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Come Thirsty Workbook
Receive What Your Soul Longs For
By Max Lucado
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2004 Max Lucado
All rights reserved.
Thirsting After Righteousness
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled."
— Matthew 5:6 NKJV
Have you ever been in the mood for ... something ... to eat? You've got the munchies, and you're looking for a snack. The only problem is that you're not quite sure what will satisfy your craving. Something salty? Something sweet? Something chewy? Something crunchy? It's hard to put your finger on what's driving you to rummage through the pantry. Nothing looks good, so you slam through the cupboards and poke around in the back of the fridge.
Our souls are not so different. We get a restless yearning for ... something. Our hearts are hungry. We are driven by a deep thirst. And so we cast about for something to satisfy our need. If we do not nourish our soul, it grows weak and weary. Deprived of sustenance, we become strained, stretched, and stressed. Scripture compares this desperate need with thirst. Are you thirsty?
1. Remember the children of Israel, wandering in the wilderness for forty years. They understood what it meant to be hungry and thirsty. "Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them" (Ps. 107:5 NKJV). How does Isaiah 29:8 describe the hunger and thirst of men?
"When a ________________ man dreams, and look—he __________; but he _____________, and his soul is still __________________; or as when a __________________ man dreams, and look—he ___________; but he ____________, and indeed he is _________________, and his soul still _________________." (NKJV)
2. Yet God provided for the physical needs of those who called upon him for relief. The people's dehydrated bodies longed for water, and that is just what God supplied. Match up these promises for refreshment with their texts.
___ Nehemiah 9:15 a. God didn't withhold
the water from the
___ Nehemiah 9:20 b. When God led in
deserts, they didn't go
___ Isaiah 41:17 c. Everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters.
___ Isaiah 48:21 d. You brought them
water out of the rock.
___ Isaiah 49:10 e. God has mercy, and
leads by springs of
___ Isaiah 55:1 f. The needy seek water;
their tongues fail for
God supplies our physical needs, sometimes in miraculous ways. Yet there are times when that doesn't feel like enough. "You have planted much, but you harvest little. You eat, but you do not become full. You drink, but you are still thirsty. You put on clothes, but you are not warm enough. You earn money, but then you lose it all as if you had put it into a purse full of holes" (Hag. 1:6 NCV). We have food to eat and water to drink, but they do not satisfy the longing that pervades our soul. We are thirsty, but for what? Where should we turn for relief?
3. Unfortunately, too many try to quench that restless hunger and nagging thirst with things that cannot satisfy. What does Paul say will be the end of those who pursue their appetites for earthly things, according to Philippians 3:19?
Jesus told his followers, "Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be filled" (Luke 6:21 NKJV). What a wonderful promise! But moments later, he turned this statement upside down. "Woe to you who are full, for you shall hunger" (Luke 6:25 NKJV). Consider this. Those who are satisfied with what the world has to offer no longer hunger and thirst after spiritual things. They opted for a shortcut. They settled for instant gratification. Those of us who continue to thirst after the living water only Jesus can supply will rely upon him right on into eternity. Our hunger will be satisfied in the very presence of God.
4. David understood the longing of his heart. He knew exactly what he was thirsty for.
* According to Psalm 42:2, what did David thirst for?
* To what did David compare his longing in Psalm 143:6?
* What did David do, in an effort to assuage his longing for God, according to Psalm 63:1?
5. So what should we be hungering for? What should we be thirsting after? Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:6.
There's no denying the urgency of our thirst. We should heed it. We should drink. But when seeking to quench our thirsty hearts, we must be certain to drink good water. There can be no substitutes. If you are indeed thirsting after righteousness, then the Lord urges you to drink, and drink deeply.
6. Jesus tells us, "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness" (Matt. 6:33 NKJV). So, what is righteousness? Match up these passages, which give us a little overview.
___ Psalm 11:7 a. The heavens declare his
___ Proverbs 11:19 b. The Sun of
Righteousness will arise.
___ Psalm 48:10 c. The Lord is righteous.
He loves righteousness.
___ Psalm 50:6 d. God has given us a robe
___ Psalm 65:5 e. God works awesome
deeds in righteousness.
___ Psalm 119:172 f. Righteousness leads to
___ Isaiah 61:10 g. He will be called: the
Lord our righteousness.
___ Jeremiah 23:6 h. God's right hand is full
___ Malachi 4:2 i. All of God's
Our first tendency in seeking righteousness is to try to do something. But the Lord is not asking us to do anything. We are called upon to receive what he has provided. "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us" (Titus 3:5 NKJV).
7. We need to cultivate a hunger and a thirst for righteousness, but we cannot achieve a righteous and godly life without divine assistance.
* What does God give to us, according to Psalm 24:5?
* God doesn't leave us to fend for ourselves. What does Psalm 23:3 say he will do for us?
* What glorious promise do we find in Psalm 37:6?
8. Throughout the New Testament, we are told that righteousness and right living are only possible by the grace of God. All we need to do is believe. Paul assures us that it is by faith that we are made righteous.
Romans 10:10: "We _______________ with our __________; and so we are _____________ ________________ with God. And we use our mouths to say that we __________________, and so we are ______________." (NCV)
2 Corinthians 5:21: "He made Him who __________ no ______ to be ________ for us, that we might ___________ the ____________ of God in Him." (NKJV)
Ephesians 4:23, 24: "You were taught to be ___________ _________ in your __________, to become a ___________ _______________. That _________ _________________ is made to be _______________ _______________— made to be truly ____________ and ________." (NCV)
Philippians 3:9: "Not having my own _____________________, which is from the law, but that which is through ______________ in ______________, the __________________ which is from ___________ by ____________." (NKJV)
There is some danger that a gift so freely given can be taken too much for granted. We can become numb to our thirst for a time. We can sink into apathy and lethargy. Scripture uses hunger and thirst to convey a sense of urgency. We are dependent upon God. We cannot live without him. We need him. In order to keep those truths before us, we must cultivate our appetite for righteousness. Stir up your hunger. Heed your thirst. Drink, and keep on drinking!
9. Do we hunger and thirst after righteousness? Yes! So what can we do about it? Pursue it!
* What does Paul urge his son in the faith to pursue in 1 Timothy 6:11?
* What did Jesus do in order to make our pursuit possible, according to 1 Peter 2:24?
* Where can we turn for help in our pursuit, according to 2 Timothy 3:16?
10. Jesus is the Source of everything we need. He calls to everyone, urging them to come.
* What did Jesus call out to the people in John 7:37?
* According to Revelation 21:6, what does Jesus say that he will freely give?
* Who is invited to come and drink, according to Revelation 22:17?
Do you remember the woman at the well? Jesus made an outlandish claim to her: "Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life" (John 4:13, 14 NKJV). Like the woman at the well, we recognize our need for living water. We need moisture, a swallow of water, a long, quenching drink. But where do we find water for the soul?
Throughout the course of this study, we will be seeking out four ways in which our thirst can be satisfied. God's work. God's energy. His lordship and his love. You'll find them easy to remember. Just think of the word W-E-L-L.
Receive Christ's Work on the Cross.
The Energy of his Spirit.
His Lordship over your life.
His unending, unfailing Love.
Drink deeply and often. And out of you will flow rivers of living water.
Prayer of the Thirsty
This is the prayer of the thirsty soul who has turned to the only Source of living water. It is the prayer of a heart ready to receive—to drink deeply from the well of God's work, energy, lordship, and love. Take the time each day to pray this prayer aloud. Learn what a vast resource God has made available to you. Make it the cry of your heart.
Lord, I come thirsty. I come to drink, to receive. I receive Your work on the cross and in Your resurrection. My sins are pardoned and my death is defeated. I receive Your energy. Empowered by Your Holy Spirit, I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. I receive Your lordship. I belong to You. Nothing comes to me that hasn't passed through You. And I receive Your love. Nothing can separate me from Your love.
This Week's Prayer Requests
"Jesus stood and cried out, saying, 'If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'"
— John 7:37, 38 NKJV
Suggested Reading for this Week from Come Thirsty by Max Lucado:
* Read the Introduction of Come Thirsty: "Meaghan"—As you read through "Meaghan," her story will sound strangely familiar. As this introduction unfolds, we discover a young woman who is thirsting for something real.
* Read Chapter 1 of Come Thirsty: "The Dehydrated Heart"—Unless we are drinking deeply at the well of God's supply, our hearts become dehydrated—dry, depleted, parched, and weak.CHAPTER 2
"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God."
—Ephesians 2:8 NKJV
Your heart is thirsty, so you make your way to the water fountain of God's grace for a drink. You've been there before. It's an abundant source of living water. Crystal clear streams forever flowing into shining pools at the foot of the throne. Drinking deeply of God's grace is just what your soul needs right now. The recollection of its plentiful supply and satisfying coolness quickens your step. But as you draw near, you're astonished to find a handmade sign taped crookedly to the fountain's edge. "No swallowing, please. Taste, but don't drink." You look around, wondering if this can be a prank—someone's idea of a joke. Shrugging, you dip into the cooling water, but only enough to wet your lips. And so you turn back, your disappointed heart still longing for refreshment.
Does such a sign sound absurd? It should. But that's what happens when people try to place limitations on God's grace. They block up the fountain of grace. They monitor our every sip. They stand by with arms folded, directing us to swish and spit, when all the while God intended us to drink, and drink deeply.
1. Let's start with grace—unmerited favor. What does the New Testament teach us about the grace of God that is extended toward us? Match up these truths with the verse in which it can be found.
___ 1 Corinthians 15:10 a. Because of grace,
we have everlasting
___ Ephesians 1:6 b. By grace we have
been made heirs.
___ Colossians 3:16 c. Sing to the Lord
with grace in your
___ Colossians 4:6 d. Grace was ours
even before time
___ 2 Thessalonians 2:16 e. By grace, we are
accepted in the
___ 2 Timothy 1:9 f. Be good stewards
of God's manifold
___ 2 Timothy 2:1 g. We can approach
the throne of grace
___ Titus 3:7 h. Let your speech
always be with
___ Hebrews 4:16 i. Rest your hope
fully upon grace.
___ 1 Peter 1:13 j. Be strong in grace.
___ 1 Peter 4:10 k. By the grace of
God, I am what
2. What good is grace if you don't let it go deep? Look at these verses, and more specifically, look at the words used to describe God's grace.
Romans 3:24: "Being justified _____________ by His grace" (NKJV).
Romans 5:20: "Where sin abounded, grace ___________________ _________________ ______________" (NKJV).
2 Corinthians 9:8: "God is able to make all _ ________ _________ toward you, that you, always having _________ _________________ ____ in _________ things, may have an ____________________ for _______________ good work" (NKJV).
Ephesians 2:7: "That in the ages to come He might show the _________________ riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus" (NKJV).
1 Timothy 1:14: "The grace of our Lord was ___________________ __________________" (NKJV).
Abundant. Free. Sufficient. Rich. God's grace is excessive—more plentiful than our need. In fact, it is all we need. But there were those in the early church who tried to staunch the flow of grace. They wanted to impose limits. They tried to control it. They molded it to fit into their traditions. They redefined it to suit their purposes. And they deceived God's people by touting it as truth.
3. What new rules did some try to impose on Gentile believers, according to Acts 15:1?
4. The Galatian church also ran into problems. Paul was astonished by how far off track they had been lured.
Galatians 1:6, 7—"God, by his grace through Christ, called you to become his people. So I am _____________ that you are ___________ __________ _____________ so quickly and believing something _____________ than the __________ _____________. Really, there is _____________ ___________________ Good News. But some people are ______________ you; they want to ____________________ the Good News of Christ" (NCV).
Legalism. Grace blockage. It's thinking that your Heavenly Father might let you in the gate, but you've got to earn your place at the table. God makes the down payment on your redemption, but you still have to pay the monthly installments. Heaven gives the boat, but you've got to row it if you ever want to see the other shore. They don't allow you to receive God's work. They try to tell you to earn it.
5. Grace, by definition, excludes our efforts to earn it. Why does Paul say that grace cannot come by works in Romans 11:6?
Grace by faith is one of Paul's most adamant themes. "People cannot do any work that will make them right with God. So they must trust in him, who makes even evil people right in his sight. Then God accepts their faith, and that makes them right with him" (Rom. 4:5 NCV). One way, and only one. By grace, through faith.
6. Why does Ephesians 2:8, 9 say we have no reason to boast over our place in God's family?
Beware when faith changes from grace receiving to law keeping. Take care when salvation is limited to those who can meet the standards and accomplish the tasks. We cannot earn God's grace. We can only receive God's work. That's when our hearts are able to drink deeply from the well of living water.
7. What is the work that we must receive? Christ's work on the Cross. Or to ask the question as we find it in Scripture, "What must I do to be saved?" (Acts 16:30 NKJV).
* How is this question answered in Acts 16:31?
* According to 2 Corinthians 5:21, how were we freed from sin?
* What did Jesus say we must believe in order to be saved, according to John 8:24?
And so our sins are forgiven. Christ responded to universal sin with a universal sacrifice, taking on the sins of the entire world. This is Christ's work for you. But the salvation we receive doesn't stop there. Jesus not only took your place on the Cross, he takes His place in your heart. This is Christ's work in you.
8. How does Paul describe those who have drunk deeply at the well of grace?
* What does Romans 4:7 say about those who have received Christ's work for us?
Excerpted from Come Thirsty Workbook by Max Lucado. Copyright © 2004 Max Lucado. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
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