Effective Leadership

The Call to Serve and Drink Living Water!

By Dr. Richard J. Krejcir
What does your church serve?

 

"If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water." John 4:10

John 4:1-45; Romans 8:1-17

What does your church serve?

Key point: We are to point to Christ and do our best to be true followers of Christ.  We serve Christ, not entertainment or personalities.  We are to be disciples, learners who can look at what hinders us, reach out to Christ, and grow beyond the barriers that block our spiritual formation and intimacy with Christ.  We have to understand Him and His teachings, be deeply convicted, and be willing to grow through our trust and obedient actions.  If we do not do this as a church, we will stagnate into apathy, disillusionment, depression, dysfunction, or some other kind of abuse to one's self or others.  We have to be convicted; Jesus shows us how by these examples, and He makes the Way for it!

The cup that Jesus brings us is living.  

Jesus IS fresh and flowing over what is stagnant.  This living water refers to God's "Divine Activity," that God refreshes us.  This is about the work of the Holy Spirit upon someone.  The water Jesus was offering was not the substance of a drink or to quench a physical thirst; rather, it was the refreshment of eternal life.  The Holy Spirit imparts to us the new transforming, cleansing, and spiritual life.  This new life impacts us totally, constantly, and continually to usher us into eternity.  However, it is still up to us to accept that impact and let it come in contact with our application of life to God, ourselves, our environment, and others (Isa. 12:3; Jer. 2:13; Ezek. 47:1-9; Zech. 14:8; John 7:37-39; 8:24; 11:50-51; 19:19).

Water means life, both in the ancient world and now.  Water is everything in life, from the growing and prospering of crops to the cleansing of selves.  Without water, everything dies.  Revelation calls, River of the Water of Life what is needed for life, even life itself, come from God.  Living Water is a continual theme used in Scripture, and it also refers to the river that flowed under Jerusalem and to the theme of Paradise and "God with us."  The Greeks saw water and river together to mean "virtue".  John uses this imagery to represent the Spirit and renewal in his Gospel. This also means Jesus is the answer to our thirst in life and for salvation!  God is our abundant supply of all we need now and forevermore (Gen. 2:10-14; Psalm 46:4; Prov. 13:14; Jer. 14:3; Ezek. 47:1-12; Joel 3:18; Zech. 14:8; John 4:10-14; 7:37-39; 2 Pet. 2: 17-19; Rev. 22:1-6).

Real, effectual, true worship comes from hearts that truly love God, are grateful for His work, and are dedicated to His Truth.  

This is transformational faith!  This is a worship of Jesus, Who is Truth, of Christ as LORD.  He is the only Way to God that we are to recognize with our spirit and soul.  This is not based on location or liturgy or externals and formalities; rather, it is recognizing Christ our Savior and Lord with proper attitudes and motives.  This also means a sacrifice of our hearts over animals and an offering of our praise over burnt offerings.  Jesus is emphasizing a manner of heart and obedience from our gratitude over and above ceremonial requirements and orders.  This manner, recognizes and honors God's holiness with our grateful hearts for giving us, unearned and unmerited salvation and by placing the Living Holy Spirit in us.  This is in contrast to worship services that are merely rhetorical, obligatory, and historical--meaningless ritual and liturgy that just spins one's pride and/or hides one's heart (1 Sam. 10:5; 1 Chron. 25:1-6; John 1:18; 3:3:21; 14:6, 16-18;; Acts 4:12; Acts 2:33; Rom. 1:25; 9:4-5; Phil. 3:1-14).

This impact from the Holy Spirit nourishes, invigorates, and empowers us to deal with life here and now.  

His qualities and character become real in us and are modeled as real to others around us.  This empowerment gives us salvation and builds our maturity, so we can have joy and contentment, purpose and meaning.  It allows us to know we are deeply loved and makes us able to replicate that love to others.  In that way, we can worship Him in power and adoration on a deeper level than we could do without that growth and maturity.

This woman represents most of humanity as she had a thirst and a longing for something real in a life; the yearning left a hole in her that was filled with sin and other things.  

She had a desire, perhaps throughout her life, to obtain the Living Water.  Before she found the Living Water, though, she found everything meaningless and chose the lust of sin and rebellion as a coping mechanism.  Christ fulfilled her desire, and this transitioned her from sin to Him and translated her lust to the willingness to grow, willingness to strive, and to be challenged in the faith.  She was able to do so--crossing her fears and hurts in order to know Him, and to grow in Him. The barriers of fear and past hurts is one most Christians may never cross, but they are possible to overcome with His Hand guiding us.  For us, this is a lesson given to shake us from our false thinking and complacency or bad situations to see what is in front of us.

By understanding faith and what Christ has done for us, we will be able to have more gratitude and live a more transformed life.  Once this happens, the result will be more faith, better relationships, more impact, and of more use to Christ.

Allow Christ's most amazing and wondrous gift to be imputed to you, so your most inward being is transformed and renewed! Without this, we cannot be or do any good!

The point for us all is that it is only God Who satisfies us and quenches our deepest spiritual needs.  There is none other than can or will do--not the pleasures, fulfilling of desires, or even sin.  Jesus is contrasting what is physical, fleeting, and limited to what is spiritual.  Jesus is contrasting what is temporary to what is eternal and abundant--what we think is important to what really is important (Isa. 44:3; 55:1-3; John 2:19-21; 3:3-10; 1 Cor. 2:14).

        For us today, we can receive forgiveness of our sins because Jesus represented us as a man and was also fully God to take our sins and receive God's wrath in our place.  We can see Christ's attitude and willingness to conform to God's will even with the looming consequences that was to come.  By His power, grace, and obedience to the Will of the Father, we receive His righteousness by what He has done and can live with the motivation and guidance He has to offer us as Lord.  When we try to live for and by ourselves without Christ or even try to serve Him without relying on Him, we are showing an incredible amount of disrespect!  We need to have the right focus and perspective so we can know what God wants us--me-- to do!   We can do this by learning about our Lord, His obedience and be willing to go through times of waiting, discouragement, and even suffering, and see them as opportunities for personal growth, faith building and strengthening. 

 

© 2016 R.J. Krejcir, Ph.D., Francis A. Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership Development www.churchleadership.org/

 

© 2007 - 2017 Institute of Church Leadership Development - All Rights Reserved.
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