Bethel International United Methodist Church
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Freely, Freely, You Have Received

During this current 7-week sermon series on water, we are connecting more to God’s own water footprint on this blue planet of ours, and how the Lord beckons us to freely give and share and conserve so that others who thirst may live.

We’ve come to learn that about 880 million people still don't have regular access to clean water and 2.7 billion people are without adequate sanitation. That about 5,000 children die each day due to preventable diarrheal diseases such as cholera and dysentery, which spread when people use contaminated water for drinking or cooking. We’re called to those parts of the world where we find God’s water footprint.

David reminds me in Psalm 23 how “my cup overflows” in blessings, and Jesus tells me in Matthew 10:8 that as I have freely received, I should freely give. That is the only way that joy will come in the morning. Otherwise, I hold everything close to the chest, fearful of what might be or might come.

I am thankful that at least once a year during this time of fall stewardship we get a tug or a jolt in perspective about our use of personal resources. It always saddens me to look back and see where some of my own treasures have been, recalling Jesus words, “that’s where your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).

The world repeatedly tells me a different story that is so hard to tune out. That’s why I have to stay so grounded in scripture. I’ll then be reminded daily of God’s faithfulness and promises and mercy. I particularly love to read and re-read the “last word” from God in the Old Testament where in Malachi 3:10, the Lord says “Put me to the test” (in giving the tithe), and I will “open for you the floodgates of heaven and pour out for you a blessing far beyond your needs.”

Floodgates of heaven. What a beautiful water image of being rained upon! Won’t you come to the fountain this month, freely giving as you have freely received?

Pastor Mike Signature