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Water of Life

By Alexander Maclaren

      The condition, the only condition, and the indispensable condition, of possessing that water of life--the summary expression for all the gifts of God in Jesus Christ, which at the last are essentially God Himself--is the desire to possess it turned to Jesus Christ. . .

      But it is not enough that there should be the desire. It must be turned to Him. . . the great keyword of personal religion, faith in Jesus Christ. . .

      . . . Another of the scriptural expressions for the act of trusting in Him is taking, not asking. You do not need to ask, as if for something that is not provided. What we all need to do is to open our eyes to see what is there, if we like to put out our hands and take it. Why should we be saying, "Give me to drink," when a pierced hand reaches out to us the cup of salvation, and says, Drink you all of it"? "Ho, everyone that thirsts come . . . and drink . . . without money and without price."      

      There is no other condition but desire turned to Christ, and that is the necessary condition. . .

      Blind, blind, blind, are the men who grope as noonday as in the dark and turn away from Jesus. If you knew, not with the head only, but with the whole nature, if you knew the thirst of your soul, the sweetness of the water, the readiness of the Giver, and the dry and parched land to which you condemn yourselves by your refusal, surely you would bethink yourself and fall at His feet and ask, and get, the water of life.

      . . . . The only rest of the soul is in God, and the only way to get it is through Christ, as any saint of God ever was. But the knowledge does not touch their will because they like the poison and they do not want the life.

      Oh! dear friends, the instantaneousness of Christ's answer, and the certainty of it, are as true for each of us as they were for this woman. The offer is made to us all, just as it was to her. We can gather round that Rock like the Israelites in the wilderness, and slake every thirst of our souls from its outgushing streams. Jesus Christ says to each of us, as He did to her, tenderly, warningly, invitingly, and yet rebukingly, "If you knew . . . then you would ask, . . . and I would give" (Gospel of St. John, pp. 211-213).

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