COME AND DRINK

Jn.7:37 – On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.

This simple verse is the very heart of the practical Christian life. Jesus had a way of getting right to the heart of a matter. Here He describes the basic receiving and pouring out that is the essence of our Christian faith. A number of years ago the Lord brought me and our church into a much needed time of renewal. I was totally unaware of what had happened right under my nose. My congregation, starting with me, had forgotten the basic essential step one of the Christian life. What would that be? If anyone is thirsty come and drink. There it is, Christianity 101. Receiving consistently from the Lord is the life flow of our faith. Here is how Augustine described drinking 1600 years ago.

“The Lord, therefore, cries aloud to us to come and drink, if we thirst within; and He says that when we have drunk, rivers of living water shall flow from our belly. The belly of the inner man is the conscience of the heart. Having drunk that water then, the conscience being purged begins to live; and drinking in, it will have a fountain, will be itself a fountain. What is the fountain, and what the river that flows from the belly of the inner man? Benevolence, whereby a man will consult the interest of his neighbor. For if he imagines that what he drinks ought to be only for his own satisfying, there is no flowing of living water from his belly; but if he is quick to consult for the good of his neighbor, then he becomes not dry, because there is a flowing. We will now see what it is that they drink who believe in the Lord; because we surely are Christians, and if we believe, we drink. And it is every man’s duty to know in himself whether or not he drinks, and whether he lives by what he drinks; for the fountain does not forsake us if we forsake not the fountain.”

We start with drinking, that’s when all the action starts. Our lives become like a bubbling fountain flowing out like a river of this living water that is the source of our life. It flows out of us to the other thirsty ones in our world. So our thirst results in drinking, our drinking results in an overflowing fountain, this fountain flows out to quench the thirsty in our world. Is anybody thirsty? Come and drink and you too will become an overflowing fountain.

DOUBLY BLESSED

Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said,

streams of living water will flow from within him.

Jn. 7:38

The promise given by the Lord about living water is one of the greatest promises in the Bible. First He said that if we would drink this living water we would never thirst. That in itself is really over the top. Jesus is describing utter and total satisfaction that only comes from the Lord. Nothing from His glorious creation could ever make that boast, total satisfaction. What is different about this living water? It is actually a reference to the Holy Spirit Who is not created at all, He is the glorious third person in the deity that makes the satisfying life of intimacy with God a reality. The second promise associated with living water is in today’s verse. The living water would flow out of our innermost being, that place of intimate fellowship, to minister to others. This is the second blessing of living water. Here is Andrew Murray’s description.

“Jesus said in his conversation with the Samaritan woman, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst”. In today’s text the promise is even greater: Rivers of living water will flow from his heart, bringing life and blessing to others. John says that this refers to the Holy Spirit who, while Christ lived, had not yet been poured out. Christ first had to be sacrificed to God by the eternal Spirit and, by virtue of the resurrection, be declared by the Holy Spirit as the Son of God. Then only would the Son of God receive power from the Father to pour out the Holy Spirit, for the children of God to be able to declare, “The Holy Spirit of Christ lives in me.” What does one need to be able to experience the promise of the streams of living water? Only one thing: an intimate clinging to Christ—an undivided submission to Him and the assurance that His Spirit will do the work within you that you yourself cannot do. You need a faith which trusts Him from day to day to let the living water flow from you.”

That is a great description of our Christian life. We drink this water, we are satisfied, and it flows out to meet the needs of others all around us. So are you thirsty today? Go ahead and have a drink, soon streams of living water will be flowing out from you.

DOUBLY BLESSED

Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said,

streams of living water will flow from within him.

Jn. 7:38

The promise given by the Lord about living water is one of the greatest promises in the Bible. First He said that if we would drink this living water we would never thirst. That in itself is really over the top. Jesus is describing utter and total satisfaction that only comes from the Lord. Nothing from His glorious creation could ever make that boast, total satisfaction. What is different about this living water? It is actually a reference to the Holy Spirit Who is not created at all. He is the glorious third person in the deity that makes the satisfying life of intimacy with God a reality. The second promise associated with living water is in today’s verse. The living water would flow out of our innermost being, that place of intimate fellowship, to minister to others. This is the second blessing of living water. Here is Andrew Murray’s description.

“Jesus said in his conversation with the Samaritan woman, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst”. In today’s text the promise is even greater: Rivers of living water will flow from his heart, bringing life and blessing to others. John says that this refers to the Holy Spirit who, while Christ lived, had not yet been poured out. Christ first had to be sacrificed to God by the eternal Spirit and, by virtue of the resurrection, be declared by the Holy Spirit as the Son of God. Then only would the Son of God receive power from the Father to pour out the Holy Spirit, for the children of God to be able to declare, “The Holy Spirit of Christ lives in me.” What does one need to be able to experience the promise of the streams of living water? Only one thing: an intimate clinging to Christ—an undivided submission to Him and the assurance that His Spirit will do the work within you that you yourself cannot do. You need a faith which trusts Him from day to day to let the living water flow from you.”

That is a great description of our Christian life. We drink this water, we are satisfied, and it flows out to meet the needs of others all around us. So are you thirsty today? Go ahead and have a drink, soon streams of living water will be flowing out from you.

NO MAN SPAKE LIKE THIS MAN

Jn.7:46 – The officers answered, “Never has a man spoken the way this man speaks.”

The temple guards were not able to carry out their duties, they were stopped literally in their tracks by His words. Their reply to their superiors, “No man ever spake like this Man”. Just think about what had just happened, Jesus stood up in the middle of the service at the Feast of Tabernacles and basically made a claim to deity. He was either a liar, a fool, or the Son of God. The temple guards were not able to stop Him or arrest Him, they were taken with His words. When was the last time you were stopped in your tracks by the Word of God. Even today, Jesus is still speaking and still no one speaks like Him. Here is a comment from the ESV Study Bible that describes the source of the power of His words.

“No one ever spoke like this man is more profoundly true than these officers could have realized, for no other man in history has been fully God as well and thus able to speak with the infinite knowledge and authority of God himself.”

The people were looking for signs and wonders but Jesus Himself was all the sign and wonder anyone needed. Here is how Albert Barnes describes this verse.

“They were so impressed and awed with what he said that they dared not take him. There have been few instances of eloquence like this. His speaking had so much evidence of truth, so much proof that he was from God, and was so impressive and persuasive, that they were convinced of his innocence, and they dared not touch him to execute their commission. We have here, a remarkable testimony to the commanding eloquence of Jesus…..No prophet, apostle, or minister has ever spoken the truth with as much power, grace, and beauty as Jesus. It should be ours, therefore, to listen to his words, and to sit at his feet and learn heavenly wisdom.”

Today, Jesus is still speaking and His words still carry the same power and life that they always have. He speaks today through the written word to everyone who has ears to hear. Take some time to read your Bible today; you too will discover the One Who speaks like no other man; you also may be stopped ti your tracks.

THE LAST DAY OF THE YEAR

Jn.7:37 – On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink”.

 

Everyday, from the Lord’s perspective is important. You can see it in today’s verse, the scriptures specify that the Lord’s appeal came on the very last day of the feast. No one knows how many days they have on this side of eternity, we do know this is the last day of the year. For some, today is just a day for another party or another opportunity to get high. Maybe there is something else that matters on this New Year’s Eve. Rather than fireworks and party trays and adult beverages maybe there is something else, something more satisfying. That is exactly what Jesus was saying in today’s verse. For many, this Jewish feast was a chance to go on a trip, not to have to work, and hang out with friends and family. The Lord was calling out that there was something more. He was begging His hearers to come drink from Him, drink living waters that will quench the thirst of your soul. This living water would not only quench your thirst, it would flow out to others. Here is how Charles Spurgeon describes it.

 

 

 

“Patience had her perfect work in the Lord Jesus, and until the last day of the feast he pleaded with the Jews, even as on this last day of the year he pleads with us, and waits to be gracious to us….Pity expressed herself most plainly, for Jesus cried, which implies not only the loudness of his voice, but the tenderness of his tones. He entreats us to be reconciled. We pray you, says the Apostle, as though God did beseech you by us. What earnest, pathetic terms are these! How deep must be the love which makes the Lord weep over sinners, and like a mother woo his children to his bosom! Surely at the call of such a cry our willing hearts will come.”

Maybe 2017 was not all you hoped. Maybe you are happy to say goodbye to whatever the last year held. Don’t enter 2018 the same way. Listen to the crying out of Jesus. “If anyone is thirsty come and come to Me and drink!” Just come to Him, take the thirst that was directed at other activities and turn it to Jesus.

FOOLS, THIEVES, AND HARLOTS

John 7:37 ¶ On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.

It seems that many people I talk to have a new sense of expectancy as we get ready for 2017. Expectancy starts with a spiritual hunger or thirst. It seems the Lord awakens our thirst for Him and His kingdom when He is preparing to do a new thing in the earth. You can only take so much apathy or spiritual lethargy until you have just had enough. I think we may be in one of those seasons right now.

So, let me ask you the question, are you experiencing a new spiritual thirst in your life? Do you feel an excitement about changes on the horizon and want to be a part of all of it? If you answered yes to those questions it is a good indication that the Lord is calling you into a whole new spiritual season in your life. After all, this living water is for anyone. Here are some powerful words from Charles Spurgeon as he talked about ending one year and beginning another.

“No waiting or preparation is so much as hinted at. Drinking represents a reception for which no fitness is required. A fool, a thief, a harlot can drink; and so sinfulness of character is no bar to the invitation to believe in Jesus. We want no golden cup, no bejewelled chalice, in which to convey the water to the thirsty; the mouth of poverty is welcome to stoop down and quaff the flowing flood. Blistered, leprous, filthy lips may touch the stream of divine love; they cannot pollute it, but shall themselves be purified. Jesus is the fount of hope. Dear reader, hear the dear Redeemer’s loving voice as he cries to each of us,
IF ANY MAN THIRST,
LET HIM
COME UNTO ME
AND DRINK.”
I love the brutal honesty of Spurgeon, ‘a fool, a thief, or a harlot’ can drink this living water. Obviously our thirst results in drinking, drinking, results in renewal, and renewal ends up in ministry. There is a big world out there that has no idea what is available to them in our Christian faith. They think we are bigots, hypocrites, and pharisees; they have no idea we are really fools thieves and harlots that have been changed by God.

RIVERS OF LOVE

John 7:37, 38 ¶ 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.”

God’s love is more than an emotion, way more. His love is actually a person. Yeah, you heard me right. God is love, not God has love. His love is so powerful it is actually one of the members of the Trinity. Just as Jesus is the embodiment or manifestation of the wisdom of God, the Holy Spirit is the love of God. This love is eternal. Even before creation the Father loved His Son. This love between the Father and the Son is a person, the blessed Holy Spirit. When we are touched by the power of the Holy Spirit we are actually having an encounter with God’s love. His love is amazing and will change everything in your life. William Seymour led the Pentecostal revival known as Azusa Street. Here are some of his thoughts about being baptized in the Holy Spirit.

“The baptism of the Holy Spirit is power, the understanding of His Word, and the glory of God on your life. Whenever the Lord wants to play His harp, He tunes it up and plays with His own fingers, speaking and singing in any language he wishes. The man who hears you speak a message right from the throne, falls down and seeks God and gets up to report that God is in you of a truth. The baptism of the Holy Spirit makes you more humble and fills you with divine love. Through Spirit baptism, the grace and fruit of the Spirit are manifest. When you get your baptism with the Holy Spirit, you will surely go up into the mountain with Christ. If you want to know what it is to praise God and have the joy of the Lord in your soul that flows like a mighty river, tarry and get your personal Pentecost. He keeps the rivers flowing in your soul that you may be fit for irrigation wherever you go.”
To be loved is one of our basic human needs. This need is finally met when we begin to experience the baptism of His love. Today can mark the beginning for you. Like Jesus said, “Wait until you are clothed with power from on high”.

READY FOR ANYTHING 

John 7:37,38 ¶ 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.”

I love the fact that the Holy Spirit equips us for anything and everything. In today’s verse Jesus is preparing His disciples for the incredible things they are going to face. He knows from His own experience as a man the importance of having God’s power working in Him. How much more, as fallen men, do we need His power daily. Here is the best part, we are in such a weakened state outside of Christ that we need daily care and empowerment from our Father. Jesus Himself overcame everything that was thrown at Him. He humbly overcame every plot of man and demons because He was abiding in fellowship with His Father. It’s in the weakness of needing Him daily that we are strengthened to live for Him.

We receive this strength by doing what Jesus said, DRINK LIVING WATER. As drinking becomes more of a lifestyle, we become renewed and empowered. We know we are going to finish strong. Our confidence is not in ourselves but Jesus Christ who lives inside of His church. Check out Chrysotom on this verse.

“He calls that “living” which ever-works; for the grace of the Spirit, when it hath entered into the mind and hath been established, springs up more than any fountain, fails not, becomes not empty, stays not. To signify therefore at once its unfailing supply and unlimited operation, He hath called it “a well” and “rivers,” not one river but numberless; and in the former case He hath represented its abundance by the expression, “springing.” And one may clearly perceive what is meant, if he will consider the wisdom of Stephen, the tongue of Peter, the vehemence of Paul, how nothing bare, nothing withstood them, not the anger of multitudes, not the risings up of tyrants, not the plots of devils, not daily deaths, but as rivers borne along with a great rushing sound, so they went on their way hurrying all things with them.”
There you have it, the same man that is helpless in his natural state becomes powerful from drinking this living water. Because the Lord knows all things He can easily equip us for whatever may be coming our way. Because He is all powerful nothing that we face is too difficult for Him. He is sufficient in all things. If we are stuck in a pattern of sin, here is the way out, drink in this Living Water, it will become rivers of life flowing out of you.

HAVE ANOTHER DRINK

John 7:37,38 ¶ Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’”

I had only been in ministry sixteen years, it felt more like sixty. I had been running on empty for awhile trying to pretend that everything was good. All the emphasis on the ‘ministry of excellence’ in the eighties had taken its toll on me, I felt like excellent was a long way from where I was and pretending was wearing thin. I didn’t really have a handle on what was wrong; like everyone else I was blaming everyone else. “It must be these horrible people”, or “it must be this horrible city”. Maybe it was my staff’s fault or possibly lazy leaders in the church. At the end of my drama I came to a very painful conclusion; I was the problem. Some how I had turned my ‘engine’ to automatic and had forgotten how to receive. I guess you could say I had become religious. We weren’t old fashioned by any stretch. You can be religious and trendy as well as religious and old fashioned. What was the solution? Actually it’s right there in today’s scripture verse. Drinking. In this verse Jesus is describing a new way of life. He is describing not a one time event, but as John points out, He is talking about the coming of the Holy Spirit. He is talking about a continual immersion or baptism into the Holy Spirit.

What needed to happen in my life? I needed to learn how to receive from God; I needed, as Jesus said, to learn how to drink. The ironic thing about all this is that it is the ‘drinking’ aspect of Christianity that is the most pleasurable. What is this drinking? It is multiple ways of receiving impartation from the Lord. Here are some of my favorites:
1 Praying in my heavenly language. The basic function of this gift from God is devotional, As I pray in other tongues I become more aware of the spiritual realm, my faith is built, and I become empowered for whatever I may face.

2 Worship. I call worship the act of enjoying God. This is the place of pleasure, it is the fun part of our Christian faith. It’s not enjoyable because we like music, it is enjoyable because when we glorify the Lord His presence comes down. This place of joy brings us to the place of healing, deliverance, empowerment, and revelation.

3 Reading the Bible. God speaks through His written word. As we soak in His word, our mind is cleansed, our spirit is renewed, and we are empowered for His work.

4 Listening to the preaching and teaching of God’s word. There is an anointing when anointed people preach Christ. This is one of the greatest places to receive. This is more than just instruction, this is divine impartation.

5 Laying on of hands. This is one of the basic doctrines of the church. Again, anointed people impart what they have. Like Peter said ‘silver and gold have I none, but that which I have I give to you’.
So there you have it, just go ahead and have another drink. It will be good for your soul.

ANYONE CAN DRINK

John 7:37   On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’

I’ll never forget that summer of 1994. That was the year that everything changed; again!!! I was experiencing, what I would describe, as a very dry season in my spiritual journey. Somehow I had forgotten the simplicity of those early days of my Christian experience. I was a pastor now but I was empty and dry. In the nick of time the Lord brought me to a place that was experiencing revival. Everything was about to change in my world but it had to start with me. In these revival services it was as if a new language that I was unfamiliar with was being spoken. There was talk about change, saturation, and drinking. The drinking part was the hardest for me to grasp. Some how I began to realize that drinking was another term for receiving. That was it; my receiver was broken. I was so used to being the person with all of the answers that I had forgotten how to receive; I needed to learn how to drink. Actually, drinking terminology is as old as the Bible. I was just clueless. Here is how Charles Spurgeon describes spiritual drinking.
“Drinking represents a reception for which no fitness is required. A fool, a thief, a harlot can drink; and so sinfulness of character is no bar to the invitation to believe in Jesus. We want no golden cup, no bejeweled chalice, in which to convey the water to the thirsty; the mouth of poverty is welcome to stoop down and quaff the flowing flood. Blistered, leprous, filthy lips may touch the stream of divine love; they cannot pollute it, but shall themselves be purified. Jesus is the fount of hope. Dear reader, hear the dear Redeemer’s loving voice as he cries to each of us, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink”.
Here was the most difficult part, you had to humble yourself in order to drink. Only those who recognize their spiritual poverty can even drink the living water. Just as Spurgeon pointed out, any foul character can drink. From the pimp to the prostitute, from the gangbanger to the bank executive all of us are in the same boat. When we come to our senses and bow before Him our life is finally flooded with living water. If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Jesus and drink.