Tag Archives: living water

Fourth Sunday of Easter, Year C

The Water of Life

Who are we following today? There are many voices promising many things, but can they deliver? And what do they actually have to give? There is only one person who can deliver eternal life. Are we listening to his voice? The Pharisees and scribes were not:

The Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered, “I have told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name testify to me; but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep. My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand.   (John 10:24-28)

The shepherd boy who wrote this psalm listened to the voice of shepherd greater than him. David said:

The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not be in want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures
and leads me beside still waters.

He revives my soul
and guides me along right pathways for his Name’s sake.   (Psalm 23:1-3)

Who is our shepherd? Whose voice are we listening to? There is only one voice that gives a drink from the water or like. Are we thirsty for this gift? John, the revelator writes:

Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?” I said to him, “Sir, you are the one that knows.” Then he said to me, “These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

For this reason they are before the throne of God,
and worship him day and night within his temple,
and the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them.

They will hunger no more, and thirst no more;
the sun will not strike them,
nor any scorching heat;

for the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd,
and he will guide them to springs of the water of life,

and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”   (Revelation 7:13-17)

There is a gift that brings us eternal life. But we must follow the Good Shepherd. We must listen to his voice. He is the one who leads us to this gift.

We remember the encounter that Jesus had with a Samaritan woman at the well. She wonder why a Jew would be asking her to give him water because Jews did not speak with Samaritans.

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.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.”   (John 4:10-14)

What is this gift that Jesus talks about? The Gospel of John tells us:

On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’” Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive; for as yet there was no Spirit, because Jesus was not yet glorified.   (John 7:37-39)

Jesus purchased this gift for us by his sacrifice on a cruel cross. Do we want it? If so, then we must follow the Good Shepherd. We must listen to his voice. We must follow where he leads us. We must put our full faith and trust in him.

Distracting voices with vain promises can stand in the way. One the most distracting voices is the voice of religion. We remember when Jesus confronted the woman at the well about the life she was living. She answered him this way:

The woman said to him, “Sir, I see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem.”   (John 4:19-20)

Jesus quickly dismissed any questions about religion:

Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us.” Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who is speaking to you.”   (John 4:21-26)

The woman’s conversion followed because she put religion aside and listened to the voice of the Good Shepherd. Today is the hour for us to focus on what is real and lasting. In a time of confusing voices we must learn to hear the Master’s voice. Jesus said:

My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish.   (John 10:27-28)

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Saturday in the Fourth Week of Lent

Living Water vs. the Dead Sea

The Dead Sea is not really a sea at all. It is more like a lake, a landlocked lake. It is in a region of little rain. Fresh water cannot run in nor is any water drained out. No form of life can live in it.

Is that the nature of our cherished religious traditions? It was for the Pharisees at the time of Christ’s ministry on the Earth. They were not open to any thinking that did not meet their ironclad criteria.

The Pharisees had sent the temple police to arrest Jesus:

Then the temple police went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, “Why did you not arrest him?” The police answered, “Never has anyone spoken like this!” Then the Pharisees replied, “Surely you have not been deceived too, have you? Has any one of the authorities or of the Pharisees believed in him? But this crowd, which does not know the law—they are accursed.” Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus before, and who was one of them, asked, “Our law does not judge people without first giving them a hearing to find out what they are doing, does it?” They replied, “Surely you are not also from Galilee, are you? Search and you will see that no prophet is to arise from Galilee.”   (John 7:45–52)

If we hold on to the old wine so tightly we will never experience the new wine. We will miss out on the gift of God that brings new life and vitality. Jesus had gone up to Jerusalem with his disciples for the Feast of Tabernacles. Risking his life he spoke these words in the temple:

On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’” Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive; for as yet there was no Spirit, because Jesus was not yet glorified.   (John 7:37–39)

Are we ready for living water? It is not a one time occurrence, but water that continually flows. Traditions and doctrines attempt to damn it up or cut it off, but these waters are meant for those who believe in the words of Jesus.

For those who do not believe, this water must be stopped at all cost:

“Let us destroy the tree with its fruit,
let us cut him off from the land of the living,
so that his name will no longer be remembered!”   (Jeremiah 11:19)

Today, Jesus still crie out:

“Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’”

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Tuesday in the Fourth Week of Lent

The River of God

Rivers are often mentioned in the Bible in the figurative sense. For example, they may suggest the provisions of God, his healing power, or the righteousness which He imparts. God spoke through the Prophet Amos:

Take away from me the noise of your songs;
    I will not listen to the melody of your harps.
But let justice roll down like waters,
    and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.   (Amos 5:23-24)

The river of God has a special meaning in the Millennial Reign. The Psalmist wrote:

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.

God is in the midst of her;
she shall not be overthrown;
God shall help her at the break of day.

The nations make much ado, and the kingdoms are shaken;
God has spoken, and the earth shall melt away.   (Psalm 46:5-7)

The Prophet Ezekiel describes the land of Israel during the time of the Millennium:

The Lord brought me back to the entrance of the temple; there, water was flowing from below the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east); and the water was flowing down from below the south end of the threshold of the temple, south of the altar. Then he brought me out by way of the north gate, and led me around on the outside to the outer gate that faces toward the east; and the water was coming out on the south side.   (Ezekiel 47:1–2)

Ezekiel’s vision of the Millennium is reflected in the Apostle John’s vision in Revelation:

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.   (Revelation 22:1-2)

If we will embrace Jesus as Lord, He will provide us with an every flowing stream that guarantees our eternal life with him. Now is the time for us to be certain about our participation in the millennium. We do not have to wait to get into God’s river. Jesus said to the Samaritan woman at the well:

“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.”   (John 4:10)

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Thursday in the Second Week of Lent

A Tree Planted by Living Water

Jesus told this parable:

Jesus said, “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man’s table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores. The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. He called out, `Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.’   (Luke 16:19–24)

How the rich man, in hell, longed for just a taste of water! How much do we long for a taste of living water? We read from the Prophet Jeremiah:

Blessed are those who trust in the Lord,
whose trust is the Lord.

They shall be like a tree planted by water,
sending out its roots by the stream.

It shall not fear when heat comes,
and its leaves shall stay green;

in the year of drought it is not anxious,
and it does not cease to bear fruit.   (Jeremiah 17:7–8)

Jesus desires to give us living water that we might bear fruit in his name. But we must put our trust in him. There are so many distractions on the earth to lead us away from him and what he has to offer.

The psalmist wrote:

Happy are they who have not walked in the counsel of the wicked,
nor lingered in the way of sinners,
nor sat in the seats of the scornful!

Their delight is in the law of the Lord,
and they meditate on his law day and night.

They are like trees planted by streams of water,
bearing fruit in due season, with leaves that do not wither;
everything they do shall prosper.   (Psalm 1:1-3)

Are we planted in Christ? Are we planted in his word? Or are we planted in the culture of this world? This world as we know it is passing away. Worldly success is not our salvation.The rich man achieved his worldly goals but failed to recognize the gift of God, when Christ was right at his door.

‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”

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