by Rick Warren — March 10, 2017
The Bible says in John 19:28-29, “After this, Jesus knew that everything had been done. So that the Scripture would come true, he said, ‘I am thirsty.’ There was a jar full of vinegar there, so the soldiers soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a branch of a hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ mouth” (NCV).
The phrase “I thirst” was the life verse and the theme of Mother Teresa, who founded the Order of the Missionaries of Charity and Mother Teresa’s Home for the Dying. In every Home for the Dying around the world, where they take in the poorest of the poor, there is a picture of Jesus hanging on the cross and underneath the words “I thirst,” because Mother Teresa said that is our duty — to quench the thirst of Christ by helping those in need.
We cannot help Jesus on the cross. That’s long past. Can you imagine being that soldier who gave Jesus the drink? What a privilege! We can’t do that. But we can help those around us.
The aim of our existence is to satiate the thirst of Jesus on the cross for every soul, and it is shown by our love in action.
Love in action is when we meet the needs of other people in their thirst — physical, emotional, or spiritual — out of love for Christ, who was thirsty for us.
There are people all around you who are spiritually thirsty, but nobody ever uses that term. Here are some synonyms for spiritual thirst: boredom, unhappiness, dissatisfaction, stress, and desperation.
People who are spiritually thirsty have a need for meaning, purpose, and significance. They want to hear a word from God. They want to know what to do with their lives.
“The time is surely coming … when I will send a famine on the land — not a famine of bread or water but of hearing the words of the Lord. People will stagger from sea to sea and wander from border to border searching for the word of the Lord, but they will not find it. Beautiful girls and strong young men will grow faint in that day, thirsting for the Lord’s word” (Amos 8:11-13 NLT, second edition).
Is that not a perfect description of our society today? People look good on the outside, but they’re empty on the inside. They’re depressed, discouraged, defeated, in despair, unsatisfied, hopping from thing to thing, looking for what’s going to give them fulfillment and quench their thirst.
What is your responsibility as a believer to these people, to the world?
The only way you can serve God is by serving people and helping others in his name. Help quench their thirst by sharing with them what God has done to make them whole.