The Well worth Drawing from

I remember a year ago having a conversation with a girl in our youth group back home in Texas. We were talking about the Gospel and how life changing it is. She then asked one simple question. She simply asked “Why Jesus?” The one thing I want The Lord to do for us in this time and our prayer is that the Lord would challenge our every thought of Jesus. To where we will know in our hearts that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. That we may always be in a place where we are seeking Him with all of our being.

There is a thirst in each one of us, a thirst we painfully feel and a satisfaction we eagerly long for.

John 4:7-15 (ESV)

A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria? (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you,’Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”

This is one of my favorite passages of scripture and it reveals a Truth to us: There are wells on this earth that will end, and a Well that will not end. I think that the most common wells we seek for satisfaction is money, relationships, careers, etc. Recently the Powerball hit an all time record. The cash value was over $900,000,000! I asked the group if I was to win and gave each of them a million dollars, would you be satisfied? Everyone immediately said absolutely. That’s a lot of money, life would be pretty good if I had a million dollars. But the truth is, no matter how much money I have, it will end. Period. 

For me, one of the wells in my life that was a big thing was playing baseball. For those of you who know me and my family, baseball was the sport that we were all about. I remember being very young and always playing catch with my older brother. And we were pretty talented at it. My dream was to play varsity ball at school and play college and of course, make it to the big leagues. I devoted my young years to practicing, becoming better and better. Then the year 2007 rolls around. In a freak accident in a game I snapped my collar bone. The doctor fixed me up and after a few months released me to start playing ball again. I was a pitcher mind you. A year later I started complaining about how my arm was hurting and game by game, I started throwing slower and slower. Here I am 9 years later, and I have had 15 surgeries on my elbow. It was in 2009 that the doctor told me I would never be able to play baseball. I was devastated. I became depressed. The one thing I loved and had a passion for was over. What now?

My well had officially ran dry. My response to the news gave this away: I was seeking satisfaction in something that will not satisfy the thirst in my soul.

Here is the Truth: Jesus will never end. Jesus truly and completely satisfies.

We see it all over the scriptures. “You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.” (Psalm 145:16) “His love endures forever.” (Psalm 136) “For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” (Psalm 100:5) “Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures.” (Psalm 119:90)

In John chapter 6 we see Jesus feeding the 5,ooo. After this, Jesus reveals to us that He is the Bread of Life; that whoever comes to Him shall not hunger, and whoever believes in Him shall never thirst. (John 6:35) We see in this chapter a lot of disciples stop following Jesus. But I love Peter’s response to Jesus when asked if they want to leave as well. “Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:68-69)

The wells of the world are not bad things. Money isn’t a bad thing. Relationships are not a bad thing. Where it becomes an issue is when we run to those wells to satisfy instead of the One who can only satisfy. Creation will end. Jesus will not. So I will leave you with this: Feast spiritually, not physically. There is a thirst in every single one of us for something to satisfy. The things of this world won’t quench that thirst, but the Lord will.

So why Jesus? Jesus will never end. Jesus truly and completely satisfies. 


Experiential Overload

Recently I have been teaching on how God has always provided a place He referred to as a place flowing with milk and honey.  The Israelites failed to possess this land because they saw giants in the land and failed to believe that God would give them the ability to overcome all and every obstacle that would oppose them.

Jesus tells us in John 10: 10 that we have been given the ability to have life and have it abundantly.  One translation says we have the possibility of experiencing life to its fullest.

I see that as God’s promise to us as believers that we too can possess a place “flowing with milk and honey.”  The book of Hebrews calls it a place of rest.

The human model of how we become who we are is the following: body – mind – spirit.  Our bodies experience feelings, emotions, circumstances, experiences, ups and downs, etc. which influence how we interpret things.  Our minds become programmed by our experiences in life.  We form opinions, prejudices, etc. by what we experience in life.  Our spirits, the inner most parts of us, are formed by what we have experienced throughout our lives.

According to the human model of personal formation we are what we have experienced in life and how others have influenced our thinking.

By God’s design we have a limited life span with experiences we will PERSONALLY have to face in life: OUR successes, OUR failures, deaths of those with whom we have come to know and love in life by close, physical, face to face relationships, etc.  All these experiences have to do with us, PERSONALLY.

God has given us the ability even as non-Christians to handle what we experience, PERSONALLY.

Sadly today, our personal experiences are not the only things that will form us.  Social media: texts, emails and all the other social media avenues are bombarding us with the experiences of others.

Facebook is especially an avenue of what I call Experiential Overload.  No longer do I have to face my personal experiences which affect my life but the experiences of all my so-called Facebook friends.

True personal communication is over 90% body language and tone of voice, both of which are not experienced by social media communication.  However we will experience the successes, joys, failures, tragedies, heartbreaks, pain and sufferings of all those individuals who post their own personal life experiences.

We are bombarded by the experiences, both good and bad, of our so-called Facebook friends.  Their experiences, their opinions and especially their expressed feelings toward us have an incredible influence on our feelings and emotions.

We were designed to handle the experiences of the limited people we come to know by personal contact in our lives.  We were never designed to handle the incredible amount of experiences of all those who we call friends on social media.

I am always amazed how our younger generation is mesmerized by social media.  Is it no wonder that this generation is facing such mental issues as depression, anxiety, worry and fear.

They are being bombarded by the problems and bad experiences of others.  That is what I have coined as Experiential Overload.

God has given us a remedy for Experiential Overload.

God’s model for our formation is different than man’s model.  God had provided a place of rest, peace and happiness for us even though we will to face our personal challenges and experiences.

I will explain this wonderful place and how to get there in my next blog.

-Pastor Jim

Look What the lord has done!

“And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony” Revelation 12:11

One of my favorite things in life is to listen to stories. Story time was my favorite part of the day in Elementary school. Stories are captivating. I love sitting down with people and hearing their life story and how God has moved in their lives. When I hear the story of how God is moving in their life, it brings my soul joy and brings my heart to worship the Lord. One thing I can confidently say for my House on the Rock family is this: GOD IS MOVING!

I recently sat down with my sister in Christ Nancy Collett to hear her story. For a while she was struggling with back pain. It was hard for her to do daily activities and was becoming a huge problem. She went to the doctor to see what was causing all this back pain. After numerous tests, the doctors found a mass on her pancreas. This led to more and more tests to see if the mass was cancerous. We came together as a family and began praying for God’s healing and to take the pain away. Nancy returned to the doctor to continue to run tests and begin the process of treatment. The doctor ran four tests and was astonished at the results. The scans that had showed a mass on her pancreas a month ago, now showed no signs of a mass anywhere. All four tests came back CLEAR!

Nancy walks in to the church the following Sunday bursting with joy and telling everyone of God’s goodness.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13