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Bible Study Questions
Dying of Thirst
A person doesn't have to be exhausted from wandering around in the desert without a canteen to be in need of a cool, refreshing glass of water. Probably at one time or another, most people have experienced physical thirst and the need to become replenished and rejuvenated. Some common experiences might include: a hot summer afternoon playing golf, baseball, or tennis; a sweltering July afternoon baling hay down on the farm; a hike over a mountain pass; a day of leisure at the beach under a bright mid-day sun. Whatever the activity, the thirst needs to be satisfied in order for the body to function properly. At the critical point when thirst demands immediate attention, emotions are probably at an all-time high. It's a "do-or-die" situation. I know that I (and perhaps you, too) can relate to experiences similar to those mentioned above. How may times have I said: "Man, I'm dying of thirst!" and then be relieved of that physical thirst by gulping down an ice cold glass of water, lemonade, or iced tea. It sure hits the spot! It's really amazing how something so simple as cold water can bring instant satisfaction to such an intense need.
The need to quench my spiritual thirst became more noticeable to me when I returned from overseas in 1968, having just completed twelve months of Army duty in Vietnam. At that time I was determined to satisfy my spiritual thirst and unrest, but I had no idea of the length of time that it would take. And it wasn't that I didn't have a knowledge of God before, but I had a lot of wrong information and needed to start over again at square one. What that involved was being willing to set aside my previous beliefs and traditions, and choosing to take a chance with God, allowing Him to teach me in a logical manner that appealed to my reason. Listening to God with the intent to learn was a key factor.
I've concluded that God gives living water as a gift in quantities that individuals can adequately handle. Instead of giving a person a whole bucket of water at a time, God will perhaps give just a half a glass, because He knows that amount is sufficient for that person at that time. Later, a full glass my be given and readily consumed by that person. God is the only one who knows the specific amount and kind of water individuals need at a particular time. It seems reasonable to me that when any amount of water is refused by an individual, God will no longer offer any further thirst-quenching water until the once rejected "drink" has been accepted.
Living water is just that--it is living! Constantly flowing, continually refreshing, never ending. It lives! It is the knowledge of God as revealed by Jesus. All other sources of water are inadequate because they do not have Jesus as the initial and only source. I have learned that if Jesus is the source, his unending supply of living water will definitely quench the thirst.
Are you thirsty? Are you in need of a drink of water like the woman at the well? There's only one way to get this living water that Jesus has: Ask for it! (see John 4:10). Could it really be that simple?
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