ARE YOU A DEAD SEA CHRISTIAN?
by Deb Raab (Nelson)
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The Dead Sea received its name because no life can exist in its waters. The Jordan River is the source of fresh water for it, but as soon as the water reaches the Dead Sea, it can’t go any further, so it becomes stagnant. The fresh part of the water evaporates rapidly in the hot desert climate and all the salt; minerals, etc. are left behind. The dry air absorbs the water evaporating and creates a natural sunscreen. This can happen in our Christian walk. If all we do is take in without ever giving out, then we are going to become stale Christians. All the blessings and knowledge we receive from God are going to evaporate. We do not want to be a “son”-screen, and screen out Jesus from the rest of the world. We want to share Jesus with the rest of the world. But, the more we allow ourselves and our spiritual life to become stale, the more we are being a son-screen rather than a witness to others.
“He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.” Luke 11:23 NKJV
Many of us take in mercy, grace, forgiveness, love and all the blessings both material and spiritual from God and never give any of it away. We are intended to be vessels, to pour out to others what we receive from God.
“Freely you have received freely give.” Matthew 10:8b NKJV
This shows itself in many ways. We are material vessels for God by giving tithes, offerings, gifts, food, clothes and many other material things to others. God wants us to be resources for Him on this earth. We are to be Jesus in the skin to people.
“Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over will be put into your bosom. For the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38 NKJV
Spiritually we can be vessels for God, by giving time, encouragement, love, mercy, grace, forgiveness and other forms of support. This includes forgiving the people we encounter on a daily basis. Not just our friends, family and coworkers, but the people that cut us off in traffic, or are slow in front of us in line. Giving mercy, grace and love to others can be part of our daily lives. A kind word, a smile, letting someone go ahead of you, these are all little ways that we can bless others. Sometimes all people need is to be listened to, or noticed and given time.
“And become useful and helpful and kind to one another, tenderhearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted), forgiving one another [readily and freely], as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 AMP
“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” Matthew 6:14 NKJV
The things we learn in the Scriptures we are to share with others, to help lead people to the Lord. We are to do Kingdom business here on earth, sharing what we have whether it is knowledge, love or material items.
“He sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick” Luke 9:2 NKJV
“For the harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few...” Luke 10:2a NKJV
We can’t give what we don’t have, so first it’s necessary to receive all God has for us and then give it away to others, in this way we empty ourselves so God can pour more into us. It is a divine cycle.
“And there was a man called Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector, and he was rich.”
Luke 19:2 AMP
“And when Jesus reached the place, He looked up and said to him, Zacchaeus hurry and come down for I must stay at your house today. So he hurried and came down, and he received and welcomed Him joyfully. And when the people saw it, they all muttered among themselves and indignantly complained, He has gone in to be the guest of and lodge with a man who is devoted to sin and preeminently a sinner. So then Zacchaeus stood up and solemnly declared to the Lord, See Lord, half of my goods I give [by way of restoration] to the poor and if I have cheated anyone out of anything, I restore four times as much.” Luke 19:5-8 AMP
Eating in a person’s home was a significant act in biblical times, signifying fellowship and acceptance. Zacchaeus RECEIVED and welcomed Jesus joyfully; and in response promised to give half of his goods to the poor and restore four times the amount to anyone that he had cheated. The law only required that Zacchaeus restore the original amount plus one-fifth. The proof of receiving salvation is not that we do what we must to make things right, but that we gladly do more.
Be an encourager. Be Jesus in the skin to someone today. Give away one of your many blessings to someone else, and just watch how Jesus uses you.
Don’t be a “Dead Sea” Christian.
November 9, 2001
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