Jesus walked. He didn't "catch a flight" or carpool - he walked.
The paths he traveled were long, dusty and hot and very unforgiving for the unprepared.
His followers also knew the taste of long days spent on the road. The fine hot dust would coat every inch of them. Although they longed for the refreshment of a long cold drink of water, the living water that Jesus gave freely to saturate the dryness in their souls drove them on.
Many thirst-ridden travelers came across their path as they journeyed throughout the land, and Jesus challenged the disciples to meet their needs. In Matthew 10:42 Jesus encouraged, "And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded."
Today, we as believers are also traveling that long, dusty, hot path that we know leads to an abundant life. We thirst for satisfying long drinks of God's Word that we know will sustain us through the dry times. But many thirst-ridden travelers of our day tend to turn up their noses when we offer what appears to them to be just platitudes. What they long for is relief from their physical or emotional pain. God's love is best received when given from person to person.
Spend a Saturday this month with your small group extending a cup of cold water to a dry, parched world. This life-giving cup of cold water may look like:
- time spent cleaning the bathrooms at a fast-food restaurant
- a cold can of pop for a hot construction worker
- lunch for a homeless person
- shopping assistance for a shut-in
- a freshly mown lawn
- a free car wash
These acts of kindness all have eternal significance when given in Jesus' name.
After spending a couple of hours in the community serving others, meet at someone's home for refreshments. Give everyone an opportunity to share their experiences then pray for the people whose lives were touched.
Consider studying this concept of evangelism with your small group during the summer using Steve Sjogren's book "Conspiracy of Kindness, A Refreshing New Approach to Sharing the Love of Jesus with Others." If your small group takes a break for the summer, agree to read the book individually, plan to meet together one day a month to perform acts of kindness, and then discuss what you've read when you come together for refreshments afterwards.