Wednesday, November 28, 2018
John 4:10, 14 10Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who I am, you would ask me, and I would give you living water…People soon become thirsty again after drinking this water. 14But the water I give them takes away thirst altogether. It becomes a perpetual spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
Several years ago during the Wisconsin 9-day gun deer hunting season, I spent many hours with my sons and son-in-law in pursuit of the elusive whitetail. At one point during the hunt I decided to try and help the boys by walking through a couple of creek bottoms and thickets to see if I could jump any deer out in their direction. Besides being unsuccessful in my attempts, I became very hot and thirsty. I had no water with me, and where I ended up on my trek I was not near the fresh water in the creek or the vehicles. I had nothing to drink. All I could do was take off some layers of clothing and sit down in the damp grass and try and cool down. As soon as I had the energy, I went straight to the first source of water I could find.
Thirst is a powerful motivator, not only from a physical perspective but from the emotional, psychological, and spiritual perspectives as well. Jesus understood human thirst. We thirst for value. We thirst for meaning and purpose to our existence. We thirst for acceptance. We are driven to satisfy these thirsts by any means available to us.
The world offers several temporary thirst-quenchers. We believe value can be found in material possessions and career success. We believe the meaning and purpose of life can be found through scientific and philosophical examinations of our existence. We also believe that acceptance can be found through human relationships. We will go to any length to gain that acceptance, sacrificing security, careers, and health on the altar of sexual sin.
Jesus met a woman like that. She had attempted to satisfy her thirst for acceptance, value, and meaning in life in the arms and beds of men. She had come to the well to satisfy her physical thirst. Jesus offered her an opportunity to satisfy her real thirst. Jesus makes an incredible statement to her – the water I give…takes away thirst altogether. It becomes a perpetual spring within…giving…eternal life. Every emotional, psychological, and spiritual need is satisfied completely and permanently when Jesus enters a life. His eternal life completely quenches the thirst for value, acceptance, and meaningful purpose in life.
When Jesus comes into a life, inestimable value is realized through the knowledge that God would send His Son Jesus to die for our sins so that He could bring us into a permanent and eternal relationship with Himself. Even when we were living in sin He saw our value and provided a way for us to become worthy of relationship with Him. No longer do we need material possessions and career success to define our value: our value is defined by the receipt of every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. (Eph. 1:3-8) God quenches our thirst for value for all eternity by giving us the value of His Son Jesus.
When Jesus comes into a life, unconditional acceptance is experienced through the surrender of self to the reign of Christ. God quenches our thirst for acceptance for all eternity by unconditionally accepting into His family those who come humbly to Jesus Christ.
When Jesus comes into a life, meaning and purpose are fulfilled through the understanding of God’s will and purpose for our lives. Back in Ephesians 1 again, verse 9 says, God made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ.
When we come to Christ and drink of His water of eternal life, we are brought into the inner circle of God’s will and purpose. Later in Ephesians Paul describes our purpose – For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. We have been called to a divine and eternal work – to accomplish God’s work. It is a work with matchless meaning and eternal worth.
So which thirst is driving you today? Drink from the living water of Jesus Christ, and thirst no more. Life will cease to be a pursuit of value, acceptance, and meaning, and will become instead an expression of the value, acceptance, and meaning you have been granted in Jesus Christ.
It’s refreshing to have your thirst quenched.