My friend, may I ask you a question? Without you and I, would religion be nothing more than a backwash of promise? With us, however, can it becomes a powerful tool for the pinpoint delivery of God’s message in Christ?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.
My son Dan and I made a trip up to the Pine River in Northern Wisconsin a number of years ago to fish, camp and just enjoy the river. Our camp was on the shoreline just below a large dam. There was also a powerhouse upstream where a turbine was connected to a spillway adjacent to the dam. Since you could walk over the dam on a walkway, we took the tour across to the other side. Dan was very young at the time, however, and had a number of questions about how the spillway worked and how the power was actually generated. As the powerhouse was surprisingly not locked, we went in and viewed the spinning turbine and I explained to him how the water passing with great force through the spillway turned the nearby turbine thereby creating the electricity which existed the powerhouse through overhead electrical lines. One of the questions he asked me as I recall was one that I had to give some serious thought to. He asked if the water behind the dam and the water flowing from it was changed? He also wondered why a dam was needed at all? Why couldn’t they just put a spillway or several in the middle of the river and skip the dam?
Of course the answer was fairly simple in as much as the dam created multiple times the pressure through that spillway by forcing the water through the narrow width of a spillway instead of across the entire river. Although the water wasn’t changed, it was much more powerful as it crashed through the spillway. Same water, greater force. The spillway, I told him, was the vehicle for getting the water from Point A to Point B. In the process it was transferred but not changed. The river below the dam became like the river above the dam after the necessary spilling was accomplished.
Here’s a story. When Adoniram Judson was informed that a newspaper article likened him to some of the apostles, Judson replied, “I do not want to be like a Paul . . . or any mere man. I want to be like Christ . . . I want to follow Him only, copy His teachings, drink in His Spirit, and place my feet in His footprints . . . Oh, to be more like Christ!” (Source Unknown.)
You and I need to be like Jesus—striving every day for spiritual maturity and Christlikeness. To grow in Christlikeness—we will need to become spiritually strong—because we’ve been given a job, a job that’s like that spillway in the Pine River. As a spillway serves to provide the controlled release of flows from a dam back into the river again, they ensure that the water does not overflow and damage or destroy the dam. In John 7:38 Jesus teaches: “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” Religious denominations have plunked themselves down in the middle of God’s river of grace. He will eventually flow through them or around them for his grace can’t be stopped. You and I, however, are the spillways; the Christ-like structures that serve to take that grace and let it spill with force through us, creating the evangelistic energy that powers the turbines of God’s salvation promise to come to the knowledge of the truth in Christ Jesus, his Son, our Lord. Without you and I, religion would be nothing more than a backwash of promise. With us it becomes a powerful tool for pinpoint delivery of God’s message in Christ. Same grace either way, but a powerful tool when pressed into and through us.
We pray. Heavenly Father, thank you for using us to keep the waters of your grace flowing with tremendous gospel power throughout the world. We are also thankful for those churches that give us the opportunity to channel that grace through us into other people’s lives. Forgive us Lord when we are content to be dams that merely catch your grace but doing nothing to channel it. Make us spillways, always open, always flowing. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day.
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