“On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘If a man 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.…”
John 7:37-39 (NIV UK)
I like to start my days with a kick. So every morning, I pour myself a large cup of tea and let it cool to drinking temperature as I check my e-mail. Imagine my frustration, when I reached for my cup only to find it completely empty and the tablecloth saturated with tea. The cup had a crack in it that I hadn’t seen.
As I threw my cup away, I was reminded of a passage in Jeremiah where God rebukes his people for exchanging a relationship with him for empty dreams. He said, “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water” (Jeremiah 2:13).
We don’t use a lot of cisterns in the United States anymore, but for many years people relied on these reservoirs to hold water for their drinking, bathing, cooking and cleaning. If a cistern broke, it was a catastrophe.
God used this illustration to help us understand that life without him is like living with a broken cistern—hopeless. Just as we can’t live without water, we can’t live without God. And the good news is, we don’t have to.
Christ tells us in John 4: “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again. But whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:13).
Like a broken cistern, our lives are full of holes. We try all kinds of methods to patch those holes and to give our lives meaning, but we’re still left empty because we don’t have what really matters—a relationship with the one who loves us, giving us himself through the Son, filling us with the Spirit as we receive him.
When we are in a personal and meaningful relationship with God, we’re filled with living water and, spiritually, we’ll never have to thirst again.
Holy Father, as David says, our cup runs over from your spiritual bountifulness. Thank you for not being like us, but being you! In Jesus’ name we pray.
Study by Joseph Tkach
About the Author:
Joseph Tkach is the President of Grace Communion International (the Denominational name of The Worldwide Church of God UK), and resides in California, USA. You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.wcg.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.