The Bubbler of Living Water
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 Jer 2:13 "For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, And hewn themselves cisterns-broken cisterns that can hold no water.

 2Co 6:1 We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. 2 For He says: "In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you." Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. 3 We give no offense in anything, that our ministry may not be blamed. 4 But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses,
 5 in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings; 6 by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love, 7 by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,
 8 by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; 9 as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed;
 10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

 Mt 4:1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread." 4 But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'" 5 Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple,
 6 and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: 'He shall give His angels charge over you,' and, 'In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.'" 7 Jesus said to him, "It is written again, 'You shall not tempt the LORD your God.'" 8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, "All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me." 10 Then Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.'" 11 Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.

 Jer 2:13 "For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, And hewn themselves cisterns-broken cisterns that can hold no water.

The first thing we learn from this passage is that Jeremiah is not from Wisconsin. ďFountain of living waters?Ē Címon, everybody knows that itís not a ďwater fountain,Ē itís a bubbler!  It was interesting for me to do a little research on the term bubbler.

I found that it is actually a trademark name from the Kohler Company in Kohler Wisconsin for a device patented in 1888 that served as a ďdrinking fountain.Ē
 The term is still used in several regional dialects of the United States such as Wisconsin, (mostly in the southeast part of the state, centered on or near Milwaukee where it is considered part of the local dialect; however, the term's use has spread to the upper peninsula, New England, and Oregon, and even Australia.

Everything you never wanted to know about bubblers.

But whether we call it a bubbler or a water fountain, one thing for certain, there is nothing like finding one on a hot day, when we are in need of some re-fresh-ment. My favorite ones are the ones with the built in coolers. Iím always a little disappointed when I run into a bubbler without the cooler, but if Iím thirsty enough, it doesnít matter, just as long as itís fresh.

For the most part, bubblers are faithful arenít they? I mean, you can usually trust that you are going to get a good, healthy, drink of water. You canít really say that about cisterns can you? Some of you may not even know what a cistern is. Websterís dictionary defines a cistern as an ďartificial reservoir,Ē Itís a man-made container that collects water.

And one of the things that Jeremaih is talking about here is the untrustworthiness of man made religion. Religion where we follow the doctrines of men rather than the doctrines of God. Birth control, abortion, homosexuality, divorce, remarriage, have become accepted in the church. They are the doctrines of men, and when you hold them up against the Word of God they do not hold water.

On the other side of the coin we have the legalistic doctrines of men. Donít eat this, donít touch that. Donít dance. Donít play cards. Wear a hat. Donít wear a hat, and so on. These are also man-made cisterns and donít hold any water with God.

A bubbler has a continuing flow of fresh water, a cistern is really nothing more than a holding tank. Now letís say itís one of those scorching August days in Wisconsin, and you are very thirsty and you come upon a bubbler and a holding tank. Which one would you choose to drink from?

Obviously, the bubbler. Would you rather drink from a fish tank or your kitchen faucet? Would you rather dig beneath the scum of lake Winnebago in August for a drink or open up a bottle of water?  Oh that our choice of spiritual drink would be that easy. Itís not. The devil is more than happy to hook a hose up to Lake Winnebago and run it through a shiny bubbler.

Paul writes to the Corinthians:

 2Co 11:13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.
 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.

 Oh, he will make that which is wrong seem so right. Remember the Rod Stewart song, ďIf Loving You Is Wrong I Donít Want To Be Right?Ē It glorifies adultery! And itís message spills over into fornication as well.  

He sings, If loving you is wrong I donít want to be right. You mama and daddy say itís a shame (in some cases) Itís a downright disgrace. As long as Iíve got you by my side I donít care what people (make that God) say.Ē

This is the cesspool of the cistern of the world and we wonder why so many of our kids are fornicating, living together, having sex together, outside the bounds of marriage. It seems so right!
And you know, in our gospel lesson today the devil was trying to do the same thing, he was trying to make sin seem sooooo right as he tempted Jesus.

He tried to make everything appear expedient didnít he? Even misapplying Godís Word at times! ďFeed Your flesh NOW!Ē Show off Your power NOW! Have the world NOW!  Expediency. And each time the Holy Spirit welled up in Jesus and properly wielded His sword....the Word of beat back the temptation.

When Jesus spoke of the last days, He mentioned the fact that many such false teachers will arise.

 Mt 24:24 "For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

Paul, warning Timothy said,

 1Ti 4:1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,

There is no shortage of false prophets in the church today. Entire denominations have thrown out the doctrine of the inerrancy of Scripture. The Bible to them ďcontainsĒ some words of God, some guiding principles, but no absolutes. They have built their own ďman-made reservoirsĒ and they hold no water.

I donít want to brand all ELCA churches as poisonous, because some of the shepherds in this fellowship, DO hold to the inerrancy of Scripture, but the majority do not! And if you are listening to this sermon on the internet, and you are attending an ELCA church or any other church where the shepherd does not hold to the inerrancy of Scripture. WHAT ARE YOU DOING!

You and your family are sucking water out of a germ-infested cistern, and if you keep it up, you will definitely become spiritually sick and maybe even suffer spiritual death!  It seems to me you have two choices, either leave the trough or install a trustworthy bubbler.  

Donít you see? Pure drinking water is a matter of life or death. What will it take to get you to consider that it is the same with the teachings of your church?

 De 30:15 "See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil,  16 "in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess.  17 "But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, 18 "I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess. 19 "I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;  20 "that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them."

Make the choice to choose to cling to God and His Word. It is in trusting Jesus and the promises of Godís Word that you are able to love God and obey His voice. Cling to Him for HE IS YOUR LIFE! He is your bubbler of living water!

What a wonderful claim that God makes to us in our text from Jeremaih. He says, ďI am the fountain of living waters.Ē  Does the phrase living waters show up elsewhere in Scripture? Oh yes, Jesus mentioned it in several places including the 7th chapter of John:
 Joh 7:38 "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

In conjunction with Jer 2:13, we have proof here of the Holy Spiritís portion of the Trinity. But there is so much more to be learned and embraced in this passage.

First of all, I want you to see how personal this is. When you drink out of a bubbler itís personal isnít it? No one else will ever drink that water that touched your lips again. Not so when you drink out of a cistern is it?  Itís common.....profane

Jesus says ďHe who,Ē not ďtheyĒ So every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ has their own personal water fountain of refreshment inside their soul. True believers tap into the pure water of Jesus, and being so fed, refreshed, washed and sustained, are able to refresh others.

This ďwaterĒ (the Holy Spirit) was poured into you at your baptism. Peter made that clear when he said in Acts 2, ďRepent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (The gift of the living water)  

God took ordinary water, water that couldíve been taken from any stagnant stinky, cistern, and he added His mighty Word and Name, and promise and by the authority given to Jesus Christ, He turned that cesspool cistern of a heart you had at your conception into a fountain of living water!

What have you done with it? What have you done with this grace?

He had in effect done the same thing in the OT through circumcision. Thatís why He says in Jeremiah 2:13, ď For My people.Ē How had they been made Godís people? By what He did for them in circumcision. Just like you were made one of His people in baptism.

Look at the preceding verses here and see the astounding thing that His people then did.

 Jer 2:11 Has a nation changed its gods, Which are not gods? But My people have changed their Glory For what does not profit.  12 Be astonished, O heavens, at this, And be horribly afraid; Be very desolate," says the LORD.

Even the heathen donít give up on their gods, (even though they arenít gods) like we give up on the One True God!  We exchange His everlasting flow of invigorating, life giving water for cisterns of stagnant water that leak like sieves. And we think itís a better deal! We prefer cisterns to bubblers! Doesnít that astonish you?

This is astonishing! It is fearful! It is stupefying! And it can just as easily be applied to us today.

My people (through baptism and faith) have committed two evils. The word ďcommittedĒ here means labored or worked. Itís something they have had to work at to do. God didnít work these evils in them, they worked the evils themselves. We choose to leave Him and not the other way around.
Evil number one? ďThey have forsaken Me the fountain of living waters.Ē They chose to untie or loosen themselves from God the Holy Spirit. Thatís what it means to forsake. Have you chosen to loosen yourself from the Holy Spirit?

Itís easy to do. Just start neglecting prayer. Just start neglecting your daily visit to the fountain of life revisiting what took place at your baptism. Just start neglecting reading Godís Word. Just start becoming rote in your faith.

Just start neglecting fellowship. Just start picking and choosing what you will believe and trust in Godís Word. Just make it about your participation in church instead of your personal relationship with Jesus. Just start ignoring Godís commands!

Time after time we see it, people loosing themselves from the Holy Spirit,  especially with our young people. But it carries way beyond that, even to those who may return to church just because it seems to be the thing to do.

So often, our young people  get confirmed and then untie themselves from the Holy Spirit, and they leave the dock and wave goodbye to faith. They disconnect and commit the second evil.

They make their own cisterns, their own ďartificial reservoirsĒ and they live on the recycled dirty water of the world. They are completely unaware of the danger they are in. They look around the cistern and they see most everyone else there. ďEveryone else is doing it! And they want so bad to fit in.
And theyíre so busy lapping up the things of the world, that they donít notice every one who they are sharing the cistern with. Why even the church-going hypocrites are there, the very people they were trying to get away from, the ones who proved to them that religion is a sham are there with them. You know, the ones who kept them out of the true church.

And if they would just stop their slurping and gulping of the so called pleasures of sin and this world and look at the bottom of the cistern, they would see the end of such lifestyles. They would see the remains of those who dies from that which they are drinking.

They would notice that the cistern is also leaking, and slowly but surely they are drawing near to the dregs of death found in the bottom of the cistern.

My prayer for each of you here today is that you will look up! Take a break from your slurping of the world and check out the bubbler. Itís yours! Itís been waiting for you to return. A cool, refreshing, personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

I plead with you as Paul did in the epistle lesson to not ďreceive the grace of GodĒ (the grace given to you in your baptism.) in vain. Donít let it count for nothing as you jump off the ark (made by Godís instructions) and exchange it for a leaky rowboat made by your own imaginations and the imaginations of the world.

Here I am! Iím over the baptismal fount. By the Spirit of the Living God, Iím calling you back today. Back to the grace of your baptism. Back to the forgiveness of your sins, back to a life of faith and trust in Jesus.

ďBehold now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.Ē

As long as you are in the presence of the Word there is hope and opportunity to come back. My prayer is that the Holy Spirit, here today is taking the sound of my voice and moving it from the noise of Charlie Brownís teacher....wah wah wah wah wah wah to

 Isa 55:1 "Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk Without money and without price.
 2 Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And let your soul delight itself in abundance.
 3 Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you-The sure mercies of David.

The broken cistern of the world is in bad shape. There are more holes in it now than ever. Time is running out. Hear the Words of the Lord.

 Zec 1:3 "Therefore say to them, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts: "Return to Me," says the LORD of hosts, "and I will return to you," says the LORD of hosts.

Leave that stinking stagnant death pool of an artificial reservoir and come back to the ďbubblerĒ of the living waters of God!