Living Water
by Greg Hanson
Sunrise Wesleyan Church
August 2, 2009

Before Elizabeth comes back to sing some more, I want to talk with you about what has become my favourite subject… my son, Nate.

Nate is coming up on 19 months old, and he is just beginning to talk and is learning to communicate with us. And he actually has quite a few words now in his vocabulary. And actually, he just added a new one a few days ago. Earlier this week, he started to say “Wa Wa” which of course means – what? – water.

So he can now say Wa Wa, which I’ve got to tell you, is a whole lot better than pointing to the fridge and screaming, which he had been doing and still does from time to time. And he can also ask for milk. Oh, he doesn’t know how to say “milk”, but he can use sign language. Several months ago we started to try to teach a few words of sign language, and he picked up the one for milk. Anyone here know what it is? Go figure.

He’s also learned to say another phrase… he can say “no more.” You know what’s really frustrating? When he asks for a drink so you give him his cup, he drinks a little bit and then holds it out while saying “no more”… if you ignore him you know he’s just going to throw it on the floor… so you take it and put it back in the fridge, and then in just a couple minutes he’s pointing at the fridge and screaming again. So you get it back out, he takes a sip, and sends it back again. Then he asks for it again... and it’s just a cycle. He’s thirsty so he takes a drink. He’s not thirsty anymore so he send the cup back. And then all of a sudden he’s thirsty again. What’s up with that?

You know, it’s kind of like Chinese food. I love Chinese food. Every once in a while we’ll treat ourselves to a Chinese buffet or at least to take-out. A nice crispy egg roll, sweet and sour chicken, garlic spare ribs, chicken fried rice, chow mein… Mmmm. I love Chinese.

But there’s a problem with Chinese food. What is it? You’re going to be hungry again in an hour!

Hey, let me ask you something: if a cannibal ate a Chinese person, would they be hungry again in an hour?

Really, that’s the way it is with all food, isn’t it? Oh, the length of time may vary… maybe it won’t be an hour, maybe it’ll be five or six hours. But eventually, you’re going to get hungry again.

Or maybe you have a Big Gulp Jug full of water and guzzle it down. It’s going to do a pretty good job of satisfying your thirst. But a couple trips to the restroom later, and you’re going to be thirsty again.

Just yesterday, many of us met here to give away bottled water to customers coming into the mall. We wanted to show God’s love in a simple and practical way. But you know what? Those people who took those bottles may have been temporarily relieved of their thirst, but I guarantee you… before they went to bed last night their thirst returned.

Hey, that’s the whole premise behind the slogan for Sprite. You know what their slogan it? “Obey Your Thirst.” They want you to obey your thirst because you’re always going to get thirsty again, so hopefully you’ll buy their product.

So what was Jesus talking about?

John 4:10, 14 (NLT)
“…You would ask me, and I would give you living water… Those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again.”

What was Jesus talking about? You’ll never be thirsty again? I guess water like that would be like the liquid form of Stride gum.

Stride gum is the gum that’s supposed to never wear out or lose it’s flavour. Have you seen their commercials? Here’s the current one…

VIDEO – Stride Ram Commercial

Okay, so if Jesus had water that would make it so you’d never be thirsty again, don’t you think the Big Beverage companies would be out to get Him?

Well, I think it’s obvious that Jesus wasn’t talking about literally pouring a cup of water that would end your thirst forever. No, He was talking not about an actual cup of water but about a spiritual reality. He was talking about a spiritual thirst that can only be satisfied by receiving what He has to offer.

This woman Jesus was talking with that day… She didn’t know she was dying of thirst. She didn’t realize that her life was parched, wilted and dry. She didn’t realize what she was hungering for. All she knew was a unending sense of dissatisfaction.

She had been married and divorced five times… they had all ended for one reason or another… maybe another woman, maybe spousal abuse, maybe irreconcilable differences… None of them worked out, and none of them satisfied what she was really thirsting for. But that didn’t stop her from trying. She had already moved on to another man that she wasn’t married to, but she still wasn’t satisfied. She still wasn’t able to quench her spiritual thirst.

I imagine when she went to the well that day, she had all kinds of thoughts running through her head… “What’s happened to my life? I didn’t plan for this. Why can’t I seem to do anything right? How many times am I going to fail? Why do I always feel so lonely? And how am I ever going to find true and lasting satisfaction?”

And that’s when she encountered Jesus at the well. And He tells here that He can put an end to her emptiness, to her sense of failure, to her wasted efforts trying to find satisfaction… He could put an end to all of that thirst. He told her…

John 4:10 (NLT)
“If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”

She came to draw water from what was known as Jacob’s well. But what she found was the Spring of Living Water. Problem was, she didn’t have a clue what Jesus was talking about. She thought He was literally talking about drawing this “living water” out of the well! So Jesus went on, and he pointed at the well, and told her…

John 4:13-14 (NLT)
“Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”

And eventually she got it. Eventually, she understood that Jesus was saying He could bring meaning to her life, that He could bring satisfaction to her life, that He could grant her forgiveness and hope and peace… that He was the source of true salvation. He could completely satisfy her thirst.

That was true for that woman that day; it’s true for us here this morning. Jesus is alive and well, and even today He is offering each one of us this “living water.” And He offers it to us today through the power and the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Jesus wants to satisfy my spiritual thirst by…

•    Giving me peace
•    Offering me forgiveness
•    Filling me with the Holy Spirit
•    Giving me purpose in life
•    Providing me with hope
•    Giving me an abundant life
•    Granting me eternal life

So how do you receive this living water?

How Do I Receive “Living Water”?

I come to Jesus

As Jesus said a couple chapters later…

John 6:35 (NLT)
“I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

So if you have a spiritual thirst this morning, then the answer is Jesus. He is the only one who can truly satisfy. It’s Jesus.

If you’re thirsty this morning, then obey your thirst. Come to Jesus. He can give you hope. He can give you purpose. He can give you peace. He can give you a full and abundant life for now and eternal life for the future. He can fill you with the Holy Spirit and give you power and confidence and a sense of His presence in your life. Obey your thirst.

So how do you do that? You choose to follow Jesus. You make the choice to place your faith in Him and trust Him to lead you and guide you.

In fact, if you’d like to do that this morning, then I’d like to lead you in a prayer. You can pray something like this…

“Jesus, I am thirsty. I do need you in my life. I want that living water you promised to that woman at the well that day. You’re offering it, and all I have to do is receive. So this morning, I do receive it, by choosing to follow you. Teach me what it means to live for you and to trust you. I want to place my faith and my hope in you from this point forward.”



Copyright © 2009