Monday, April 18, 2016

God's Water

for my people have committed two evils:
they have forsaken me,
the fountain of living waters,
and hewed out cisterns for themselves,
broken cisterns that can hold no water.
(Jeremiah 2:13 ESV)

Part of any training program is water. In fact, if you aren’t drinking water- I don’t think your body can adequately respond to any discipline you are doing. Has your weight loss hit a plateau? Kick up your water intake. Not sleeping well? Drink a glass of water before bedtime.
Here in Jeremiah 2- we have a sad and tragic choice. God’s people…believers… children of the covenant.. have rejected God, the fountain of living water (sin 1) and have made for themselves cisterns (wells or jars) – and they are broken cisterns that leak out and are dry (sin 2).
Are you thirsty? Yes… you have deep thirsts– you and I have deep desires.
Some of these universal desires are to be loved, to be secure, to have our lives matter…..
And, there is only one true source to find an adequate Thirst Quincher.
But we reject the One who can satisfy and run to all the other things in this world that promise to fill us up, but THEY ALL  fail in the process.
Fortune?….. Fame?…. Power?… Pleasure?….
Another job? A vacation? Another life? Another wife?
and we know the answer….NO- NO- NO-NO-  They only satisfy…temporarily
 We didn’t need Mick Jagger to tell us that we can’t get no satisfaction- (though we try).
U2 still haven’t found what they are looking for (though I hear Bono gets it).
And Frank Sinatra reminds us that he was’ riding high in April and shot down in May’ (been there..done that).
 C.S. Lewis wrote about these deep desires. In Mere Christianity he made the observation that desires exist and humans do funny things with them. They sometimes deny them or suppress them OR they run around trying every kind of succor for them.
He also said, if desires exist, the thirst-quincher exists. Babies want food… and there is milk. Ducks want to swim … and there is water.
And his culminating thought?

“If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.

Are you thirsty, my friend?   Try ‘living water’ and here’s to finding it!
Just because this world has let you down, time and time again, does not mean that God is absent.
‘Living Water’ is available in infinite supply.
A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” [8] (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) [9] The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) [10] Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” [11] The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? [12] Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” [13] Jesus said to her,“Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, [14] but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
(John 4:7-14 ESV)

If any person had known the inadequacy of this world to satisfy, it was this woman. Not only had she failed time and time again to find peace and satisfaction… her life was marked with loneliness, isolation, and separation. Can you imagine how people must have talked about her, and treated her? But Jesus loved her.
Has life left you dry and empty?… yet?… because IT WILL! I see pictures sometimes from ‘the party at spring break’ and I always wonder when it will ‘crash and burn’. I remember when it happened to me.
But the well of grace of living water not only flows to sinners, it flows through sinners– not only cleansing us, but bubbling out to others. In fact, if you read the entire passage, at the end- the whole village was coming out to Jesus to see the amazing man that had treated this samaritan outcast with love, hope, and forgiveness.
I have always admired how humble this thirsty woman was to Jesus… she was ready. A few years ago, I wrote a dialogue where I changed the ‘attitude’ of the woman at the well. Instead of humble and thirsty… I made her hard hearted and bitter. What would have happened if her heart response was different?
Thankfully, what is written below IS NOT what happened…….
Jesus Meets the Woman at the Well- with a TOTAL DIFFERENT RESPONSE– borrowing from the Message Bible.

To get to Galilee, Jesus had to pass through Samaria. He came into Sychar, a Samaritan village that bordered the field Jacob had given his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was still there. Jesus, worn out by the trip, sat down at the well. It was noon.A woman, a Samaritan, came to draw water. Jesus said, “Would you give me a drink of water?” (His disciples had gone to the village to buy food for lunch.) The Samaritan woman, taken aback, asked, “How come you, a Jew, are asking me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?” (Jews in those days wouldn’t be caught dead talking to Samaritans.) Jesus answered, “If you knew the generosity of God and who I am, you would be asking me for a drink, and I would give you fresh, living water.”
The woman said, “I am not buying your line and if you talk to me again, you are asking for trouble.”
Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again. Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst—not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life.”
“What do you know of thirst, or of want. How dare you judge me, you piece of jewish filth.”
He said, “Go call your husband and then come back.”
“This is what I thought it would be, a self-righteous morality check” she said.   
“I am only asking about things that are well known and true.You’ve had five husbands, and the man you’re living with now isn’t even your husband. Your heart is hardened in your denial of God’s moral law and you are experiencing consequences because of it.”
“Oh, so you’re a prophet! Well, tell me this: Our ancestors worshiped God at this mountain, but you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place for worship, right?”
“Believe me, woman, the time is coming when you Samaritans will worship the Father neither here at this mountain nor there in Jerusalem. You worship guessing in the dark; we Jews worship in the clear light of day. God’s way of salvation is made available through the Jews. But the time is coming—it has, in fact, come—when what you’re called will not matter and where you go to worship will not matter.”It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.”
The woman said, “Useless words”
“I am the Messiah,” said Jesus. “You don’t have to wait any longer or look any further.” Just then his disciples came back. They were shocked. They couldn’t believe he was talking with that kind of a woman. No one said what they were all thinking, but their faces showed it.
The woman quickly grabbed her water pot, cursed Jesus, and ran back to town. Back in the village she told the people, “Come see a man who propositioned me, told lies about God, and deserves to die!” And they went out to destroy Jesus on account of what the woman said.

You have to be thirsty to respond well to the offer of grace. And you have to be humble and yielding to HIM. My prayer is that we will always be of an attitude to respond in grace to grace…. and we cry to God to make our hearts receptive. Lord, show us our thirst… then pour on us Your living water.
Training doesn’t build us up… in reality, it breaks us down… and then we come back better.
But to do any of this on our own effort is like trying to run a marathon without water.
Please let His water pour on you today- for cleansing… and for life!

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