December 1, 2014
Last week we began a five-part series in which we are sharing advent devotionals written by alumni of Sioux Falls Seminary. Each of the devotionals, one for every week of Advent plus Christmas Day, examine texts in John’s Gospel that explore who Jesus is and how he impacts our lives and ministries.
Christmas is a great time to remember that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ reigns. This week, we’re reflecting on God’s gift of love and spiritual renewal.
Rev. Dr. Vincent Lee (D.Min., 2012)
Senior Pastor, Hong Kong Grace Baptist Church, Hong Kong, China
Are you weary or heavy-hearted? The story of the Lord’s encounter with a Samaritan woman is a wonderful touch of Jesus to a spiritually and emotionally-weary seeker (John 4:1–42). As the woman reached the well, Jesus started a conversation with her by asking for a drink of water. Throughout their dialogue, Jesus helped the woman recognize her real need. She’d spent all of her life trying to find love and acceptance in all the wrong places. She soon found that Jesus could offer her living water—the only thing that would quench her spiritual and emotional thirst. Only Jesus’ salvation and love would meet that need.
Like the Samaritan woman, we can, at times, be so intent on having our needs met that we fail to see God’s hand reaching out to us in love. This world is filled with wells that promise to provide love, acceptance, and self-worth but never fully satisfy. Drink of the water of wealth, and you will thirst again. Drink of the water of fame, and you will thirst again. Drink of the water of popularity, and you will thirst again. Drink of all other waters being offered today, and you will thirst again. When your soul is empty and the well runs dry, turn and surrender to Jesus.
The deepest longing of our soul is God. What suppresses this longing is our compromised life. We can never live a double life and still be close to God. In order to come close to God, we must come clean with him. During this season of Advent, God is offering each of us a gift of love and spiritual renewal. He has a divine appointment scheduled with you, and he will quench your thirst with his Spirit—if you let him.
Prayer: O Father, even now I find, at times, that my soul needs to be filled, my thirst needs to be quenched, and my hunger needs to be satisfied. I’m not sure, dear Father, why the spiritually dry periods come. I gladly confess, however, that they make my desire to experience Jesus’ living water more intense. I have tasted your goodness. I have drunk from your fountain. Keep your life-giving stream flowing in me. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.