Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: River (08/31/06)
TITLE: One Drop at a Time
By Cheryl Harrison
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The time comes for uncle and nephew to part…
“You pick the land you want”, Abram graciously offers, “and I will take what’s left.”
Lot lifts selfish eyes to the east and replies, “I choose the well watered land that lies near the Jordan River.” The flourishing land beckons his heart with counterfeit promises of prosperity. Lot leaves his uncle's camp, completely unaware that everything he treasures will be lost.
Let the river flow …
Jacob flees from his brother Esau to the land of his uncle …
Laban gladly welcomes his nephew into the family business and repays fourteen years of hard labor with two wives — Leah and Rachel. Years pass, and the time comes for nephew and uncle to part.
Jacob leads his family across the ford of the Jabbok, known as a tributary of the Jordan River. Sending them ahead across the stream, Jacob remains behind. That night he wrestles with God and receives a new name – “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel” (Gen 32:28). That night Jacob faces God and survives. Devine blessing replaces stolen blessing and soon the broken relationship with his brother is restored.
Holy Spirit Come …
A Priest self righteously challenges the peculiar man …
“Are you the Prophet?” He asks the baptizer.
John lifts his hands toward Heaven. Water runs through his fingers, rains on his head, and drips from his beard. He gazes into the Pharisees’ eyes and responds, “I am not.”
His answer doesn’t satisfy the growing crowd of religious elite. Their murmurings intensify. “Well then, who are you?” they prod.
John sighs, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness…” With these words he ponders the magnitude of his mission. Day after day he waits in the waters of the Jordan River, anticipating the fulfilled promises of God.
Suddenly, the Spirit quickens within John’s heart. Eternity stirs the waters of baptism as the feet of Jesus step into the river. John searches the eyes of his Savior and exclaims, “I am not worthy…” to which Jesus answers, “You must be obedient…”
God the Father celebrates the baptism of Jesus with His pleasure and the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Move in Power …
The sky darkens …
Jesus cries out, “It is finished”, then bows his head and dies. Separation from God rips in two from top to bottom. The earth quakes, rocks split, and graves open. Centurions look upon the crucified body of Jesus with awe. “Surely, this was the Son of God”, exclaims one soldier, as another pierces the side of innocence with a spear. A river of blood and water flows down the cross, covering the sins of the world one drop at a time. Three days later the tomb is empty.
Let the river flow …
A young woman sits alone in the back of a church, listening to words that sooth her battered soul. Music fills the sanctuary and the preacher pleads for people to respond to God’s message. The woman squirms in her seat, wondering to herself, “How could God love a person like me?” Hesitation grips her heart, but freedom calls her home. Nervously, she shifts from one foot to the other and then slowly steps into the aisle. Angels in heaven rejoice as another lost soul walks into the waiting arms of Jesus.
Let the river flow
Holy Spirit Come
Move in Power
Lyrics – Let the River Flow
Words and Music by Darrell Evans
© 1995 Mercy / Vineyard Publishing
Scripture references taken from the Holy Bible, New King James Version, © 1991 Thomas Nelson Publishing
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