He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. (John 7:38)
Youve probably come across some of the goofy headlines that have shown up in newspapers before. Here are a few recaps:
Some are slips of the tongue:
Grandmother of eight makes hole in one
Deaf mute gets new hearing in killing
Police begin campaign to run down jaywalkers
House passes gas tax onto senate
Others are suffering from grammatical skill:
Squad helps dog bite victim
Enraged cow injures farmer with ax
Miners refuse to work after death
Two sisters reunite after eighteen years at checkout counter
Then there are those that pretty much state the opposite:
If strike isn't settled quickly it may last a while
War dims hope for peace
Smokers are productive, but death cuts efficiency
Cold wave linked to temperatures
This week, I came across one that really caught my attention:
The Dead Sea is Dying
Of course I had to check it out just to see how something dead could then proceed to die. Maybe it was only mostly dead?
I had always wondered why it was called the Dead Sea, and I found my answer. The Dead Sea is not super high on the desired vacation spots in the world list. It is one gigantic grimy and grotesque salt pool that contains no fish or plant life.
What accounts for this unusual and unique condition? There are absolutely no outlets. A great amount of water pours into this area, but nothing flows out. Many inlets plus no outlets equals a dead sea.
Could it be that many believers could be called Dead Sea Christians?" This physical law of nature has a spiritual parallel, and it explains why many of Jesus followers are so lifeless and lacking in spiritual energy. Sure, Christians today have exciting conferences and cruises, off-the-hook Christian music, enough devotional material to last a few thousand years, and massive multimedia services. Yet somehow it seems the results of all these efforts are complacent and oftentimes comatose Christianity.
How could this happen? Simple. They have several "inlets," but no "outlets." To be vibrant and useful believers, we must not only "take in" all we can, but we must also "give out" in ministry to others. Many inlets plus no outlets equals a dead sea Christian.
So let me ask you a question. Is your Christian life feeling like Malibu Beach, or is it more like muddy muck? Its great that you have all the right inlets, but perhaps it is time to open up the outlets.
Here are a few suggestions.
Outlet one: Share your faith.
Develop real and meaningful friendships with unbelievers and share with them the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Apostle Paul certainly knew about the importance of this outlet, which is why he wrote, "I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ." (Philemon 1:6)
When you think about this conversely, you realize that if you are not active in sharing your faith, you will not have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.
Outlet two: Share your love.
There are people in need all around you, and there is opportunity every day to reach out to others in the power of the Spirit. Speak a kind word, help a friend and/or stranger, and forgive those who have wronged you.
Check out Jesus summation of the outlet theory, which is do to others as you would have them do to you.
"If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' do that." (John 6:31-33)
Outlet three: Share your self.
Pray as though you only have one more hour to pray. Open the floodgates of your broken spirit to the Holy Spirit, and reveal your true self to your Truest Friend. Get involved in a ministry at your church where you can use the spiritual gifts God has entrusted you with to help build His Kingdom.
There are many other options for outlets, but I think you get the point. The living waters of Christ were never meant to be kept to ourselves.
May the Lord make us like invigorating springs where thirsty souls may drink. Because the Holy Spirit lives within us, we possess the "water of life" and can be channels of hope to those in need. From hearts of love, let us pour out to others what we have first received from God. If we do, we will never become Dead-Sea Christians.
Founder and president of Dare 2 Share Ministries, International (D2S) Greg Stier has made an impact on the lives of tens of thousands of Christian teenagers across the country through Dare 2 Share conferences, where he equips youth workers and leaders to be effective in sharing the gospel. For more information on Dare 2 Share Ministries, please visit www.dare2share.org. Find out how Dare 2 Share Ministries and Focus on the Family® are working together to capture the hearts of this generation of teenagers, visit www.capturetheirhearts.com. Send feedback to email@example.com.