Summary: When we thirst in the desert, God provides an oasis.
The old song made famous by the Sons Of The Pioneers, describes a man and his mule trekking through the desert. The sun is hot, the journey is long, the canteen is empty and the outlook is grim. He laments:
“All day I’ve faced a barren waste
Without the taste of water, cool water.
Old Dan and I with throats burned dry
And souls that cry for water,
Cool, clear, water.
Keep a-movin’, Dan, dontcha listen to him, Dan
He’s a devil, not a man
He spreads the burning sand with water.
Dan, can ya see that big, green tree?
Where the water’s runnin’ free
And it’s waitin’ there for me and you?”
But however luxuriant it appears, no mirage is a true oasis and there is no cool, clear water. Just sand, sun, suffering, suspense and silent death.
But once in awhile there is a true oasis where springs up a supply of life saving, refreshing water.
Have you ever been so thirsty that your tongue stuck to the roof of your mouth and your lips bonded with your teeth? And have you ever been so parched in spirit that you think you will perish?
I bring hope to you — or rather Jesus brings hope. Hear His gracious invitation. Let’s read the Scripture,
“Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, “From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.”’” John 7:37-38 (NASB).
John wrote in Revelation, “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’ Let anyone who hears this say, ‘Come.’ Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life.” Revelation 22:17 (NLT2).
This no mirage, no “pie in the sky bye and bye,” no product of the imagination. Think about His invitation to an ever available, ever plentiful, ever fresh, ever refreshing, life saving oasis.
I. NOTICE THE WIDENESS OF WELCOME:
A. Every thirsty one is welcome. The only stipulation is that we be thirsty. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” Matthew 5:6 (NASB).
1. “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.”
2. “Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life.”
B. The only barrier is unbelief and our refusal.
1. No sin is too awful to debar us.
2. No defilement can shut us out. Charles Spurgeon rightly stated, “Blistered, leprous, filthy lips may touch the stream of divine love; they cannot pollute it, but shall themselves be purified.” Consider the Samaritan woman at the well, who had had 5 husbands and was cohabitating with a man who was not her husband. But Jesus said, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” John 4:10 (NASB), “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14 (NASB).
C. In one sense the Gospel is universal but in another sense it is selective.
1. It is universal in that all who will may come because Jesus shed His blood. John wrote, “He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.” 1 John 2:2 (NASB)
2. It is selective in that all who disbelieve, and because of that, fail or refuse to come, don’t get to drink His Living Water. “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” John 7:38 (NASB).
D. The long and short of it is, “Whosoever will may come!”
E. A man was lost in the Arizona desert. The sun was high and he was very thirsty - when he stumbled upon an old hut where no one lived. The hut had only part of a roof left and the doors were almost off the hinges.
Just outside of the hut, he saw an old hand pump so just to check it out he went over and starting pumping as hard as he could. But all he could get out of it was a squeaking noise and so he walked back over to the hut sat down by the table to rest.
Then he noticed a note on the table. He picked up the note and read: “You will find a bottle of water buried in the sand next to the pump for preservation. You have to use all the water in the jar to prime the pump. Do not drink the water, PRIME THE PUMP WITH IT first. Before you take a drink refill the bottle and bury it deep enough to keep it for the next person.”