In the 1800’s men were making their way across deserts to California in covered wagons and on horse-back. They were willing to take the risk of intense heat, barrenness, and little water to get to the land of promise. The story is told of one such man who was crossing the desert when he ran into trouble and was dying of thirst when he spotted a pump near an old abandoned shack. He had no water to prime the pump, but he noticed a jug of water near the pump with a note attached. It read, “There is just enough water in this jug to prime the pump, but not if you drink some first. This well has never gone dry even in the worst of times. Pour the water in the top of the pump then pump the handle quickly. After you have a drink, refill this jug for the next person.” He stood their thirsty and hot, wandering what he should do. To follow the instructions and prime the pump without first taking a drink would be an exercise of faith.
This is the kind of faith the Bible speaks of. It requires that one stake his life on the promises of God. If the man follows the instructions, he takes the chance of pouring out all of the water and getting none to drink, if the pump should fail. So, he must trust that the message is right. He must act in trust, without first receiving, and must believe that the message is true.
The man decided to trust the note, so he poured the water into the pump. Vigorously, he began to pump the handle, when suddenly out of the spout gushed cool, clear water. The note was true. His act of faith kept him alive. Filling the jug for the next traveler, he went on his way rejoicing.
There comes a time in everyone’s life when they are thirsty for more than natural sustenance. Their soul cries out for something fulfilling, satisfying, and supernatural. Some people go on long trips in search for that something. Some gorge themselves with pleasures never to find what it is they are craving. But, there are few who turn to God and His Word with a ready heart to do whatever it takes to receive that satisfaction of a lifetime. And yes, they find their ticket to abundant life! And, speaking personally, they are never the same. The message reads, “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink. He that believes on Me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:37-38). This is a simple act of faith. Faith is central to life. For example: a person goes to the doctor whose name he cannot pronounce and whose degree he cannot verify. The doctor gives him a prescription he cannot read. He takes it to a pharmacist, waits in line, and trusts him to be able to read and fill the prescription. The pharmacist gives a chemical compound that he does not understand. He takes it home and downs the pills according to the instructions on the bottle. All of this is done in trusting and sincere faith. This is the integral compound to life. And it takes the element of humble faith to please God. For more information you can visit us online at www.JoyChristianMinistries.com
Have you ever heard the expression, “He can pinch a dollar so tight that he makes the eagle squeal?” Hetty Green was the prime example of that adage. At one time she was called America’s greatest miser. When she died in 1916, she left an estate valued at 100 million dollars comparable today to more than a billion dollars. In spite of her immense wealth, Hetty was so miserly that she ate cold oatmeal in order to save the expense of heating the water. When her son had a severe leg injury, she took so long trying to find a free clinic to treat him that his leg had to be amputated caused by gangrene. It is said that Hetty hastened her own death by bringing on a seizure while arguing the merits of skim milk because it was cheaper than whole milk.
Yes, Hetty is a very extreme case of selfishness, but many people have a miserly outlook on life. They are self-centered and not warm or generous with God’s love to those around them. God is the perfect example of generosity. He loved the world so much that He gave His only begotten Son. He could have given some worn out old angel that was ready for the scrap pile or given a stepson. But, He gave the very best in all of heaven—His only begotten Son. The word “only” means there is no other and “begotten” declares He is from Him.
Many people will give rejects, seconds, or something that they have grown tired of, but that is not the case with God. He is motivated by love. In fact, the whole process of giving was started by God which He created into the fabric of the world. Trees give fruit, shade, value, oxygen, building materials. Animals give pleasure, entertainment, friendship, food, and even wealth. Clouds give rain, shade, and signs. Yes, the whole creation is filled with life giving energy that all of us enjoy.
I don’t know of anyone who likes a selfish person and that is even true for a selfish person. The reason is obvious: all things were made to be loved then to give it away. The most miserable people on the planet are those who have abundance and refuse to give it away. The fear of losing what they have and the greed of not being satisfied with what they have keeps them tense, tight, and stressed.
One day a ruler asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus responded by quoting the old commandments. The ruler bounded, “All these have I kept from my youth up.” Thinking that he was in the door, Jesus came back with, “You lack one thing.” I’m sure that a puzzled look appeared on the ruler’s face as he thought, “What have I left out?” Leaving no stones unturned, Jesus punctuated: “Sell all you have and give it unto the poor and you shall have treasure in heaven and come and follow me.” This was his acid test. When the ruler heard this he went away sorrowfully for he was very rich. The acid test is different for each of us. What is dear to you? The Lord may ask you to give it up for Him. This is your true test. You can find out more at www.JoyChristianMinistries.com.
An old hillbilly took his family to the big city for the very first time. They had never seen buildings so tall or sights so impressive. The man dropped his wife off at a fancy department store and took his son with him to one of the high rise buildings. As they walked into the lobby, they saw something they had never seen before. Two steel doors opened. A rather large and elderly woman walked in and the big doors closed behind her. The dial over the doors swept to the right, stopped, then back to the left. The doors opened and a beautiful young lady came walking out. The hillbilly was amazed. He turned to his son and said, "You wait right here. I'm going to get your mother and run her through that thing."
Wouldn't it be wonderful if there was such a machine that could instantly change us just by stepping into it? What a moneymaker that would be! But, it's not that easy and never will be. It takes work to change. It takes will-power; it takes passion! We must want to change. We must hate our present condition and strive for a better way of life. We are inundated with people who are bound with bad habits and addictions which keep them struggling and miserable. They appear to hate their bondage while at the same time love it. It's a love-hate experience. They are bummed-out with the habit, but wretched without it. They are stuck in the quagmire of their own doing. What must they do? If only there was that machine!
I have been to several A.A. meetings in my life and all the participants have sounded the same: stuck in hopelessness. I'm sure they would love to have a magical machine, but we know that it only happens in science-fiction. But wait, true change can come when we accept the fact that it will only happen God's way. Yes, we can be transformed by the renewing of our mind. Our mind has been programmed which means we need to have it reprogrammed to a new and better version. The new program is called, "Faith in God."
The story is told of two blind men who were stuck in their condition. When they heard that Jesus was passing by they cried out, "Have mercy on us, Lord, son of David." The people rebuked them, but they with one mouth cried out more. Jesus stood still and called to them saying, "What do you want me to do to you?" They in unison cried, "We want to see! Open our eyes!" Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes and immediately they saw and followed Him. A change took place immediately. Their old way of life was transformed into a new way. They were never the same. Denote, they followed Him. They had a passion for Christ.
Yes, Christ is still changing lives today. If we put our faith in Him then call upon His name, a new thing will take place. But to keep that change we must be willing to follow Him with vigilance. God can do anything if we will trust and obey His Word. His will to change is real. For more info you can visit us online at www.JoyChristianMinistries.com.
Pastor J.C. Myers, III
Pastor J.C. founded Joy Christian Ministries in 1992. He was Sr. Pastor at Joy Christian Ministries in West Sacramento, California from 1992-2016. He was succeeded by his 2nd son, Pastor Brandon Myers who had been under his father's ministry and teaching for 39 years.