Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Flood of Living Water

"Rain, rain on my face, hasn't stopped raining for days."Well ... That's not exactly true. It just started raining sometime last night and I've woken up to the sound of rain running down the gutters, exploding on the driveway, cascading over the once wonderfully waxed body of my XTerra, and simply falling like paratroopers through the sky - attempting to avoid tree branches and telephone wires on their descents.

I love warm rain. I'm trying to remember some of the songs I know that have rain - or some version of it - in the lyrics. Let's see: we already mentioned Jars of Clay, "Flood." How about CCR's, "Who'll Stop the Rain." Iron Maiden used lines from the classic poem "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" in their song by the same name to talk about about the lack of a good water source ... "Day after day, day after day we stuck no breath, no motion. As idle as a painted ship upon a painted ocean. Water, water every where and all the boards did shrink. Water, water every where, nor any drop to drink."

Those lyrics make me wonder how Noah felt during his time in the flood. Can you imagine being told by God that He's fed up with how people are acting and that your family is going to be the only family that will survive the catastrophe that's about to wipe out the entire population as you know it?

What about being told that ... and then being told to build a huge ship because God's going to wipe out his creation using one of the very things that sustain life - water. (The second and third day of creation spoke specifically of water and it's significance in this whole thing we call life - Genesis 1:6-10).

Jesus spoke of water - living water. John writes, "On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.)" (John 7:37-39 NLT)

The story that the Apostle John shares with us about Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well beautifully illustrates the living water of which we all thirst.

"Jesus knew the Pharisees had heard that he was baptizing and making more disciples than John (though Jesus himself didn’t baptize them—his disciples did). So he left Judea and returned to Galilee. He had to go through Samaria on the way. Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime.

"Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food.
The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?” Jesus replied, “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.”
“But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?”
Jesus replied, “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.”
“Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.”

“Go and get your husband,” Jesus told her. “I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied. Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband— for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!” “Sir,” the woman said, “you must be a prophet. So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim, where our ancestors worshiped?” Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” The woman said, “I know the Messiah is coming—the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus told her, “I AM the Messiah!”

Just then his disciples came back. They were shocked to find him talking to a woman, but none of them had the nerve to ask, “What do you want with her?” or “Why are you talking to her?” The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?” So the people came streaming from the village to see him.

Meanwhile, the disciples were urging Jesus, “Rabbi, eat something.”
But Jesus replied, “I have a kind of food you know nothing about.” “Did someone bring him food while we were gone?” the disciples asked each other. Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work. You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest. The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike! You know the saying, ‘One plants and another harvests.’ And it’s true. I sent you to harvest where you didn’t plant; others had already done the work, and now you will get to gather the harvest.”

Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, “He told me everything I ever did!” When they came out to see him, they begged him to stay in their village. So he stayed for two days, long enough for many more to hear his message and believe. (John 4:1-41 NLT)

Flood, rain, water ... Who knows? All I know us that if this living water keeps me from thirsting for the contaminated water that the world is trying to sell me then I'm all for it. Jesus fill me up!!!

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