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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Thursday, November 13, 2014
Christ did not come to take away challenges, but to change us on the inside and to empower us to deal with problems from God’s perspective (NLT).
Life is easier when we do change on the inside and put God in our hearts. Let the Holy Spirit guide you and help you.
Everard Blackman (Queensland, Australia) wrote a story in The Upper Room titled “DESERT EXPEIRENCE.” Everard’s story tells about “Life abounded again in the desert.”
To read the entire story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
What did Jesus mean by “living water”? In the Old Testament, many verses speak of thirsting after God as one thirsts for water (Psalm 42:11; Isaiah 55:12; Jeremiah 2:133; Zechariah 13:14), God is called the fountain of life (Psalm 36:95) and the fountain of living water (Jeremiah 17:136). In saying he would bring living water that could forever quench a person’s thirst for God, Jesus was claiming to be the Messiah. Only the Messiah could give this gift that satisfies the soul’s desire.
The woman mistakenly believed that if she received the water Jesus offered, she would not have to return to the well each day. She was interested in Jesus’ message because she thought it could make her life easier. But if that were always the case, people would accept Christ’s message for the wrong reasons.
The woman did not immediately understand what Jesus was talking about. It takes time to accept something that changes the very foundations of your life. Jesus allowed the woman time to ask questions and put pieces together for herself. (NLT)
John 4:1-15 – Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard, “Jesus is baptizing and making more disciples than John” (though Jesus himself didn’t baptize them—his disciples did).
So he left Judea to return to Galilee.
He had to go through Samaria on the way. Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food.
The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?”
Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who I am, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”
“But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said,” and this is a very deep well. Where would you get this living water? And besides, are you greater than our ancestor Jacob who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his cattle enjoyed?”
Jesus replied, “People soon become thirsty again after drinking this water. But the water I give them takes away thirst altogether. It becomes a perpetual spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
“Please sir,” the woman said, “give me some of that water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to haul water.”
Here is part of Everard’s story:
“God assured his people he would pour out on them the water of life, and Jesus came offering ‘living water’ to all who received him. The same is true today. When renewed spiritually, our lives blossom in Christ. Whoever believes in him becomes a source of ‘living water’ (John 7:388) for others. When we allow the Holy Spirit to direct us into acts of mercy, faith, and love, we reveal the abundant life (John 10:109) welling up in us.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Christ’s presence can renew anyone.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help us each day to reveal your life-giving presence to people we meet. Amen.
Prayer Focus: PEOPLE LIVING IN DESERT AREAS
For more Helpful Inspirational Material:
HELP, HELPING: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/help-helping/
IMPATIENT, IMPATIENCE: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/impatient-impatience/
STRENGTH, STRENGTHS: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/strength-strengths/
HARDENED HEART: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/hardened-heart/
SCRIPTURE, SCRIPTURES: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/scripture-scriptures/
UNDERSTAND, UNDERSTANDING: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/understand-understanding/
1 As the life of a deer depends upon water, so our lives depend upon God. Those who seek him and long to understand him find eternal life. (NLT)
Psalm 42:1-2 – As the deer pants for streams of water, so I long for you, O God.
2 Food costs money, lasts only a short time, and meets only physical needs. But God offers us free nourishment that feeds our soul. How do we get it? We are to come, listen, seek, and call on God. God’s salvation is freely offered, but to nourish our souls we must eagerly receive it. We will starve spiritually without his food as surely as we will starve physically without our daily bread. (NLT)
Isaiah 55:1 – “Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink—even if you have no money! Come take your choice of wine or milk—it’s all free!”
3 Who would set aside a fountain of living water for a cracked cistern, a pit that collected rainwater but could not hold it? God told the Israelites they were doing that very thing when they turned from him, the fountain of living water, to the worship of idols. Not only that, but the cisterns they chose were broken and empty. The people had built religious systems in which to store truth, but those systems were worthless. Why should we cling to the broken promises of unstable “cisterns” (money, power, religious systems, or whatever transitory thing we are putting in place of God) when God promises to constantly refresh us with living water? (NLT)
Jeremiah 2:13 – For my people have done two evil things: They have forsaken me—the fountain of living water. And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all!
4 There will be a never-ending supply of God’s mercy, forgiveness, and cleansing power. This picture of a fountain is similar to the never-ending stream flowing out from the Temple (Ezekiel 47:17). The fountain is used in Scripture to symbolize God’s forgiveness. Are you spiritually thirsty? Do you need to experience God’s forgiveness? Drink from the fountain—ask Jesus to forgive you and give you his salvation. (NLT)
Zechariah 13:1 – “On that day a fountain will be opened for the dynasty of David and for the people of Jerusalem, a fountain to cleanse them from all their sins and defilement.”
5 “Fountain of life” is a vivid image of fresh, cleansing water that gives life to the spiritually thirsty. Jesus spoke of himself as living water that could quench thirst forever and give eternal life. (NLT)
Psalm 36:9 – For you are the fountain of life, the light by which we see.
6 Jeremiah 17:13 – O Lord, the hope of Israel, all who turn away from you will be disgraced and shamed. They will be buried in a dry and dusty grave, for they have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living water.
7 The river symbolizes life from God and the blessings that flow from his throne. It is a gentle, safe, deep river, expanding as it flows. (NLT)
Ezekiel 47:1 – Then the man brought me back to the entrance of the Temple. There I saw a stream flowing eastward from beneath the Temple threshold. This stream then passed to the right of the altar on its south side.
8 Jesus’ words, “come and drink,” alluded to the theme of many Bible passages that talk about the Messiah’s life-giving blessings (Isaiah 12:2-310; Isaiah 44:3-411; Isaiah 58:1112). In promising to give the Holy Spirit to all who believed, Jesus was claiming to be the Messiah, for that was something only the Messiah could do. (NLT)
John 7:38 – [Jesus said] “If you believe in me, come and drink! For the Scriptures declare that rivers of living water will flow out from within.”
9 In contrast to the thief who takes life, Jesus gives life. The life he gives right now is abundantly rich and full. It is eternal, yet it begins immediately. Life in Christ is lived on a higher plane because of his overflowing forgiveness, love, and guidance. Have you taken Christ’s offer of life? (NLT)
John 10:10 – [Jesus said] “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.”
10 Isaiah 12:2-3 – “See, God has come to save me. I will trust in him and not be afraid. The Lord God is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.”
11 Isaiah 44:3-4 – For I will give you abundant water to quench your thirst and to moisten your parched fields. And I will pour out my Spirit and my blessings on your children. They will thrive like watered grass, like willows on a riverbank.
12 Isaiah 58:11 – The Lord will guide you continually, watering your life when you are dry and keeping you healthy, too. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.
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