Water for the Thirsty
Weekly Devotional

Water for the Thirsty

Give your past to Jesus

Weekly Devotional

‘As the deer pants for streams of water so my soul pants for you, O God’. (Psalm 42:1)
‘…Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink”…’ (John 7:37)

4th November 2012

A passenger tapped the mini cab driver on the shoulder to ask him something. The driver screamed, lost control of the car, nearly hit a bus, went up on the pavement, and stopped inches from a department store window. For a second everything went quiet in the cab, then the driver said, “Look mister, don’t ever do that again. You scared me half to death!”

The passenger apologized and said he didn’t realize that a little tap could scare him so much.

The driver replied, “You’re right. I’m sorry. Really, it’s not your fault. Today is my first day as a cab driver. I’ve been driving a hearse for 25 years.”

This is often an issue for us as Christians. How we react to things today may be due to the fact that we have been carrying something around with us for 5, 10 or 25 years.

Paul had a lot of baggage to carry around, but notice what he says in Philippians 3:4-15 (New Living Translation)

‘though I could have confidence in my own effort if anyone could. Indeed, if others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more!
I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault.
I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!
I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things...’

Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead is not an easy thing to do. Indeed can we ever forget our past? What Paul was driving at here is not letting the negative things in our past affect or influence our future. Again easier said than done.

The only way we can achieve this is by having a close an intimate relationship with Jesus. As Paul says here, there is infinite value in knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and that he has discarded everything else so that he could gain Christ and become one with him.

When we have that kind of relationship with Jesus then we will be able to ‘cast all [our] anxiety on him because he cares for [us]’. (1 Peter 5:7) This is the key to not allowing the past to adversely influence; be in such a close relationship with Jesus that you hand it over to Him.

I’m reminded of the words of that great hymn ‘What a friend we have in Jesus’:

What a friend we have in Jesus,
all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
all because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged;
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful
who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden,
cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Saviour, still our refuge;
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In his arms he'll take and shield thee;
thou wilt find a solace there.

Don’t forfeit the peace you can have with God, take your past to Him in Prayer, you will find solace there. Have a good week giving your past to Jesus.

Pastor Barry

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