Today’s Reading: John 7:31-53 

Henry David Thoreau claimed that most men “live lives of quiet desperation.” To avoid that fate, he spent two years, two months and two days, alone in the woods of Walden Pond. He described his experiences in his 1854 book Walden, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” This was Thoreau’s philosophy of “abundant life”.

A different idea is illustrated by a “veteran mountain climber sharing his experiences with a group of novices preparing for their first major climb. He had conquered many of the world’s most difficult peaks, so he was qualified to give them some advice. ‘Remember this,’ he said, ‘your goal is to experience the exhilaration of the climb and the joy of reaching the peak…. If your purpose for climbing is just to avoid death, your experience will be minimal.’”

Sometimes Christians avoid the errors of Thoreau only to slip into those of a novice mountain climber. Professor David Egnar  said: “Jesus did not call us to live the Christian life just to escape hell. It’s not to be a life of minimum joy and fulfillment, but a life that is full and overflowing. Our purpose in following Christ should not be merely to avoid eternal punishment. If that’s our primary motivation, we are missing the wonders and joys and victories of climbing higher and higher with Jesus.”

Many voices call us to their path. Above the noise, however, if we have ears to hear, Jesus offers abundant life.  Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! v38 Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’”

Jesus isn’t offering a drip of water, but water that flows from our hearts. That is abundant life. Jesus is the answer for this deep thirst. But it’s our responsibility and our opportunity to drink deeply of Him, to trust Him to produce the kind of change that way down deep inside we know we want for ourselves.

And so, if you find yourself restless and thirsting for something more in life; respond to Jesus’ invitation, “Come to Me and drink.” Go to Him, drink freely of His grace and forgiveness, and experience true joy and the personal significance that only Jesus can provide. Happiness depends on happenings, but joy, satisfaction, significance and so much more depends on drinking in from Jesus!

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