Coming in 2015
JOIN US ON A SEVEN WEEK EXPLORATION OF WHAT IT MEANS TO KNOW JESUS AS "LIVING WATER"
Water is important. The Bible speaks of water almost from the very beginning to the very end.
Genesis 1:2 The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.
Revelation 22:17 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.
In between there are more than 700 references to water in the Old and New Testaments.
Alongside that fact, we know that water is critical to sustaining life – we need it for growing our food, and we need it for ensuring our bodies remain healthy. Scientists say that it is possible (but not recommended) to live 3 weeks without food but only 3 days without water.
So clearly water is one of those things that God designed to be essential to life.
But there is another, perhaps more important, form, or source, of water that the Scriptures, and Jesus in particular, tell us is critical for genuine and abundant life. Jesus calls it “living water” and in His encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4) He reminds us that this living water is of far more significance than even the water that is drawn from a well (or poured from a tap). It is living water, says Jesus, which will sustain and give life to God’s people and will create a thirst and a longing within others to drink from the streams of God’s love, mercy, justice, healing and forgiveness. Read more...
Click on the image for each week to watch the video message from Kyle Idleman.
Click on the blue text box for each week to read/download the weekly questions/reflections.
We are living in interesting times. The influence of the Christian church in Australia is declining, but the need for living water is as desperate as any time in human history.
With all of our creativity and ability we remain dry and barren in the very core of our being – the part that was intended to be nourished and nurtured by God.
Our prayer and our longing is that we will allow Jesus to provide living water that will quench our own thirst, that will wash away our unhealthy, unhelpful past, and that our relationship with Jesus will become a river of life that brings new life into our personal lives, our churches and then into our communities.
For some of us, church was not always what it was supposed to be. The church has hurt us, ignored us, or just seemed irrelevant to us. In John 2:13-21, Jesus went to the temple in Jerusalem and was less than pleased because it was not working the way it was supposed to. So He cleaned house and started over, because what was needed was a new beginning—one with Jesus at the center. And if we look closely, we can find more similarities between the temple and the church today than we might have thought.
It’s easy to feel alone, unloved, too bad or messed up to have value. It’s easy to think no one would ever want us. It’s easy to think that God has given up, that we’re too sinful. It’s easy to think that “that church would burn if I walked through the door.” But God’s Word tells us something different. In John 1:10-13, we find the truth that God does want us, that He does accept us. We find that the question is not whether or not we are wanted, the question is whether or not we’ll accept the invitation.
The conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus in John 3 ranges from logical to practical to theological, and what Jesus has to say to Nicodemus in this conversation is great for us to overhear as well. Jesus talks Nicodemus through some of the most difficult and most amazing things about the gospel, and in the process Jesus tells him, and us, how important it is to realize that Jesus is better than anything or anyone.
The story of the woman caught in adultery teaches a lot about Jesus, judgment, self-righteousness, and forgiveness. It also teaches us a lot about sin—our enemy in this life. Any soldier in battle had better know about the enemy—their tactics, strategy, and weapons. A close look at this story can teach us a lot about our enemy, and when we learn about the enemy, we can learn how to beat it.
Jesus says in John 14:6, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” Jesus sometimes gets a bad reputation—because of hypocrisy in His followers, misconceptions, or evil things that people claimed were done in His name. But the real Jesus, the Jesus in Scripture, is different. He promises to be the way, the truth, and the life. And if you give Jesus a chance, He will keep that promise. He is different than anything else the world has to offer, and if you listen to Him in John 14, He promises to be everything that we need.
One of Jesus’ closest friends betrayed Him. When it had a cost, Peter lied about knowing Jesus. When it mattered more than any other time yet, Peter lied about being a Christian. Peter failed. Even someone who was with Jesus for three years failed Him, and failed Him badly. It might seem at first like Peter blew his chance to do something important for the cause of Christ, but the Bible tells a different story.