Is Your Cistern Broken?

  • Is your spiritual life broken?
  • Does your life feel empty?
  • Have you walked away from God and heeding to His voice?

If your answer is yes to these questions, then this is definitely for you. So keep reading!

Jeremiah 2:13 states: For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water. (KJV)

The prophet Jeremiah spoke about the backsliding of Israel. They had turned away from God in so many ways but here God through the prophet highlighted two evils that they had committed:

  1. They forsook the fountain of living waters (which is God) and
  2. They created or carved out their own cisterns, that could not hold water

Let’s examine the first evil or wrong which the Israelites commited.

No. 1 – They Have Forsaken Me (God) the Fountain of Living Waters

The word says: “they have forsaken me”. The Strong’s Concordance defines the word “forsaken” as:

to leave, loose, forsake

  1. (Qal) to leave
    1. to depart from, leave behind, leave, let alone
    2. to leave, abandon, forsake, neglect, apostatise

    3. to let loose, set free, let go, free

Source: https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/Lexicon/Lexicon.cfm?strongs=H5800&t=KJV

In other words, Jeremiah, the mouthpiece of God, was saying that Israel left God; they departed from God. They Left him behind. They left him out of their lives on many occasions and did their own thing.

Are you guilty or not heeding the voice of God and doing your own thing?

How can this be applied to us today?

Very often we forsake God in one way or the other. Sometimes we leave Him out of our decision, we neglect and abandon our first love. We take our eyes off of Him and when we do that all trouble breaks loose. We know this because every time the Israelites forsook God and took their eyes off of Him in complaining and ungratefulness, something went wrong and they suffered the consequences.

How many times have you fallen or paid the price for not heeding God’s voice? 

How many times have letting go and not letting go caused you to be in a broken spot?

How many times have you taken things into your own hands and allowed situations to get the best of you when your eyes should have been fixed on the Ultimate One who fights on our behalf?

 

Remember: The Holy Spirit is a fountain of Living water.

The word of God makes reference  to God as the Fountain of Living Waters as follows:

O LORD, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters. (Jeremiah 17:13)

Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. (John 4:10)

He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (John 7:38)

Water denotes life. God is the fountain of life and anytime we reject that life, we move into a broken place.

He is the fountain that will never run dry and if we refuse to drink from the that fountain, again we lack the nourishment that we need and automatically open the doors to a dry and barren dehydrated state which causes us to become broken.

How many of us take our eyes of God whether consciously or unconsciously? 

It calls for us keeping our eyes fixed on God.

How many of us have loosed God’s plans for our lives created on our own plans? I surely have, some time or the other.

In the end, we create broken lives that can’t hold anything. Lives that can’t be used of God because we can hold the spirit and anointing that God wants to pout into us. Our lives become broken.

This then moves us into the second evil committed by the Israelites

No. 2 – They Hewed Them Out Broken Cisterns, that can Hold No Water

The cistern is a vessel and similarly the word of God refers to us as vessels. And as vessels we are supposed to hold the living water. We are supposed to be carriers of God’s spirit; the Holy Spirit.

Once we start leaving out God of our decisions and lives, we create holes in our lives. Once we start leaving out the direction of the Holy Spirit we weaken our vessels and soon after they become broken. No one causes this, but our disobedience.

When we stop allowing the fountain of living water to be poured into us, holes are created in us as vessels of God. We create holes in our spirit and become broken in areas that affect us on so many different levels; our spiritual lives, ministries, and divine purposes are affected. We are then unable to operate in the perfect and acceptable will of God because we have chosen to create broken lives without Him.

The great thing is that whatever holes exist in your cistern today, God can fix. He will smash it and create a whole new cistern but putting us back on the potter’s wheel.

It’s time for us to go down to the potter’s house and be made whole so that the river of living water can fill us and flow from us when we open our mouths.

Are you in a broken state today?

Look back! How did you get to this state?

Did you take your eyes off God?

Don’t be dismayed. Go to God in prayer and repent. Invite the Living Water to fill you again. Allow Him to mold you into the beautiful cistern that He wants you to be. This will call for surrender and total dependence on Him in everything you do, so that no holes can be created again, which will cause you to divert from the will of God for your life.

God wants us restored to our whole states so that He can pour His Spirit; the living water into us and use us.

If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work. (2 Timothy 2:21 KJV)

This scripture is basically summing up the solution to removing the brokenness from our cisterns.

There are some “backslidings” and things we need to purge ourselves from so that God can hold us again into the beautiful vessel of honor that He can use.

Final advice:

  • Repent for anytime you have pushes away God
  • Welcome God to mold you and make you whole again
  • Welcome the Holy Spirit to fill you again
  • Stay focused on the will of God for your life
  • Keep your eyes on God
  • Don’t allow situations to overcome you
  • Don’t take anything into your hans. Let God remain in control guiding you an filling you with His spirit that you will make the right decisions and remain whole in Him
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Honor YOUR FATHER and YOUR MOTHER

 

THE WORD OF THE LORD TO YOU TODAY: Honor Your Mother & Your Father

My Daughter, My Son…God Says: Honor YOUR FATHER and YOUR MOTHER

Scripture tells us:

Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. Exodus 20:12

God didn’t say to deny them nor hate them for their shortcomings. He simply says…Honor your father and your mother. He doesn’t leave it there. He states that there is a positive result for doing this: that your days may be long upon the land.

 

WHAT DOES “TO HONOR” MEAN?

Dictionary.com defines the word honor as:

  1. high respect, as for worth, merit, or rank: to be held in honor.
  2. To show courteous regard

So what is God saying to us today?

God is calling us to exercise high respect and show continuous courteous regard to our parents no matter what they have done or said.

Now this is not only mentioned in the book of Exodus as one of the commandments given unto Moses, but it is repeated in Exodus.

Honour thy father and thy mother, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. (Exodus 5:16)

 

THIS IS THE FIRST COMMANDMENT WITH A PROMISE ATTACHED

 The Apostle Paul says:

Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;

That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

(Epehsians 6:1-3)

Paul was very clear to inform the church that this is a first commandment with promise. In other words, Paul was very clear in telling God’s people that it is God’s promise to give us long life on this earth. If we respect our parents, all will be well with us and we will have long life here on the earth, until God takes us home.

From Paul’s words one could conclude that dishonoring your father and your mother will lead to a shortened life span. The onus is therefore on us to walk fully in this promise of God but doing our part. It’s all up to us. We have long life in our hands by the way we respond to our parents.

Moses wrote: Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. Exodus 20:12

God has allotted specific days for us to be here on earth, His question to you today is: Will you yourself cause them to be shortened? …….

Let that question sink in for a while……

Whatever your father or mother has done or not done, said or not said has nothing to do with the fact that above all things we are called to honor.

What will your response be today?

Interesting enough we may saying at this point: You can say all you want, you just don’t know how much he or she hurt or hurts me and I just can’t be nice to him or her.

Ok. That is quite understandable. After all, you alone know the hurt and torment that you have been through. But take a minute to look at Jesus. He was, is and always will be the ultimate example.

His father put Him on the cross for us. He loves us so much that let Jesus become sin for us and suffer for us that we might have a savior. Jesus could have disrespected His father and called on legions of angels to destroy those who were crucifying. Instead He did it and said not my will my thine will be done. He was obedient to God because of the promise in the end, which is for us to have everlasting life.

Similarly God is calling us to be obedient to Him and His word (which is to obey and honor our parents) so that our days would be long in the land which the Lord thy God has given to us.

 

THE ORIGINAL MEANING OF THE WORD “HONOR” IN HEBREW:

In some case, you can never get the full understanding of what God is saying without going back to the original language in which the Bible was written.

You will notice that I spoke a lot of being obedient and respectful, but let us take a look at the original meaning of the Hebrew word for “honor”. The Old Testament was originally written in hebrew and the original translation for the word “honor” is “kabad”. Here is what the Strongs Concordance says:

Kabad or kabed {kaw-bade’}; a primitive root; to be heavy, i.e. in a bad sense (burdensome, severe, dull) or in a good sense (numerous, rich, honorable; causatively, to make weighty (in the same two senses):–abounding with, more grievously afflict, boast, be chargeable, X be dim, glorify, be (make) glorious (things), glory, (very) great, be grievous, harden, be (make) heavy, be heavier, lay heavily, (bring to, come to, do, get, be had in) honour (self), (be) honourable (man), lade, X more be laid, make self many, nobles, prevail, promote (to honour), be rich, be (go) sore, stop.

Above all else, the words that stood out to me were “make weighty”, “abounding with” and “prevail”. There is another way that God wants us to see the act of respecting our father and mother.

Let’s take a look at these words that stood for me:

Make weighty – In other words, make your father and your mother become your responsibility.

I don’t believe at all that God is asking us to do the impossible, but as I sought Him for deeper interpretation He brought me to parents in their older years. This has nothing to do with physical size. This is simply telling us that we are called to allow our parents to rest on us and allow their burdens to become our burdens, as they get old. In other words, God commands us to take care of them and take responsibility for them as they reach the age where they are not able to do the things that they could not do before. God says this is all in the process of honoring. Even before they get to this stage, we are called to honor them by being there for them. It is like allowing them to lean on us. As you allow them to lean on you, you will feel their weight but God says He has given you the strength to do it and to be a blessing to them in their old age. As they lean on you, you will feel the weight but see it as an act of gratitude to God for using your father and your mother to bring you into this world.

Abounding with/Prevailing – You are called to abound with or prevail with your father and your mother. This can be seen as simply being there in whatever way possible or needed at the time; whether physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially, socially etc.

 What will be your response today?

  

WHY NOT DISHONOR?

This may be your question today.

Many of you are going through a lot because of what your mother or father did or did not do to or for you. Many of you didn’t have him or her around while growing up but God is saying to you today, just honor your father and your mother.

God is saying I have a great work for you to do. Don’t shorten your days by dishonoring your parents in their old age. Taking care of your parents is a command from God and He is letting you know that it is not going to be without rewards. Your days will be long in the land, which God has given you.

Why honor him or her when he or she has done nothing for me?

Why honor him or her when he or she has not been there for me?

Why honor him or her when all he or she does is talk about me?

Why honor him or her when all he or she did was abuse me?

God knows the pain and the hurt. He knows the anger on the inside of you, but He is telling you today to just let go. Let go and give it to Him because Jesus is the burden bearer. He said his yoke is easy.

1 Peter 5:7 says Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

Matthew 11: 30 says For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

God wants us healed and on the right track.

God knows that some of you have a “favourite” parent because that one has been the one to carry the load for all the years of your life, but He wants you to honor both of them. If one has gone on to eternity, then still honor the one that is still alive. Still do all in your might to show respect the one who remains because respect will lead you walk in the FULL purpose for which God has created you.

The word says that in the end times, children will be disobedient to parents:

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

God is calling us to step up our game in these end times. We are called to be obedient to and to respect our parents so that we won’t be cut off early from the land. The promise of God is long life in the land, which He has given to us once we honor, and prevail with our parents. We are not to give up on them because without them we would not be here alive.

Here are some scriptures to help strengthen you in your journey:

Proverbs 20:20 Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness.

Exodus 21:17 And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.

Leviticus 20:9 If there is anyone who curses his father or his mother, he shall surely be put to death; he has cursed his father or his mother, his bloodguiltiness is upon him.

Proverbs 30:11 “There are those who curse their fathers and do not bless their mothers;

Deuteronomy 27:16 “Cursed is anyone who dishonors their father or mother.” Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”

Proverbs 30:17 The eye that mocks a father and scorns to obey a mother will be picked out by the ravens of the valley and eaten by the vultures.

Matthew 15:18-20 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.”

Exodus 21:15 Whoever strikes his father or his mother shall be put to death.

Proverbs 15:20 A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish man despises his mother.

HONOR YOUR MOTHER AND YOUR FATHER!

In Pursuit of “Perfection”? Love Everyone…Even Your Enemies

matthew 5 44

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; (Matthew 5:44)
The sermon on the mount is one of the many beautiful teachings of Jesus. It is a place in the Word of God, on which we can dwell for sound, righteous advice from our Saviour.
He begins the chapter with The Beatitudes and shows His disciples what it means to be blessed and under which means blessings are distributed. Another word which can be used for the word “blessed” in the beatitudes is happy. So Jesus also tells His disciples about what it means to be happy. These beatitudes are indeed relevant to us today, so take a read in verses 3 to 12.
He later moves on in verse 13 and tells them about “Salt and Light”. He informs them that they/we are the salt and light of this world. Firstly, we know that salt is very important. You always hear the “old-timers” saying that they use to use salt to heal wounds. Nowadays salt still remains a cure with saline solution (salt water solution), with its high content of salt being used in hospitals to flush wounds, abrasions and many other things.
We know that as Caribbean people, some of us can’t cook without salt. It’s actually a crime for some people to eat saltless food. Salt seasons food and gives it savour. Even cakes require a pinch of salt and if we exclude it, it’s just not the same.
Similarly, we must understand that we are here on this earth to bring healing to the broken and the wounded and when situations seem to be going bitter or sour, our words and actions must be that (the salt) which positively changes things around and brings encouragement to those around us. For we are the salt of the earth.
Jesus also says we are the “light” of this world in verse 14. Light gives direction and dispels all darkness. We are called as Christians to give direction with the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the dispel all darkness with our thoughts, words and deeds.
If you haven’t been seeing yourself as light and salt, it’s not too late. God can help you make any change, once it’s your heart’s desire.
There are sooo many other things which Jesus talks to His disciples about in chapter 5 (fulfilment of the law, adultery, divorce…and the list goes on), but in verse 43 He tells them about loving their enemies.
The truth is, enemies make it very hard for them to be loved, but Jesus who is the Counsellor, says that it must be done. We can never be the light and the salt of this world is we do not love our enemies. Enemies come in many forms; so-called friends, work colleagues, bosses and even family members/husbands and wives.
As Christians our role is to be kind to one and all. This can be challenging especially when you have to deal with persons who are bent on being mean to you. Nevertheless, we serve a God who causes mountains to melt like wax, who heals the sick, causes the lame to walk and the blind to see. With our God nothing shall be impossible and since He confirms that we are more than conquerers, we have all that it takes to love everyone…even our enemies. We can do it!
In Verse 43 Jesus reminds them of something that from childhood we have been trained to do. He said:
You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[i] and hate your enemy (NIV)
How many times have you been told to hate and ignore those who hate you? How many times have you heard or even said, if she/he doesn’t like me, I don’t like them neither?
Today, God is asking us for a turn-around. God is asking us to love, bless and pray for our enemies as Jesus outlines in verse 44:
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, (NIV)
 
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to
them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and
persecute you; (KJV)
This is also confirmed again in Luke 6: 28:
Bless them that curse you, and pray for them who despitefully use you
Why does He want is to do this? 
The answer is given in verse 45:
that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
 
If you consider yourself a Christ-ian (which means called by Christ’s name/Christ-like), then you must do these things and be “like Christ”.
Loving your enemy, doing well to those who hate you and persecute you is just a sign of being Christ-like. These characteristics define Jesus in us; who again represents the salt and the light within that we are supposed to spread around this world. Jesus did all these things which He is commanding His disciples, and now us today, to do.
Remember He said in  John  14: 12: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
So if Jesus loved His enemies, we can do it too because we have the power to do it. This is what He has told us. Just look at His behaviour before and during the cross.
Jesus doesn’t stop at verse 44. He continues by saying the act of loving our enemies is simply a move towards being “perfect” in Christ.

46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

None of us are perfect, and this is true since we all make mistakes, but there is a level of perfection which we can pursue in simply seeking to do/pursuing what is right in the strength of the Holy Spirit.

This word “perfect” is defined in Greek as “complete”. So Jesus is telling His disciples and by extension us today, that we must pursue being “complete” in Him through loving everyone, including our enemies. We must pursue being complete as Christians. You cannot be “completely” Christian if you don’t love  those who curse and persecute you. In the end Jesus confirms that  there is great reward for being obedient to God by loving our enemies.

Are you ready to be complete? Are you ready to pursue perfection in the things of God? Are you ready to love like you never loved before? Are you ready to be the salt and light you have been called to be?

TODAY’S PRAYER

Heavenly Father we thank You for Your Word which is true. It is a light for my feet and indeed a light to my path. Father I come boldly before You and I repent for all the times I have mistreated my enemies. I am sorry for all the times I have snobbed and refused to be kind to those who persecute me. There are times where I have neglected to pray for and bless them, but Father I come to You now because I want change. I want to be complete in You so that my light can shine and I can be the salt of this world which You have called me to be.

In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, I speak to my atmosphere and I command change for the better because You have already given me the Power through the Holy Spirit to be better. I accept that power.  I confess that I need Your strength so that I do not walk in the ways of my past. Father I thank You for forgiving me, for helping me and leading me into a greater future where love abounds in my life in every situations. Thank You for Your strength in this new walk of being a complete Christian. In the name of Jesus Christ I pray.

AMEN

How’s Your Love Life Today?

“In light of the fact that it is February–the month in which we celebrate Valentine’s Day–may I ask you a very personal question? “How’s your love life?”

The reasoheartn I ask is because your love life, my love life, is a very strong indicator of our relationship with God.

So how about three more heart-searching questions? Questions you might want to bring before God in prayer, asking Him to show you exactly where you really are. I know that as I have examined myself-and continue to do so-God is showing me how much I have to learn-where I fail, where I am weak and how much I need to grow in love. My cry has been, “Lord, teach me about love.” What’s your cry in respect to love?” —

Kay Arthur

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