The Desert Oasis: A Family Kind of Place

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The Desert Oasis

A Family Kind of Place

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There is no goodness about the necessity of death. Its father was deceit, and its mother was sin (Genesis 3). It is called by God our final enemy for good reason (1 Corinthians 15:26 1 Corinthians 15:26The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
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). It is the body shutting down gradually, or very quickly—whether at the body, organ, or cellular level. Things physically fail, and this is part of who we are. This is our humanity. Our very existence is a struggle, from conception to birth, all along our journey of time and experiences we call this life.

Humans are also described as earthen vessels (2 Corinthians 4:7 2 Corinthians 4:7But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
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). So take away the lid and look deep: Do we carry murky water that we are ashamed of? Do we feel empty? Or do we carry God’s Holy Spirit, the Living Water? If so, is it a small puddle at the bottom, evaporating quickly in the searing heat of a surrounding desert? Or is it bubbling up and flowing freely alongside others who want to share a beautiful oasis with us? (John 7:37-39 John 7:37-39 [37] In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come to me, and drink. [38] He that believes on me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. [39] (But this spoke he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
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, Jeremiah 2:13 Jeremiah 2:13For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.
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).

We need relationships like we need water. Some of the deepest anguish we can feel is in feeling alone, despite being surrounded by people. Some things felt in our hearts are deeper than human words can describe. It is in those times that the Holy Spirit connection with God communicates for us, through “groanings which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26 Romans 8:26Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
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). What we can voice to our Father in Heaven, though, is our need for encouragement and connections with those who are also traveling the road to His Kingdom. He and Jesus Christ understand. Their relationship is the strongest of all. In the final hours before His death, Jesus was separated from the Father. In the moments just before He died, He cried out in agony at being left to bear this great burden in darkness, completely alone (Psalms 22:1 Psalms 22:1My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? why are you so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?
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; Mark 15: 33-38).

They did this for us, that we should not be alone. When the veil in the temple was torn open at Christ’s death, humanity gained the opportunity for a direct relationship with the Father without having a priest go between. Soon after at the Feast of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was given to believers as a comfort to them since Christ was no longer physically with them. That same Holy Spirit connects us individually to God, but it also connects believers to one another as family (John 7:39 John 7:39(But this spoke he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
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John 14:26 John 14:26But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you.
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Acts 2:1-4 Acts 2:1-4 [1] And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. [2] And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. [3] And there appeared to them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat on each of them. [4] And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
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, Acts 2:38 Acts 2:38Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
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).

Church family should be the oasis that offers refreshment amidst a harsh landscape. If we share in God’s Holy Spirit, we should feel lifted up because that living water is so deep here! We should feel encouraged and inspired to love and obey our Father in Heaven, to keep His commands, and to continually work to imitate Jesus Christ. If that is not the case, recall that Hebrews 10:24 Hebrews 10:24And let us consider one another to provoke to love and to good works:
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says to “stir up love and good works among you.” We start with Sabbath services together, to worship God and receive instruction. We should also “break bread” with each other--sharing meals together, and sharing our homes. In both places, we can truly open the doors to fellowship and godly conversation that can strengthen and encourage (Acts 2:41-42 Acts 2:41-42 [41] Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added to them about three thousand souls. [42] And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
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). These are the times that will build the relationships that will last beyond this physical life and into eternal life.

In Ecclesiastes 12:6-7 Ecclesiastes 12:6-7 [6] Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. [7] Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return to God who gave it.
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, King Solomon urges: “Remember your Creator before the silver cord is loosed, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher shattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the well. Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.” The pitcher at that fountain will be us, sooner or later. After death, we can no longer be filled with God’s Living Water, His Holy Spirit. But now, at this time, we can. Our relationship with God is personal, but He also gave us the desire for human connections which can profoundly affect us and our spiritual health. If we are in a spiritual desert, surrounded by parched landscapes and empty vessels, we need to get up and go, to seek a godly oasis while it may be found! Find a congregation of believers right now, and connect with that well of Living Water.