Drink Deeply From the Spring of Salvation


One of my fondest childhood memories is our family visits to Uncle Bill Wheeler’s house. He and Aunt Allie lived a simple life, making a living off the land. Fresh, hot out of the oven, cornbread and ice-cold butter milk seemed to always be one part of our visits. I loved that simple treat, and still do.

One of the things I remember most is the water. Uncle Bill and Aunt Allie had spring water running in the kitchen sink 24/7. It was gravity-fed, running from a spring up on the mountain above the house. It was not good to turn the water off because it would increase the chances the pipe would get stopped up. Even running all the time, errant leaves or a frisky spring lizard, would sometimes make it necessary for Uncle Bill to climb the mountain and clear the obstruction so the water could flow.

Water from those mountain springs in western North Carolina was as cold as if it had flowed over ice and had a subtle sweetness. Springs dotted the valleys and almost every home had a bold spring near by. It was of such quality that you didn’t just drink it to satisfy your thirst, you drank deeply and often because it was so good!

The prophet Isaiah promised,

“With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” (Isaiah 12:3)

Then there is Jesus’ words to the woman at the well, and to us.

“Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.” (John 4:13-15

We who have our trust in Christ have in us the spring of life-giving, living water. It is nothing less than Christ himself. It is He who is our life. We can drink deeply from “the wells of salvation” not because we are thirsty but because it tastes good! Jesus said if you drink of this water you will not be thirsty again, ever! We are not driven to the spring of life to quench a thirst, it is already eternally satisfied. We drink to know fullness of joy! We come to delight in the finished work of Jesus, to experience deep, fulfilling joy in the gospel.

Not only is the spring welling up in us, and results in eternal life, but it overflows to those about us. The evidence of the work of grace in the life of a believer is the refreshing manifestation of the Holy Spirit’s presence in love, patience, kindness, forgiveness, and unique giftedness that is designed to better the lives of our brothers and sisters in the body. The more deeply I drink of the water of life and overflow with the joy of my salvation the more I am equipped to be a source of blessing for others.

Drink deeply from the spring of salvation. Your daily delight in God will spill over into the lives of others to God’s glory.

“And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment.” (Revelation 21:6)

God gives this life-giving, thirst quenching, water of life freely, “without payment”. Jesus paid it all! How can I not delight in and find my greatest joy in the work of Jesus that fully satisfied God’s demands on my behalf?

The water is in you, it is fresh and free, you didn’t have to pay for it, it never runs out, drink deeply and often and be refreshed and full of joy.

Agape’

Royce

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Can you hear the music yet?…


December 9th 1997 was a crisp night in north Texas complete with a star-studded sky. It was the annual Christmas party for the large auto dealership I where I worked as a manager.

My wife and I dressed in our best and drove out west to a beautiful country club where we visited with friends and started to make new ones. A good meal was shared by all, it was indeed a good evening. J had picked out a Christmas present for me to buy her the following week from the club house gift shop. (A custom I still follow…)

The night was so beautiful we decided to take a longer route home to stretch the time of holding hands like newly weds and good conversation. We talked of our future and how blessed we were to be debt free, have a new job with a $12,000 annual raise, and only a few short miles from home. I will never forget that Tuesday night…

Wednesday afternoon I received a phone call from a neighbor, “Hurry home, the paramedics are with Jeanine”. I drove the 6 miles home knowing somehow that J was gone. My fears were confirmed when later that evening, a doctor came into the room and said, “I’m sorry Mr. Ogle, we couldn’t bring her back”.

Seventeen of the happiest years of my life ended with a gapping hole in my life that was loud and glaring and couldn’t be avoided. When I came home from work a deafening silence overwhelmed me. Late at night I waited for her boisterous laughter as she watched “I Love Lucy” or some other old sit-com. ….Only silence.

I’ll never forget the day I finally removed my wedding band. Inside was engraved our initials and the date of our marriage. I had never had it off for over 17 years, but I was not married now. She was not coming back….it was….final.

In the providence of God I met and married Carol who had lost a husband a few months before I lost J. Not very long after we were married she mentioned to me that she would like to reach out to people in grief, to walk along side them, to listen, to encourage, and to bring hope.

In September we will begin the last part of our eighth year of hosting grief groups. We have met some wonderful people, hurting, confused, angry, desperate, hopeless, and helpless, but each one precious to God, and hopefully to us. There have been great victories, healing has happened over and over again, and we have seen wrinkled brows and sad mouths change to warm smiles and tears of joy.

Along the way we met John and Maggie Dobbs. They lost their son, John Robert, just before he was to graduate high school. Even while they were and are still grieving the loss of their son, and John’s step-father, they care for others deeply. So, we are now a team. Carol and I are delighted to minister alongside John and Maggie as we continue to reach out to hurting people who have lost loved ones.

The date is the 2nd Tuesday of October. The place is Forsythe Church of Christ in Monroe, between Oliver and 19th St. on Forsythe. We meet at 5:30 p.m. If you want more information drop a note to RoyceOgle@gmail dot com. (sorry, have to keep the spammers on their toes!)

Have you lost a friend, a spouse, a parent, or other family member? Know someone who has? The way one person described the loss of a loved one was that it was as if the music had gone silent. The music of life is the joy of family and friends. Death stops the music.

Our only goal is to love people as they walk the dark path of grief until one day we can ask “Can you hear the music yet?” and hear the reply, “Yes, I hear it again”. That is our joy, to bind up the broken-hearted and send them on their way hearing the music again.

Agape’

Royce