Rivers of Living Water

In the last few weeks I have listened to three sermons with commonality – all three preachers talked about water.

The first two sermons were read in our church one Sunday. They were both written by pastors in the Reformed Churches of New Zealand. One sermon was on Jeremiah 2:9-13, and the second one was on Romans 1:8-17. The third I heard on RefNet; it was by John Piper.

The first illustration is that God is a spring of living water. He supplies all our needs. From Him flows a fountain of life, love, mercy, and joy. Through Jeremiah, God is saying that the Israelites had this, but they forsook God and made themselves idols. Idols are a lot of work to make and look after! And the other thing – they can give us nothing! They are but cisterns – broken cisterns that can hold no water. Idols cannot provide life and love, mercy and joy. They are brokenness and deceit, a waste of time and a fraud. There is no-one like God.

The second illustration is about us, the people of God. The way I see it is, when all that cool velvet water of life comes pouring over us, what are we doing with it? We can be a reservoir by trying to keep the water for ourselves, hang on to moments, and live in the past. Or, we can let the water flow through every corner of our lives and on into the lives of other people we know. We can follow Jesus, and strive to be like Jesus.

The Gospel must not stay in my heart. It must flow on like a river.

Thirdly, in John Piper’s sermon “The Pleasure of God in Public Justice” he says

I have a fountain of living water that never runs dry and always satisfies my thirst.

That is Who God is for us. So I encourage you to let the waters of God fill your life and overflow into the lives of other people. Serve God by becoming more like Jesus, and do it all with joy!

Love, Rhoda

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Our Stories, edited by Ian Wishart

our storiesI’ve just finished reading Ian Wishart’s book “Our Stories: The Way We Used to Be: The New Zealand Time Forgot,” (published by Howling At the Moon in 2014) and wanted to share it with you.

It’s actually a collection of newspaper articles written in the 1800s and 1900s. Wishart has searched them out from Papers Past(1), and written his commentary in between the articles.

It was a format I’m not used to, and the age of the articles made them a bit heavy-going, so Wishart’s summarising notes helped a lot. I still loved the way it came together as a simple, honest look at what happened in New Zealand and what New Zealanders used to be like. The chapter called “The Telephone Comes to NZ” was especially amusing.

The whole book comes from Wishart’s viewpoint of discussing history they way it happened, no matter what’s politically correct in our day. He includes things that I’d never heard of, like the tsunami in 1868, and the big Christchurch earthquake in 1888 (read the Oamaru Mail article here).

I liked being able to read a book about New Zealand history from a different perspective, and enjoy the fruits of Wishart’s labours chasing down the old newspaper stories.

…the most fascinating forgotten tales of our past, told through the eyes of the people who were there. (quote from back cover)

So if you are interested in hundred-year-old news stories, or in New Zealand history, or you just love to read Ian Wishart, this is a book for you!

~I did not receive any compensation or reward for reviewing this book~

P.S. This book review serves as an introduction to my blog, Rhoda’s Reviews

(1) Papers Past is an amazing resource of searchable historical newspapers which have been digitised by the National Library of New Zealand curators.