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Living Water

Recorded on February 10th, 2019

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Jesus said, “I’m the light” and “I’m the living water” We need to show that world that example, offer grace, and through our actions offer this thirsty world a cool drink of Jesus.

Transcript of Sermon:

[Music] I will be reading to you today from John 7:37 244 the scriptures in your bulletin if you would like to follow along 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 on hearing his word some people said surely this man is the prophet others said he is the Messiah still others asked how can the Messiah come to Galilee come from Galilee does not scripture say that the Messiah will come from David’s descendants and from Bethlehem the town where David lived thus the people were divided because of Jesus some wanted to seize him but no one laid a hand on him this is the Word of God for the people of God amen we are in a series called following Jesus we started it at the beginning of the year and what we’re seeking as a church family is God’s vision God’s plan for our church in our community in this next season of ministry I don’t know what that season means it could be months it could be years it could be a decade of doing church together but what is it that God is wanting you and I as a community of believers to do in this world and the best way I thought that we could try and figure that out besides prayer was to dig into the life of Jesus because Jesus is our ultimate model we began by looking at how Jesus did his first miracle of turning the water into wine and a wedding ceremony and we learned that Jesus didn’t do the miracle on his own that he used servants just like he wants to use you and I to do his work on this earth today we learned that Jesus used the things that he had at his disposal at that time he didn’t make things happen he used the pots that were available and so we discussed and if all this is on the whiteboard here if you want to look at it if you haven’t seen it yet but we’ll continue to fill it out over the next few weeks but we discussed how God has given us everything we need to do the work that he wants us to do today and as we continue to do his work he will continue to equip us with the things that we need to do the work that he is calling us to do and one of the things that as a community we talked about that we do have because there are things we don’t have we don’t have as many young people as we want to have but that’s changing we have a lot of people in our congregation who are not well who can’t physically do the things that we think we might should do because we’re a church but what we do have is people who deeply and fiercely love God we have people who deeply and fiercely inhabit the kingdom of God inside their souls and what our community needs we talked about is more of that kingdom of God what our community needs is an understanding of who God is who Jesus is and how to experience what we as a community of believers experience with God in our life because you and I both know life as a believer isn’t perfect it isn’t easy but it’s better it’s a lot better and it’s different it’s different in ways that it’s hard to express to somebody who hasn’t experienced the comfort of being a child of God so our church has people that are on fire for God our church has people who love others our church has people who love this community and we’ve talked about how one of the things that we are going to work towards as a church community is working towards sharing that love that knowledge of God that we have with those in our community that that’s something that we can do whether we’re in an assisted living facility we can share the love of God with others Joanne is a perfect example of what I mean she’s not well she’s very ill but every up that she gets Joann is sharing the love of God with others and sometimes it’s not through words most often she’s not saying jesus loves you or the reason why I’m so happy is because I have Jesus know she’s making cakes and taking the Tim to the people who are giving her her cancer treatments she’s receiving infusions and she’s doing it with the spirit that just cannot be explained for somebody who’s in her situation you see it you and I have that same opportunity every day every time we step outside of our doors and often actually with our own family members should be the place we should start but when we step outside of our doors we have the opportunity to share a piece of the kingdom of God with those around us and towards the end of this series we’re going to be looking at how we make that a systemic thing that we do as a church how do we celebrate that together how do we recognize what God is doing through us in our community so that’s where we’re headed but today I want to tell you a story about Jesus to help us understand our journey on the path of following Jesus today’s section of Scripture comes from a bigger piece of that all comes from a bigger piece but it’s just a chunk of a larger story of Jesus going to the festival of the tabernacle or the festival of the tents it depends on what you’re looking at but there’s this festival that he goes to and right before he goes to this festival and he speaks the way we see him here what you don’t see in the scripture that we looked at is that the festival is coming up this is one of three festivals throughout the Jewish hop throughout the Jewish year that’s one of those pilgrimage festivals it’s one of those times where everybody stops what they’re doing and goes to one common place and celebrates the work of God now this festival was a celebration of Exodus and of the way that God had worked in the Jews lives over time and so this is something that they did every year together and Jesus’s brothers as they’re getting ready to for this festival they say to Jesus they say well you should be coming with us to this festival since you so want to be in the public eye basically is what they say no granted I’m giving you a paraphrase this is not word-for-word from Scripture this is the illicit paraphrase of what happened but they’re saying this is if you want to be seen if you want to be this public figure this is the place to do it you come to this festival where everybody else is and you make your claims in front of everybody and Jesus says to them I’m not going with you it’s not my appointed time yet you see what you and I know about Jesus because we’re looking at him from the past they were there in the middle of this and it’s hard to see clearly when you’re in the middle of a situation but what we know about Jesus is that he wasn’t interested in making a spectacle what we know about Jesus is that he wasn’t interested in necessarily being a public figure he was interested in sharing the kingdom of God with those who did not yet know about the kingdom of God so the brothers go to this festival and the very next thing that you read is that Jesus too decides to go to the festival it’s one of those ones where he says it’s not my time yet but I’m gonna go anyway but he goes in secret he goes in the way that you and I would now know Jesus should go now in the way that a Jew would expect somebody who’s claiming to be the Messiah to show up at a festival and so Jesus goes and he’s just listening to the teaching that’s happening and he’s listening to the voices of the people around him and what Jesus hears is a lot of dissension about who he Jesus is every time he turns around there’s somebody else say well he’s a prophet or he’s the devil or he is just or he’s actually the Messiah or he’s just a teacher and there’s all of these rumors happening at this great festival about who Jesus is and today in our world there’s a lot of debate about who Jesus is there are so many people who are broken and desperately needing the love of our King but who can’t receive that love because there’s been so much confusion in their life about who Jesus is I don’t know if there’s very many Americans who have never heard the word Jesus but I bet you there’s millions and millions of Americans who have no true understanding of who our God is they think oh he was just a teacher or he was just a historical figure or he was just a really good guy who did some pretty nice things or he’s fake he was all made up that was just human beings that wrote those stories that wasn’t God that wrote those stories think about the different ways that this world rationalizes something that’s hard for a rational mind to understand this is the same feeling that’s happening at this tabernac at this at this feast Jesus comes into an atmosphere where there’s lots of confusion where there’s lots of division about who he is and wouldn’t you know it Jesus at some point stands up and starts teaching teaching about himself about who he is but of course because we’re human that doesn’t lead to clarity everybody didn’t go oh I get it you’re the Son of God you’re the Messiah you’re the Promised One and we’re in right that didn’t happen for a few maybe but the confusion still consists because the confusion still happened and that’s because we have so many voices surrounding us we think we know what a God should look like or we think we know what the Messiah should look like and so any way that a Jew saw that Jesus didn’t line up with what they were expecting they would talk against Jesus being who Jesus was and so then we get to our piece of scripture which is at the end of this eight day ceremony eight days they are together eight days they are celebrating this is a celebratory festival and part of this festival and part of the celebration that happen during this festival is that they light candles and that they use water to wash the altar to do lots of washing every day they do this and that’s important because when you hear the scripture read some of the words that Jesus intentionally uses are meant to symbolize to take over meaning from was something that they already understand so Jesus stands up on this very last day knowing that there’s confusion about him everywhere and he says this is his final thing let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink it’s like he’s saying okay if you can’t figure out who I am if you’re still uncertain if we’re going to continue to have these debates how about you just try come and see if you are thirsty if you are hurting if you are needing if you feel that peace inside of you that is empty that needs to be filled if you are thirsty come to me and he says whoever it come to me and drink and whoever believes in me as scripture has said rivers of living water will flow from them my friends that’s you and me we’ve come to the alter we’ve come to Christ and if you if you have yet to make that decision in your life the opportunity is before you to come to the well and to drink and once we a partake of the living water then rivers of living water will flow from us Jesus’s main desire in this moment is to show the world that he’s what they need regardless of what they can try and believe regardless of the debates that are happening if you simply come and see if you just give him a try then you will experience something that you didn’t even know was possible and I believe that Jesus is calling us you and me this church this community to be rivers of living water in our community because there’s still a lot of debate about who Jesus is there’s still a lot of debate about whether or not Jesus is the Son of God whether or not Jesus has the power to be a something beautiful in your life in our households there are people that we love who don’t experience these rivers of living water in our neighborhoods we have neighbors who don’t get to experience the rivers of living water and in our community there’s people all around who are forced to live life day in and day out without the hope that you and I get to experience that undergirds the roller coaster of our life Joanne takes her experience of Christ and lets the river of living water flow from her wherever she goes are we doing the thing are we taking every opportunity that we have to share the river of living water with those that we experience day in and day out because my friends I believe that you know the glory of God in such an intimate way that you want that experience for other people too you want your loved ones to be able to live a life that has hope and has Pease and has joy even though that life is not easy even though life is hard even though life sometimes feels like a meaningless hamster wheel that we can’t get off of but with Christ we experience it differently and we want to share that with others one of the things that I do to try and stay connected with the world and people around me who are different or have different life experiences than I do is I listen to a lot of podcasts and if you don’t know what a podcast is it’s kind of like radio shows but you can pull it up on your phone anytime you want you don’t have to wait for a certain time of day and one of my favorites is a podcast called This American Life it’s actually show on NPR but they tell difference they each they spend an hour telling stories and they usually have some common theme that puts the stories together but their stories of people’s lives they can be stories that range from immigration to dating to I mean it ranges the whole human life spectrum and you get to see what life is like for people who weren’t you because one of the hard things about being a believer is to remember what it’s like not to have Christ into your life it’s hard to remember how desperate and how uncertain that can feel and this week I listened to one that just really gutted me I’m not gonna lie I’ve I listened and I just felt how have we done so poorly us believers and sharing the light of God that this actually exists you see it was there six hundred and sixty sixth episode so 666 and so they took that opportunity to explore Satan the idea of Satan the idea of evil and they started it wasn’t even a just it wasn’t even one of the main stories but they started by telling about this person who had created a helpline and this helpline was for anybody who wanted them to for anybody who wanted Satan to be praying for them or Satan to do something for them I mean think about that instead of praying to God instead of asking the one who can perform who can help who can be a guide in your life they were setting up a helpline for those who wanted help from Satan and without any advertising people called and they left messages and they played some of these voice messages and with every message my heart hurt more because what I understood with every single message is that for some reason we are not sharing the living water the way we need to be sharing the living water because they don’t see God as an option they don’t believe Jesus can help and instead they’re turning their hope their hope rests and Satan now we all know that the church has had some bad times we know that there have been people in the church who have hurt others who have hurt people who are outside the church or even in the church and they decide to leave the church because we’re all humans and we make mistakes I know that I have probably participated in hurting somebody with the Word of God are not loving somebody well enough and that hurts me to know that but I also know that it doesn’t take you and I going out with a microphone and screaming Jesus’s name on a corner to share the love of God what it takes is you and I deciding every single day to walk out our door and ask God where it is that we can make a difference helping somebody with groceries helping somebody across the street helping somebody who needs a meal that day and that let God work in that person’s heart because they see goodness in humanity but what people don’t see is goodness in humanity anymore because they’re looking for help from Satan and the one that broke my heart the most was a teenage girl who called in and she was pregnant and she was asking for people to pray to Satan that the pregnancy would not last because she couldn’t do this and she literally said Satan is my only hope you and I have living water flowing outside of our bodies we have come to Christ we have accepted them into our lives we live with hope we live with joy even in the midst of some of the hardest times of our lives why are we not doing a better job of sharing that living water with those around us because people are broken and they desperately need what we have that girl needed a you or me a simple kindness on a Monday afternoon in the middle of the day out of the blue she needed to see that there’s good in this world see you and I can’t fix her you and I can’t fix all of the brokenness in this world but we can be instruments of light see Jesus said I am the light he said I am lit rivers of flowing water and what he was trying to tell the Jews is that these candles that you light they’re meaningless I’m the light this water that you wash the altar with is meaningless I am the water what our community needs what our friends need what our family needs is to know that there’s water available to them that can sustain them that there is real true hope and we have the ability to do that so as we continue on this week as we continue to think through and pray through how God wants to use us to be the living water in our community and in our families may we be intentional every day of this week about looking for opportunities to shine a light where there’s darkness to shine a light where there is no hope just shine a light where Satan looks like the only hope let’s pray God we are so sorry that we have not shared your love and your goodness in a way that is changing lives around us we are so sorry that we don’t take every opportunity to make a difference our hearts break with the reality that people in this world truly have no understanding of what it means to live as a child of God and what unbelievable joy and hope and peace and strength comes from stepping into your light God we know that we cannot fix this world we know that we cannot change lives on our own but we recognize father that there is a way for us to participate in the miracles that you do want to create in this world as this world grows further away from you we have the ability to walk towards that with your hope and your love shining from inside of us God please help us to be bold this week please help us to be thoughtful please help us to look around and to see where a simple act from us can shine a light in the darkness god we so desperately want this world to know what your love is like and to step into it help us to be a part of that miracle please use us as your hands and feet it’s in the name of Jesus that we pray amen