Fire Brigade Water Bucket
Prepared by Dr. John E. Marshall
Water has always been scarce in Palestine. To people who craved water, who were always in danger of thirst, Jesus made the bold claim of our text.
John 7:37b (Holman) AIf anyone is thirsty, he should come to Me and drink!@
Jesus in essence said, AYou are always concerned with finding water to quench physical thirst. If you want your spiritual thirst quenched, come to Me.@
Most Israelites did not realize they were thirsting for God. Many people still don=t know what they want in life. They are trapped in an endless effort to fill deep-seated cravings of their hearts with a multitude of trifles. Some are so busy gratifying lower desires of life that the highest wants are left uncared for.
All the while, their inmost yearnings, longings, and unrest cry, AI thirst for God, the living God@ (Psalm 42:2a). David knew nothing less than God can satisfy our deepest desires. Most don=t recognize this about themselves.
Our human condition is ironic and sad. We must be begged to have spiritual life, true joy, and peace with God, yet still reject Jesus= offer. Christ beckons us with His wonderful unfailing love, often to no avail.
Jesus said He could satisfy people=s thirst. The parched can still have their thirst quenched in Jesus. From Him, a fountain of life yet flows. No one goes to the cross in vain. Calvary was called Golgotha, a place of skulls. It is no longer this. Now it is a place alive. Where people once went to die, they now go to live.
John 7:38 AThe one who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within Him.@
Jesus said a refreshing stream would gush from the inmost being of all who believe on Him. A Christ-centered life has an ongoing, outflowing nature. It becomes the conduit through which God=s life flows to others who thirst.
The Christian life is a bubbling stream, not a pond. Spirit-filled believers are not self-centered. What God gives them they pass on to others.
Wanting His blessings to be multiplied, God will not long channel them down a dead end street. He wants us to overflow into someone else=s empty cup.
We all have to pray, give, and go. We thereby join God=s bucket-brigade conveying living water to the parched. I was surprised when I first saw an antique water bucket used in fire-bucket brigades. Its bottom was as round as a basketball, not flat. Each time I sat it down, it fell over, it wouldn=t stand up.
After letting it drop over three times, I got the message. When there=s a fire going on, you don=t put your water bucket down. Folks, an everlasting fire=s going on. We need to be in God=s fire-bucket brigade.
By praying, we draw power from God=s well of anointing. By giving we pass buckets hand to hand, conveying support to mission causes extinguishing flames of lostness. After we pray and give, the whole fire brigade is useless unless some go and stand at the end of the bucket brigade and throw water on the fire.
There aren=t enough full-time career missionaries to get this job done. We all must go, some short-term, some long-term, some to Springfield, some to Missouri, some to the USA, some to the uttermost. There has to be contact with the people we seek to save. Someone has to deliver the living water in person.
To have the heart of God, we must go. In one deed, the incarnation, God revealed by His own example what should be done for sinners far away. AGod had only one Son, and He made Him a missionary. Can we do less?@ (Oswald Smith).
Jesus emptied Himself and left His Heavenly home to win the lost. Let=s fill a suitcase and leave our earthly homes to do the same. As long as people thirst for the water of life, we must all go carry living water to them.
The mission of every Christian is missions. Jesus meant for it to be our passion. Let=s fulfill our reason for existing. Pray God will enable us to pray, give, and go.