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Standing by a Waterfall (Dying of Thirst) - Part B

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The Truth Network Radio
May 28, 2023 6:00 am

Standing by a Waterfall (Dying of Thirst) - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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May 28, 2023 6:00 am

All the diverse and assorted experiences offered by this world can never satisfy the deepest longing of the human soul. What we really want isn't what we really need. The rest of John chapter 7 illustrates this truth. In the midst of a crowd of people clamoring for deep spiritual satisfaction stands the only One who can provide it. He offers them the drink that really satisfies and all but a few refuse it, preferring rather to die of thirst. How painfully ironic!


I'm going to submit this to you. I believe this with all my heart. Your satisfaction, contentment level never gets higher than when you make it not about you and all about him and all about his kingdom. You become an instrument to lead others to Christ. The joy level is outrageous.

Welcome to Connect with Skip Weekend Edition. Have you ever heard the saying, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink? It's actually one of the earliest English Proverbs from way back in 1175. All it means is people, like a horse, will only do what they have a mind to do. It's certainly a saying that was fitting for the situation Jesus found himself in.

Here, Israel was feverishly anticipating the arrival of the Messiah, but when he shows up in their midst, they're unwilling to accept him. Why? Well, we'll see if we can't figure that out today in Connect with Skip Weekend Edition. But before we get to that, let's see what's going on at the Connect with Skip Resource Center this month. Someone once estimated the cost of the services that mothers perform.

The amount was huge. We know moms don't do it for money. They do it out of love.

While we can't repay our mothers, we can honor them. Here's a great suggestion. It's a special bundle of resources we're calling the Heart Songs Package. It features heart songs. There's a Psalm for that, a powerful five-part series led by Lenya and Janae Heitzig designed to teach you to depend on God's love, power, and comfort in every season of life. You'll explore what the Psalms say about love, jealousy, fear, security, and longing.

Maybe you can think of a time when you really, really wanted something. This Psalm is kind of about that. It's this longing, this desire, this hunger that the Psalmist is expressing, and his longing is for home. In addition to this encouraging series, you'll also receive the Sheology Quiet Time Journal, perfect for daily Bible reading to make notes as you follow the Heart Songs series or for your personal prayer time. Plus, you'll get a bag of Skip's library roast coffee, the coffee Pastor Skip chooses when he studies in his personal library. The Heart Songs Package is our thanks for your gift to support the broadcast ministry of Connect with Skip Heitzig.

So request your Heart Songs Package today when you give online securely at slash offer or call 800-922-1888. We continue today in verses 25 through 53 of John chapter 7. So if you'll turn there in your Bibles, we'll join Skip Heitzig as he resumes our study. I did a little bit of study this week and followed the process of a person who is really thirsty and thirsting to death. Stage number one, eudypsia. Eudypsia is the normal, everyday, common thirst. It's where you go, I'm thirsty. You recognize you need some water. Now if you don't get water and you keep that up, you'll enter phase number two, hyperdipsia. And these are intense, though temporary, bouts of extreme thirst. If you still don't get water over a period of time, you'll enter into stage number three, which is polydipsia.

This is a sustained, intense craving, but it's the stage, and this is why it's called polydipsia. It's the stage at which a person will drink anything to quench their thirst. They'll look at ocean water, knowing it's salt, and they'll drink it because they become almost delusional, wanting to quench that thirst.

These people are dehydrated. They're willing to gravitate to any idea of what their messiah ought to be, based on folklore, et cetera, et cetera. Having never tasted from the refreshing well of Christ, all they can do is, in their confusion, speculate.

Well, things haven't changed for 2,000 years. Think of all of the different wells people are willing to drink out of to satisfy the thirst that every human being has. Money. If I get enough money, I'll be satisfied. Sex. If I have enough sex, I'll be really happy.

Status, substance, drugs, alcohol. People do these things to kill the pain and to bring satisfaction. Ironically, none of them ever do bring satisfaction, do they? In fact, not only do they not satisfy, they're poisonous. They create a deeper, intense longing that that experience just accentuates, but never satisfies.

It's easy to prove. Ask the drug addict, somebody who's now addicted to drugs, who started taking them just because it felt so good. Now they're addicted. Hey, how's that satisfaction thing going for you? Not too good. Ask the alcoholic, addicted to that substance. Ask the sex addict, or the person addicted to power or money who's chasing that rabbit. Hey, how's that satisfaction thing going for you?

Not too well. Max Lucado tells us why in his fine book, The Applause of Heaven. He writes, False fountains pacify our cravings with sugary swallows of pleasure. So descriptive. Sugary swallows of pleasure. But there comes a time when pleasure doesn't satisfy.

There comes a dark hour in every life when the world caves in and we're left trapped in the rabble of reality, parched and dying. We are very thirsty, but not for fame, possession, passion, or romance. We've drunk from those pools.

They are salt water in the desert. They don't quench, they kill. No, we're thirsty for a clean conscience. We crave a clean slate.

We yearn for a fresh start. The problem is the treasures of the earth don't satisfy. The promise is the treasures of heaven do satisfy.

So number one is the crowd, all those people. Now let's look at the promise. And that is found in verse 37.

Thirsty people are called. On the last day, that great day of the feast, okay, stop right there. I've got to give you the setting so that you understand the impact of what you're about to read. Because otherwise you just read and go, yeah, yeah, okay, cool.

But you got to get the impact. Here's the setting. It's the feast of what? Tabernacles or booths. It's a seven-day feast.

It lasted all week long. Every day of that feast, every morning, thousands of people go up to the temple area, the courts, and they'd be met by a priest. Now the people, when they came, they had in their left hand a piece of citrus fruit, symbolic of the fruitful land that God gave them. In their right hand, they had branches of three different trees, a palm branch, a willow branch, and a myrtle branch, or pieces of it, emblematic of the stages of the wilderness wanderings before the temple. And in the right hand, they had stages of the wilderness wanderings before they got into the promised land.

So citrus fruit, foliage. Thousands of them are there. They're singing songs. The priest meets them. He has a golden pitcher. They all take a procession from the temple area down to the pool of Siloam. The priest takes the golden pitcher, dips it in the water of the pool of Siloam, marches back up to the temple. They're singing psalms. He takes the water and pours it on the stones of the altar. And as they witness this, the crowd sings in unison a passage from Isaiah chapter 12. With joy, you will draw waters from the well of salvation. Now the pouring of the water was symbolic of the water that God gave from the rock itself in the desert.

Remember the story? So that was our daily routine. But on the last day of the feast, the final day, it says that great day of the feast. See what it says in verse 37?

That great day? Something different happened. What happened is the people would meet at the temple. Priests would meet them there. They'd go to Siloam. They'd get the water. They'd come back.

They'd do the deal. But the priest would march around the altar not once, but seven times on the last day. Seven times. Why seven times? Well, they marched around Jericho seven times before they entered the land.

As they were entering in, that was the first place. So seven times around the altar, they're singing psalms, fruit in one hand, branches in the other hand, singing Isaiah 12. With joy, you will draw water from the well of salvation. But this time, on the sixth march around the altar, the priest with the golden pitcher was met by another priest with the pitcher of wine, water and wine. Wine symbolic of joy.

God has given us joy, refreshment. Then the priest with the pitcher of water would ascend the steps of the altar. As he would get up and start walking every step, the people shouted louder and louder. And then he would pause at the top and lift the pitcher of water up slowly. And with every little millimeter of movement, the crowd shouting would get louder and louder and louder until the pitcher was at the very top that that priest could reach. Then there was a hush over the crowd.

Okay? That's the last day of the feast. That's what's happening. So can you picture that in your mind? Picture goes up, picture goes up, there's a hush now over the crowd.

Now let's read. On that last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out saying, if anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Can you imagine how powerful at that exact moment, spiritually and psychologically, the impact that would have on the crowd? He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. But this he spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in him would receive for the Holy Spirit was not yet given because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Please notice it doesn't say that Jesus stood up and said something to them. He didn't say anything. He cried out.

Krodzo is the word. It's the cry of a raven. When somebody has to shout so loud as to command attention, there's a big crowd there.

He didn't have a PA system. And that hush over the crowd has fallen, but there's a huge crowd. And so Jesus cries out, if anyone is thirsty, all the heads go, boom, and they're staring at him. He has commanded their attention. I love this fact that Jesus commands the scene. He's not some anemic milk toast Messiah.

He has a loud voice and he commands and controls the situation. And in that he makes a promise. Thirsty people are called, number one, to take the plunge and to get refreshed.

Look at the promise in verse 37. If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. There's three words that sum it up. Thirst, come, drink. First thing that is necessary is you have to realize you're thirsty because only thirsty people drink water.

Only people who know they have a spiritual need ever seek to get it refreshed. You know, there's a lot of people that go through their lives and every experience they encounter every day, they're not satisfied. They're just thirstier. They're thirstier and thirstier. Look at life, and honestly, there's some people, life is just insipid and bland and tasteless and whatever.

They've come to that point. You know, there was a point in my life when after moving to New Mexico, I got so used to the food here that no other food would quite do it. Anybody know what I'm talking about? So I first came here and the food is like way too hot. I couldn't eat this stuff.

Then it's like a transformation took place. This food is so good you go anywhere else and every other food is boring. Where's the chili?

Where's the red or green? It got so bad, I kid you not, I'd travel with little bottles of bottles of Tabasco sauce or chili powder because I had to have the kick. Food just didn't taste good. It was bland.

Life is bland. People are thirsty. You have to recognize that thirst. Second word, come. If anyone is thirsty, let him come. Here's Jesus. He's saying, I'm here. Now come, make the move. You've come to the ceremony in the temple.

Now come to me. Third word is drink. This speaks of receiving Christ personally, not ceremonially, not superficially, personally. When you drink, it's personal. I easily demonstrate that.

That didn't do you any good. But it sure tasted great to me because drinking stuff is personal, right? The idea of drinking Christ or drinking from this living water is personally coming and placing your faith in him. If I stand here and I'm holding this water and I announce to you, man, I'm so thirsty. I'm really thirsty. Eventually you're going to say, drink.

Because having this water and not drinking does me no good whatsoever. You may have come, but are you drinking? But are you drinking? Are you personally taking in that refreshment? You recognize you're thirsty, you've come, but are you drinking?

And notice anyone can do it. Notice it says in verse 37, if anyone thirsts. I love this. There's no social, educational issues that are involved. Young, old, anyone. Male, female, anyone. Educated, uneducated, anyone. Anyone is thirsty.

Let him come to me and drink. Look at the last two verses. I'm going to show you something that I think may surprise you. I say surprise you because this is where most people end their thinking.

They're thinking, yes, I've heard this before. If I come to Jesus Christ, I'll be satisfied. And that's sort of where we preach the gospel and stop. Come to Christ, you'll be satisfied. Oh, friend, that's just the beginning. We just have gotten started.

It's so much more than about you being satisfied. Verse 38, he who believes in me, show of hands, on a show of hands right now, how many in this room believe in Christ? Show me hands. Okay, great.

Put them down. That means this is for all of us. He who believes in me, as the scripture says, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. Wow.

Did you get that? The promise isn't just that we'll be blessed. The promise is that we'll become a blessing to others.

Here's the point. Don't just be a gulper. Be a gusher. See, God never intended that we just store up this pool of living water, salvation truth, because it'll stagnate.

Living, flowing, abundant streams that come out from us. Now, this is where modern Christianity, in my opinion, is highly lacking because modern evangelical Christianity has made it all about your sad, poor life and you need to come to Jesus and really live the life and really be satisfied. And it's almost as if some people believe Jesus never really said, seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all things will be added to you. It's as if some people believe, he said, seek first to be personally contented and personally satisfied.

And if you have any time at all left over and it's not too terribly inconvenient for any of you, could you please do something for the kingdom of God, right? And he said, come to me and be satisfied. That's just the first step.

Now come and be a conduit to export the water that has gone into your life, into the lives of others. You know, there's three kinds of faith, three kinds of faith. Let's see which one you are. First of all, there's faulty faith. Faulty faith is the faith of the unbeliever. He hasn't personally committed himself to Christ.

He may believe there's a God, he may believe there's a Christ, so he's there like the crowd confused. That's faulty faith. It's the faith of the demons. Doesn't the Bible say the demons believe and do what?

They tremble. So every demon in hell knows God is real, knows Jesus Christ is the answer, knows that if you come to him by faith, your sins will be forgiven. They know that. That's faulty faith.

They haven't done anything about it. Number two, there's firm faith. That's where you trust, not in yourself, not in your religious stuff, but you trust holy in Christ and his finished work for your salvation. Now you're on a firm foundation.

That's called justification. That's firm faith. So you have faulty faith, you have firm faith. Every single Christian has firm faith. If you truly believe in Christ, that's firm faith.

But there's a third. It's called flowing faith. Flowing faith. That is where the Holy Spirit empowers you to pass on this refreshing gift to other people.

So here's my question. Do you have flowing faith? Are you saved?

I'm saved. You satisfied? Very. Great. Now what are you doing with it? Are you sent?

Are there rivers of living water? Are you showing that satisfaction to other people? And they go, I want that.

In fact, I'm going to submit this to you. I believe this with all my heart. Your satisfaction contentment level never gets higher than when you make it not about you and all about him and all about his kingdom.

You become an instrument to lead others to Christ. The joy level is outrageous when you're part of that enterprise. There's a commercial and you've seen it, I know.

I can't escape it. It's cleverly written, though it's a beer commercial. Beer commercial. It's a Dos Equis commercial. It's called the most interesting man in the world. Anybody ever seen it? You can't escape it.

It's everywhere. And here's this bearded guy, sort of middle-aged, and he's the most interesting man in the world. And they say the most interesting man in the world. His personality is so magnetic he can't even carry credit cards.

These outlandish claims. Or the most interesting man in the world. Even his enemies carry his phone number as their emergency contact. And the most interesting man in the world in this commercial always ends every commercial by saying, stay thirsty my friends. That's the big tagline, stay thirsty my friends.

Here is the most refreshing man in the world, Jesus. And he doesn't say, stay thirsty my friends. He says, get your thirst quenched, my friends. I'll quench your thirst. And you will be satisfied, and be satisfying to other people. You may have been drinking from every conceivable well out there, and wholly unsatisfied.

Standing next to a waterfall, dying of thirst. I close with a little bit from C.S. Lewis's book, The Silver Chair.

You know I love C.S. Lewis and his Chronicles of Narnia, the book The Silver Chair, hosts Aslan the Lion, and a girl named Jill. And Jill sees Aslan, freaks out, and runs away. Like a lot of people run away from Christ. She's running away, she runs so far, so hard, that she's dying of thirst. She's out in the forest somewhere.

Aslan is there. Here's the story. Are you not thirsty, said the lion. I'm dying of thirst, said Jill. May I? Could I?

Would you mind going away? While I drink, said Jill. The lion answered this only by a look and a very low growl. As Jill gazed at this momentous bulk, she realized she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move aside for her convenience.

The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic. Will you promise not to do anything to me if I do come, said Jill. I make no promise, said the lion.

Jill was so thirsty that without noticing it she had come a step nearer. Do you eat girls, she asked. I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings, emperors, cities and realms, said the lion. He didn't say it as if you were boasting or as if you were sorry or as if you were angry.

He just said it. I dare not come and drink, said Jill. Then you will die of thirst, said the lion.

Oh dear, said Jill, coming another step nearer. I suppose I must go look for another stream then. There is no other stream, said the lion.

It never occurred to Jill to disbelieve the lion. No one had ever seen the stern face could ever do that and her mind suddenly made itself up. It was the worst thing she ever had to do but she went forward to the stream, knelt down and began scooping up the water in her hand.

It was the coldest, most refreshing water she ever tasted. Here's the message. If you're going to come if you're going to come to drink of refreshing water you come on the lion's terms. You come on Aslan's term. You come on Christ's terms. Here he is in their midst. I am the living water. If you drink you'll be refreshed but you must thirst, you must come and you personally must drink. If you'd like to know what it means to come to Jesus to accept him as your savior we'd be happy to share that with you. Just call us won't you at 1-800-922-1888 and talk with someone about the best decision you'll ever make. If you'd like a copy of today's message you can find it at or you can call us and order one at 1-800-922-1888.

Each copy is just four dollars plus shipping. How can a few words scribbled in the dust save a life? We'll find out next time so I hope you can join us right here in Connect with Skip Weekend Edition, a presentation of Connection Communications. Connecting you to God's never changing truth in ever changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-28 04:06:36 / 2023-05-28 04:15:40 / 9

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