September 3, 2022
Johann is young, tall, blond, and Dutch. I got to know him through my cousin, who attended the same Bible school in England.
Gifted and handsome, Johann could have carved out a comfortable youth ministry in his native Netherlands – or most anywhere in the world, for that matter.
Comfort, however, isn’t one of Johann’s major goals. He chose to take the gospel of Christ to the Bedouins and nomads near Israel’s barren Sinai desert. A forgotten people in one of the most desolate corners of the world.
Johann works by an oasis near the sea, attracting travelers and Bedouins by offering hot meals, clothing, and first aid.
Following this hospitality, he tells Bible stories and gives a simple testimony of his faith in the One who walked the same sandy waste, two thousand years ago.
The work isn’t easy. Loneliness stalks those sun-scorched regions. Bibles and other supplies are few and far between. But Johann’s desire to proclaim Christ is greater than all these obstacles.
He has a message to offer – and considers it every bit as valuable as the life-giving water he ladles out to his guests.
From the Bedouins, Johann learned it is considered worse than murder if you know of a water source and yet neglect to tell your fellow man.
Few of us will ever live in a wilderness like the one where young Johann has pitched his tent. Not many among us will ever proclaim salvation to desert nomads.
But all around us, no matter where we reside or work, there are thirsty men and women. The neighbor down the street, the man at the service station, the boy who carries our groceries, the secretary who types and files, or even the distant aunt who occasionally comes by for visits.
If these people don’t know Christ, they’re going to die of thirst.
In John 4, Jesus had a conversation with a thirsty woman. It was a hot, dry day in a town near the edge of the desert.
Sitting on the edge of an ancient well, He talked to the woman about two kinds of thirst: the immediate physical sort, and a deeper, more profound thirst of the soul.
“Everyone 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.”
The woman left her water pot unfilled and hurried back into the city. Yet her thirst was quenched that day as never before.
She had found a deeper well than the one in the village square. She had found the Source of living water and didn’t waste a moment before telling everyone in town.
Do you know the Source of living water? If you do, please don’t withhold a drink from somebody who is thirsty.
It’s not just a matter of hospitality. It’s a matter of life and death.
The Glorious Pursuit
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life,
Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.
It’s easier for us to share life with others when we realize that, inwardly, they’re more passionate in their thirst than we often are to help them satisfy it. Many dying people hide their thirst; look past their apparent contentment and see the desperation inside. Then show them the way to the Source of Life. Sometimes we allow embarrassment, awkwardness, or a loss of urgency to weaken our witness of Christ. Think of your neighbors or relatives who do not know Jesus in a personal way – these people are dehydrated spiritually. Share your heart for your Savior with them…it’ll be a refreshing drink for their weary souls.
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