Think Outside The Bottle

Jon Burgess


Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, 20and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. Acts 3:19-20


Peter wasn't pulling any punches. He made it clear to the crowd gathered in Solomon's Portico that they had indeed "killed the author of life" (vs.15) who God had raised from the dead. As he talked he could see that they had done this in ignorance, they were shot through with despair and the life they were living was no kind of life at all. This would probably have brought him back to that same place he used to be in before his encounter with Christ. Luke 5 describes how Jesus stepped into Peter's boat on the very day his source of income and identity had dried up. For a man who's family business was catching fish he felt ashamed and worn out after not catching a single fish all day long. Peter was reluctant to follow Jesus' instructions to throw in the nets one more time, but when there was more fish then he could handle coming into his nets he knew he could not handle living from this source anymore. He fell to his knees saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!" This moment of repentance released times of refreshing in his life as he had never known before. He was drinking from a different source from that day forward. He was thinking outside the boat! Peter didn't realize how empty he was until He encountered the fullness of Christ. He didn't realize how sinful we he was until He entered the Presence of Jesus and longed to be pure! He didn't realize how numb he was to the things of God until he was awakened by God in his boat! What he was offered so freely by Christ he now offered to all who gathered around him that day! Peter was leading them to a source of refreshing that would never run dry.


Recently it has come out in the news that Pepsi Co.'s Aquafina bottled water that promises refreshing to the thirsty is not sourced from mountain springs or pristine lakes, but from their sink! That's right! You could take a bottle, put it under you faucet and save yourself three bucks! Pepsi Co. was quoted as saying they weren't worried about this news coming out. They said studies show that consumers don't buy bottled water because of how it tastes or where it's sourced but because of convenience. The customers don't have to bottle it themselves. They can grab and go. The same could be true of our spiritual life if we aren't careful. It's a lot easier to grab something pre-packaged and convenient from our culture even if its not pure then it is to seek the Presence of our God in prayer and in His Word. Think about all the forms of entertainment and activities we participate in for the fleeting promise of times of refreshing. Some of us spend years in weary work saving up for one week of vacation that promises times of refreshing only to wind up more exhausted then before. Why? It's tap water. It's the wrong source. It's false advertising! It's a fishing boat with no fish. It's a life made to be fulfilling that is continualy drained by the activities of our schedules. There's a reason that Evian, a four dollar bottle of water is "NAIVE" spelled backwards. We are being naive if we think we can find lasting times of refreshing from any other source then the presence of Jesus. So, why don't we live this? It takes work. In order for us to think outside the bottle we must work at it. Convenient Christianity is not true Christianity at all. Peter was clear both in his own story and in his sermon that repentance precedes refreshing. Purity can only come from being in His presence and access to His presence comes when we fall before the Cross. Let's be real. There's nothing convenient about admitting our sin and coming clean in response to Holy Spirit conviction. The truth is that if it's been a while since we've exprienced refreshing it's most likely been a while since we've repented. Let's do the work of repentance no matter how much time it takes so we can experience lasting times of refreshing in Christ Jesus!


Lord, forgive me for looking to other sources other then You. Your reservoir of life runs clean and pure and is accessed through repentance. You are my source of refreshing no matter how dry things are around me! Let me spend my days as Peter did inviting the weary and worn around me to tims of refreshing found only in You!

Devotions for October 14

Nehemiah 11,12
Psalms 1
Acts 3

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