Jesus: Giver of Living Water

At the very beginning of the story of the woman at the well, we see Jesus do something that yet again sets himself apart from most religious leaders at the time. We are told that he had to pass through Samaria (John 4:4). Most devout Jews would avoid Samaria on this journey to and from Judea, taking a much longer route, due to their racism and hatred of Samaritans. Jesus, however, walks right on through, and sits down for a divine appointment with a sinful Samaritan woman.

Jesus tells the woman,

“Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.” -John 4:14

The woman suddenly makes a request for this water, but she does not understand what Jesus is saying. This is clearly shown in the latter part of her sentence, “..so I will not be thirsty

Jesus came to quench the “thirst” of those longing to know God. He alone provides the “living water” for us to be in a relationship with God and be satisfied with Him forever!

To aid the woman’s misunderstanding, Jesus helps her understand who he is by telling her he knows of her five husbands (4:18) and prophesying that people will eventually be able to worship anywhere (because God will no longer dwell on a mountain or in a tabernacle, but in the hearts of believers). When the woman tells Jesus that she knows that a “Messiah” is coming, he responds with what would be an incredibly dramatic scene in a movie by saying, “I who speak to you am he.”

I trust that at once the woman knew who Jesus claimed to be, and she believed- she drank of the living water.

In verse 28 we are told, “So the woman left her water jar and went away into the town..”

She left her water jar! This is not astounding to 21st century readers as it should be, because we do not understand the difficulties of retrieving water. Most women in the 1st century would walk some great distance to fill their jars for the necessities that the day held: cooking, bathing, drinking, etc. Also, the fact that the woman came at approximately noon is a possible indicator itself that she felt ashamed and didn’t want to be seen in public (potentially due to her having 5 husbands)- which makes it all the more interesting that this is the woman that Jesus speaks to. Nevertheless, what we do know for sure is that the retrieval of water was a big deal-so to leave the jar behind and return to town without it-was a big deal!

This is to say that the most important thing in the woman’s life at the time was dropped when she encountered Jesus. I believe she understood that she had encountered something far greater than a necessity for this physical life- she encountered the necessity for a spiritual life in God- Jesus.

You see Jesus offers this living water to us, it is ours for the taking. To trust him, to drink of the water that he offers, to be brought in relationship with Him, and to never thirst again- is the offer on the table. Will you take it?

If you are dying of thirst in a desert and you stumble upon a pool of water, would you look at it? Would you admire it? Would you try to understand how it got there? Or how you stumbled upon it? Would you memorize its color and study it? No- You would drink it at once!

The woman not only left her jar, she ran into the town, among the people she was ashamed to be seen by, and emphatically told them about Jesus. Her previous worries of being mocked or looked down upon were gone! She knew who she had encountered- the King of the universe. You can encounter him, too.

My friends, please drink of this living water! Drop everything else your worrying or thinking about. Nothing is as important as this- Have you accepted Jesus? Have you drank of the living water? Throw yourself upon Christ. He is waiting to quench your everlasting thirst!

Please email me at jrfletch@uga.edu with any questions!

Anxiety: Responding Biblically

As I have experience plenty of anxiety with regards with what to do about future opportunities, jobs, ministry, I’ve decided to look back at God’s Word to see how He tells me to deal with anxiety.

Do you ever lie awake at night, worrying about a situation, or ever feel paralyzed by anxiety? Although we all (including myself) experience moments of anxiety, we don’t have to let fear control our lives. The scriptures actually teach us that we can acquire peace in the middle of these stressful circumstances.

1.) We must carefully watch our thought lives.

Philippians 4:8 says, ” Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”  In the last part of the next verse ends with the tagline “-and the God of peace will be with you.”

Dr. Charles Stanley says that, “anxiety is an emotion caused by fearful thoughts.” Changing our pattern of thinking generally causes anxiety to go away. When your thought life becomes negative or counterproductive, deliberately choose to set your mind on something else; something true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable. For instance, you can praise the Lord and thank Him, think about your beautiful children, family, or even the opportunity to know where your next meal is coming from!But perhaps the best way is to meet God in prayer and focus on biblical truths- and the one truth we get from Philippians 4:8 promises that if we focus on our mind on the things listed, the God of peace will be with us!

2.) Set your mind on scripture

It will benefit you to remember certain promises that our Lord makes through his Word. A couple of my favorites are:

“Our heavenly Father is sovereign and in control over all situations.” (Ps. 91) and, “He lovingly provides for the needs of His children” (Matt. 6:25-34).

I had a conversation with a coworker yesterday at my place of employment about anxiety and God’s provision. He was telling me how he was wondering what God was even doing with him in his job, but he reminded himself of a promise in scripture and told me, “ I just stopped thinking about it. He promises me that I don’t have to worry about it. He’s got it!” I was able to also encourage him of the passage in Matthew 6:26, “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?It is so true that we are much more valuable than birds, he created US to have a relationship with him, so why would he not care for us more than the birds!
Also, for a cool little side note, birds are chosen because they pretty much inhabit all areas of the earth. So Jesus uses them with the idea of, every time we see a bird, we could be reminded of his sovereign provision and promise to take care of us! I encourage you to think of this every time you see a bird this week!

3.) Turn your anxieties into prayers.

Philippians 4:6-7 tells us to let all of our requests be made known to God with an attitude of thanksgiving. Take some time at first to thank him for the things that you do have, (because you might even need to be thankful for the ability to even have the issue your dealing with!) Then place your worry on him. What works best for me is to get down on my knees and try to tell my Father everything that’s weighing heavy on me. Or, write him a letter containing your present worries. Let him know that your giving him control and transferring your anxieties to him! Again, he makes another promise in the same verse –and the peace of God, which surpasses all  understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:7)

4.) Fulfill our responsibilities

When we fail to perform our duties, we sometimes end up with anxiety-causing situations. For example, a person who fails to maintain his car will typically end up with a vehicle that doesn’t work properly.

Those who neglect their responsibilities will face many unnecessary hardships in life. Let’s look at this biblical principle as it relates to money. In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus promises that the Father will provide for our basic needs. But Scripture also teaches that in most cases, believers have a role to play in meeting financial commitments (2 Thess. 3:10).

  • Proverbs 10:4 tells us that “A slack hand causes poverty, but the hands of the diligent makes rich.”
  • The Apostle Paul also had an outside job for a living so that he would not be a burden on anyone, and he encourages us to do our work quietly and earn our own living.  (2 Thess. 3:7-9)

Taking responsibility doesn’t guarantee a resolution to the problem. If the situation doesn’t resolve, you can still find supernatural peace by applying the concepts in the rest of this study.

Worry can cripple us emotionally and hinder our productivity. OR it can drive us to prayer and prompt our spiritual growth. Choose to respond to worry in a way that aligns with scripture. Not only will the Lord be glorified, but you will be set free from anxiety’s paralyzing grip!