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© 2008 by Max Lucado The publishers are grateful to Kate Etue for her collaboration and writing skills in developing the content for this book. All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, scanning, or other—except for brief quotations in critical reviews or articles, without the prior written permission of the publisher. Published in Nashville, Tennessee, by Thomas Nelson. Thomas Nelson is a trademark of Thomas Nelson, Inc. Thomas Nelson, Inc. titles may be purchased in bulk for educational, business, fundraising, or sales promotional use. For information, please e-mail SpecialMarkets@ thomasnelson.com. Unless otherwise noted, Scripture quotations are taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations marked nkjv are from THE NEW KING JAMES VERSION. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations marked msg are from The Message by Eugene H. Peterson. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations marked nlt are from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations marked niv are from the HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations marked tlb are from The Living Bible, copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. ISBN 978-1-4185-3390-8 Printed in the United States of America 08 09 10 11 12 — 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

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Receive Christ’s Work on the cross. Receive the Energy of his Spirit. Receive his Lordship over your life. Receive his unending, unfailing Love. 

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Week 1

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T hirsting after R ighteousness Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. —Matthew 5:6 nkjv

READ Read the Introduction and Chapter 1 at home this week. As you read through Meagan’s story, it will sound strangely familiar. As this introduction unfolds, we discover a young woman who is thirsting for something real. And in Chapter 1 we discover that unless we are drinking deeply at the well of God’s supply, our hearts become dehydrated—dry, depleted, parched, and weak.

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C o m e T h i r s t y P a rt i c i pa n t ’ s G u i d e

REFLECT Answer the questions in this section at home before your group discussion. Meagan is used to the whispers, the looks, the lines. She’s heard it all and done it all, and she’s tired. Weary. Worn out. She needs some relief from the constant “doing” without any “accomplishing.” She needs a savior. And in walks Jesse, the quiet counselor from Alabama who pricks a nerve and gets her thinking that maybe there’s more to life than what she has. S In

this modern-day version of the story of the woman at the well (see John 4), we gain a new understanding of what that Samaritan woman would have been like, and the significance of Jesus’ reaching out to her to change her life. What new thing did this story reveal to you?

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Week 1 — Thirsting

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Righteousness

S Where

do you think the story goes from here? How does Meagan’s life change as a result of her meeting Jesse? Do other lives change as well?

One crisp October morning in Jerusalem people had packed the streets, sleeping in tents and reenacting the rock-giving-water miracle of Moses. As the priests circled the altar seven times, pouring the symbolic liquid out, Jesus, the rustic rabbi from the northlands, stood up and called out. This was not a polite clearing of the throat; it was an attention-getting scream. “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink” (John 7:37 nkjv).

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C o m e T h i r s t y P a rt i c i pa n t ’ s G u i d e S Explore

the significance of this action on Jesus’ part. Look at it in context of the other discussions he’s had about his divinity with the disciples. Have you recognized the importance of this declaration before?

What water can do for your body, Jesus can do for your heart. Water is a symbolic theme throughout the Scriptures. Ponder the importance of H­2O and its connection to the person of Jesus Christ and his lifesaving sacrifice on the cross. Consider the brown, tepid water lying stagnant in Hezekiah’s well versus the constantly fresh, crystal-clear water flowing from the well of life. Start by looking up these verses and writing a sentence or two with your thoughts.

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Genesis 1:2

Exodus 14

1 Kings 18:30–39

Psalm 23:2

Mark 1:9–11

Matthew 14:22–33

DISCUSS Engage in conversation about these questions within your small group. Your Maker has wired you with thirst—a “low fluid indicator.” Let your fluid level grow low, and watch the signals flare. Dry mouth. Thick tongue. Achy head. Weak knees. Deprive your body of necessary fluid, and your body will tell you.

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C o m e T h i r s t y P a rt i c i pa n t ’ s G u i d e S How

does your body let you know you’re running low on water, food, energy, and so forth?

Deprive your soul of spiritual water, and your soul will tell you. Dehydrated hearts send desperate messages. Snarling tempers. Waves of worry. Growling mastodons of guilt and fear. Hopelessness. Sleeplessness. Loneliness. Resentment. Irritability. Insecurity. These are warnings. Symptoms of a dryness deep within. S How

does your spirit let you know you’re running low on

God?

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Week 1 — Thirsting

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S Today,

does your heart feel dried up? Shriveled? Dehydrated?

Meagan’s story is a modern-day translation of the woman at the well’s story. Jesus (or Jesse) came to offer life-giving water: himself. And the woman, Meagan, though jaded and rough around the edges, softens in his presence and accepts the powerful gift, remarkably without skepticism. S What

did you think of this retelling? Did it shed new light on a classic story for you? What similarities or differences from your own life stood out to you?

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C o m e T h i r s t y P a rt i c i pa n t ’ s G u i d e

When we’re running low on Jesus, our spirits let us know. Do you listen? Or do you ignore the warnings? Don’t let your heart shrink into a raisin. Drink good water. Not everything you put your lips to will satisfy your thirst. The arms of a forbidden love can only satisfy you for a brief time. Eight-hour workweeks grant a sense of fulfillment, but never remove the thirst. S So,

where do you find water for your soul?

• Do you feel as though you have rivers of living water flowing from your heart?

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Like water, Jesus goes where we can’t. He seeps into the cracks of our lives, hydrating and “aquifying” our hearts. And, thankfully, we don’t have to give him directions—just as we don’t instruct water as it makes its way through our system. But so often we are tempted to instruct God on how he is to help us, nurture us, restore us. We tell him what we think we need. S How

do you find yourself instructing Jesus in your life?

S Discuss

the difference between giving Jesus permission to work in your spirit and telling him what you think you need.

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C o m e T h i r s t y P a rt i c i pa n t ’ s G u i d e

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.” Literally, this is translated, “Let him come to me and keep drinking.” One bottle won’t satisfy. Ceaseless communion satisfies thirsty souls. S Do

you go to the well often? Or do you try to get by with drops from shallow puddles? (What would be an example of the “well” or “shallow puddles” in your life?)

S How

do you engage in ceaseless communion? Why is this important?

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Week 1 — Thirsting

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WRAP UP In the week ahead, return to the Prayer of the Thirsty (page xv) at least once a day. Set a time to commune with God intimately. Pray these words and meditate on their meaning in your real, day-to-day life. Journal in the space provided, and track any changes you notice in your spiritual energy level.

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MEMORY VERSE

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

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Come Thirsty Partcipant's Guide  

"Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give will never be thirsty. The water I give will beco...