My scripture today comes from John 7:37-39. My focus verse is verse 37. "Those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty." The world understands this need… this thirst. One of my favorite Ads on television features Jonathan Goldsmith as "The world's most interesting man" He ends the ad by saying -Stay thirsty my friends.
A small boy was sent to bed by his father....... Five minutes later.... "Da-ad...." "What?"
"I'm thirsty. ......Can you bring drink of water?"
"No. You had your chance.... Lights out."
Five minutes later: "Da-aaaad.....""WHAT?"
"I'm THIRSTY. Can I have a drink of water??"
"I told you NO!".... If you ask again, ....I'll have to spank you!!"
Five minutes later......"Daaaa-aaaad.....""WHAT!"
"When you come in to spank me, .....can you bring a drink of water?"
So let me ask you …..have you ever been thirsty?
I don’t mean an average thirst ......where a drink of water sounds good after a long walk .....or after working in the yard on a hot summer day. I mean really ..... really thirsty...where your tongue sticks to the roof of your mouth. And you have to peel your lips off of your teeth ...... all you can think about is water. A few years ago, ......a young marine corporal named Joey Mora ......was standing on a platform of an aircraft carrier that was patrolling the Iranian Sea. Incredibly, he fell overboard........His absence was not known for 36 hours. A search and rescue mission began, ..... but was given up on ......after an additional 24 hours. No one could survive in the sea .....without even a life jacket ...... after 60 hours. His parents were notified ...... that he was "missing ..... and presumed dead." The rest of the story is one of those "truth is stranger than fiction" ....events. Scriptwriters would pass it up as... "not believable." And now for the rest of the story…..Four Pakistani fishermen found Joey Mora .....about 72 hours after he had fallen from the aircraft carrier. He was treading water, ..... clinging to a makeshift floatation device made from his trousers.... a skill learned in most military courses on survival training. He was delirious when they pulled him into their fishing boat. ....... His tongue was dry and cracked .......... and his throat parched. Just about two years later, ....as he spoke on NBC News, ....he recounted.... an unbelievable story ......of a WILL.... to live. He said it was God .... It was God....who kept him struggling to survive. His discovery by the fishermen ..... makes searching for a needle in a haystack .....a piece of cake. Joey said that the one thought that took over his body .....and pounded in his brain was...... Water!.... Water! Have you ever been thirsty like that? And right now I am not talking about "H2O".
We all thirst for something...
-We long to feel loved
-We long to experience happiness and joy
-We desperately search for meaning and significance.
Beloved ......when we come to church... when we come to worship .....we are surrounded .... by an ocean .....of "Living Water" During worship .... When we sing .... We are quenching our souls ..... When we listen to the Scriptures..... they hydrate our lives ..... and yet many .....many are still thirsty! Many have a Sahara desert soul...A dry Soul. Why? Why do so few drink from the well .....that never runs dry? Why are so many souls shriveled .... and dehydrated?To understand ....let us look at .....Physical Thirst. There are a couple of interesting facts ...... about physical thirst. Thirst is something we experience when the pituitary gland .....secretes two hormones.... in the body. One causes a physical reaction in the kidneys .....and the other causes the more complicated activity of the hypothalamus which sends signals to the Salvatore (Sal-va-tor-e) glands .....to reduce secretions. I discovered many years ago that just thinking about thirst .......could make you thirsty. Just thinking about thirst can cause hypothalamus ..... to begin in the body. Physical thirst .....can be excruciating and dangerous. Dehydration can get you into serious difficulty .....in a hurry. If you have ever been really thirsty .....then you will be much more able to connect .....with thirst ......in a spiritual sense. The story is told of a young student who went to his spiritual teacher .....and asked the question, ..... "Master, .....how can I truly find God?" The teacher asked the student to accompany him to the river which ran by the village .....and invited him to go into the water. When they got to the middle of the stream, the teacher said, "Please immerse yourself in the water." The student did as he was instructed, ...whereupon the teacher put his hands on the young man's head .....and held him under the water. Immediately ......the student began to struggle. The master .....continued to hold him under. The student was thrashing and beating the water and air .....with his arms. Still, the master held him under the water. Finally, the student was released and shot up from the water, .....lungs aching and gasping for air. The teacher waited for a few moments and then said, ......"When you desire God to the same level you just desired to breath ..... then you shall truly find God." Thirst is one of the most powerful spiritual symbols..... in all of scripture. As dehydration draws the whole of our physical being to a longing for water, .....So a spiritual void will draw our spirit into a search for a deeper meaning for our lives. In Psalm 42:1 The Psalmist expressed it with these words,....."As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God." We must capture ....that type ....of spiritual thirst! We must thirst .... and long .....for God! Today we will try to gain some insight into Spiritual Thirst. Now....Americans are a people who love to celebrate holidays. I do not think anyone would argue that the three major holidays celebrated by secular America would be Christmas, Thanksgiving, and the Fourth of July. The Jewish people also love to celebrate holidays. They call their holidays "feasts." There were three great national "feasts" in the Jewish religious calendar. The first was the Feast of the Passover; .....the second was known as the Feast of Pentecost; .....and the third was known as the Feast of Tabernacles. Now we know from this reading that Jesus was speaking here ....during the Feast of Tabernacles. This was a high, happy, holy day in the life of the Jewish People. The Feast of Tabernacles was like Christmas, Thanksgiving, and the Fourth of July all rolled into one. During that feast the High Priest would go to the Pool of Siloam, .....take a golden pitcher, .....dip it into that water, ....and carry it back to the temple. There he would pour the water out .....on the altar of sacrifice. At that moment the Levites would blow the trumpets,.... and the great crowd would cry out loudly: "With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation" (Isaiah 12:3). There would be leaping, ......dancing, ..... shouting, and singing, ...... great hallelujahs would fill the air. And It was right at this climax of this great Feast that the Lord Jesus stood up in that crowd,...... and with that royal voice, cried out,........ "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink." Jesus realized that they were drinking from the river of ritual. And after this day was over .....they would go back to the same old fears, ....the same old faults, .....the same old failures, .....the same old frustrations. And what was wrong with that crowd ......is what is wrong with many today. They are drawing water .....from the wrong well. Too often, ....we drink from the worldly well instead of from the well of eternal life, .... The well of life .....which is found only in Christ Jesus. Listen to our Lord's words once again: "If anyone is thirsty, let them come to me and drink." (John 7:37). In order to gain spiritual thirst we must desire God's water. Notice the condition that Jesus lays down. ....."If anyone thirsts,"..... If Any One Thirsts ....Then let them come to me and Drink. (v.37) Now I thank God for that word ....."Anyone." If anyone wants God... If anyone wants a relationship with God, they can have it. If anyone wants spiritual living, .....Spiritual water....they can obtain it. If anyone seeks God they can find Him. Yet notice that this is specifically addressed.... only to those ......Who are thirsty. The problem is, .....that many people are not thirsty for God .....they are not thirsty for a spiritual life. They thirst for the things of the world. And you can be assured ....the world understands this need .....this thirst. Satan and The world understand ...that human beings ....are seeking fulfillment... that they thirst.
Midway United Methodist Church......Before we can have a close relationship with God, ...... we must thirst for God. We must stay thirsty for God. We must cry out as David did... "God, ...... my soul thirsts for you, ....my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water" (Psalm 63:1). We will never have a close relationship with God ..... until we thirst after Him. Do you have that deep spiritual thirst .....that Jesus is seeking? If not, ......ask God to sprinkle your tongue .....with Holy Spirit salt. For Jesus shares this promise in Matthew 5:6 , "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." To gain a spiritual Thirst ....we must draw from the right well. .. God's well. And to acquire a spiritual thirst, you must not only desire it, but you also must come to Jesus ....to obtain it. Jesus shares this promise from our Gospel Lesson BIBLE ".....Those who drink of the water that I will give them will never...will never be thirsty." God will lead you to the living water, but He will not make you drink. If you want to be filled,.... You .....must drink. Would you rather not drink from the faucet of Life......and not from the drain of the world. Do not rely on your feelings. Do not rely on what feels good. Rely on God's promises. For The things of the world in the end will not satisfy you ..... they will only drain you, .....and leave you parched and dehydrated. If you suck hard enough on the drain .....all you will get is the best that the cesspool of life can regurgitate on you. The sad thing is…that is what so many people settle for. Or you can choose to satisfy your thirst by coming to the living water .... By coming to Jesus. If you are tired of living without a spiritual passion .....a zeal for God.......if you are tired of just going through the motions...If you are feeling like you are spiritually dry, ..... the Lord invites you this morning to come to Him ..... to come for spiritual renewal.... To yield to him. Remember our Lord's promise: " if anyone is thirsty, let them come to me and drink." Are you thirsty? Are you thirsty for God? Are you thirsty for a victorious life? Then come .... Come to Jesus ..... and drink, And He will fill you to overflowing. His invitation has only one requirement."If anyone is thirsty, ...then let them come to me and drink." Stay Thirsty my friends. Stay thirsty for God.