I recently received the August 2010 issue of Harvest Force, a publication of the Methodist Missions Society. I haven’t read the rest of it yet, but I did read the editorial, and I thought it made a pretty good point.
It’s titled “Come To Me And Drink“. The editor, Kam Leong Heng, writes about his son Asher and perspectives on missions:
I do not understand why Asher thirsts for water play, especially spouting fountains. Whenever he is at a fountain, he will become alive with shout of joy and lose himself in the fun. Perhaps it is because fountains are fun and refreshing. Maybe it is true that without water, there is no life.
The story is told of a young salesman who was upset at losing a big sale. Expressing his disappointment, he lamented to his sales manager, “I suppose it just shows that you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.” The manager replied, “Take my advice: your job is not to make him drink. Your job is to make him thirsty.” What a simple yet profound fact!
In our ministry of missions, evangelism and outreach to pre-believers, I guess the hardest work is not to satisfy their thirst but to make them feel thirsty for God. Matthew 5:13 says that we are the salt of the earth. Are we salty enough to make them thirsty for Him?
When Jesus says, “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), it is an open invitation to everyone. Anyone can come to Him and drink, regardless of race, gender or age. But the only condition is that that man has to be thirsty.
This person must acknowledge that he is thirsty and he must desire to drink the water from Jesus. Only Jesus’ water can satisfy. And not just that, the person who drinks of the water that Jesus gives will never thirst again. And amazingly, it does not just stop there because Jesus continues, “The water that i shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:14)