Imagine you were stranded in a desert for a week eventually exhausting all supplies. Around the wadi comes a camel-striding stranger who sees your plight and says, “Here, let me help you.” He then pulls out a canteen and hands it to you. Grateful, you place the container on your lips and wait for life-renewing water. But the canteen is empty. “What kind of cruel joke is this!” you ask. The stranger smiles and says, “Ah, it is not the liquid but the thought of liquid that is sufficient.”
Philippians 1:9-11--And I pray this: that your love will keep on growing in knowledge and every kind of discernment, so that you can approve the things that are superior and can be pure and blameless in the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God.
The word “Christian” has become like the empty canteen. I often meet people who call themselves Christians but when queried really cannot explain what the expression means. To some it is their spiritual heritage—“my parents are Catholics.” To others it is a national/cultural affinity. Still others see it as a religious selection. Ask the common Muslim in the Middle East, and he may define a Christian by what he sees streaming from the western media. America the “Christian nation” is relentlessly addicted to sex and materialism. To the European, “Christian” may conjure thoughts of legalism, stilted and archaic reasoning.
Often today, rather than describe myself as a Christian, I tell people I am a follower of Christ. In essence, that is what Christian means. But whether the word/concept has merit is determined by what kind of canteen I am—empty or filled. To be filled with Jesus means we are wise lovers, approvers of excellence and blameless people. Wise lovers see people as God sees them and act appropriately. Approvers of excellence choose attitudinally and in conduct what brings glory to God. Blameless people obey God’s laws. To be filled with Christ is to make an eternal difference in a transient world.
The world is thirsty! If we give people empty canteens we deserve to be scorned. If we give them Jesus and they hate us, that is a desert of a different order. Something to think about . . . in reveration!
A human life, filled with the presence and power of God, is one of God’s choicest gifts to His church and to the world.—Arthur Pierson in George Muller of Bristol
God grant that we may be so filled with His life, may flourish as the cedars of Lebanon, so that He can trust us down in all the dark, difficult places among the souls of our fellow human beings and be able to pour His tremendous health and power through us.–Oswald Chambers in Workmen of God
©2006 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)