Tuesday, February 28, 2017


Heaven help us when we allow the well of God’s living water go dry! We need His life-sustaining, growth-promoting Word and Spirit constantly. Not for a mere hour on Sunday morning or a two-minute devotion over breakfast, but daily. Hourly. By the minute and sometimes by the second.

Eternal Perspectives               by Sally Bair

The water well

Back on the farm, our well didn’t produce enough water at times, so my dad filled up our cream cans at our neighbor’s place. They had plenty of water for their dozen or so cows while we had to make do, never sure when the well would give out and go dry. Never sure when the water would turn cloudy and taste bitter. It’s no wonder my dad gave up dairy farming after a few years.

Because of the unpredictability of our water supply, we always made sure to keep extra containers on hand. As a teenager, I considered the problem more than an inconvenience and worthy of many complaints. My parents never complained about the lack. They seemed to take it in stride.

We tend to take our water for granted, don’t we? A simple turn of a handle brings an abundance of the precious commodity. We drink it, bathe in it, nourish our plants and gardens and cows with it, and launder our clothes with it. We even play and swim in it.

Throughout the entire Bible, water is a frequent subject. In fact, God ordained a certain ritual for the Israelites to observe during the Feast of Tabernacles celebration. A priest filled a golden pitcher with water from the Pool of Siloam in Jerusalem and carried it to the temple, where he poured it on the altar as an offering to God. The ceremony commemorated the event of God supplying His people with water that flowed from a rock, during their travels through the wilderness.

Jesus talked often about water. Perhaps during one of the Jewish celebrations He said these memorable words: “‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ This He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive …” (John 7:37-38)

  As much as the Israelites needed water to stay alive, and as much as our cows needed more water than our well could produce, we need the water of God’s Spirit to stay alive in Him. Not only does He promise it in sufficient supply to take us through any trial we face, but the living water of Jesus always tastes sweet. “Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” (Isaiah 12:3)

Lord, thank You for the Living Water of Jesus and for the assurance that it will never run dry. In Jesus’ name, amen.           

Monday, February 20, 2017


May the Lord bless you as you face your life challenges this week. He is able!


Puzzle Pieces  

The residents in my senior complex enjoy putting jigsaw puzzles together. In fact, at least one puzzle is being worked on at any given time. The process of fitting one piece to another spurs us “puzzlers” on to keep looking for other pieces, enlarging the picture until it becomes a beautiful whole. The process also brings a sense of satisfaction and joy during the process.

Living is like completing a puzzle. Challenges lie before us, causing us to question and doubt our ability to solve them. In time, like a puzzle, our life-picture develops into a recognizable whole, which eventually brings rewards. Think of young men or women going to college. Each class they take may seem disconnected to the promised end result, but it is completed with the knowledge that it will help them reach their educational goals. Mom or dads may wonder if the day-by-day acts of parental love and discipline will pay off in the end. Yet knowing they are doing the right thing brings hope that their children will grow to satisfactory maturity in body, mind and spirit.

Every day we face new challenges. In fact, God allows trials to come into our lives. He also encourages us to face them head-on, not giving up but putting one piece after another in place by faith. Each time we seek His help, each time we obey His Word, He gives us another piece of the puzzle until we complete the challenge and go on to the next one. Through faith and obedience, joy comes in the journey and in the completion. "But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved. Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for." (Hebrews 10:39, 11:1-2)

Many Old Testament patriarchs faced trials and challenges. No doubt their minds were filled with questions and doubts and mystery. But they persevered, faithfully obeying God's commands, knowing that even though they couldn't see the whole picture, it would be brought to a beautiful completion.

How do you view the "what ifs" and mysteries in your life? As trials? Or as challenges—like a jigsaw puzzle? "We fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen." (2 Corinthians 4:18)

Lord, give us the will to focus on the unseen reward, the completed puzzle of our live. Give us the grace to persevere in our trials and tribulations, and help us to be joyful in the journey. In Jesus' name, amen.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017


No matter how dry, how miserable, how hopeless and hard our life situations, God is always there for us and with us. He always sees us through—with His strength and power, His comfort and peace.

Eternal Perspectives              by Sally Bair

Unwelcoming wilderness has its good points

When I hear about Siberia, I think of a vast wilderness where the only inhabitants are those who have been exiled as punishment for their crimes or political differences. One of the least populated places on earth, Siberia’s extreme harshness seems to shout, “No one welcome here.” Those forced to live there have had to make drastic changes in their living habits in order to survive.

Any wilderness can be less than welcoming to people. Some may contain much natural beauty, but the surrounding harshness of weather or living conditions overrides their attractiveness unless people are prepared.

We might all face an unwelcoming, harsh environment at times. Our wilderness could be a place where lack of love shuts out the pleasing sights around us. Or feelings of grief, hopelessness or distrust may distort our perspective of the beautiful surroundings. Few people purposely choose to spend time in such unwelcoming places, whether mental or physical.

The Bible offers a different view of living in a wilderness. It can become the source of our greatest spiritual growth, our greatest joy. Many biblical leaders have experienced life-changing encounters with God while forced to stay in a wilderness. Moses, Elijah and John the Baptist met God in the wild places of God’s own choosing. Each found his spirit renewed by such an encounter. And when the Israelites floundered in body, mind and spirit in the wilderness of exile, God promised to help them.

“’Fear not, you … men of Israel! I will help you,’ says the Lord and your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. … ‘I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.’” (Isaiah 41:14, 18) The Israelites would need water when they returned to their damaged and desolate homeland, and God promised to provide them with such.

In the Christian community, it is not unusual to hear comments such as, “I’m going through a dry, wilderness time with the Lord. I want to be back on the mountaintop [of spiritual bliss] again. What shall I do?” Rather, time spent in the wilderness can be our greatest joy, for it’s there we can focus on God without distractions or enticements. As wilderness lovers prepare for their outdoor experiences, we too can prepare for encounters with God through Bible meditation, study and prayer.

Lord, thank You for the bleak, seemingly unwelcome places we encounter in life that draw us back to You. Remind us of Your promise to help us through our wildernesses by bringing new growth and bountiful provision. In Jesus’ name, amen. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017


Today let’s choose to overcome our temptations with God’s strength and power, rather than with our own.

Eternal Perspectives               by Sally Bair

Temptations face us every day. TV ads tell us we won’t be popular, healthy, or fulfilled unless we buy their product. Stores position their candy and other enticing products near the checkout counter. Temptation also entices us toward immoral thoughts, words or actions. It shows itself on the movie screens and pages of bestsellers. It assaults our hearing in the form of negative and profane language.

Anything that steals our time away from following Jesus becomes a temptation. Jesus faced temptation in three forms. “For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.” (1 John 2:16) Because of Jesus’ ability to overcome the devil’s temptations at a time when our Lord was at His most vulnerable, hungry and tired after fasting for forty days, He knows how it is with us. “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.” (James 1:14)

However, His Word points us to a promise that helps us overcome any temptation, just as Jesus did.  “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Every day we all face the same temptations. And every day we have a choice to take advantage of the way of escape God provides or fall into the enticement. And every day we decide whether to go God’s way or our own. We can choose to rely on our ability or God’s.

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21)

If we choose to trust Him, laying hold of the power He offers, we too will overcome temptation.

Lord, thank You for Your faithfulness in keeping us from being tempted more than we’re able to stand. Show us Your way of escape even from the seemingly small temptations such as buying into enticing products or lifestyles, or doing so much we forget to spend time with You. In Jesus’ name, amen.