Go with the flow: God's actions must be passed on

Voices of Religion

Posted: Friday, August 13, 2004

Well it happened again! The tub is clogged and water is standing in the bottom.

Something about three girls, a shower and clogs go together. Plumbers will tell you hair, makeup and normal body waste will make a mess of an otherwise well-working system.

It doesn't happen overnight but when it closes up, it can be like concrete.

Clogs are like that. You are not aware that you have a problem and then it seems like overnight you are shut down.

My friend was like that. He seemed fine, healthy, everything was good. Then one day he went home tired, lay down and never woke up. It was a massive coronary at age 47.

In laymen's terms he had clogged up and shut down. Next thing he knew he was facing God.

Clogs happen in our lives in many ways.

Have you ever met a Christian who seemed cynical, judgmental or even critical? Some seem narrow, angry or fearful. Well, in laymen's terms again, they're clogged up.

Jesus taught us that the kingdom of God is about flow. What God imparts must be released.

He gives forgiveness therefore forgiveness must be given. He gives love so love must be released.

In fact the Bible makes it clear: "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you," Luke 6:38.

Sin equals disobedience. The Bible is an instruction book on how life works. For instance, if we do not forgive we become bitter. If we become bitter we become sick. "If you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins," Matthew 6:14-15.

It is important to realize sin is separation. "Your wrongs have separated you from God and your sins have made him hide his face so that he doesn't hear you," Isaiah 59:2.

There are many points in the instructions about keeping the pipes clear and the flow of the kingdom of God in our lives.

Some examples are: Giving. "But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully," 2 Corinthians 9:6.

Forgiveness. "If you forgive the failures of others, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you don't forgive others, your Father will not forgive your failures," Matthew 6:14-15.

Criticism. "Stop judging so that you will not be judged. Otherwise, you will be judged by the same standard you use to judge others. The standards you use for others will be applied to you," Matthew 7:1-2.

Golden Rule. "Always do for other people everything you want them to do for you," Matthew 7:12.

Relationships. "Husbands, in a similar way, live with your wives with understanding since they are weaker than you are. Honor your wives as those who share God's life-giving kindness so that nothing will interfere with your prayers," 1 Peter 3:7.

One of my favorite legends that demonstrates flow is this story: His name was Fleming, and he was a poor Scottish farmer.

One day, while trying to make a living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog. He dropped his tools and ran to the bog.

There, mired to his waist in black muck, was a terrified boy, screaming and struggling to free himself. Farmer Fleming saved the lad from what could have been a slow and terrifying death.

The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the Scotsman's sparse surroundings. An elegantly dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy farmer Fleming had saved.

"I want to repay you," said the nobleman. "You saved my son's life."

"No, I can't accept payment for what I did," the Scottish farmer replied, waving off the offer.

At that moment, the farmer's own son came to the door of the family hovel.

"Is that your son?" the nobleman asked. "Yes," the farmer replied proudly.

"I'll make you a deal. Let me take him and give him a good education. If the lad is anything like his father, he'll grow to a man you can be proud of."

And that he did. Fleming's son graduated from St. Mary's Hospital Medical School in London, and went on to become known throughout the world as the noted Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of penicillin.

Years afterward, the nobleman's son was stricken with pneumonia. What saved him? Penicillin.

The name of the nobleman? Lord Randolph Churchill. His son's name? Sir Winston Churchill.

So many times in life I have known people who are clogged up; somewhere something has crept in and they are angry. They blame God, others, their past or the plumber.

The truth is they should just clean the clog out!

I hope this thought has been meaningful. It is time for me to get some drain cleaner.

Robert Reasner is senior pastor at Abundant Life in Sterling. He is married and has three adult daughters. Abundant Life is at Mile 81.5 of the Sterling Highway. The phone number is 262-7266 and Reasner can be reached at alag@acsalaska.net or www.abundantlifealaska.org.

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