The Water in My Cup

Wycliffe Associates has launched Operation Clean Water in order to help millions of people who are in need of clean water and sanitation.
Bruce Smith, who serves as president, is investing Wycliffe funds and using volunteer help to assist people living in regions where sanitation and water supplies are extremely compromised. "Actually, we're finding that this is a global need," he reports. "It's actually on the top-ten urgent needs of ... the United Nations and other health organizations around the world."

Research shows that a child dies every 15 seconds in Third World countries due to bad water and a lack of sanitation. "It's an urgent need that our translation teams are facing in their communities," Smith points out. "Firstly, because it impacts the health and welfare of the people that they're serving; [and] secondly, it creates difficulty for the translators themselves to survive without good, clean water," he explains.

It is estimated that 200 million people do not have clean water -- but many will, as Wycliffe's translators work to provide them Bibles in their own language, as well as healthy water.
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I thought it was interesting that I read that story this morning just as I was beginning my lesson on water. 200 million people don't have clean water, and how many don't have the Word of God? How many people go every day without drinking from the fountain the flows from above? It's hard to imagine not having clean drinking water, but not having God's precious word scares me to death. A child dies every 15 seconds because it doesn't have clean water to drink. Yet how many die and go to eternity without Christ, being eternally separated from God in Heaven with no hope of escaping the heat and drought that tortures them forever? Pray for the team that brings them not only drinking water, but the everlasting water that also nourished the woman at the well.

Speaking of that well, many of you know that my husband serves in a ministry called The Well Ministry of Rescue. Last November we opened a home for females called The Sarah Home for Women and I have recently been given the incredible opportunity to be their Program Director.

The other day as I sat in the probation office with one of the girls from our women’s recovery home, there was a man who began to speak as he entered the room. We heard him use the F word from the moment he walked into the room, until he left about 20 minutes later. That was one of the longest 20 minutes I have sat through in a long time. This man could not speak respectfully with his language at all. Every time he would open his mouth, I braced myself with prayer and memory verses just to help protect my mind and soul from the filth. The Lord gave me an illustration that immediately made me think about how the words we speak can either nourish our souls or cause them to wilt.

Proverbs 18:21, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”
The Holy Spirit gave me a visual of what this is like. He spoke into my mind the image of a water faucet. You may recall a time when you turned the handle of a faucet and found rusty water coming forth. Some areas of the world, the water is full of deposits that cause the water to be white with debris and not good for drinking. We had problems with our plumbing before and I knew that every time I turned on the water, I would need to let it run for a few minutes until all the rusty water was gone. I knew I could never drink from this water. I couldn’t trust that I would get clean water from this faucet. How could we ever offer a cool clean glass of water to a weary traveler if we know that faucet only gives rusty water?

I think about the things we say with our tongues and wonder if people can feel confident that our communication will be trustworthy. Do people cringe when we open our mouths? Do our loved ones know that they can depend upon us to be wise with our words? Do people escort their children out of the room when they know we’re about to open or mouths and speak?

Matthew 12:34-36, "O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment."

God will hold us accountable for the things that we say. He has given us a tongue to speak and to spread the gospel of peace. Do our words represent the gospel of peace? He tells us in
Colossians 3:8, “But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.”
He wants us to put OFF the kind of communication that brings anger, wrath, blasphemy, and foul language.

2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
He wants us to be NEW in our communication.

Psalm 10:7 tell us about the communication of the wicked, “His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity.”
Is this the kind of person we want to be known as?

There have been times when the water in Butte County was contaminated and we were instructed to boil the water for 10 minutes before drinking it. We had to purify the water in order to be safe ingesting it. Using foul language isn’t against the law of our land, but it certainly is socially unacceptable among respectful people in our communities. However, even when we are among the lower class groups of people we need to guard our language, they know we are Christians.

The unsaved sinner knows very well what should and shouldn’t come out of the mouth of a Christian. Why is it that we are so soon forgetful about this as a child of God? It certainly is an awkward experience to say something inappropriate in front of an unsaved person, only to have then correct us about our own Christianity. It is then that we quickly lose our testimony. We don’t want to be a stumbling block to those around us.

James 3:10, “Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.”

We can certainly use a filtration system to help filter out all the contaminated water. We can use a pitcher like Britta, which comes with a filter you insert into the pitcher. We can use a filter that attaches to the faucet itself, or we can have a filtration system set up under our sink. Even some refrigerators have them built into their water dispensers. These are tools that we can use to help purify the water as it comes out of the source, yet keep in mind that the source is still contaminated water. You’re just using a filter to clean it.

Just as I was quoting memory verses in my mind at the probation office, to help filter the foul language I was hearing, it would have been better had the source been shut off. Yet I had to do something to filter what I was hearing. My cup was purposefully being contaminated by his speech. There are times like that when we must use out filter, through our memorized scriptures to help purify our thoughts, yet so much better if we could avoid having our cups filled with contaminated water. Filters do not get your water 100% clean. There are always trace amounts of deposits that we ingest, even while using a good filtration system.

The very best water is the kind you get from the mountain stream. We hear that as a advertising point with some water companies today, “Mountain spring water”. Of course we don’t want to get our water from the sea, the mountain springs are purified, clean, and healthy. It is refreshing to our bodies and provides the hydration needed to sustain life.

Psalm 1:3, “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”

Water is essential to our bodies and needed to live. If you were to cease from watering a plant, it would quickly die. If I were to give a plant cola, coffee, or juice, it would also wither away and die.

Proverbs 15:4, “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.”

James 3:8, “But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.”
Do we want to be known as the woman who can’t control her tongue, when we walk into a room people flee for fear of what will come out of our mouth? Even gossip is something that can cause harm. Profanity isn’t the only sin of the tongue. Discouraging words can bring detriment to the souls of others. Are our words, words of death or words of life? May the following verses be said about our tongues;

Psalm 35:28, “And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long.”

Proverbs 31:26, “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.”

Psalm 19:14, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.”

Proverbs 8:8, “All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them.”

May the words of our mouths be as mountain spring water, needing no filteration system to purify them before others can hear them. Here are some things you can do to help keep your testimony in regards to your tongue.

1- Stop the rusty water at it’s source. Abstain from unChristlike influences. Don’t watch or listen to any kind of programming that has foul language. (TV, music, etc) Avoid negative or gossipy people. Don’t read the tabloids.

2- Memorize scripture every week. Keep yourself accountable by having a study partner. Share your memory verses with another person.

3- Pray every morning and throughout the day that the Holy Spirit will guide your tongue.
4- Speak kind and uplifting words to those around you. Find something to compliment others on. Be sincere. No one likes a phoney.

5- When you do make a mistake with your tongue, Confess your fault and ask forgiveness. Offer to pray with the individual or group about the offense.

Psalm 19:14, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.”

Apples of Gold Ministries

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{ Californialily } at: June 26, 2008 at 10:19 AM said...

This is a wonderful post Lisa! I have several old friends who have a problem with what they say and in this world, it seems so normal. We have become so used to it! Only through the spirit of God can we feel that it is wrong and filthy. When we feel that, we know God is present in our hearts telling us these things. We need to draw closer to him and we will be able to feel discernment.

{ Angie } at: June 29, 2008 at 5:48 AM said...

Congratulations on becoming Program Director.

Thank you for giving to the Lord. That song comes to mind when I think of you.

Excellent analogies and word pictures here. I am using this as a little Bible study for my kids (and myself).

{ Wendy } at: June 30, 2008 at 5:38 PM said...

Great devo Sis! Very good analogies. I'm going to use this with the kids, especially with ds concerning the tone of his speech and his temper.

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