The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.

I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

John 10:10 ESV

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Are You Thirsty? Take the Plunge

Tomorrow I will be preaching at the 8:30 and 11:00 am services at First Christian Church Wilton Manors where Dr. John Stauffer is the pastor. My message is entitled, “Understanding the Destructive Power of the World” is from 1 John 2:15-17.

How does the "world," that is ruled by Satan (1 John 5:19) and is in conflict with God and the Church (1 John 3:1), constitutes a threat or a danger to the believer? Through the “desires (lust) of the flesh,” the “desires of the eyes” and “the pride of life.”

Think it of in this way. It is as though there are three ways in which we can give the world access into our lives. Three doors through which we can invite the world into our mind and heart, three ways that we put ourselves at risk to a system that is opposed to God, satisfies our sinful nature and serves Satan.

That is where many Christians are living. They are playing in the world's playground where they are indulging the desires of their flesh, perhaps not even aware of what is happening to them. The world is subtly and slowly conforming them into its mold.

Jesus met a Samaritan woman at Jacob's well in the Samaritan village of Sychar. (John 4:13-14) She evidently was thirsty because she had come to Jacob's well to draw some water. Jesus asked her for drink of water, and in so doing engaged her in a conversation about another kind of thirst.

You see, He knew the circumstances of her life. He knew that she was looking for answers in all the wrong places. She had turned to the world to find fulfillment. She was seeking satisfaction by fulfilling the desires of her sinful nature. And she had come away desperately empty.

Jesus knew that she was in the grip of the world. In His conversation, He said to her, "The fact is, you have had five husbands, And the man you now have is not your husband."

But perhaps what was more significant was the fact that Jesus knew her heart.
He knew that she was not finding what she was ultimately looking for in her relationships with men. She was looking for fulfillment down a dead end street.
She was driving around one of those "no outlet" neighborhoods trying to find her way out. She was lost, seeking happiness and satisfaction in all the wrong places and coming up empty over and over again. She was very, very "thirsty." Her heart was empty, and Jesus knew it.

So, He offered her something. He offered her Himself. Using the metaphor of thirst and water, He said,

"Everyone who drinks this water (of Jacob's well)
will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water
I give them will never thirst.
Indeed, the water I give them will become in them
a spring of water welling up to eternal life." (John 4:37)

If you are looking to the world for fulfillment and satisfaction by indulging the
desires (lust) of the flesh, the desires of the eyes, or pride in possessions, any fulfillment or satisfaction you are experiencing is temporary, fleeting, here momentarily but quickly gone, leaving you empty and spiritually thirsty.

As the songwriter Chris Rice has written, “Other waters I’ve been drinkin’
But they always leave me empty like before...Could I really feel this thirsty if there weren’t something more?” (“Thirsty” in the album “Past the Edges”)

There is more. Here is His offer,

"If anyone thirsts,
let him come to me and drink.
Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said,
'Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'
Now this he said about the Spirit,
whom those who believed in him were to receive……"'
(John 7:37-39 ESV)

As Chris Rice continues,

“I’m on the shore now of the wildest River

And I kneel and beg for mercy from the sky
But no one answers,
I’ve gotta take my chances
‘Cause something deep inside me’s cryin’

“This is why you are alive!”

So I plunge into the River with all that I am
Praying this will be the River
where I’ll never thirst again

I’m abandoned to the River

And now my life depends on the River”

Are you thirsty? Take the plunge.

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