In their 1987 album, Irish rock band U2 released a song entitled "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For." Many people today can relate to those words. We were all created with a desire for fulfillment, purpose, and belonging. In fact, we are thirsty for these things. In this study, we will see that there are many places and people we can be tempted to turn to in order to quench this thirst, but until we turn to Jesus, we will say, along with U2, "I still haven't found what I'm looking for."
If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only bring one beverage besides water, what would it be?
1. What things are people tempted to turn to in order to quench their thirst for meaning, purpose, and fulfillment?
2. Are you disappointed with the gap between where your life is now and where you thought it would be? Why or why not?
3. Read Jeremiah 2:1-13. Describe the behavior of the Israelites in these verses. Why do you think we sometimes feel a gap between where we are and where we want to be?
The Lord gave me another message. He said, “Go and shout this message to Jerusalem. This is what the Lord says:
“I remember how eager you were to please me
as a young bride long ago,
how you loved me and followed me
even through the barren wilderness.
In those days Israel was holy to the Lord,
the first of his children.
All who harmed his people were declared guilty,
and disaster fell on them.
I, the Lord, have spoken!”
Listen to the word of the Lord, people of Jacob—all you families of Israel! This is what the Lord says:
“What did your ancestors find wrong with me
that led them to stray so far from me?
They worshiped worthless idols,
only to become worthless themselves.
They did not ask, ‘Where is the Lord
who brought us safely out of Egypt
and led us through the barren wilderness—
a land of deserts and pits,
a land of drought and death,
where no one lives or even travels?’
“And when I brought you into a fruitful land
to enjoy its bounty and goodness,
you defiled my land and
corrupted the possession I had promised you.
The priests did not ask,
‘Where is the Lord?’
Those who taught my word ignored me,
the rulers turned against me,
and the prophets spoke in the name of Baal,
wasting their time on worthless idols.
Therefore, I will bring my case against you,”
says the Lord.
“I will even bring charges against your children’s children
in the years to come.
“Go west and look in the land of Cyprus;
go east and search through the land of Kedar.
Has anyone ever heard of anything
as strange as this?
Has any nation ever traded its gods for new ones,
even though they are not gods at all?
Yet my people have exchanged their glorious God
for worthless idols!
The heavens are shocked at such a thing
and shrink back in horror and dismay,”
says the Lord.
“For my people have done two evil things:
They have abandoned me—
the fountain of living water.
And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns
that can hold no water at all!
4. What "broken cisterns" have you found yourself drinking from? What things do you find occupying your attention and affection?
5. Is there anything in your life that is more important to you than your relationship with Jesus (technology, entertainment, relationships, etc.)?
6. Read John 7:36-37. The people of Israel were expecting Jesus to be a political ruler who would overthrow the Roman government that was oppressing them. They were held back by their false expectations of who they thought Jesus should be. What are some false expectations that are holding you back from God?
What does he mean when he says, ‘You will search for me but not find me,’ and ‘You cannot go where I am going’?”
On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me!"
7. What can you do this week to turn to Him for "living water"?
Only Jesus provides living water. Because of Him and His sacrifice on the cross, we are offered eternal life. When we are solely focused on Him, we cannot help but tell others about Him. Within your groups, pair up with one other group member. In your groups, tell your partner your two-minute story of how God changed your life and listen to theirs. The more you tell your two-minute story, the more comfortable you will become telling it to other people who are thirsty for the living water that only Jesus provides!
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Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me."