Summary: This is the 2nd sermon in the series "A Growing Church..."
Series: A Growing Church... [#2]
Last week we heard that a growing church is focused. We don’t allow distractions within worship. This morning we are going to see that "A Growing Church...Is Flowing".
In order to be a growing church that God is pleased with, we must be people who are tapped into the life-giving water of salvation found in Jesus Christ.
Salvation from our sins is compared to water because water is necessary for life. We can survive a long time without food, but without water for more than a week, you will surely die. If you want to kill your grass, trees, plants, etc...; don’t let them have water and they will wither up and die.
The human soul is no different. Without the water of salvation, the human soul will die. That is what the Samaritan woman at Jacobs Well found out.
I want us to see a couple of things concerning a growing church.
1.A growing church is a church that has living water flowing from it.
Let me ask you this morning, "What is flowing out of you"? See, what is going on around you is not very important compared to what is flowing out of your life. Is what flowing out of you living, dead, or stopped up? A growing church is full of people who are allowing the Holy Spirit of God to be filled in their life to a point that the Holy Spirit is overflowing from their life.
No one wants to draw water from a well that is polluted or doesn’t have water in it.
2.A growing church is a church that has the enemy trying to stop up its wells.
When your life is overflowing with the Holy Spirit, Satan is going to try to fill up your well. What are some things that Satan uses to stop up our wells?
*He uses stones. He will use stones of worry, self-pity, and depression.
*He uses dirt. He will use the dirt of judgment, hatred, bitterness, resentment, jealously, etc...
All of these things will definitely stop up our wells and slow down or stop the flow of righteousness, peace and joy that God wants to flow from our lives. Many of us have allowed Satan to stop up our wells and we have no joy or peace in our lives, and we certainly don’t have any energy to fight during times of trials and opposition that life throws at us each and every day. God wants to unstop your well! Jesus wants you to fully experience the renewing power of His Living Water.
3.A growing church is a church that has not replaced its wells with cisterns.
When Satan stops up your well it results in a loss of your joy and if you lose your joy, you lose your strength. Once you get to this point, you really don’t want to try to clean out your well. Maybe you are too tired or you just don’t care anymore. Whatever the reason for not cleaning out your well, it can result in you digging a cistern.
A cistern is much different from a well. It is a subterranean reservoir for storing water, which was collected from rainfall through a system of gutters and manmade channels. Not only did a cistern hold collected rainwater, but it also held water that was hauled in from other locations and filled by the painstaking labor of people. Unlike a well, which was continually being replenished without any human effort, a cistern requires the effort of people in order to keep it filled with water. Spiritually speaking, a cistern is man’s substitute for God’s well of living water. It is a spiritual replacement that the person hopes and believes will be much better than the well that God has provided.
When Satan attacks us and stops up our wells then many times we will go out and build our own cisterns. Perhaps we have become disappointed by some bad experience in life and, instead of seeing that God may have allowed our faith to have been tested by this experience; we then become angry at God and say that He didn’t come through for us. We then become bitter and we lose faith in God’s provision and we try to take matters into our own hands. We start living life apart from God, trying to fill our empty lives, or our own empty souls, with earthly possessions and the lusts and passions of this world.
There are 2 main problems when we dig cisterns:
*Our cisterns are not being continually replenished on a daily basis by natural means, therefore we have to work really hard to find satisfaction, if we can even find it at all.