While Giving You the Illusion They Are Protecting You.
• Idols Demand Sacrifice to Keep Them Happy.
• Idols Are Not Just Psychological Forces, They Are Demonic as Well.
QUOTES YOU CAN USE
Never be a prisoner of your past. It was just a lesson, not a life sentence.
Every time an old person dies, it is like a library being burned down. —Alex Haley
President Trump Tells March for Life: “Every Child Born and Unborn is a Sacred Gift from God”
Don’t Just Organize, Minimize. Minimizing is better than organizing. Minimizing possessions is an act of permanence. It lays the groundwork for overcoming consumerism and forces questions of values and purpose. And minimalism provides the opportunity to pursue our passions.
Jesus is the only God whom, when you obtain Him, will satisfy you, and when you fail Him, He’ll forgive you. —Tim Keller
How could anyone expect a gift from God if they have their hands cliched so tightly around what they already have.
Patience, the quality we love in the driver behind us…but hate in the car in front of us. —Dwight Short