Faithlife Sermons

The Water of Life

The Gospel BC - Lent  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Good morning! Welcome to the Vineyard. If this is your first time, my name is Kevin and I’m the pastor here. Our vision at the Vineyard is simple - we want to embody Jesus to our neighbors. This happens by growing in three ways, through what we call our pillars.
First, is Presence. We want everyone to experience the presence of God. This is what transforms us to love him and others. God’s presence is where we become fully alive. We want you to know the Father.
Then, Formation. God doesn’t just love us; he is forming us to be his people who can carry his life and love to those around us. Formation is where we learn to embody the Jesus way of life. We want you to imitate the Son.
Finally, Mission. Being on mission is how we join God in the work he is doing to bring his reconciliation, justice, and mercy to earth. This is how he is bringing healing and renewal to the world. We want you to partner with the Spirit.
Presence. Formation. Mission. Be thinking about your next step. Where is God calling you to go deeper with him?

Her problem of thirst

A thirsty woman comes to a well at noon. Why then? By herself.
She comes to the well hiding from something. Without disparaging her character, clearly something is wrong. Shame. Guilt. Derision of her neighbors. She is an outcast living on the edge of society.
She thinks she’s just making her daily trek to get water; she doesn’t know that she has an appointment with God.
Jesus crosses boundaries and asks for water. The irony of the passage is that she is actually the one who is thirsty.
Jesus offers her living water. This often meant water that was running and fresh, as opposed to stagnant. Yet there is a spiritual meaning behind his words. He is offering water that can make her alive.
She still doesn’t get it so Jesus says, John 4:13-14 “Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.”” This water she is coming for may satisfy for the moment, but she will eventually be thirsty again. Hear the spiritual overtones.

Our problem with thirst

This story serves as a parable for our own life. We are thirsty and so we go to a well. That well may be sex. It may be porn. It may be drugs or alcohol. It may be materialism. It can manifest as looking for comfort in food. Often our wells are hard to spot. It might be an unhealthy need to feel accepted or to have the approval of others. The wells of the world come in all shapes and sizes. What we turn to when we are stressed, sad, or lonely is an indication of the well we go to satisfy our thirst.
We go to the well sometimes running from something. Fear often drives of to these wells. The fear of being alone. The fear of rejection.
We run to these wells, and Jesus says to us, “if you drink from here you will only be thirsty again.” I don’t hear condemnation or anger in his voice - only a matter of fact statement that this well is not going to satisfy us. And he offers us a living water that will never run dry.

The gospel for our thirst

The Samaritan woman came to a well and found Jesus sitting there. Likewise, when we go to our wells, we will find Jesus sitting there. Not to judge or condemn, but to remind us that what we are about to drink isn’t really what we are thirsty for. All our pursuit of money and sex and fun are ultimately a search for God. It is most often legitimate desires we are trying to meet - only in illegitimate ways.
To the Samaritan woman and to us Jesus offers a kind of water that will never run dry. He uses water here to mean eternal life. Yes, it lasts forever, but this is not so much about the duration of life but the quality of life. This is not mere biological life but the kind of life that God alone has and that he alone can give.
He does something that I don’t think he does anywhere else. He comes straight out and declares that he is the Messiah. He doesn’t do this to the spiritual elites or those who think they have it all together. He does it to this wounded woman looking for a water that satisfies. The point is that you can’t be too far from God that he won’t come reveal himself to you and offer you living water. Have you ever accepted his offer for this water? next steps slide
This offer of living water isn’t only for the first time we come to Jesus. The truth is that even after we come, we find ourselves going back to old wells. To old patterns of life, once again trying to find something that will meet our need. And Jesus patiently sits beside our well and reminds us that if we drink of it we will get thirsty again.
During our noon prayer a couple of Wednesdays ago I had a sense of God saying something. That in this season he wanted to renew our zeal. Not zeal to do more things - we do a lot of things already. Rather, it was to renew our zeal for the Lord himself. To renew our passion for his presence. To come back to that place that only God will satisfy us.
How is your zeal? Jesus is offering living water today.
Reverse order - come to the alter to repent and be renewed. Then take communion.
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