Summary: For seven days the water had been poured out at the altar to symbolize God as satisfying the physical thirst of His people. Now Jesus picked up that object lesson and said in effect, “Now if you really want to satisfy your thirst, come to me.”
“Out of the Overflow”
CLBC February 22, 2004 p.m.
Subject: The Christian Life
Theme: Filled with the Spirit
Passage: John 7:37 - 39
All week long, the huge crowds of people who had come to Jerusalem from all over Israel and even from other lands were camping out in booth or shelters made out of tree boughs and branches. It was a festive time for they were celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles which was a reminder of Israel’s 40 years in the wilderness. These 8 days followed closely the day of Atonement when the High priest went into the innermost sanctuary of the temple to offer a blood
sacrifice for the sins of the nation. It was also a harvest celebration, rejoicing in the gathered crops
of another season, something like our Thanksgiving.
For 7 days, a priest had also gone each day with a pitcher of gold to the Pool of Saloam to get a pitcher full of water which was then brought back and poured out at the base of the altar in memory of the miraculous provision of water in the wilderness.
For several days, Jesus had been teaching in the temple court. Now on the last day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out with a loud voice, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in Me, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
For seven days the water had been poured out at the altar to symbolize God as satisfying the physical thirst of His people. Now Jesus picked up that object lesson and said in effect, “Now if you really want to satisfy your thirst, come to me.”
There are many things which people thirst for. Money, popularity, affection, happiness, many things. But the real basis for this thirst is spiritual in nature. Long ago, Augustine said, “The heart is restless till it finds its rest in God.” and that is true.
I have often said that when my car begins to make funny noises, I don’t wait long till I take it to a mechanic to find out what’s wrong. When I have sever pain in my body, I rush off to the doctor to find our what’s wrong. But when people feel uneasy, sad, lacking peace of heart, they seldom realize that this is a spiritual problem and that they need to seek help for their soul.
I listened to the interview with Mel Gibson the other night as he told Diane Sawyer that he had arrived at the point where he had everything a person could wish for: wealth, fame, houses and all else but it wasn’t enough; he could not find satisfaction in life until he found Jesus.
That’s what I am talking about - the satisfaction of the spiritual emptiness of the human
heart - and it can only be satisfied by a relationship with Jesus Christ. He is the only one who can provide forgiveness for the sin which haunts us. He is the only one who can provide a living relationship with God. He is the only one who can give us eternal life and set us free from the fear of death.
“Come to Me,” said Jesus, and I will satisfy your deepest need.
And that, dear friends, is what our churches are all about. We are here for one reason - to bring people into that saving relationship with Jesus Christ.
But it is not just the churches; it is every believer who is to be an agent of blessing to others. Blessed and the giver of blessing, that is the Christian life. The Christian who is always looking for a blessing will never find it, but when each believer allows Christ to fill him and use him, he will find that he is richly blessed indeed.
“Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. This He spoke of the Spirit which was not yet given because Jesus was not yet glorified..”
When you trust Jesus Christ as your own Lord and Saviour, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in your life, to fill you with His grace and mercy and goodness.
We have had a great deal of fun singing these songs of praise tonight, but if you belong to
Jesus, and are living for Him, then this joy doesn’t have to stop when you leave this church. It can keep you singing in your heart every day, all the way home!