IF ANYONE THRISTS, LET HIM COME TO ME!
John 7:37 says, "On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out saying, 'If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'"
Who is Jesus inviting? ALL WHO ARE THIRSTY. What are we thirsty for? When your soul thirsts what do you go to, to quench that thirst?
Sometimes I'm afraid we drink from broken cisterns that hold no water. Jeremiah 2:3 says, "For my people have committed two evils: They have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns...broken cisterns that can hold no water."
If you have not yet received Jesus as your Saviour you are drinking from the wrong cisterns and will always find them empty. You need to come to Jesus to drink from His always flowing river of living water. It never runs dry. To drink you must believe in Him (trust in, adhere to, cling to, rely on). When you do, He gives a promise that that thirst will be satisfied by His Spirit...His living water.
If you are a believer, yet you are finding yourself dry and thirsty...the offer is also for you. Did you forget in your pain, in your temptation, in your daily busyness, to come to Jesus and drink? Have you made a mistake and grieved the Lord, and turned to the broken cisterns of this world? Have you thought that thirst could be filled without abiding in Him? (John 15)
Turn to Him now and drink freely and deeply! You will find satisfaction for your soul. He is more than willing to give His living water to all who come with a sincere heart.
Have you become overwhelmed with the winds and the waves in your life? Do you wonder if it is possible to walk above them without sinking? So many times I have started to walk on the water with my focus on Jesus, but then as I took my eyes off Him and looked at and feared the huge winds and waves, I sank, and had to cry out, "Lord, save me!" And of course, He reached out and took my hand and got my eyes of faith on His promises once again and kept me from drowning.
I'd like to share a few lessons I've learned along the way that just may help you to walk on water. The thing that makes that water hard under our feet is faith. Faith in His promises. They are what holds us up. Know what God's grace is for you.
Why can we trust Him to take our cares and not worry what will happen to us, or our loved ones, or if things will turn out right? Because as His child, the way has already been made for you before hand.
We've probably heard these verses read and quoted a hundred times but we have to put our whole trust in them and step out on them, as though they were the truth to hold us up, as Peter did when he stepped out of the boat in faith that the water would hold him up. We then must continue to walk with our eyes fixed there, ignoring the storm around us, knowing Jesus is able to calm it, or be our shelter.
We go through many sorrows in this life, some of us. They can make us go on to strength in the Lord if we can let God use them.
It is not that we become stronger; in fact we may feel ourselves weaker than ever. No, it is that He becomes stronger in us, our eyes are more fixed on Him.
So.....today.......let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith! (Heb. 12:2)
Jesus--the creator of my entire being--body, soul, and spirit--lover of my life! Who can know me more, love me more, and understand what I need more than Him?
The definition of sanctification from the New Compact Bible Dictionary says: To separate from the world and consecrate unto God. To sanctify anything is to declare that it belongs to God...In an ethical sense it means the progressive conformation of the believer into the image of Christ, or the process by which the life is made morally holy. Sanctification is through the redemptive work of Christ and the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit. It begins at regeneration and is completed when we see Christ.
So many come to Christ by faith and receive His salvation, but then think they must work out that salvation by other means; whether it be philosophies of men, teachings of our culture, works, or disciplines, or laws we make for ourselves, etc. They try to separate their personal and emotional wholeness from their spiritual life and don't realize every part of us now belongs to Christ, and was made for Him to fill, and to be glorified in.
Our devotional two weeks ago was about coming to the fountain of living water to drink, and not to the broken cisterns of this world.
Last week we talked about how God can give us the ability to walk above our circumstances if we keep our focus on His promises.
This week I would like to say all of this is a part of our sanctification. We are being made complete in Christ. We are constantly being molded into the image of the Son. We are being set apart from this world. We are being shown day by day we will only find wholeness in Christ. There is no part of our life, not one single second, that He is not in control of.
I'm not speaking of happiness. Happiness is temporary. Completeness of spirit, deep spiritual wholeness, this is what can only be received in Christ.
The trials we go through, the sorrows, the pain; they only show us more and more how incomplete we are; and as we see that and come to Him to drink, to be nourished, to be strengthened, to receive our living water of life, then we find....yes! in Him we are complete! You see....it is HE who IS our life! In Him we live and move and have our being.
But if we should, even as believers, turn to the broken cisterns of this world to drink, our sanctification is stunted, we find spiritual anemia, and we will continue to search for fulfillment and not find it until we find He alone IS our life. We must in faith receive His pure, living water, and His precious manna daily. His Word is our food. Let us feed on that and not the deceptive meat of this world. His Spirit is living water. Let us drink deeply and not turn to broken cisterns to drink from.
Partakers of His divine nature....Wow! It is that divine nature within us, remember that makes us complete. This process, called sanctification is that we might be more and more conformed to the image of Christ, that we may no longer live to ourselves, but that Christ may live in us, and through us, until that final redemption when we will be with him.
What is the heavy weight in your life that continually ensnares you? What is your lot in life? Do you constantly struggle with things beyond your control?
I read this chapter, Hebrews 12 for a year every day, at a dark time in my Christian life. I could hardly read anything else. For some reason, I was continually drawn back to this chapter day after day; and each time the Lord would speak something fresh to me as if it were the first time I read it. I couldn't get past it until I could yield completely to it and I knew it had had it's way in my heart. This is where my song, "I'll Look To Jesus" came from.
At first I was not able to accept the race that was set before me. I didn't want to overcome. I wanted to escape. I was even suicidal. The more I read this chapter the more I saw, little by little, God was in control of my lot in life. Little by little, I was able to lay aside all weights. Little by little, I was able to see the cross and Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, ignored the shame, and did God's will. Soon being fully surrendered to Him and His purpose meant more to me than escaping my circumstances. I began seeing that joy that was set before me and experiencing the joy of His fellowship even in the midst of hard, depressing, even seemingly hopeless circumstances.
If you want to really know Jesus, walk with Him in His sorrow, accept the cross, live as though it is "no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me. The life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me." Gal. 2:20
For the joy set before us, which is greater than anything compared to this earth, let us endure the cross, despise the shame, run patiently that race that the Lord has set before us! Let it teach you to trust completely in Him! Let it mold you further into the image of Christ! Let it teach you to overcome and the Lord to be glorified in your weakness!
If we share in His suffering, He promises we will also share in His joy. Yielding ourselves daily to the Lord to work out that sanctification in us will produce suffering in the flesh, dying to self, but so much joy in Him!