Thirst

 I wrote this to be spoken, not read.  I challenge you to speak it aloud.  With force.  With power.  And, most of all, with love.  Speak it with a loud love, a forceful love, a powerful love.  When you speak, plead.  With passion.  That’s the only way this can be read rightly.  May God be pleased to use something as tiny as this to speak volumes to my generation. ***

Jeremiah 2:13 For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, The fountain of living waters, To hew for themselves cisterns, Broken cisterns That can hold no water.

John 4 13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”

***

My dear friend,

Do you know what it is to thirst?  No, not to be thirsty, but to thirst.  To really thirst.  To be consumed, like kindling in a fire, by your thirst.  Do you know what it is to have cracked lips and a parched throat and a dying body?  Do you know, my friend, what it is to be in agony, desperate for a drop of rain to soothe the desert inside?  Tell me, do you know what is to have no saliva to swallow, no wetness upon your tongue, no moisture within yourself?

There is pain!  There is unspeakable ache!  There is an all-consuming yearn, a blaring voice within your head that screams, “Water!  Water!  Water!”

I know that thirst.  Oh, yes, I know that thirst!  Cool, fresh, crisp, delicious satisfaction is the craving of our souls!  When you thirst, you seek one thing — the satisfaction of that thirst.  Everything else is irrelevant, unnecessary, extraneous, frivolous; it is left behind, cut off, and abandoned because it will only impede your mission.  Life is a hunt to satisfy that thirst.

You know this thirst.  You know that your life is a perpetual quest for that which will satisfy your soul.  You want more than anything to find the water, the soothing satisfaction, the balm to the flaming disease in your throat.  Oh, you know it, and you know it well.

My friend, I was once like you — desperate and dying in the desert of want.  But friend, I found the cure!  I found the satisfaction!  Oh, my friend, I found the water of life!  “O taste and see that the Lord is good! / How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” (Psalm 34:8)  Here!  It is He!  Drink deep from the well of His grace and love.  Herein is ultimate satisfaction; herein is life and true life indeed!  To know God and to be loved by Him and to love Him in return — this is true joy!  Drink! my friend, from His goodness and thirst no more!

Yet, you do not drink.  You refuse it and run to other sources, lesser sources, counterfeit, polluted, and filthy sources.  What a wretched mistake!  What tragedy!  And yet, regrettably, I understand; I did the same. So now, my friend, listen to me.  Behold, the fountains you are drinking from will never satisfy.  Never.  Drink until gorged and you will still thirst.  Drink to the bottom and you will still thirst.  Drink until death and you will still thirst.  Please, listen to me.  See your fountains for what they truly are.

I. The Fountain of Mud and the Approval of Men 

The first lesser source you drink from is the fountain of mud, out of which flows the approval of men.

Your heart wants to be loved, to be appreciated, to be thanked, to be valued.  And so, you turn to people to satisfy your need.  You shove your face to the ground to grovel for their approval and applause; you do tricks and favors to please them.  You throw yourself at their feet to become what you think will make them love you; you do all things to gain favor in their sight.

This is devastating.  Within your heart, you prop people up on an altar they do not deserve and worship them as God.  Furthermore, you take their word as law and define yourself by their standards and their approval.  If they are delighted with you, you are happy.  If they are disappointed with you, you are miserable.  You are a slave to their whims. You are mastered by their fancies and your life is field by anxiety and chaos, for you seek to obey an ever-changing, fickle human being.

I pity you.  If you take this path you will erase yourself; what are you but a puppet of men?  You stand for nothing but what they want you to stand for.  You are nothing but what they want you to be.  You have no definition apart from fallible men.  To be a puppet of another is not to truly live.  To be a puppet is to be a slave.

Why is this a fountain of mud?  It is because when you drink from it, you fall in headlong.  And when you emerge, you emerge covered in its mud, indistinguishable from the very filth that you drink.  In seeking to become everyone’s fancy, morphing and changing to please all men, you have shown yourself to be spineless, unreliable, and immaterial.  At best you are a pile of shapeless, formless mud.

Friend, why would you persist in this fountain?  You have drunk deep and still, you continue to thirst!  Tell me, my friend, has any mere man, any mere creature, truly satisfied your soul?  They have not, for they cannot.  Oh yes, they may temporarily ease the pain, but when the novelty has gone and the excitement fizzles, the thirst will come roaring back.  All of your so-called friendships, which you once described as “intimate” and “one-of-a-kind,” have come to naught!  Why do you willingly persist in unhappiness, drown in despair, and drink that which does not satisfy?  Leave the fountain of mud and the applause of men.  It has no life; it’s just mud.

II. Thee Fountain of Poison and Fleshly Pleasure

The second lesser source you drink from is the fountain of poison, out which flows fleshly pleasure.

There is a cavern within your soul; here at this fountain, you seek to fill it with pleasure.  You long to feel good, to be stimulated, exhilarated, titillated — anything to distract you from the emptiness, the barrenness of your life.  Desperately you search for anything that has even the smallest chance to fill what you know you lack.  Sex, wealth, luxury, leisure, humor, art, games, movies, entertainment, alcohol, women, men, movies, hobbies, social societies, and all other pleasurable things you grasp and cast into the dark abyss of your soul, hoping against all reason that it fills you, that it satisfies  and quenches the thirst.

But, my friend, it doesn’t fill that gaping cavern.  Unbeknownst to you, by seeking to enjoy these pleasures as you do, you make it impossible to enjoy them rightly.  How?  My friend, in your madness, you pervert that which God intended to be blessings, good things, into wicked things.  You take good gifts from God, which God intended to be received with gratitude unto Him (1 Timothy 4:3-5), and twist them to feed the impure lusts of your heart (Romans 1:24).  He gave them to you so that you might worship Him, not for you to make them the objects of worship!  And now, lost and confused, you live for the lusts of your flesh, indulging in the desires of your flesh and of your corrupt mind (Ephesians 2:3).

Oh friend, you know it is evil (Romans 1:32).  And I know that this is why you hide from God and His holy wrath.  I know that you think me harsh and cruel for exposing you for what you are.  But, friend, can you not see that this is love?  I tell you because you are dying!  As you drink from this fountain of poison, you are killing yourself.  With each slurp, each famished gulp, you take in more and more death!

I can hear your rebuttal: “How?  It feels so good!  I want it!”  My friend, of course it feels good!  A man is not killed by giving him a bottle of poison labeled “Poison.”  A man is killed when you give him a drink mixed with poison and label it “Life.”  Poison is dangerous when it’s pure, but oh! the doom when mixed with sweetness!  You cannot taste the poison you drink so greedily, but it is there.  You cannot discern the death you have brought upon yourself, but you are dying!  You are calloused (Ephesians 4:19); why would you trust your dull senses?

Flee, my friend!  Why would you persist in this fountain?  The more you drink of this wickedness, the more you thirst; the very things that once felt so good are no longer enough.  Therefore, is it not obvious that this fountain will never satisfy?  Oh friend, think!  Ravaging thirst follows soon afterwards!  When the buzz dies, the haze clears, the music fades, and you wake up to reality, the cavern of your soul remains!  It has not been filled, but only groans louder.  Instead of joy there is only destruction and misery, and you know not the peace of inner contentment (Romans 3:16-17).  The path of cheap, instant gratification leads to eternal death.  Leave the fleeting sensual pleasures of the flesh!  Leave the poisons that have deceived and tricked you.  Listen not to its lies!  Come away from it.  Leave the poison.

III. The Fountain of Sludge: Arrogant Pride

The third lesser source you drink from is the fountain of sludge, out of which spews arrogant pride.

My friend, when you run to this fountain, it is not the same as when you ran to the fountain of mud.  For there you jumped in and gladly covered yourself because you thought yourself unworthy.  My friend, when you run to this fountain, it is not the same as when you ran to the fountain of poison.  For there you drank with utter disregard for yourself.  When you were at those two fountains of death, I pitied you.

But here, at the fountain of sludge, you have no sense of your unworthiness.  Indeed, it is the opposite.  Here, at this fountain, you love yourself. Here, you take the sludge and drink it with flair, with a haughty throw of your head, with dignity, as one drinks the finest of wines.  Here, you take the sludge and dab it like ointment to decorate and accentuate yourself so that all would exalt you as glorious.  Here, you prance and dance and congratulate yourself on your honor and worth, your wonderful deeds, your self-earned self-righteousness!  Here, you play in the sludge, celebrate in all that you are, and rejoice!

“How so?” you ask.  Can you not see?  When you are arrogantly prideful in your possessions, your achievements, your abilities, you exalt them above God.  When you gloat over your intellect, your associations, your maturity, your knowledge, you exalt yourself above Him.  When you boast in your money, your children, your houses, your phones, your computers, your books, your bikes, your vacations, your voice, your designer clothes, your hair, you extol created things above the Creator God.  When you take pride in your religion, your good works, your charity, your devotion, your loyalty, your goodness, your family, your plans, you direct all glory to yourself.  It’s all yours!  It’s all about you!  You have perched yourself on the throne and all the world is your adoring audience.  This is how you live: completely obsessed with yourself!

What folly of follies!  Of all things to boast in, the most unworthy of praise is yourself!  When you loved the approval of men you worshipped men as God.  When you loved fleshly pleasure you worshipped your experiences as God.  Yet here, in your self-love, you worship yourself as God (Romans 1:22-23).  It is idolatry!  All idolatry is disgusting to God, but this self-worship is revolting.  Yes!  Revolting!  He hates it!  It is vile!  Filthy!  Sludge!  Those who run to this fountain to bask in their arrogant pride are the most offensive, the most revolting, the most depraved in all of the world!

All of your striving to be presentable and good in your own eyes proves that you are unclean. All of your righteous deeds — all of them! every single one! — are at best a filthy, bloody, rag of refuse before God (Isaiah 64:6).  Religion, good works, righteous deeds, and man's achievements apart from a love for God and His Christ are a wicked attempt to force the hand of God, to earn what cannot by bought by mere works of men (Ephesians 2:8-9).  Such attempts to earn what is priceless are insulting.  How could you believe that salvation is bought with something as tiny as your accomplishments?

At this fountain of sludge, I pity you not.  Friend, you are like one who is pure in his own eyes, yet is dirty in his filthiness (Proverbs 30:12-13).  Oh, what is this but blind, insolent, arrogant pride?  You have traded the glory of the infinite God for the corruptible ‘glory’ of a man — yourself (Romans 1:23)!  Sludge is flattering on no one save for pigs.  Sludge hides no blemish; on the contrary, it brings scorn.

Feel your filth.  Open your eyes, my friend!  Look at yourself, like a fool covering yourself in sludge, bathing in it as if it will soak in and cleanse your dark heart of sin.  Oh flee! from that fount of sludge, my friend!  Feel again your thirst!  There is nothing good within yourself worthy of love.  Come away from that fount of death.  Come away! before you drown in a wicked self-love!

IV. The Fountain of Life: Living Water

My friend, do not let the stark and painful truth push you away.  I do not say hard things for the love of offense.  I say hard things because I love the truth, and because God loves your soul.  Oh! that He would open your eyes to see!  As long as I have breath I will contend for you to see the truth.  My friend, even as you persist in your sin, I will not cease to labor for you until you see the futility of these fountains of death.  Make not the mistake of stumbling from fount to fount to imbibe more and more death.  Come away from them!  At the root, they are all the same: they will not satisfy.

Yet, there is one Fountain unlike the rest.  There is one Fountain entirely unlike the fountains of mud, poison, and sludge.  There is one Fountain that brings not death, but satisfaction, joy, life.  You have never stumbled upon it in your life of sin.  You will never know its goodness without the power of God.  But, my friend, there is hope!  There is relief from your thirst!  There is a Fountain of life!  And it contains Living Water!

Come with me to the Word of God, in particular the fourth chapter of the gospel of John.  Here we will find the Fountain of Life.  Do not hesitate!  The costs of forsaking this Fountain are too high!  And the joy to be gained is too priceless to leave.  Come, my friend; come and see (John 1:46).

John 4 1 Therefore when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John 2 (although Jesus Himself was not baptizing, but His disciples were), 3 He left Judea and went away again into Galilee. 4 And He had to pass through Samaria.

5 So He came to a city of Samaria called Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph; 6 and Jacob’s well was there. So Jesus, being wearied from His journey, was sitting thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.

7 There came a woman of Samaria 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 Therefore the Samaritan woman said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” 11 She said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water? 12 You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?” 13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”

15 The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty nor come all the way here to draw.” 16 He said to her, “Go, call your husband and come here.” 17 The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have correctly said, ‘I have no husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.”

19 The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”

Let us walk through this passage together.  We will not fully mine its depths, but let us examine some of its priceless jewels.  There is treasure here, treasure of infinite worth.

John 4:4 tells us that Jesus “had to pass through Samaria.”  “For what?” you ask.  It was necessary to pass through Samaria for one reason: a woman.  Look at verse 6 and 7.  After sitting down at a well, Jesus saw “a woman of Samaria…[and] said to her, “Give Me a drink” (John 4:7).

It is notable that we know close to nothing about this woman. We know not her name.  We know not her age, her childhood, nor her accomplishments.  In human history, she is utterly insignificant.  Yet, Jesus thought it good to go out of His way for her; He literally left the region Judea for her.  Why?  Why her?  Jesus came to her because He knew this woman.  She is insignificant to the world, but not to Him.  He knew her not from His earthly life, but from earlier — from before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4).  He had chosen her for Himself, to be His beloved and part of His Beloved Bride, the Church (Ephesians 5:27).  He created her for His glory.  He created her to worship Him as Lord and Savior.

So when He said, “Give Me a drink,” He was not speaking to a stranger.  Oh yes, she had no idea who He was, but He, on the contrary, knew everything about her.  He knew her name.  He knew her age, her childhood, her deeds.  He knew her ambitions, her past, her fears, her needs.  He knew her sins, her rebellion, her joys, her hopes.  But most significantly, He knew her thirst.

To satisfy her thirst, she had gone to the fountain of fleshly pleasure.  Jesus knew.  He tells her, from omniscient knowledge, her sin in verses 18: “…you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband.”  Five!  Over and over she had flown to men to satisfy the cravings of her heart, to quench the thirst within.  She had craved intimacy, genuine love, peace, and comfort — and she had gone to men for satisfaction.  The end result of her adulteries: still she thirsted!  The first, second, third, fourth, and fifth had not satisfied.  Men, and all that they were, could not give her contentment.  The fountain had lied, and although she drunk its waters, it had not brought her rest.

Jesus Christ knew it all.  He knew her thirst!  That is why in verse 10 He says, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”  Living water!  Water that brings life to those who drink deep!  Furthermore, in verse 13 and 14 Jesus Christ says, “Everyone who drinks of this [material, earthly] water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”

Oh, my friend, does this not quicken your pulse and invite your attention?  Listen!  Listen to the Savior and Lord of all creation!  Jesus offers Living Water!  It is Water that satisfies!  Not like the waters of the approval of men, not like the waters of fleshly pleasure, not like the waters of arrogant pride.  No, no, no!  Referring to unsatisfying water, Jesus says, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again.”  If you drink from the fountains that lie, He promises you, you will thirst again!  Drink all the mud you want, drink all the poison you want, gorge all the sludge you want — you will thirst again!  What will dust do but drive you to greater thirst?  What will drinking filth do but cause you to heave it up again?

The Water from the Fountain of God, this Living Water, is entirely different.  It is Water that quenches the thirst.  He who drinks it will never thirst again!  Here, at this Fount of Life, is the Water of God.  It is the gift of God.  It is Living Water.  It is soul-satisfying Water.  It is thirst-quenching Water.  And this Water, no matter how deeply one drinks, will not be depleted; instead it will gush up into a well of water that springs up to eternal life!  Its depths cannot be plumbed, the fount cannot run dry, the increase cannot be restrained!

One taste, and you will see that it is heavenly.  One taste, and desert of your soul will become the lushest of pastures, the most glorious of springs.  Overflowing, abundant with life, the epitome of satisfied you will be because of this Water!  Drink, and you will be satisfied, happy, content, abounding in peace and thanksgiving, truly alive for the first time!  This is the power of the Water of God, the Water of Life, the only Water than can quench your thirst.

V. The Holy Spirit: Living Water

“But,” you ask, “what is this Water?”  Ah, my friend, that is a good question.  To answer that question, we must go to the seventh chapter of the gospel of John.

John 7 37  Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38 “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’ ” 39 But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

From this passage, our answer is clear: the Living Water is the Spirit of God.  How so?  Jesus says in verse 38 that he who believes in Him will have rivers of living water flowing from within, to satisfy the thirst within.  The apostle John then adds this comment in verse 39: “But this He spoke of the Spirit.”  What are rivers of Living Water?  They are the Spirit.  What satisfies the thirst within?  The Spirit does.  He is the Living Water because He is the One who comes into a sinner and brings him from death to life, from thirsting to satisfied, from an enemy of God to a child of God.

Lately, much has been said about the Spirit of God.  And yet, so much of it is untrue, unhelpful, and blatantly unbiblical.  Let us take a brief excursus to learn what the Scriptures say about the Spirit of God, God the Spirit.  His role in salvation is too essential to mix with lies and deceit.

First, the Holy Spirit is the One who convicts unrepentant sinners of their sin (John 16:8).  He opens their eyes to see the heinousness of their crimes against God, and impresses upon their hearts and minds the guilt of such sin.  If it is He who begins to work within a person and open their eyes to the truth, we can be sure of this: He will not relent, He will not let go, He will not fail to accomplish His end — salvation (Romans 8:29-30).

Second, the Holy Spirit is the One who teaches the truth concerning God (John 14:26), especially the gospel of grace.  He testifies concerning Jesus Christ (John 15:26) and speaks from Christ and the Father (John 16:13).  He inspired the infallible, inerrant Word of God and illuminates the hearts of men that they might understand it (1 Corinthians 2:10-16).  He is the Illuminator, the Divine Revealer to wicked men.  And thus, the Holy Spirit preaches the gospel through His Word to the hearts of sinners, until He brings them to the point of repentance.  What power!  What grace!  Without the Holy Spirit, no man would be saved.

And yet, the Holy Spirit’s work does not end here; it has just begun!  Third, the Holy Spirit is the One who brings sinners to the Father.  He has the power to regenerate a dead heart and make it alive toward God, and is the means by which a sinner is born again (John 3:8).  And when that sinner truly believes in Jesus as the Christ, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within him, as the seal, the promise, the guarantee (Ephesians 1:13-14) of the glories of heaven to come.  He gives confidence to the believer to know that he truly is a child of God (Romans 8:15-16), and that all the promises of God are indeed for him.

Fourth, the Holy Spirit is the One who reigns in the believer’s heart and gives him power unto sanctification and godliness (Ephesians 1:18-19, Romans 8:12-13).  He sets the believer’s mind on the things of God and not on the things of the flesh or of the world (Romans 8:6, 9).  Without Him, there is no growing in grace, no understanding of the Word of God, no joy in knowing God, no fruits of repentance, no communion with God, and no desire to honor the Lord Jesus Christ and God the Father.  Life without the Spirit is indeed no life at all.

And finally, fifth, the Holy Spirit is the One who continually intercedes for believers according to the will of God (Romans 8:26-27).  Perpetually He prays for believers’ needs, perseverance, holiness, godliness, wisdom, all to the glory of God the Father.  What a Helper He is (John 14:16)!  How critical His role!

I know the Holy Spirit.  He convicted me of my sin.  He revealed to me that I deserve wrath for it.  Oh the agony and fear of such a realization!  Yet, He did not leave me there.  He opened the Scriptures to me, and showed me that Jesus Christ could save me.  And then, He drew me to God, caused me to fall on my face and repent of my sin against God, and beg for forgiveness.  Now, an entirely new man, I am confident to whom I belong: I am a child of God.  I live for God, not myself, and I am, by the Holy Spirit’s power, being strengthened to love, rejoice in, obey, and serve my God.  Oh, all praise to the Spirit Divine!  He is the Living Water that brings life to a dead sinner like me!  To know Him is marvelous and satisfying indeed.

You too must know the Spirit to quench your thirst.  Yet, there is more.  If we stopped here, we would grieve the Holy Spirit of God (Ephesians 4:29).  Why?  It is because the Spirit’s role in the Trinity — the Three-in-One-ness of God — is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ (John 16:14).  I repeat: the Spirit of God desires to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ.

All things He does in the world He does in order to magnify the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.  It is not because He is lesser in any way, but it is because in glorifying Jesus Christ He submits to the divine order of God and glorifies Himself.  As the Son of God submitted to God the Father in the divine plan of redemption, and thus was exalted to the highest of thrones (Philippians 2:5-11), so too, the Spirit of God submits to God the Son in offering all glory to Him.  As a woman who honors her husband by submitting to him in the God-given order of the family, thus glorying in her wonderful, satisfying, God-given role (Ephesians 5:22-24), so too, when the Spirit honors Christ Jesus by pointing to Him as glorious, He glories in His role as Helper from and Divine Usher to the Lord Jesus Christ.  As a stream is meant to be traced back to its source, so too the delight of knowing the Spirit of God should bring us higher to know the Source, the Fountain, the Giver of Living Water: Jesus Christ the Savior.  All praise to the Spirit, the Water of Life!  Let us now follow Him to the Giver of Life, to satisfaction and happiness in Him.

VII. Jesus Christ: The Fountain of Living Water

Jesus is He who gives the Water of Life freely; He is the Fount.  Yes, He offers freely to all who thirst!  Yet, do not think it was cheap; oh, it came at great cost to Him!  In order to offer this living water freely, He paid everything!  In order to offer us joy, He bore our griefs and our sorrows (Isaiah 53:4).  In order to give us blessing, He was cursed (Galatians 3:13-14).  In order to offer Life to us, He died (2 Corinthians 5:21)!  In order to satisfy our thirst, He thirsted (John 19:28)!

Here is how.  Jesus Christ, although He existed in the form of God as God from eternity past, temporarily laid aside His divine privileges and partook of human flesh, not ceasing to be God, but instead adding to His divinity humanity (Philippians 2:6).  As the GodMan, He lived without sin, always doing the will of the Father, thus proving that He was and is the perfect Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29).  As the GodMan, He showed the way of eternal life — namely Himself (John 14:6).  At the end of His earthly ministry, He accomplished what had been His purpose since birth: He was crucified to bear the wrath of God the Father against sin, crushed for our iniquities and transgressions (Isaiah 53:5), and forsaken by God (Matthew 27:46) as we should have been.  He died according to the Scriptures, and was buried (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).

But, wonder of wonders! He was resurrected from the dead according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:4) as proof that His death was sufficient for the atonement of sin and the justification of sinners (Romans 4:25).  We can be saved through Him!  We can end our thirst through Him!  Being pleased with His life and death, God the Father vindicated Him by exalting Him high above everything and everyone, and by bestowing upon Him the glory He deserves (Philippians 2:10-11).

This is the Lord Jesus Christ.  He is King of kings and Lord of lords.  And you, a rebel in His kingdom, have insulted this King of glory.  You have scorned Him and His law and have spat in His face.  By your sin, you reject Him and His goodness.  In your sin, you charge Him as a liar, a subpar Creator, a terrible God.  You take glee in His crucifixion and deny His resurrection.  You have rejected God.  You are guilty, my friend, of a crime so horrendous there are not enough words nor enough time to describe the magnitude of your deserved guilt and punishment.  Oh, my friend, feel the weight of your sin pressing down upon you!  Worse than a thirst of a lifetime is the eternal wrath of this righteous God!  It is a terrifying thing to fall into His angry hands (Hebrews 10:31)!

But, take heart.  This God of wrath is also the God of abundant love.  He is the “Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin” (Exodus 34:6-7)!  Look back with me to the fourth chapter of the gospel of John, at verses 25 and 26:

John 4 25 The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”

After exposing the Samaritan woman’s sin of adultery, Jesus is wonderfully tender.  She immediately changes the subject of conversation, and He graciously lets her.  He condemns her not.  But He does so much more than that.  In verse 25, she tells Him that she has faith that the Messiah, the Christ, the Savior of the world, will declare all truth when He comes.  Then in verse 26, Jesus does something unprecedented in the history of the world: He directly reveals Himself as the Christ.  “I who speak to you am He.”  Jesus is the Messiah!  Jesus is the Christ!  Jesus is the Savior of the world!  And in disclosing this knowledge to her, He gives her something that even his closest followers did not understand!  This woman, unknown to us and insignificant to the world, had been told who Jesus truly was: the One who could save her from her thirst, the One who could save her from her sin, the One who had come to save her from death.

My friend, like this Samaritan woman, you are insignificant.  In the eyes of God, you are unworthy, a sinner, less than a drop in the bucket.  So am I.  But, you are loved.  Oh, He loves you, my friend!  You can do nothing to earn His favor, but He offers eternal life, Living Water, to all who will hear.  He brought about salvation, because we never could.  He purchased and redeemed by His own blood, not by our efforts.  Oh, my friend, flee not from Him.  Flee to Him.  Come humbly and bow at His cross.  He welcomes all who turn from their sins and cry for mercy.  Listen to the Lord Jesus Christ speak:

Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty [in Greek, “thirsts”], let him come to Me and drink.  He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’ ” (John 7:37)

  • I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. (John 6:35)
  • Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)
  • The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they [My people] may have life, and have it abundantly. (John 10:10)
  • So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened.  Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he?  Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he?  If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him? (Luke 11:9-13)
  • For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.  For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. (John 3:16-17)
  • I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. (Revelation 21:6)

My friend, does your heart not yearn for this?  Do you not hear His call?  I pray that you do.  Oh how I pray you would hear!  He who believes, who trusts, in Jesus Christ will never thirst!  He who comes to Jesus will find rest for his soul!  He who believes in Jesus Christ will be saved!  He who comes to Jesus Christ will thirst no more!  Why would you persist in your sin and thirst?  Why would you choose death when God offers you life?  Why would you choose wrath when God offers you reconciliation to Himself?  Come to Him!  Run to Him!

All your life you have run to fountains looking for life, for joy, for satisfaction.  And you have not found it.  Instead, you have shown yourself to be a slave to sin (Romans 6:6) and its misery, unable to unchain yourself from death.  Yet I urge you, make today the day of your salvation, make today the day you repent of your sin and trust that Jesus Christ did all the work to save your soul, make today the day you resign all control of your life and follow Him as Master and Lord!  Today is the day of salvation; why would you delay?  What benefit can you derive from drinking counterfeit waters?  Your thirst grows with every moment away from the Savior!  As Psalm 34:8-9 declares:

O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! O fear the LORD, you His saints; For to those who fear Him there is no want.

Oh to know Him and to be found in Him (Philippians 3:7-11): there is no greater satisfaction!  Come what may — pain, suffering, agony, shame, disease, persecution, loneliness, death — He is my joy that overwhelms all else.  With Him I am content; without Him I would die of despair.  In Him I am happy; apart from Him, I am nothing.  He alone holds me up, and apart from Him, I need no one else.  What a wonder!  He loves me!  What grace!  What marvelous, marvelous grace!

In one sense, in Christ I am always thirsty.  And yet, I am satisfied. I do not thirst.  I am not parched.  I wander in the desert no longer.  Instead, I am always thirsty for God, for more of Him, for more of His goodness, His Word, His character, His blessings.  My desire to know my God and love Him has only increased, not been satiated!  Yet, I no longer thirst and dwell in death.  I know my Fount, and I gladly fall into Him over and over again.  I no longer drink from waters that are like salt within my throat; I drink from the Fount, and am satisfied.  I drink from the Living Water which makes me crave more, not because He fails to satisfy, but because He does.  It is a good intoxication, a holy addiction, a heavenly obsession.  The Holy Spirit dwells within me and bubbles up into a spring of soul-satisfying, thirst-quenching, life-giving water.  He leads me to its source: my Savior and my God (John 20:28).  There is goodness here; I only desire more.

Come to God, my friend.  Leave your sin and drink Living Water from the Fountain of Life.  He will not turn any repentant sinner away.  “And let the one who is thirsty [in Greek, “thirsts”] come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost” (Revelation 22:17).

Expectantly, Your friend

 

edited by A.S.