Posts tagged ‘Living water’

October 27, 2011

Take Me To Your Leader

by pastortimfowler

Who do you know that you would follow anywhere? Maybe a quick answer would be your spouse, but remember that I said anywhere. Would it be a policeman? How about your child? Now I want to ask, who would follow you anywhere and Why.
I am getting ready to read Dave Ramsey’s new book about leadership. It came highly recommended at a conference that I recently attended and because I like his approach to money and admire what he has done with his company, I want to see what he teaches about leadership. This is a subject that try to read at least a book or two a year about and I don’t think I can ever learn enough about the subject.
I often use the question, what kind of person must Jesus have been to have thousands of people follow Him into the wilderness without any food? Remember that they did not have drive-throughs, then, and restaurants were hard to come by in the wilderness. These people must have been crazy to follow a man they barely knew out into a hostile environment unless he had some pretty amazing qualities. This is the same man who told 12 men to follow Him and they left their jobs and did it for 3 years even though He continually told them that He was going to a cross to die.
As Christians, we are supposed to lead people to Jesus, and sadly, that does not happen with most of us in any great numbers. Sure, it is not an easy task in this present age, but I believe that there is one thing that is consistent that makes it easier, Jesus. He has not changed and He gives us the guidelines that allow this to happen. Maybe we should focus on those rather than what we are currently trying to do.
Leading others is something that takes a willingness to be bold and take the first step. But it also takes an ever-present awareness of watching the steps that we take as others are watching us. If we lead others in the wrong paths, who needs a leader? We must be willing to keep heading in the right direction even if people aren’t immediately following us. Sometimes people want to see if we believe that we are heading in the right direction before they tag along.
Another key to leading others and this is important, at least to me, is that they see joy in you as you head to where you are wanting to lead others. One of the promises of Jesus said that He would give us His joy. He did not say that he would make us happy or let us find joy, but rather He would give us the joy that He already had. To often I see Christians walking around as if they had lost their puppy or something. Even in church where we gather to worship, I see long faces and people afraid to act as if they believe that God is real. And after church if you go to a restaurant you will hear the church folks talking about long-winded preachers, bad music, and that hideous dress that she was wearing. To top it off, many waitresses will tell you that Sundays are their worst days for tips. Oh yeah, baby, follow me to life eternal! Where is the joy?
Leadership is not limited to CEO’s and Government officials and pastors. If you are a Christian you should take the lead. An old friend of mine once said that you only have to be one step ahead to lead. The challenge is to act like we want others to follow. Most people like the spotlight of leadership when there is a title and a pay-check involved, but Jesus tells us that the treasures in this world will go away, but the treasure in heaven are never-ending.
If you had to lead someone to a place that was as miserable as the wilderness of Israel, and you had no food, you had better be a dynamic person. Jesus was. But He did not say lead people to the wilderness, He said to lead them to Heaven, via Him. If McD’s was giving away free Big Macs and fries to everyone that you brought to them, you would have no problem putting on the smile and enthusiastically having people follow you there, even if it were the one across town. Jesus offers the Bread of life and Living Water and a place to stay in His mansion for all eternity to everyone you bring to Him. And, you won’t have to lead them far. Just take them to the cross.

March 17, 2011

Air Conditioner Tune-up

by pastortimfowler

Well, well, well, it is that time of year when the temps here in the south can range from 32 degrees in the morning to 82 degrees in the afternoon. All winter we have our air conditioners off and don’t even think about using them until months have passed and all of a sudden opening a window is not enough. We turn on the AC and…nothing happens. How can this be?
Let me stop right here and say that I do not own an AC business nor do I have stock in one. It is just a great analogy of our lives as Christians.
I have a friend in the AC business who told me a few things and that is where I get my info. Most AC systems have two parts; the compressor unit and the blower unit, usually the one in the furnace. The blower works year round for the most part. It has to circulate the warm air in your house during the cold of winter and the cool air during the heat of summer. This unit is not the one the people usually find broken when they turn on the AC for the first time.
Most machinery does not like sitting idle. There are lubricants that if things are moving don’t do what they are designed to do. Sometimes that causes things to get stuck and not function like they are supposed to. There are other liquids and chemicals that will settle if the machinery is not used regularly. This will often have a negative side effect. Then there is that stuff called dust and dirt. It builds up and always seems to find that one place that you don’t or can’t clean. Put all this together and when you start a piece of machinery, like your AC unit, for this first time in a while, things will often go wrong.
There is nothing worse than being hot, knowing or thinking that you have cool air at the touch of a button, touching the button, and getting nothing.
That is what happens to a lot of Christians. We sit idle for long periods of time and things get locked up inside us. The fluids, like the Living Water, pools into one place or leaks out because of a crack, and when someone needs the cool breeze of God’s word, we aren’t able to turn the system on. Sure the blower, our mouth, works, we use it all the time But the part that sits idle may need a tune up.
A tune up can be done at any time, even if you run your system all the time. But when something is run all the time, you kind of expect a break every now and then. We don’t think about that thing that was working five months ago and we haven’t used in a while. And if it doesn’t start-up, we panic.
Christians need to remember that God wants us to constantly cool the heat of Hell by keeping our mouths pumping out the refreshing words of Jesus in truth and in love. That heat never goes out, never takes a break for the winter or the summer. But our activity as Christians will soon be turned off for the summer as we go on vacation, the lake, or just chilling in our nice air-conditioned homes.
Think about tuning up your AC before it gets really hot. Think about running your mouth for Jesus and keeping it tuned up to cool the heat from Hell. Don’t turn your eternal cooling system off this summer, but rather keep it tuned up with regular visits to your church.