September 16, 2020
John 7:37-39
On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.  Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”  By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.
New International Version (NIV)
When you are really thirsty, really, really thirsty, what quenches your thirst?  It is hard to stay hydrated in the heat and humidity of Houston in the summer time.  Sometimes, honestly, I am thirsty but I don’t even know it.  With the water fountains shut down in Hershey Park earlier in the pandemic, I had taken to carrying water bottles with me on my runs.  In recent days, I have forgotten to carry a bottle with me.  After a long run, even though I didn’t know it, I desperately needed water.

As part of the fall Festival of Tabernacles, the leaders would take water from a pool up to the temple and pour it out.  It was a reminder of the time when the Israelites thirsted for water in the wilderness.  At first Jesus wasn’t planning to go to the Feast.  He knew, by this time, that the religious leaders were trying to kill him.  It was not time yet to be crucified.  Still Jesus went up and began to teach.  The crowd admired his teaching and wondered who he was.  Then on the last day when the water was poured out, Jesus revealed his identity by saying, “Is anyone thirsty?  Come to me and drink.”

Our greatest thirst is still for God.  As Augustine prayed, “O God, you have made us for yourself.  We are restless until we find rest in you.”  More than we need food, water, or air we need God.  But sometimes we don’t know it.  Our souls know it though.  Like a deer thirsting for water as it runs from its enemies, like David dying of thirst in the wilderness, like the Israelites clamoring for fresh water, we are thirsty for God.  Isaiah 55 offered water to the thirsty without cost. 

Think of the audacity of Jesus saying, “Rivers of living water will flow out of those who believe in me.”  True, the thief wants to steal, kill and destroy.  But Jesus wants us to have life to live and life to give others.  As God’s spirit flows through us we become not only the recipient of God’s grace but a reservoir offering life to others in Jesus’ name.  Our world is more thirsty than we know.  We pay for things which can never slake the deepest thirst of our souls.  But without cost, we may come to Jesus and find everything we need.  Is anyone thirsty?  Come to Jesus.  He satisfies our souls as no other can. 

Pray with me:         
Father, we are dying of thirst until we come to you.  Satisfy our souls with living water today.  Let the river of life flow into our souls and then through us to others who are thirsty.  No one else can satisfy our souls.  Forgive us for turning to the idols of this world, which can never help us.  Let your healing waters flood the deserts of our hearts today.  We pray in Jesus’ name.   Amen.      
Join us in memorizing the Word.  Scripture for this week:    
Matthew 6:33-34
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Our 2020 Every Day with Jesus readings will follow the Foundations New Testament reading plan.  Copies of the reading plan are available at Tallowood Baptist Church, or download your copy at REPLICATE.ORG 
We would love for you to join us as we read the New Testament through this year, five chapters a week.  In addition I will continue my long-standing practice of reading one Psalm a day through the year.  Use Robby Gallaty’s H. E. A. R. plan to study each chapter (also found at REPLICATE.ORG). Highlight verses which speak to you, explain what they mean in your own words in a journal, apply them to your own life, then respond by doing what God tells you to do.  

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