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Living Stream of Water

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Living Stream of Water

Thesis: Christ gives us the Holy Spirit so that He can work through us to bring life to the world.

Goal: Motivate the church to fulfill her mission to be a life-giving church to a dying world

Text: John 7:37-39

Introduction

A.   The Affairs of This Week

1.    Those of you who know the Kerr family, know that we’ve lived through a crisis with them

Last Friday, we helped them through the death of their 16 year old son, Brian – tragic accident – just being a kid

2.    We’ve hosted our third memorial service for a teen in a little over a year. 

B.   Reflection on This Past Year – All the Deaths

1.    We’ve buried teens and adults

2.    We’ve buried men & women

3.    We’ve buried sons & daughters, fathers & mothers, grandparents – all of them friends

4.    We’ve buried those who have known Christ and, sadly, those who did not

C.   Overriding emotion: “I hate death”

I believe Jesus hated it as well – why?  Because God is all about life – Listen to this verse:

On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified. (John 7:37-39 NIV)

Transition: What is Christ saying? That’s what we’re here to talk about today

Pray


! I.      If You Are Thirsty for Life, Come to Christ

On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.”  (John 7:57 NIV)

A.   Who are the ‘thirsty’?

1.    Understanding the “Feast”

a)     Everyone celebrated it – built tents to remind them of exodus – like building a crèche in the town common

b)     It symbolized so much to them

(1)   Freedom: Slaves without Freedom – God Adopted Them as His Family
(2)   Life: Fear of Death – God delivered them every time (from parting the Red Sea to delivering them from foreign armies)
(3)   Forgiveness: Wandering Lost in the Wilderness because of their own bad choices – refusing to follow God’s direction
(4)   Provision: Suffering from need without any resources – food when they were hungry to water when they were thirsty
(5)   Direction: Confused without direction – God guided them by His presence

Transition: There are still people today who are thirsty for these gifts

B.   Come to Christ for Life

1.    Those who are thirsty for life

a)     Freedom: Slave to Your Passions – God wants to set you free

b)     Life: Fear Death – God wants to give you eternal life

c)      Help: Lost Because of Your Choices – God wants to help you rebuild your life

d)     Provision: Suffering in Need without any Resource – God wants to supply your needs

e)     Direction: Confused without direction – God wants to guide you through life

f)       Worth: Unsure of who you are and what you’re worth – God wants to adopt you

2.    How do I drink from Christ?

a)     What it means to surrender to Christ


!!!! b)     4 Practices that will help you

(1)   Tell Someone Else about Christ
(2)   Join a Small Group
(3)   Spend time daily with God
(a)   Grab a “New Believer’s Bible” @ Info Center
(b)   Read the NT this summer
(4)   Attend Worship Services

Transition: If you are thirsty for Life, Come to Christ

II.   If You’ve Come to Christ, Share Life

 “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified. (John 7:37-39 NIV)

A.   What’s “Living Water”?

1.    Water symbolized life

a)     To a people in an arid land, water meant life – live longer without food than you can without water

b)     Water Ritual at the Feast of Tabernacles

(1)   Every day they took a pitcher and filled it with water from special pool – then they proceeded up to the altar in the Temple while people waved palm branches and shouted out:

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

(2)   Seventh Day they walked around the altar 7 times before pouring out the water

c)      It symbolized

(1)   Water from Rock in the Wilderness – God’ provision of life
(2)   The fall of the walls of Jericho

d)     It really symbolized life

(1)    you understand it better when you’re dying of thirst
(2)   Or when you have an impossible task you’re trying to achieve


!!! 2.    Living Water symbolized more

a)     It’s in the middle of this ceremony that Christ cries out – calling people to Him to be conduits – aqueducts – through which life would flow

(1)   When you surrender your life to Christ – He gives you a part of Himself – the Holy Spirit – the Spirit brings you to life – all the wonderful benefits of a relationship with God that we just presented is made possible by Christ and applied to our lives by the Holy Spirit
(2)   Note what Christ says: “…streams of living water will flow from within him.” – the water is not meant to be hoarded. 

Three Amigos Video Clip

Debrief clip

3.    How does it flow through (Acts 2)

When the Disciples first receive the Holy Spirit – the first thing they do is tell everyone about Jesus Christ – 3000 people become Christians on that first day

They understood the need to share faith, hope, love with people – they became conduits of the Holy Spirit to a broken and fallen world

Christ wants His Spirit to flow through you to make a difference in the lives of people all around you – He wants to flood the world with His love through you!

B.   How Do I Share the Water?

1.    Recommit to the Mission

a)     April 15 we wrote the names of 700 people on fish

(1)   put them in nets – play off of the last miracle we studied in John’s Gospel (his version of Christ’s story) – as a symbol that we wanted these people to know Christ the way we know Him
(2)   promised to pray over those names – people did – staff, Elders, prayer team – even distributed those names throughout the whole church for prayer
(3)   Question: what happened to those people? 
(a)   We haven’t grown by 700 people – OK – not every name listed is someone who lives local – not everyone who would come to Christ would necessarily attend here – but they should be involved in a church somewhere
(b)   We haven’t really grown at all since then – but we prayed – what happened?

Calvin & Hobbes

Illus:  Evangelism – we pray, open the door and say “come in” – nothing happens and then what do we say?  Something’s wrong with the church

(c)   Issue: we offered a “participation prayer” – we pray and God say, “OK, let’s go fishing!”

b)     The Challenge

Watching a DVD where Bill Hybels, a pastor of a church outside of Chicago, IL.  His church has over 20,000 people in it.  He believes in this message – in addition to being a pastor, Bill also races sailboats – in the DVD, he talks about an experience he had

Bill Hybels DVD Clip

c)      The Lesson of this Past Year: Who’s going to die? – what I said, didn’t mean to be a prophet of doom

d)     The Lesson of this Past Week:

Brian Kerr was 16 when he died – and he had a reputation for Christ – story of the teen girl he met and IM – Brian wanted everyone to be a Christian

(1)   This room was filled with people who do not go to church but they came out of respect to this young man – Mike O’Toole (people from the business community) – some unseemly stories – salty language – I thought it was great – because they heard the gospel of life

In the same DVD message, Bill Hybels notes their discovery: the longer you are a Christian, the fewer outreach relationships you have – you have to work harder and more purposefully to share the message of Jesus Christ

(2)   Offered bibles – 50 were given away – saw them in the hands of people who have never been to our church – they had the word of life

Who will help them read them?

(3)   What’s your legacy?

Where are you?  If it were your Memorial Service next week, what would people say about you?

2.    Summer Opportunities

a)     Summer Giving: July & August are our worst giving months – just as we’re ramping up for fall ministries

b)     Summer Ministries: July & August are our greatest guest months – the opportunity to reach out to new people


!!!! c)      Summer Services

(1)   The Series: Ordinary Day with Jesus – great series for people checking out Christianity, new to Christianity and long in Christianity – have some great friends joining me – I’m excited
(2)   The Opportunity: One Service Outreach

Conclusion

A.   This summer – Don’t Vacation from God

B.   Today

1.    Communion w/Cards: Commitment

a)     Let this be the place where you come to Christ for life

b)     Let this be your commitment to let the Spirit flow through you into the lives of other people

2.    Prayer Team Ministry

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