Rivers of Living Water

Rivers of Living Water

He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. John 7:38

On last Tuesday, a few people were given the opportunity to see a “river” of water flowing from the front doors of the church.  It’s not the first time the church has gone through that kind of experience.  We all hope that it might be the last.

I do not think that is what Jesus meant in this verse from the Gospel of John, but perhaps it does represent a visual of what He did mean. 

First, we cannot survive without water.  Our bodies, our existence, requires that we have water.  In the same way, our existence in eternity with God depends on our “drinking” of the Holy Spirit.  This “water” satisfies our parched places.  With this “water” we shall never thirst again.

Second, water cleanses.  We take baths.  We wash our cars.  Water washes the outside of our houses, our windows (and I suppose the inside of the church).  Water cleanses and purifies.  The water Jesus speaks of has a cleansing and purifying nature.  Through grace and mercy, we are forgiven.  Our slates are wiped clean.  We do not have to carry around the “dirt” of this earthly existence.  Accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior introduces our spirit to the Holy Spirit, and we are made clean.

Third, water has a force and a power that can’t be ignored.  When water gets high enough, it will flood any area quickly and, cannot be diverted or held back unless we try to intervene.  And when we do try to intervene, we soon learn that our efforts are no match for what nature will do.  We are promised the same power that Jesus had when we “drink” of the Holy Spirit.  That is a power that cannot be stopped and cannot be diverted, unless we refuse to let the Holy Spirit into our lives.  We still have a choice to make.

What is exciting about this analogy is, just as that water literally flowed from the “belly” of the church, the Holy Spirit is alive in this church.  Rivers of water do flow from those who have been obedient to hearing the Word of God.  Hearing from God requires a person to decide what they truly believe about God, and then act accordingly. Hearing from God requires a person to make adjustments in their lives, some of which are costly to themselves and those around them. 

The last time the church building flooded, the church made some adjustments.  The entire sanctuary was turned around and enlarged.  New flooring was put in.  But as God provided the way for these changes, He also provided an opportunity for the church to trust Him.  His Spirit was alive and refreshed all who labored to bring about the changes, both the physical changes in the building and the spiritual changes in the people.

What is God going to do this time?  There’s only one way to find out.  His Spirit is still alive, so Trust Him, seek Him, and walk in the refreshing, cleansing, life giving, and life sustaining power of His “water.” 

© 2019 Charles A. Kalkomey

June 9, 2019

You Haven’t Seen Anything Yet!

8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Acts 1:8

Acts 1:8 is the key verse in Acts. The instructions here are simple – we are to be witnesses to others as to who Jesus is and to God’s love. But we don’t have to do that on our own. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to abide in us. And through the Holy Spirit was have the power, Jesus’ Promised Power to be the witnesses we are called to be.

Many people don’t realize the power they have been given. Even those who know of God’s blessings and have experienced the power of God working through them can become complacent and content. A person can feel that God has been good to them, but not grasp what else God has for them; how much more God wants to bless them. But with the Promised Power, there is so much more we can and will do. If you will trust in Him, you will realize – You haven’t seen anything yet!

He had spent so many long years walking across this earth.
So many things had the Spirit done through this man’s birth.
He knew he had lived a long life that had been truly blessed,
But he began to feel there’s something out there that he had missed.
Then inside of him he felt the Spirit begin to move, begin to flow,
Saying “You haven’t seen anything yet. There’s more for you to know.”

She had a good family and had all she thought she’d ever need.
There was nothing that held her down; by the Word she’d been freed.
But she knew there was a hole in her heart, and it slowly begin to ache.
There came a shifting in her soul that she didn’t know how to take.
Then inside of her she felt the Spirit begin to move, begin to flow,
Saying “You haven’t seen anything yet. There’s more to you I’ll show.”

The preacher thought back on all his years and the things he had seen.
Many of the flock were lost, some were found, many more left in between.
He thought of all the things God had done through those many years.
Remembering how God had been there through all the joys and tears.
Then inside of him he felt the Spirit begin to move, begin to flow,
Saying “You haven’t seen anything yet. Get ready for where you’ll go.”

Has what’s God’s done in your life left you content, wanting no more?
Do you hear the sound of doors closing and think nothing’s left in store?
But there’s another level for you that God has and wants you to know.
His Promised Power that He gave us all is still waiting to help you grow.
Open you heart and allow the Spirit to begin an to move, begin to flow,
Saying “You haven’t seen anything yet. Take My Hand and let’s go.”

© 2019 Charles A. Kalkomey
May 26, 2019

Fourth of July Reflections

 

17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.    2 Corinthians 3:17

 

As we look to celebrate this Fourth of July this week, we cannot help but be frustrated over the state of politics. And that state of politics has gone awry from the beliefs of those who were courageous enough to seek independence and knew what was important to maintain that independence – maintaining a dependence upon Jesus as Lord and Savior. Here are some of their thoughts.  It would be good for all of us to remember what our forefathers believed in and trusted in. 

 “The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.”       John Adams

 “Why is it that, next to the birthday of the Savior of the world, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day [the Fourth of July]?” “Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? That it forms a leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity”?   John Quincy Adams

 “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and Bible.”     George Washington

 “What students would learn in American schools above all is the religion of Jesus Christ.”    George Washington

 “While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian.”     George Washington

 “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ.”   Patrick Henry

” The great, vital, and conservative element in our system is the belief of our people in the pure doctrines and the divine truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”   Congress, 1854

 “I do not believe that the Constitution was the offspring of inspiration, but I am as satisfied that it is as much the work of a Divine Providence as any of the miracles recorded in the Old and New Testament.”  Benjamin Rush

©2018 Charles A. Kalkomey

July 4, 2018

Don’t Fly Blind

5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.  Proverbs 3:5-6

 

A pilot was taking a trip in his small airplane one day. Suddenly, the weather around him changed. The clouds engulfed him. He couldn’t see where he was, or where the ground was. The storm that was brewing created some interference, and not all of the gauges in front of him were working. Soon he realized he was flying blind.

At least his radio still worked. He called out on that radio for anyone who was listening. An air traffic controller heard the call and responded. He could see the pilot’s aircraft on his radar screen.

The air traffic controller was able to direct the pilot to the airport. He could tell the pilot which way to turn and when to turn. He was able to tell the pilot whether he needed to gain altitude in the aircraft or begin to descend. Using the radio, the air traffic controller was able to guide the pilot through that storm and to a safe landing.

During all of this, the pilot had a choice to make. Was he going to try to land that aircraft by himself? Or was he going to trust the person on the other end of his radio? He couldn’t see that person. He didn’t know that person. But if he was going to safely land that airplane, he had to put his trust in someone he couldn’t see or didn’t know.

At some point we all go through life that way. We are flying along doing our own thing, and then something goes wrong. And when that happens, we desperately reach out for someone to help us. We search for someone we can trust. And it may not be someone we can see, or we even know.

Until we allow Jesus to come into our lives, we don’t know Him. We certainly can’t see Him face to face. Yet Jesus is the only One who can direct us safely through this life by directing us to the Father. He is the One who knows which way we are to turn.

But we must learn to trust Him. Not only when things are not going the right way, but trust Him always and in all things. We can’t see Him, but if we look, everything around us shows us His hands at work in everything. We may not know Him at first, but He knows us, and He wants us to know Him more than we realize.

We must make that choice to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. We must learn to trust Him to show us the way we are to go. Until we do, we are flying blind in this life.

The storms will continue to come. Even after we accept Jesus in our hearts, we sometimes still think we know the right way. But when we continue to put our trust in God’s promises, God’s Word, and God’s love, He will guide us safely through those storms. We may not be able to see everything around us, and those “clouds” may be gathering around us, but with God, we aren’t flying blind.

 

©2018  Charles A. Kalkomey

March 11, 2018

Got Your “Shot” of Jesus?

6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.   John 14:6
Inoculation refers to the intentional introduction of a small portion of a form of an infectious disease into a person with the purpose of causing the body to produce antibodies to fight the disease. The concept is to cause the body to develop an immunity to the actual virus.

The process is thought to have started in China during the 10th century to fight small pox. The need to fight that disease continued as it spread across the world as man spread across the continents. The first recorded use of the practice in America was in 1721, when a prominent Boston minister finally convinced a physician to inoculate his two sons.

The practice continues today as we are all urged to get flu shots. A yellow fever vaccine is needed if you travel to Africa. There are meningitis vaccines and a vaccine for pneumonia. Polio has been eliminated through the polio vaccine, which some of us received in a sugar cube.

What we are missing is an inoculation from the evil of the world. But it’s not really missing, we just don’t let it work.
Jesus is that inoculation. Jesus is our vaccine against the evil. We let Jesus come into our lives and we begin to build some resistance, “antibodies” against the enemy; against Satan. But then something happens.
Why does the small pox vaccine work? Why does the polio vaccine work? It’s because our bodies were designed by the Maker. He made it possible for our bodies to build those necessary antibodies without us doing anything. It’s all programed into our DNA.

But many people get that “inoculation” of Jesus, of the truth, and it doesn’t do what it is supposed to do. The world around us appeals to our flesh, to our senses, to our eyes and ears, and we don’t allow for God’s Word to grow in us, to reveal the truth to us, to keep us on the right path. We become “weak” in fighting evil, we give in to the temptations of life, and we become spiritually dead.

Sometimes, something else happens. We get inoculated with Jesus and we catch the disease of religion. We develop a closed heart and mind as to what it means to develop a personal relationship with God, and we don’t ever find God’s plan for our lives.

Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. Each of our lives depend on us repenting of our sins, turning away from the past, and turning to what God wants us to do. But we can’t do any of those by ourselves. We need Jesus. He must be Lord and Savior to us. We must trust in Him and turn our lives over to Him.

Without those vaccines, we are in danger of becoming ill and dying. Without Jesus, we are dead. Forever. For eternity. Have you received your “shot” of Jesus in your life?

2018 Charles A. Kalkomey
March 4, 2018

A Very Present Help

1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Psalm 46:1

We spend much of our time planning for the future. We are always thinking about what we need to do now to be ready for tomorrow.

Now, there is nothing wrong with planning. Some people are just obsessed with it. They go through each day as if they had to make plans for themselves and their family for the next 50 years! Such questions haunt them. “How much money do I need to live on when I get old? What do I have to put away for college for the children? What do I have to do to make sure the boss notices how hard I work?” When do I need to think about looking for another job so I can move up the ladder quicker? What do I need to do to impress that girl over in the accounting department?”

Notice in all of those questions the emphasis is on “what I have to do” or “what do I need to have.” It’s as if everything depended on each of us to control the outcome we desire.

Then something happens, and we soon realize we are not in charge. We get hit with the reality of just how little we actually control. The outcomes of life are not simply all in our hands.

Just ask 17 families in south Florida. That college fund is not important any more. What type of car they drive is no longer a priority. Where they will spend spring break no longer matters.

An act of evil that is beyond comprehension, beyond understanding suddenly changed the course of life for those families. They had a son or a daughter, a brother or a sister, a friend, that was suddenly taken away from them. No one can plan for a day when a loved one goes off to high school, never to walk through the front door of their home again. And what makes it even more unbearable? It seems as if it could have been prevented by the authorities a month earlier.

Life is not about what “I” can do or make happen. Life is about being a part of what God wants to do in each person’s life. When life is turned upside down, we need a place of refuge.

A refuge is a place of safety; a place we can trust. Strength allows for one to stand firm. God is that only true place of safety. He alone gives us the strength to hold on; to keep going. And God has been tried many times, but He has proven to be always present in times of trouble and tribulation.

The lives of many people changed in an instant last week. A person can question and wonder where God was in all of this horror. A person can ask God why He didn’t stop this from happening. That question we cannot answer. But be assured God was there in the middle of it all. He didn’t flee from those students and teachers. He was that present help in time of trouble. And He continues to be that present help for those who are left to mourn and grieve; for those who continue to ask why; for those who are struggling to move forward.

Remember, as we plan for tomorrow, we are not promised a tomorrow. But we are promised that if we will seek Him, if we will have a relationship with Him, He will not abandon us.. He is the refuge and the strength that gets us through each day. He is always present. Will you let Him be your very present help in times of trouble?

©2018  Charles A. Kalkomey

February 18, 2018

God For All Times!

8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.   James 4:8

There seem to be many in this nation who know how to call on the name of God at certain times; at times when there is no place left to turn. When trouble comes and it seems that all hope is lost. When the unthinkable is all that we can think about. When someone can walk into a school and take the lives of 17 others.

Columbine. Sandy Hook. And now Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Remember the University of Texas tower shooting? That claimed 17 lives 41 years ago. There have been 30 such events since 1900.

And with each of these tragedies, people cry out to God. People who haven’t prayed in months start to pray for God’s help; His comfort; His healing; His peace.

It has been the same way throughout time. In Exodus, God’s people were in bondage and they cried out to God to deliver them. When they were trapped at the Red Sea, they cried out to God. In Judges, Israel cried out to God because God had delivered them into the hands of the Midianites because of the evil they had done.

Why is it that we cry out for God’s presence in our lives when things go wrong? Why have we taken God out of our presence when things are good?

Why have we taken God out of the schools? There is no more prayer, no more scriptures read in public schools. Why have we taken the Ten Commandments out of public display? Why is it that there are those in this country that tell us it is not right to talk about God in public because we may offend someone?

The reason for the most recent school tragedy? God is gone from our lives in times of peace. We only fellowship with God on Sundays and in times of trouble. We have forgotten we are to be in relationship with Him.

We have forgotten God’s plan for the family. The family is not just important, it’s critical to our existence. It’s what holds society together. The family is meant to reinforce the difference between right and wrong.

Do we need a louder cry for revival? At what point do we realize that we are nothing without God in our lives? When we chose to take God out of schools, work, the public, our everyday routines, we chose to tell God we don’t need Him. We are capable of doing things ourselves. We can take care of ourselves. But the way which seems right to man is actually the way of death. (Proverbs 14:12)

Can something good come from all of this? If we, as a nation, wake-up. If we, as a nation, realize that God has to be a part of all of life; that we can’t put Him on a shelf until we need Him. If we trust Him in all things.

Yes, God hears our prayers. He hears our cries in times of trouble and pain. But He also wants to hear us each and every day, even if it’s just to tell Him how much we love Him, and hear how much He loves us. God is the God in times of trouble. But He is also the God in times of peace. He is the God for all times!

©2018  Charles A. Kalkomey

February 25, 2018

The Healer

The Healer

 26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.

Exodus 15:26

For the first time in 65 years I experienced the surroundings of an operating room. (Ok. I admit I must have been in one 65 years ago, but I don’t remember anything more about that time than I do this time.) Having not been in this situation before, it was interesting to listen to one of the specialists talk about a couple of items that patients take for granted today.

You know that little light thing they put on your finger to measure the oxygen content in your blood? Well, years ago, the only way to do that was through the lab, and by the time the doctor got the results, it may be too late. But a bioengineer was looking at projects at a science fair. He saw another student’s project which showed how blood with oxygen was different in color than blood without oxygen. He began to experiment with that and using ultraviolet light he was able to develop that little device on the end of your finger. Now a doctor can instantaneously know the oxygen level in your blood with a oximeter.

Hospitals are always cold, especially the operating rooms. One of the problems years ago was that when a lot of blood was involved, the doctors had trouble keeping the patient’s body temperature high enough. Someone had the bright idea to wrap some plastic around the patient and blow hot air into the wrapping with a blow dryer. They found that if they could keep a certain percentage of the patient’s body warm, the procedures went with less complications. Therefore, I had this aluminum-like blanket with a hot air blower hooked up to me all the while I was in the hospital.

So, what does this have to do with the Healer? First, God is the true and only Healer. Second, He has the choice of how He heals; who God uses. These two examples are simple improvements that made a big impact on patient healing. But it was God who gave the ideas. He uses us to accomplish His plan.

Yes, God can instantaneously heal a person. But He can also use doctors and nurses and assistants and medicine to heal. Don’t limit God to doing it your way. Trust the Healer to do it His way!

 © Charles A. Kalkomey

September 24, 2017

The Long Way Around

17 And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt:

Exodus 3:17

 God had plans for Moses. He was to bring His people out of captivity in Egypt. When Pharaoh finally let God’s people go, they marched out of Egypt with their captors’ silver and gold.

Strangely, God led them not along the direct route to Canaan, but the long way around. Had they gone the shortest route, they would have reached their destination in about a week. But the journey would have taken them through hostile Philistine country. These Hebrews, having spent the last 8 generations in slavery, were in no position to fight. So God took them the long way around.

Has God ever taken you the long way around? Have you ever wondered why God did it the hard way instead of making it easy for you? Sometimes, we just are not mentally, emotionally, or spiritually prepared to face what God knows awaits us. We need to grow and mature. God makes sure we go the long way around to get prepared.

Not only did God lead them the long way around, He led them to the Red Sea. Pharaoh had changed his mind and was in pursuit. He had the Hebrews trapped at the Red Sea; or so he thought.

What seemed like the end for God’s people had two purposes.  First, God wanted the Egyptians to know that He is Lord. Second, God wanted His people to experience a deeper and lasting revelation of who God is.

Sometimes we find ourselves going the long way around because He has the salvation of others in His plan. For example, God’s healing may not always come when we want it to. But as we stay faithful in our journey we learn that God puts others in our path so He can use us to bring His love and show His glory to someone else.

When we will stay true to the journey, God will bring us through the experience. And when He does, we will have a deeper and lasting revelation of who He is. When the Hebrews were trapped, God parted the Red Sea. When we don’t see the way out, God will open the door we are looking for. And when He does, He reveals to us something we didn’t know, or maybe we forgot, about God.

When you think God is taking you the long way around, don’t worry. He has a purpose, and you don’t want to miss out on what that is!

© Charles A. Kalkomey

September 17, 2017

Three

4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by vthe washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; 7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Titus 3:4-7

You have heard that events and things will happen in a set of 3. There won’t just be 1 or 2 things happen that are significant. Things happen in 3!

About four weeks ago we had a blowout on our car. The tire was ruined, of course. The rim was also damaged. And you can’t put just one tire on a car. At least one tire and the rim were covered by warranty.

About two weeks ago, a rock hit the windshield so hard it shattered a section of the inside glass. The windshield had an outer glass and an inner glass, separated by a clear film. It was that clear film that prevented the rock from perhaps coming all the way through and into the car. A friend made the comment at that time, “Remember things always happen in 3s.”

Well, she didn’t realize how prophetic she was. On Thursday, the car was rear-ended, and totaled. I need to remind her of Proverbs 18:21a, for “Death and life are in the power of the tongue:”.

But there is something else that comes in three. Something that we should be very thankful for. We wouldn’t have or be anything without the Trinity.

God the Father is the first. The Creator of all. The Giver of life. The Healer, the Provider, the God of Peace, and so much more. He is the One who desires that we walk in a relationship with Him. He wants to talk to us, and wants us to talk to Him. Without Him, there is nothing.

Jesus Christ, His Son, is the second. God in the flesh. Jesus showed us the love of God, how we are to live, how to treat others, and so much more. He provided the path by which we have access to God the Father. And more than anything, Jesus paid the price for our sin that we could never pay. His shed blood covers all our iniquities, and provides the Way for us to enjoy eternal live in His presence.

And of course, the Holy Spirit is the third. The Holy Spirit teaches us and reveals the truth to us about God. He helps us to discern God’s Word. He guides us. He convicts us of our sin. He comforts us. The Holy Spirit prays for us.

Be thankful for God watching over you. Be thankful that the One God manifested in Three wants us in relationship with Him.

After the accident, vehicles continued going by on both sides of the car. Finally a SUV stopped to check on my wife and grandchildren. They stayed until a constable arrived. Bea asked them for a name to be able to at least send them a thank you note, but they refused to even do that. They simply said they considered themselves disciples of Jesus, and they were only doing what God would want them to do. And, there were three of them.

© Charles A. Kalkomey

August 6, 2017