Thirsty?

Thirsty_original

I read recently that an estimated 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. Their bodies are not getting the water they need. Is it any wonder so many feel tired and sluggish. The body needs water to function properly.

Sounds like we are living in a thirsty society. Many are physically thirsty, but I believe even more are spiritually thirsty.

In the Gospel of John we read the story of Jesus and his encounter with a Samaritan woman at a well.

John 4: 4 He had to go through Samaria on the way. 5 Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. 7 Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” 8 He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food.

9 The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans.[b] She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?”

10 Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”

11 “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? 12 And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?”

13 Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. 14 But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”

In this story Jesus is not just looking for a free glass of water. He is trying to get this woman to see her need, her spiritual thirst. He was telling her that He was the only thing that would satisfy her thirsty soul . He was the living water.

In John 7:37-38 Jesus invites us all to come and get a drink of this soul satisfying water.

John 7: 37-38 ……Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”

This scripture also tells me that after we have come to know Christ we should become a source where people can find the living water that they need.

Perhaps our society itself is so spiritually thirsty, in part, because so many Christians are themselves “spiritually dehydrated.” Before we can refresh others we must get a big drink of Jesus for ourselves.  We must make it a point each day to thoroughly hydrate our souls by spending time with Jesus in the Word and prayer.

Isaiah 12:3  With joy you will draw water
    from the wells of salvation.

Friends, don’t go around tired and spiritually dehydrated. Start your day with a big glass of Jesus and then go out and give a thirsty world a drink.

I Love This… Bar???

man_at_bar-300x225Just a few miles down the road from my house is a little bar. It is not a restaurant/bar, it is a bar, a place that serves drinks for thirsty people. When I pass by this bar it is usually always packed. When I pass by churches they are usually not.

I wonder why the bars seem to have an easier time putting people on the barstool than we do in the pew. Is it just because they serve alcohol? Or, are the people frequenting the local bar actually looking for more than just a a strong drink. Perhaps the words to a popular country song by Toby Keith can give us some insight. Toby writes:

“I Love This Bar”

We got winners, we got losers

Chain smokers and boozers

And we got yuppies, we got bikers

We got thirsty hitchhikers

And the girls next door dress up like movie stars

 Hmm, hmm, hmm I love this bar

We got cowboys, we got truckers

Broken-hearted fools and suckers

And we got hustlers, we got fighters

Early birds and all-nighters

And the veterans talk about their battle scars

 I’ve seen short skirts, we got high-techs

Blue-collar boys and rednecks

And we got lovers, lots of lookers

And I’ve even seen dancing girls and hookers

[Chorus:]

I love this bar

It’s my kind of place

Just walkin’ through the front door

Puts a big smile on my face

It ain’t too far, come as you are

Hmm, hmm, hmm I love this bar

I’ve seen short skirts, we got high-techs

Blue-collar boys and rednecks

And we got lovers, lots of lookers

And I’ve even seen dancing girls and hookers

 What this song tells me is that the bar is perceived as a place where regardless of who you are, regardless of your station in life, regardless of your baggage or past mistakes you are welcome. It is a place where You can be honest about who you are including all the your warts and scars…and you will still be welcomed and accepted.

It occurred  to me that the church has allowed the local bar to steal our identity.

 Rev. 22:17 says, “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

 It seems that world is selling some things that we should be giving away freely…love, acceptance, a place to belong.

 My vision for Souls Refuge Church is to one day stand in the pulpit and look across the congregation and be able to say,

 “We got winners, we got losers

Chain smokers and boozers

And we got yuppies, we got bikers

We got thirsty hitchhikers

 We got cowboys, we got truckers

Broken-hearted fools and suckers

And we got hustlers, we got fighters

Early birds and all-nighters

And the veterans talk about their battle scars

 Blue-collar boys and rednecks

And we got lovers, lots of lookers

And I’ve even seen dancing girls and hookers”

 Each and every one accepted, each and every one loved and each and every one given the opportunity to come to know Christ and find a brand new life. Everyone offered a free drink from the water of life, Jesus.

I want everyone of them to walk out the front door of Souls Refuge Church singing…

I love this church

It’s my kind of place

Just walkin’ through the front door

Puts a big smile on my face

It ain’t too far, come as you are

Hmm, hmm, hmm I love this church