He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” Luke 11:28
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. James 1:22
‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ Jeremiah 33:3
In that day a fountain will be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for impurity. Zechariah 13:1 NASB
God described a time when a fountain will be opened for His people. The Hebrew words give a picture of an opening, like a well dug in the wilderness from which flows life-giving water. This was a fountain “for sin and for impurity.” People would recognize their sins. They would be convicted, and desire to be pure, holy, and right with God.
God also promised to eliminate false prophets and those who spread rumors and inaccurate information. No deception or manipulation would be tolerated. Instead, a spirit of humility and honesty would sweep over the land. People would become sensitive to His Word and dedicated to Him.
Today, your Heavenly Father still has a fountain for sin and impurity. He is ready to open up that fountain for you. But, like finding water in a well, this might require some digging. Digging into your memories, your actions, your thoughts. Digging to help you see the impact of your past.
As you dig, surrender your life anew to the lordship of Jesus. Dig into His Word. Seek to be filled anew with His Spirit. And ask the Spirit to probe your innermost thoughts and feelings, and give you His strength and power.
As He purifies you, allow God to give you more of His riches and wisdom. Purified, seek to eliminate anything that is displeasing to Him. To be pure and holy.
Spend time in prayer. Seek His face. And start digging. Let the water from His fountain flow into your life. Let it refresh and cleanse you, and quench your thirsty soul.
Loving the Unlovable
Valentine’s Day is one of the most widely celebrated unofficial holidays. There are several different explanations for the holiday, which was declared a celebration of martyrs in A.D. 496 by Saint Pope Gelasius I.
Some authorities believe the celebration was designed to divert Christians from the pagan observance of Lupercalia, an ancient Roman festival. Other experts link the custom of exchanging valentines with the old English belief that birds chose their mates on that day.
The early church had two saints named Valentine. In one story the Roman Emperor Claudius II forbade young men to marry, thinking that single men made better soliders. A priest named Valentine disobeyed and secretly married young couples.
Another version asserts that Valentine was an early Christian who made friends with children. When the Romans imprisoned him, the children threw loving notes through his cell window.
Jesus condensed the Ten Commandments into two:
“… love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.” Mark 12:30 (NLT)
[Jesus said,] “I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other.” John 13:34 (NLT)
He said the love we have for one another will prove to the world that we are his followers (John 13:35).
Once we experience God’s lavish, unconditional love, the only reasonable response is to share that love with others.
Jesus also gave a command that appears illogical and impossible:
“But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you.” Luke 6:27 (NLT)
Our natural tendency is to love only those who love us, which Jesus said is no credit to us. The selfless love He described can be expressed only with supernatural help from God’s Spirit, but it offers the world an undeniable witness of God’s transforming love and power.
Maybe we should use February 14 to reach out to those who don’t come to mind when we think of Valentines.