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Thirsty for Hope - 2014-03-23

Thirsty for Hope - 2014-03-23

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Published by John Partridge
The people came to Moses because they were thirsty, but water wasn't the only thing they were thirsty for. Jesus cam to the well for water but offered the woman he met there far more. Some thirst just can't be quenched with a Big Gulp.
The people came to Moses because they were thirsty, but water wasn't the only thing they were thirsty for. Jesus cam to the well for water but offered the woman he met there far more. Some thirst just can't be quenched with a Big Gulp.

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Published by: John Partridge on Mar 23, 2014
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“Thirsty for Hope” March 23, 2014

Exodus 17:1-7 oh! 4:"-42 #o$a!s ":1-11

Have you ever been thirsty? Seriously, I don’t mean the kind of thirsty that comes five minutes after you finish your glass of water. I mean real thirst like you get when you go hiking in the woods and forget to bring water, or when you go to the hospital for a “routine procedure, the doctor is late, and they don’t allow you to drink anything for twenty hours. I mean real thirst like soldiers get when they go out on patrol in one hundred degree heat carrying ninety pounds of e!uipment and return to base four days overdue and long after their water ran out. "eal thirst is when your lips start to crack and your tongue doesn’t want to work right because it’s sticking to the back of your throat. "eal thirst takes a toll on your attitude. #eople who are thirsty are on edge and their tempers are short. It doesn’t take a lot to set them off. $nd that is e%actly what happened to &oses and the people of Israel when they escaped from 'gypt. %Exodus 17:1-7& The whole Israelite community set out from the Desert of Sin, traveling from place to place as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. So they !uarreled with "oses and said, #$ive us water to drink.% "oses replied, #&hy do you !uarrel with me' &hy do you put the Lord to the test'%
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)ut the people were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled against "oses. They said, #&hy did you bring us up out of *gypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst'%
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Then "oses cried out to the Lord, #&hat am I to do with these people' They are almost ready to stone me.%

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The Lord answered "oses, #$o out in front of the people. Take with you some of the elders of Israel and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the -ile, and go. . I will stand there before you by the rock at /oreb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink.% So "oses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel. 0 1nd he called the place "assah (testing) and "eribah (!uarrelling) because the Israelites !uarreled and because they tested the Lord saying, #Is the Lord among us or not'% *he people were tired and thirsty and their attitudes suffered for it. *heir thirst put them on edge, tempers flared, and they began to argue with &oses. It was probably an e%aggeration for them to say that &oses brought them into the wilderness to die of thirst but their attitudes and their griping pushed &oses to the breaking point. &oses saw that their anger was turning them into a mob but their attitude was testing the limits of +od’s patience as well. In this story, +od provides water for his people in such a remarkable way that they do not soon forget it, but also so that they are given another gift. In giving the people water from the rock at Horeb, +od satisfies a thirst that the people didn’t even reali,e that they had. -esus discovered this same thirst in the people of Samaria in -oh! 4:"-42'

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So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground 2acob had given to his son 2oseph. 2acob3s well was there, and 2esus, tired as he was from the 4ourney, sat down by the well. It was about noon.

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&hen a Samaritan woman came to draw water, 2esus said to her, #&ill you give me a drink'% 5 6/is disciples had gone into the town to buy food.7
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The Samaritan woman said to him, #9ou are a 2ew and I am a Samaritan woman. /ow can you ask me for a drink'% 6:or 2ews do not associate with Samaritans.7
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2esus answered her, #If you knew the gift of $od and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.%
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#Sir,% the woman said, #you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. &here can you get this living water' ; 1re you greater than our father 2acob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock'%
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2esus answered, #*veryone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, ;+ but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.%
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The woman said to him, #Sir, give me this water so that I won3t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.%
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/e told her, #$o, call your husband and come back.% #I have no husband,% she replied.

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2esus said to her, #9ou are right when you say you have no husband. ;5 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. &hat you have 4ust said is !uite true.%
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#Sir,% the woman said, #I can see that you are a prophet. < =ur ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you 2ews claim that the place where we must worship is in 2erusalem.% #&oman,% 2esus replied, #believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the :ather neither on this mountain nor in 2erusalem. 9ou Samaritans worship what you do not know> we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the 2ews. ( 9et a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the :ather in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the :ather seeks. + $od is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.% The woman said, #I know that "essiah% 6called ?hrist7 #is coming. &hen he comes, he will e@plain everything to us.%
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Then 2esus declared, #I, the one speaking to youAI am he.%

2ust then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. )ut no one asked, #&hat do you want'% or #&hy are you talking with her'%

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Then, leaving her water 4ar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 8 #?ome, see a man who told me everything I ever did. ?ould this be the "essiah'% (< They came out of the town and made their way toward him.
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"eanwhile his disciples urged him, #Rabbi, eat something.% )ut he said to them, #I have food to eat that you know nothing about.% Then his disciples said to each other, #?ould someone have brought him food'%

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#"y food,% said 2esus, #is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. (, Don3t you have a saying, BIt3s still four months until harvest3' I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fieldsC They are ripe for harvest. (. *ven now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. (0 Thus the saying B=ne sows and another reaps3 is true. (5 I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. =thers have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.%
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"any of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman3s testimony, #/e told me everything I ever did.% +< So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. +; 1nd because of his words many more became believers.
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They said to the woman, #&e no longer believe 4ust because of what you said> now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.% -ust like the story of &oses, -esus begins by talking about a thirst for water, but what he is really talking about is something far more important. 'ven though the Samaritans and the -ews were bitter enemies, they worshipped the same +od and they read the writings of the same prophets. 0ut even though they had no love for the -ews, when the Samaritans heard that the promised &essiah might be sitting at the edge of town, the entire village ran out to meet him. *hey were as thirsty as any soldier on patrol and as thirsty as any desert wanderer, but for them it wasn’t a thirst for water, it was a thirst for hope. $ll of us thirst for hope. 1e need hope like we need water and when we go too long without it we get grumpy, we are on edge, and our tempers grow short. 2ur prayers often reflect our thirst for hope even when we don’t reali,e it. 1e pray for more money, or increased attendance, or more volunteers, or more programs, or a better pastor, but what we really want is evidence that what we’ve worked so hard for will last. 1hat we really want is evidence that +od’s power is real. 1hat we really want3 is hope. 4one of this is new. *he people of Israel were thirsty for hope, so were the Samaritans, and so are million of people all around us. 0ut the strange thing about hope is that we often find it in the most difficult of places. In his letter to the church in "ome, #aul teaches us that hope is found in the places we don’t want to go and most often try to avoid. %#o$a!s ":1-11& Therefore, since we have been 4ustified through faith, we have peace with $od through our Lord 2esus ?hrist, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. 1nd we boast in the hope of the glory of $od. ( -ot only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering

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produces perseverance> + perseverance, character> and character, hope. , 1nd hope does not put us to shame, because $od3s love has been poured out into our hearts through the /oly Spirit, who has been given to us.
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9ou see, at 4ust the right time, when we were still powerless, ?hrist died for the ungodly. 0 Dery rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 5 )ut $od demonstrates his own love for us in thisE &hile we were still sinners, ?hrist died for us.
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Since we have now been 4ustified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from $od3s wrath through himC ;< :or if, while we were $od3s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his lifeC ;; -ot only is this so, but we also boast in $od through our Lord 2esus ?hrist, through whom we have now received reconciliation. In our darkest hour, in our lowest of moods, -esus 6hrist is our hope. 1hen we were our most unworthy -esus loved us. 1hen we were at our worst, -esus saw the best in us. 1hen everything in us hated him and wanted him dead, -esus died to rescue us from death. -esus is our hope. 0ut beyond that, #aul tells us that we grow and strengthen our hope in those very places we try hardest to avoid. It turns out instead of being places of hopelessness7 our times of darkness, despair, and suffering are fertile places for hope. &ost often, +od doesn’t put us there, but as we walk with -esus through those dark places, we learn perseverance and character, and from these grow hope. *hrough our times of darkness and suffering, with 6hrist’s help, our hope grows wider, deeper and stronger. $nd as our hope grows, we are prepared to go to places we never dared go. 1e are prepared to do things we might never have dared to do. 0ecause of our suffering, we can help others who are passing through hard times. 0ecause of our 8ourney through the dark places, we are prepared to lead others to the source of hope when they find themselves3 *hirsty for hope.

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:ou have been reading a message presented at *rinity ;nited &ethodist 6hurch on the date noted at the top of the first page. "ev. -ohn #artridge is the pastor at *rinity of #erry heights in &assillon, 2hio. <uplication of this message is a part of our &edia ministry, if you have received a blessing in this way, we would love to hear from you. =etters and donations in support of the &edia ministry or any of our other pro8ects may be sent to *rinity ;nited &ethodist 6hurch, 5>?> =incoln 1ay '., &assillon, 2hio 99@9@. *hese messages are available to any interested persons regardless of membership. :ou may subscribe to these messages, in print or electronic formats, by writing to the address noted, or by contacting us at subscribeAtrinityperryheights.org. If you have !uestions, you can ask them in our discussion forum on Bacebook Csearch for #astor -ohn 2nlineD. *hese messages can also be found online at httpEFFwww.scribd.comF#astor -ohn #artridge. $ll Scripture references are from the 4ew International Gersion unless otherwise noted.

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