Outside the Gates: Living Water

Outside the Gates

Where is the best water found?

Is it near the surface of the ground, just below the streets of a city? Or is it deep within the earth, far outside the gates? It’s true, people get used to city water, but they will never have the best unless they go to a deeper and more ancient source that withstands the tests of drought and time. Water found outside the gates has not been so corrupted by the muck of the city. But more than finding water that tastes good and quenches physical thirst for a moment, water found outside the gates has the power to quench thirst for an eternity. Within the city, broken cisterns are built that cannot begin to hold the living and everlasting water found outside the gates. (Jeremiah 2:13)

The wonder of it all is that Jesus Christ is that Living Water, and His life was poured out for the lost and dying outside the gates of Jerusalem. Many try to recreate the Living Water and put it in a convenient bottled or boxed form, but the true Living Water can never be sold, bought, or recreated; it can only be given from God and received by the humble. The truth is not always easy to swallow, nor does it always go down smooth. A change is necessary, because it is impossible to believe in Jesus without repenting of the sins that were once slave masters.

It is abomination for both light and dark to occupy the same space. If there is any light at all, it would drown out the darkness. If sin is catered to, then the light dies. If God is obeyed, then life is gained, and sin is treated as it is, refuse to be cast off and left to die. Yes, God made you as you are, and it seems so simple just to believe and be saved, but we are being saved from something that God did not make, sin. The price of freewill should have been paid by every sinful man and woman, but Jesus paid that price instead. His love stooped low; it only makes sense that our hearts and lives should be raised high as an offering to our Savior, Father, and King.

The world’s version of Living Water does not ask people to repent or change, and therefore does not ask them to love an awesome God so completely that they start to become like Him. It is impossible to be drowned in the world’s water and then rise to new life; you only drown and die. That water allows you to be what is not natural in the kingdom of God, a sinner. When we are redeemed by the blood of Christ, we literally nail our sins to His cross, bury them in His tomb, and, by His power, resurrect with Him into a new and righteous life.

Without Christ, righteousness was impossible and so was purpose, since the only choice we had was to live in sin. With Christ, we can die to live, knowing that giving up our sin and self will bring us closer to the lover of our souls and it will bring us rest in the waiting. Being baptized into Christ (drinking of the Living Water) guarantees that you will rise again in newness of life.

Even though I live in this world, I am not of it; I receive my water from a different source, because I chose to be baptized into Christ. I had to go outside what the world expected and what the world was preaching in order to find Jesus and hold fast to Him. And when I hold fast to Jesus, embracing the truth of His Word, I finally see the world for what it is:

The world stems from a noble Vine, but branches have been cast off, and they have taken root in the ground to grow as weeds that seek to choke the branches still attached to the Vine. Countless numbers knowingly choose to defy their Creator, to persecute His children, and commit transgressions that defy hope, life, or happiness. They think themselves to be free as they wander, but they are in chains. The sins they commit control them and define their eternal resting place that is surely no rest at all. But those who have placed their faith in Christ have been made free indeed; their bonds have been shattered and their yoke, broken. But too many use that freedom as an excuse to wander again. I have seen Christians take grace for granted, myself included; not realizing that denying self is a definition of faith, and that good works and the fruits of the Spirit will always shine forth in the lives of those who have been grafted in to the One True Vine.

Meet Jesus at the well outside the gates. Abandon the broken cisterns and polluted water within the city, where poison continues to be swallowed and the dead still walk and talk. Open up God’s Word, written for you; the Holy Bible. Drink deep of His impossible love, grace, and justice. Find out what it means to die to live; to live for Christ.

Have you died today?

Jesus died, taking the weight of all our sins upon Himself, then He drug those sins to the grave and buried them in Hell, so that they would no longer have a hold on any of His children. It was a necessity for Him to die that day… necessary for us, but not for Him. We needed hope and a Savior, hope for eternity and salvation from the sin that reigned in our mortal bodies. Now, through the blood of Christ, we no longer are forced to be slaves to sin, but we can choose to be in subjection to Christ, the faithful One who has saved us and raised us up to new life.

The death of the only Begotten Son of God was a seal of ancient promises. He suffered thirst, though He is the Living Water, so that those who call on His name would never thirst again. On the cross, Jesus was not thirsty for water that would quench for a moment, but He was thirsty for the fellowship of His Father.

Is your thirst quenched in the presence of your Heavenly Father or are you dying of thirst?

Jesus, in all of eternity, had never been separated from His Father, until He gave up His life for the lost. He knew that all of His creation was separated from God. So, He chose to shatter the separation between us and God with His own blood. That same blood runs through the veins of all those who call upon His name. No matter what they look like on the outside; no matter their skin tone, voice, or size and shape, Jesus’ blood still runs through their veins. And by His blood, they are made righteous, when they should have been the ones suffering on that cross.

4 Have You Died TodayWhen I ask, “Have you died today?” I am asking, “Have you cast off your sin and put on Christ? Have you denied yourself and given up all you are to Jesus?” He can take your small sacrifice, your small offering, and transform it into a masterpiece that shines for its Creator. Jesus is waiting for you outside the gates; outside your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid to step outside the gates to see and talk with Jesus. He can redeem you and has the power to transform you into a creature that no longer has to live in addiction to sin: drink from the well that won’t run dry. (John 4:14)

Finally, humble yourself before God while He may be found, that He may exalt you in due time. Cast all your care on Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour. Resist that serpent, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished and conquered by your brothers and sisters that are in the world. (1 Peter 5:6-9)

Then said Jesus unto them again, “Truly, truly, I say unto you, I AM the door of the sheep. All that ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I AM the door. By Me, if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief comes not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy; I AM come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:7-10)

I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes. To the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:16-17)

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Published by: Sarah Jo

Growing up is a taxing process (sometimes, literally), but I have chosen to grow in Christ and in His grace. He is so faithful to me and I have no room to complain, so I seek to show my gratitude through writing blog posts and songs, and speaking forth my gratitude in front of coworkers, friends, family, and total strangers. I am a little lost, but completely found; a child in the faith, and taking huge steps. I have so much to learn, but the point is that I will get there by the grace of my Abba.

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