Charles H. Spurgeon Needed Grace to S.W.I.M.

September 29, 2015 at 12:46 pm | Posted in Quotes | 1 Comment
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Grace proceeds sovereignly according to the will of God, even as a river in all its windings follows its own sweet will; and wherever it comes it does not wait for life to come to it, but it creates life by its own quickening flow. Oh, that it would pour along our streets and flood our slums! Oh, that it would now come into my house and rise till every chamber were made to swim with it! Lord, let the living water flow to my family and my friends, and let it not pass me by. I hope I have drunk of it already; but I desire to bathe in it, yea, to swim in it. O my Savior, I need life more abundantly. Come to me, I pray Thee, till every part of my nature is vividly energetic and intensely active. Living God, I pray Thee, fill me with Thine own life.

Charles H. Spurgeon, “The Life-Giving Stream,” Faith’s Check Book, Daily Entry on Ezekiel 47:9

Water, Water, Everywhere…

January 26, 2011 at 9:31 am | Posted in Mark, Selected Psalms, Uncategorized | 8 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

We are blessed to live in a society where some of the very basic necessities of life are relatively easy to obtain. Water is a good example. Although bottled water can be expensive at the store, and finding a water bill in the mailbox is probably not anyone’s idea of a treat, there are very few places where you will be turned down for a cup of water if you are truly thirsty.

In fact, the Lord Jesus reminded His disciples of the blessing that comes with giving water – in His name – to those who are thirsty.

For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.

Mark 9:41

Imagine, for a moment, that water was not so easy to obtain. Imagine that the number-one ingredient for sustaining biological life was removed from your reach. In Psalm 42, David compares a desperate desire for drinking water to a longing for God.

[To the chief Musician, Maschil, for the sons of Korah.] As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.

Psalm 42:1

The “hart” in this verse is a deer which has been hunted and chased. His panting, or longing, is for a cool drink of water, to keep him alive.
https://swimthedeepend.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/john-dominis-lone-white-tailed-deer-drinking-water-from-banks-of-cheat-river.jpg?w=300
David experienced this feeling when he was banned from Jordan, hunted and chased by his enemies. Rather than water, however, David longed for the presence of God. Notice the play on words: The “hart” (deer) pants for water, just as David’s “heart” is dry and thirsty.

Wonderfully, though, David found that he could experience God’s presence in the wilderness, as well as in the courts of public worship. If that which we take for granted, and depend upon for life, is suddenly taken away, we appreciate it all the more when we realize that there is One Who can provide it anytime, anywhere. The panting heart is a heart that is truly blessed.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Matthew 5:6

In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, if any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

John 7:37-38

Waters of Grace

December 7, 2009 at 9:41 am | Posted in BiblicalSwimming, Ezekiel | 12 Comments
Tags: , , , , , ,

One of my favorite activities is swimming. The Bible contains only five references to swimming that I can find. However, the biggest necessity for swimming – water – is abundant in the Scriptures. One of the most majestic pictures of water in the whole Bible is found in Ezekiel 47. There, the prophet Ezekiel is taken on a grand tour of the future area around the earthly throne of God, from which flow the waters of His grace. These waters form a mighty river, and bring refreshment, and heal sickness, and produce fruit.

I have devised an acrostic using the letters in the word “W.A.T.E.R.S.” for this S.W.I.M. (See What It Means) lesson to review some of the things we have learned about God’s miraculous waters of grace.

Waters are for W.ashing. God’s grace has a tremendous healing quality, illustrated in the way that clean waters flowing into a polluted stream can cleanse and heal the dirty waters. (Ezekiel 47:8-9)

Waters are A.llowed to go where they need to go. God’s grace always goes to the right place – the place where it is most needed, and where it will do the most good. God’s grace, like water, often seeks the “lowest” point. (Ezekiel 47:1-2)

Waters are for T.esting. Waters which are too high for wading present a test or an obstacle. God’s grace often brings us to places of difficulty so that we realize we need His help to go through. (Ezekiel 47:4-5)

Waters are for E.xercising. Swimming is one of the best activities for physical fitness, and exercising ourselves spiritually in God’s grace is where we gain the strength to grow in Christian maturity. (Ezekiel 47:5)

Waters are for R.efreshing. There’s something bracing and stimulating about cold water on your feet when you are hot and tired. God’s grace often comes to us slowly so that we may test the temperature of our surroundings, and to remind us of the need for having clean and holy feet as we order our steps in His path. (Ezekiel 47:3-4)

Waters have a S.ource. When we find an area of water, it will typically have been brought there by a flowing stream, rain from above, or springs from below. Our omnipresent God is everywhere at once, and, when we experience His wonderful grace, we must remember to seek the Source of that grace, and to draw near to Him. (Ezekiel 47:5-6)

Seeking the Source

November 19, 2009 at 11:28 am | Posted in BiblicalSwimming, Ezekiel | 13 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Some lakes are formed by rivers or streams flowing into a lower land area. Bays are formed when the ocean washes into a cove. Some creeks are formed by water springing up from an underground source. Puddles are formed by rain falling down. The point is, bodies of water have sources.

As the angel in Ezekiel 47 brought the prophet to the place where the waters of God’s grace were deep enough to swim in, he paused.

Afterward he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over.

Ezekiel 47:5

At that point, the angel turned Ezekiel around, and they returned to the brink of the river.

And he said unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen this? Then he brought me, and caused me to return to the brink of the river.

Ezekiel 47:6

The river of God’s grace which flows steadily into the lives of Christians is a wonderful thing. It brings such blessings, in fact, that there is a temptation to bask in these blessings, and to forget the Source of the river. In other words, we sometimes enjoy the blessings and ignore the “Blesser.” When you find yourself saturated in the grace of God, and you are splashing, soaking, and swimming in His blessings, do not forget to seek the Source of the river of life. The sweetest, coolest, and best waters are found in the presence of the Source Himself.

Getting Your Feet Wet

November 3, 2009 at 1:34 pm | Posted in BiblicalSwimming, Ezekiel | 7 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

There is a progression in Ezekiel 47 as God’s angel shows Ezekiel the marvelous waters flowing from the throne of the Lord.

And when the man that had the line in his hand went forth eastward, he measured a thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the waters were to the ankles. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through the waters; the waters were to the knees. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through; the waters were to the loins.

Ezekiel 47:3-4

The progression is upward and gradual. The waters reach Ezekiel’s ankles, then his knees, and then his loins.

When God wanted to show Ezekiel a picture of His grace in the form of great waters, He could have simply arranged for a great deluge to fall from above onto Ezekiel’s head. But He did not do this. Instead, the Bible has given us a great vision of God’s grace as a rising stream.

You may have seen someone approach a swimming pool or the shoreline at the beach, not yet knowing the temperature of the water. It is common on such occasions to see people testing the water with their feet. It is also common to see others sitting or standing in such a way that only their feet are getting wet. There is something reassuring and refreshing about cool water on our feet.

https://thetompostpile.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/img_1459.jpg

When Jesus demonstrated His great willingness to be a Servant to His Disciples, He washed their feet (John 13:4-16). Jesus did this for a number of reasons. One of them may have been to demonstrate that feet would be important in the Apostles’ ministry. On these feet they would go throughout the world, spreading the Good News of the Kingdom. Therefore, their feet, prior to their holy errands, needed to be cleansed and sanctified. Another reason may have been to remind the Disciples of the refreshment that comes with being in the presence of Jesus. In the dry and dusty lands of Bible times, cool water on the feet was a very refreshing thing (and it still is even today!) In fact, the first time the word “feet” appears in the Bible, it is in reference to washing, rest, and refreshment (Genesis 18:4).

For those who are weary from traveling in their own strength, but are a little wary of plunging head first into the deep end of God’s presence, God is patient to send His grace in a rising stream, so that new believers may first find refreshment and adjustment by going in ankle deep. Let us never make the mistake, however, of thinking that God’s grace is not deep enough to overflow the highest obstacles in our life.

…where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:

Romans 5:12

The Grace to Swim

October 2, 2009 at 7:31 am | Posted in BiblicalSwimming, Ezekiel | 6 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

When God delivered the Israelites out of their bondage in Egypt, He parted the Red Sea so they could pass through it (Exodus 14:22). When it was time for them to cross into their promised land in Canaan, their obstacle was another body of water: the Jordan River (Joshua 3:14). In both cases, the people had to step out and pass the test of faith in the face of potentially overwhelming waters.

The prophet Ezekiel saw a vision of miraculous waters flowing from the throne of God. These waters grew deeper and deeper until the only way for Ezekiel to have continued his tour would have been to start swimming!

Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through the waters; the waters were to the knees. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through; the waters were to the loins. Afterward he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over.

Ezekiel 47:4-5

A large area of water can be a wonderful sight for somebody who loves to swim. The wonderful refreshing waters of God’s grace are indeed “waters to swim in” for those who love the Lord. However, waters sometimes present an obstacle – and we need help to go through them. Thankfully, when God graciously calls us to pass through the waters of testing, He will also provide us with the grace to pass through what we could never pass over on our own.

Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.

I Thessalonians 5:24

get in the water

The Grace of Running Water

September 18, 2009 at 8:25 am | Posted in BiblicalSwimming, Ezekiel | 7 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

When Ezekiel was given the vision of God’s healing waters, he noticed that some of the waters were running out from the “right” side of the altar.

Afterward he brought me again unto the door of the house; and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward: for the forefront of the house stood toward the east, and the waters came down from under from the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar. Then brought he me out of the way of the gate northward, and led me about the way without unto the utter gate by the way that looketh eastward; and, behold, there ran out waters on the right side.

Ezekiel 47:1-2

This meant that some of the waters were flowing on the right hand, as opposed to the left hand, side, from Ezekiel’s point of view. However, we also use the word “right” to refer to something that is “correct” or “proper.” Therefore, we may take these verses as reminders that God’s grace, like running water, if not impeded by some barrier, will naturally go where it needs to go. In fact, water will seek the lowest level. The place where people are at their lowest, where they are most in need of help, and often where they are most desperate, is when they realize they are mired in sin. A person’s “lowest place” is the place where he is most in need of God’s grace, and, like the waters in Ezekiel’s vision, God’s grace always goes to the “right” place.

God’s Plan for Water Pollution

August 12, 2009 at 7:09 am | Posted in BiblicalSwimming, Ezekiel | 4 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Sometimes I wonder if water may be one of the greatest things God created. It has many uses, and so much potential. Few and far between are the days that I don’t try to get it all over me in an attempt to get clean, or at least cool off.

When God showed Ezekiel the vision of God’s grace, flowing like water and glorifying God, a key function of these waters were that they healed the other waters which had become polluted and contaminated.

Then said he unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed.

Ezekiel 47:8

This passage is a prophecy of the future, but it also contains a wonderful principle for our lives today. Are there areas of your life which started out pure, devoted to God, but which have become contaminated by worldly interests, fleshly laziness, or secret pride? The parts of your life which once proclaimed Christ’s victory and your deliverance do not have to be allowed to dry up and die. The medicinal waters of God’s grace can bring new passion and life.

And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh.

Ezekiel 47:9

Imagine – living water healing dying water! The water of God’s Word, and the water of God’s Spirit, and the water of God’s grace can cleanse the filthiest pool, stream, river, or sea, if we will seek it.

Getting Ready to Swim

January 26, 2009 at 10:55 am | Posted in BiblicalSwimming | 19 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,

We live in a day and age when the fountain of God’s Word seems to be flowing in pitifully small, and rapidly drying, streams. By and large, the practice of the world is to stomp right past the cleansing fountain of the wisdom contained in the Bible, and to wallow instead in the muddy imaginations of man (II Corinthians 10:5). However, there is coming a day when “the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14). In that day, experienced “swimmers” will have an advantage. Having spent much time learning to maneuver in the cleansing water of the Word, some will not be shocked or afraid as the tidal knowledge of the Lord’s glory rises, and covers the whole earth.

Over the past few weeks, our S.W.I.M. lessons have looked at the competitive strokes of literal swimming, and applied them to spiritual truths found in Scripture. This week’s lesson will serve as a brief review:

  1. The Backstroke: True disciples of Christ will encounter opposition that will at times push them backward into troubled waters. The Bible’s solution to this situation is to look up to the Lord, and keep moving ahead. (Acts 27:41-44)
  2. The Breaststroke: God’s hands go forth from God’s heart, and the love of God will cause His hands to reach out and push away the encompassing enemies of His people as they humbly call upon Him. (Isaiah 25:11)
  3. The Butterfly: Some swimmers follow strict rules of form to appear graceful, when in fact they are thrashing violently beneath the surface. God is not impressed by a false show of outward beauty or self-righteousness. (Matthew 23:27-28)
  4. The Crawl: Creeping and crawling is sometimes seen as a reason for scorn among the skeptical, but God has appointed to all things a time and an order. Just as there are nocturnal animals which creep forth at night because of the design of God, so also new believers in Christ Jesus must go through a period of spiritual crawling, before growing into walking and running. (Psalm 104:19-20)
  5. Freestyle: Competitive swimmers with the freedom to choose the stroke they want, will choose a style which allows them to swim most efficiently. Christians, striving for the prize of the high calling, see their freedom in Christ as an opportunity to do those things which are most profitable for the cause of Christ and the glory of God. (Galatians 5:1-7)
  6. The Dog Paddle: When new Christians begin to navigate the waters of spiritual maturity, they must be careful not to imitate, or pick up the bad habits of, those who would promote a “watered-down,” or ritual-based gospel. (Philippians 3:2)

Those who have believed on Christ Jesus in their hearts, and who have called upon the name of the Lord, must dive into God’s Word and learn to “see what it means” (S.W.I.M.). In His Word you will find reasons to be grateful, and promises and comfort for the coming storms.

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

“Count Your Blessings,” Johnson Oatman Jr.


Entries and comments feeds.