The Bucket Brigade
Proverbs 11:25, “Whoever gives to others will get richer; those who help others will themselves be helped.”
Spring is just now beginning to show, and I bet many of you are excited to see nature come alive. Trees budding, flowers sprouting, baby animals being born. Winter is gone and the warm days are ahead. Just the thought of spring excites me.
Then there are our friends who look forward to planting season. Not only the vegetable gardens but the beds of beautiful flowers in an array of colors. I do enjoy that and am again looking forward to planting new flowers along my walkway.
Maybe there are some of you who are also excited to plant flowers this year. Maybe like me, you know exactly where you're going to plant them. Maybe by your doorstep or in front of your porch. Are you excited to see what colors fill your garden?
Let me share an experience with you that you may relate to. This last year as I planted my flowers, I was excited to see how they would grow and see the colors come alive. After planting them I realized our hose faucet in the front of the house was broken and I wouldn't be able to get water to them like they needed. So, I began to fill a bucket from the back of the house and began my one-man, or woman, water hauling bucket brigade of watering the flowers (it usually took two trips with a 5-gallon bucket).
At first, I didn't mind watering them because I was excited to see the flowers bloom. But I realized as the days grew warmer, they needed water daily or they would begin to droop. Some days it was inconvenient for me and some days I would wonder why I planted them in the first place.
But I kept trudging along because I wanted my little flowers to live. So, I continued my daily bucket brigade. Every day I got to see my flowers thrive and come alive and it was worth the “inconvenience” of the water bucket hauling. Even if I didn't feel like it, I did it because it would be worth it. (And yes, within a couple weeks we fixed the hose problem and by July we had a sprinkler that could reach them) 😊
This reminded me of the fruit of the Spirit: love. Like I tended to my flowers I can see how God wants me to love the people He puts in my path. We won't always feel like loving them, even when they are friends or family. Yet, God fills us with his life-giving love so we can carry His love to others and pour it out into their lives so they can grow and come alive in Jesus too.
So many times, we want others to “water us” that we find it inconvenient to go outside the walls of our home and do the work of watering others. The thing we forget is that when we go about sharing the gospel, we will find we're not alone. Other Christians are on the same path and when we work together our one-man water hauling bucket brigade becomes a many-persons water hauling brigade, each of us helping to water those searching for truth and in turn we too become watered.
Water is so important in God's Word that it's mentioned 722 times. More than faith, hope, prayer, and worship. Water is vital for our physical life to survive.
From the beginning water is mentioned as the spirit of God- Genesis 1:2. We see it also referred to in John 7:37-39. We know “water” is used as a meaning of eternal life; Jesus is our living water- John 4:10-15. Isaiah 55:1, “The Lord says, “All you who are thirsty, come and drink.”
- Water offers cleansing and allows us to start anew with Jesus as our Lord.
Ephesians 5:26, “to make it belong to God. Christ used the word to make the church clean by washing it with water.”
Ezekiel 36:25, “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. I will cleanse you from all your uncleanness and your idols.”
Hebrews 10:22, “Let us come near to God with a sincere heart and a sure faith, because we have been made free from a guilty conscience, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.
- Water offers salvation- Isaiah 12:3, “You will receive your salvation with joy as you would draw water from a well.”
Revelation 21:6, “The One on the throne said to me, “It is finished. I am the Alpha and the Omega, [a] the Beginning and the End. I will give free water from the spring of the water of life to anyone who is thirsty.”
John 4:14, “But whoever drinks the water I give will never be thirsty. The water I give will become a spring of water gushing up inside that person, giving eternal life.”
From the beginning of God's Word to the end we see the importance of “water" – Revelation 22:17, “The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” Let the one who hears this say, “Come!” Let whoever is thirsty come; whoever wishes may have the water of life as a free gift.”
Yes, we need physical water for our bodies, and we will grow and find ourselves healthier. But to thrive we need the Living Water of Jesus. When we have this, God will always provide our needs. Then we can pour that love onto those around us so they can grow in the knowledge of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit and also find salvation.
Inconvenient or not, Jesus will continue His one-man bucket haul to water you so that you can grow to your fullest and come alive. Take His water and help build the brigade to fill others too so they too can come alive.
God is near to the humble, so being truthful with ourselves and with God about all that we lack is the first step to drawing near to Him so that we can access the Living Water only Jesus can provide. Let's continue our study with 1 John 3:1-10.
Study 4, 1 John 3:1-10- https://www.docdroid.net/KkL2X8P/study-4-docx
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