A River Flows Through It

An outward focus

is as a river flowing

 

unobstructed

moving

living

 

from a heart

listening to the Spirit

 

An inward focus

is as a black hole

 

dark

still

backward

 

from a heart imploding on itself

 

And it is obvious

when you speak to someone

 

which one they are

and where their focus is

 

Do people come away from talking to you

feeling heard?

Valued?

Seen?

 

Or do they come away from talking to you

knowing a whole lot

about you

with a little more of you

on the side?

 

Our Jesus

Savior

King

God

 

focused outward

 

Time with His Father prioritized,

He went to the masses

 

and He Healed them

with His hands and His words

 

Selflessness

Humility

and attentiveness

come from the character of God

 

And we become more of this

when we allow Him to do His inward work

 

 

looking to Him

and focusing outward

 

– Susie Stewart

 

If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if His love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.

Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of Himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of Himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, He set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, He stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, He lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.

Because of that obedience, God lifted Him high and honored Him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that He is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.

– Philippians 1:1-11 (MSG)

 

On the final and climactic day of the Feast, Jesus took His stand. He cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Rivers of living water will brim and spill out of the depths of anyone who believes in Me this way, just as the Scripture says.” (He said this in regard to the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were about to receive. The Spirit had not yet been given because Jesus had not yet been glorified.)

– John 7:37-39 (MSG)

 

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with Me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with Me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with Me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

– Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)

 

Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude.

— 1 Peter 3:8 (NLT)

 

Photo by Susie Stewart

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