Residing water that’s utterly passable The change

Residing water that’s utterly passable The change

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In J. R. R. Tolkien's famous series The Lord of the Rings, a creature named Gollum is consumed by an obsession with the One Ring. Gollum was originally a hobbit-like creature called Smeagol who murdered his friend to take possession of the ring shortly after it was discovered.

Smeagol's family later avoided him and banished him for his fraudulent and disturbing way of using the ring, which made him invisible. Gollum had an insatiable hunger for the ring and its strength. He focused his entire life on owning and recovering it after losing it, and it cost him everything.

Although our desire is not as extreme as Gollum's addiction, we have all the things we want in life. Children hunt for an additional biscuit or a longer break. Adults want certain relationships or positions at work. We all tend to give higher priority to things that we believe satisfy a longing in our hearts. We were created to starve and strive for satisfaction; The question is: "What will satisfy?"

In John 4, Jesus met a woman at a fountain. Although she may not have noticed, this Samaritan was looking for a solution to her sin; As with all people today, apart from Christ, we are all enemies of God.

Jesus stressed her need for a permanent solution to her deepest thirst and told her to ask him for a drink of the water he could offer – "living water".

Without a new birth in Christ (see John 3) we all have dirty hearts and are all plagued by sin. Our sinful nature has alienated mankind from the fall of God. In fact, not only are we alienated from God, but our sin also leads to enmity or animosity between God and us (Rom. 1: 28-32; Eph. 2: 1-3).

We are all thirsty and long for something that will fully satisfy us. How we all try to quench our thirst varies from person to person: for some people, it looks like they are watching pornography. For others, it looks like working endless hours and always going to the next step. But the need is the same under all circumstances; We need Jesus and the connection to him to fulfill our deepest desires.

Fortunately, God loves his enemies and is working on our reconciliation. In The Grace of Giving, Stephen F. Olford illustrates this through an encounter between a Baptist minister named Peter Miller and his friend George Washington. Olford writes:

During the days of the American Revolution, a Baptist pastor named Peter Miller lived in Ephrata, Pennsylvania, who enjoyed the friendship of General George Washington. Michael Wittman also lived in this city, an evil guy who did everything in his power to abuse and oppose the pastor.

One day Michael Wittman was arrested for treason and sentenced to death. Pastor Miller, who was walking many miles, went to Philadelphia to plead for Wittman's life. When Pastor Miller was welcomed into Washington's presence, he immediately asked for the traitor's life.

"No, Peter," said Washington, "I can't give you your friend's life."

"My friend!" exclaimed the preacher. "He is the most bitter enemy I have."

"What?" Washington cried, "You walked all these miles to save the life of an enemy? It sheds a different light. I will give the apology."

And he did. Peter Miller took Michael Wittman out of the shadow of death and brought him back to Ephrata – no longer an enemy but a friend.

Miller's intervention in Wittman's name is just a shadow – and a revision – of God's reconciling love for us. God has made it possible for us to receive the “living water” that we need so badly – the gift of the Holy Spirit, who gives eternal life to those in whom he lives. Jesus made this gift possible for us by his death on the cross in our place.

The living water – the Spirit – about which Jesus taught the Samaritan woman is completely satisfying. The Holy Spirit fills us with eternal life and helps us to worship our Creator as we should – in spirit and truth.

In addition, the Holy Spirit leads us to share the good news of the gospel with others so that they too can participate in the worship of God. Jesus not only taught about the living water of the Spirit, he also enabled us to drink from the living water.

If we meet and believe in Jesus as the Messiah, we can receive and drink the living water that only He can provide. And only through Jesus can we worship in spirit and truth because He is the revelation of God. Because of the Father's gifts for the Son and the Spirit, we are motivated to share the good news of Jesus with others so that they can believe and participate in the worship that He offers.

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