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Lent 2024

Broken Cisterns

  • Journey Highlight: God is always good and merciful, but we don’t often realise our need for Him until we are in difficult times. The people of Antakya, through the brokenness of their city and lives have seen God’s love shown through Antakya Christian Church, which has given literally blood, sweat and tears. Following the earthquake last year, people have seen God’s goodness, and the numbers attending church has grown. Praise God with us that people are repenting and turning to the Living Water!
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  • Prayer Challenge: Have you been using or trying to dig your own cisterns, that has been leaving you parched, instead of drinking from the spring of living water? As you reflect on that, think also of the words of Jesus, “but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14).

A Lent devotional on Jeremiah 2:13

"My people have committed two sins:
They have forsaken me, the spring of living water,
and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water."

While living in Peru, I frequently encountered smaller businesses trying to copy bigger, more famous brands. Whether through their business name, logo, product, or a combination of these elements, they did not try to be subtle. One recent example that comes to mind is the famous 'Estarbarts Cajue' coffee shop. It doesn’t take much effort for the mind to figure out who they are trying to copy, especially when you see their logo.

When trying to imitate another brand, although there’s usually something missing, it’s not too difficult to come close. Advancements in technology have seen the human body be copied with artificial limbs and beyond, often with great results. Where they are making positive steps, this is great, but they are never an improvement on the original design that God made.

Spiritually also, when we try to replace what God has given to us naturally, we fall short. The people of Israel exchanged their glorious God for worthless idols, made by man, just from wood or metal. Jeremiah likens it to cisterns, man-made reservoirs dug into the earth or rock for collecting and storing water. With relatively few natural springs and a long-dry season, it was vital to collect and store as much rainwater as possible during winter. A working cistern, however effective, is a lesser substitute for a natural spring, and worse when it’s broken and fails to do its job.

The people of Israel had chosen idols and religious systems which were not even a poor alternative - they were completely worthless. Just like the people of Israel, we too can cling to false promises of our broken ‘cisterns’, whether that is money, power, relationships, religious systems or other idols we place in front of God. Just like John the Baptist beforehand, the disciples made a call to repent in Acts 3:19-20, so our sins can be wiped out and refreshment can come our way again.


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  • Prayer Challenge: This week, as you reflect on the gift of Living Water, may you also reflect on how you can live incarnationally, so that the water of life overflows to those around you. Why not make a deliberate effort to look for God’s treasure in everyone that you meet and pray that the Spirit would help you to share Jesus, the Living Water with them.

A Lent devotional on John 7:37-39

“On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ”Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.“ By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.”

I was having a conversation the other day where I was asked how I do mission, how I fulfil that great commandment from Christ, to go out and make disciples of all men (Matthew 28:19). I had to think about this for a minute. Although I am often involved in leading worship, that is only a fraction of my life. The call from Jesus is much bigger than that. My answer to the question was that I pray that I live a life that is open and authentic, where my faith in our Lord and Saviour is clear to those I meet in everything that I do and say. “Yes!” his enthusiastic reply was. "You live an incarnational life where the Spirit flows in you and through you to those around you." Wowsers. That’s a lot to live up to, no pressure! 

But that is the promise that Christ gives us in John 7:38His promise describes an occurrence that is a natural outcome of following Him. It should be as easy to us as breathing. As obvious to those we meet as our accents, our appearance.

First though, Christ calls us. "Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink." Before we can live a life of fruitfulness, where rivers of living water, the Holy Spirit, literally consume our whole lives and overflow to those around us, we must make the decisionDo we come to the Lord our God, knowing what it means to answer His call? That our lives will never be the same and will never be wholly ours again. And do we drink of that Living Water to such an extent that we are fully filled up and will never be thirsty again, that we live incarnational lives where the Spirit is at work in us and flows from us into the lives of the people around us?

Planted By Water

  • Journey Highlight: Thanks to support from WorldShare, ministry partner PiFò Haiti is in the process of drilling a well at their community garden project, enabling them to have secure access to water for their crops. The island of La Gonâve has been cut off from the Haiti mainland for over a year now. Merchants at the market have been risking their lives crossing the water to buy wholesale food to sell at market. Being able to grow crops and be the ‘wholesaler’ to local vendors is life changing. Please prayerfully consider donating by clicking here to help cover the salaries of the 14 people who hand water the crops, bring in manure, plant, weed and harvest at the gardens.
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  • Prayer Challenge: Draw a simple picture of a tree. At the bottom, write down things that can help you to stay rooted in Jesus. At the top, write down some fruits you would like the Spirit to help you grow and show. Keep referring back to it over the period of Lent, asking God to help you and change you.

The season of Lent provides an opportunity for Christians to still their hearts in the lead up to Easter and take time to reflect on the greatest act of love – the washing of our sins by our saviour Jesus. As we consider together the theme of water throughout the Bible, we pray you will grow to trust the Spring of Living Water more and more. Choose whether you want to read the devotional or watch it… or both!

A Lent devotional on Jeremiah 17:7-8

"But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit."

We love having plants in the WorldShare office – they bring life and colour to our workspace and we enjoy watching them sprout new leaves as the months go by. However, my colleague Clare will testify that I’m quite rubbish at remembering to water them and they inevitably start to droop and shrivel. When I came back from maternity leave, the plant I had left in her care had tripled in size thanks to her nurturing and watering.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 talks of a tree that is planted by the water, whose roots are sent out by the stream. This tree doesn’t have to worry about being watered, about whether there will be enough rain to satisfy its needs. It is perfectly placed to have a constant flow of fresh water- it wisely knows to send its roots out towards the stream. And you can tell it’s well-rooted by looking at it: its leaves are always green, never shrivelling even in the heat. It always bears fruit, even when there’s a drought. It is thriving!

Jeremiah uses this imagery to illustrate to us what it means to be blessed. A person receiving God’s blessing has planted themselves within the loving care of their maker. They know God well, they are confident in Him, they delight in His instruction and meditate on it day and night (Psalm 1:2-3). They wisely turn their heart towards God rather than away from Him (Jeremiah 17:5-6), even when hard times come. And you can tell they are well-rooted by looking at them because they bear the fruits of the Spirit - love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

So this Lent, let’s ask God to help us be like the tree rooted in Jesus, the Living Water. Let’s pray that we stay planted in times of hardship, bear fruit and thrive.

Sun-scorched Land

  • Journey Highlight: We have seen God fulfil this promise through our ministry partner in Pakistan, ChrisFon. As ChrisFon has reached out to the bonded labourers in the brick kilns who work, day in, day out, in searing heat to make their quota of bricks, these workers and their families have been given spiritual refreshment. Alongside learning the practical tools to eliminate their generational debts, these dear families are being taught to rely on God. They are thirsty for Jesus, the water of life, and are now part of a believing and worshipping community, being guided and strengthened in their faith by the ChrisFon team.
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  • Prayer Challenge: Take a moment to think back to the times that you have experienced drought or hardship and have needed refreshment. How has God satisfied and strengthened you?

A Lent devotional on Isaiah 58:11

"The Lord will guide you always;

he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land

and will strengthen your frame.

You will be like a well-watered garden,

like a spring whose waters never fail."

Did you know that the camel doesn’t store water in its hump? It’s the camel’s oval red blood cells that enable it to store enough water to survive long periods without drinking. The hump is used to store fat so that the camel can endure long periods with no food. Isn’t it amazing how God created the camel to live in those parts of the world that have high temperatures and blazing sunshine?

In Isaiah 58:11 we see how God promises to satisfy our needs in a sun-scorched land. While many of us won’t have physically experienced what it’s like to be in a desert, I imagine we can all recall times in our lives when we’ve felt dry both naturally and spiritually. In the west, we don’t tend to have issues of access to clean water like in other parts of the world, but in our spiritual lives we are equally susceptible to drought as anywhere else.

See how this Bible passage reassures us that the Lord will satisfy us and strengthen us, even when we go through dry, tough times. He promises to meet our needs and guide us, refreshing us both physically and spiritually. At the end of the verse, we are compared to a well-watered garden. My thoughts are automatically drawn to the sunflower, which needs a strong stalk to grow tall, turning its face to the sun to ripen its seeds. That’s how God wants to strengthen us, with His living water, so that we can stand tall and bear much fruit.


  • Journey Highlight: One of the projects that JKPS, our ministry partner in Kolkota, India, is seeking to undertake this year, is to dig two wells with hand pumps, bringing safe drinking water to two rural communities. The entire project will cost just over £4,000 and will be life changing for those who do not have this facility at present. If you would like to help us make this happen, allowing JKPS to bring not only physical transformation but to also bring spiritual transformation by sharing about the living water that Jesus brings, you can do so by donating - just click here.
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  • Prayer Challenge: The next time you next lift a glass of water to your mouth, take a moment to thank God that you can access clean water straight from the tap. Also, pause and determine that you will turn to Jesus first to be fully spiritually refreshed and not as a last resort. When you do, you’ll discover that you can function as a child of God in the best way possible.

A Lent devotional on Psalm 42:1-2

"As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?"

Did you know that the largest deer species was the now-extinct Giant or Irish deer, which is related to our fallow deer? It stood up to 7ft high at the shoulder, had antlers up to 11ft wide and lived across a huge area spanning from Ireland to Siberia. I can totally empathise with the deer in this scripture, especially if it was one as large as the Giant Irish.

Being dehydrated is not good, not only do we feel thirsty, but we can also become dizzy and lightheaded, making it difficult to function properly. Last year we undertook the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge to raise funds for WorldShare and had to carry all of our water for the duration. At times, all I wanted was to have a long drink to fully refresh myself but knew that I had to ration the amount I could drink and so my thirst was never fully quenched.

God created us in such a way that we need water, without it we die. The same is true about our need for Him, whether we acknowledge this or not. The question is, however, does my soul thirst for God in the same way that my body thirsts for water? When I am dehydrated, the best thing is water, but I will drink anything, usually tea. If I’m honest, although often my soul needs satisfying, I don’t always go straight to the source. Instead of meeting with God as David longs for, I may seek satisfaction in a range of other things, none of which will ever hit the spot and often, make my soul even drier, harder and more cracked, just like parched lips.

Through Jesus, we have direct access to Almighty God, who we get to call ‘Our Father’, so why wouldn’t we make full use of the privilege we have to have our eternal thirst quenched? Often, it’s because we take this freedom for granted, just as we do with our access to the abundance of H20 at our fingertips.

Washed Clean

  • Journey Highlight: At WorldShare, we have a ministry partner in North Macedonia called the Evangelical Church in North Macedonia (ECNM). Their mission is to spread the Gospel through planting churches in a country that is one of the poorest in Europe, both spiritually and financially. Last year, a total of 62 people were baptised! This is an incredible testament to the amazing work that ECNM are doing. Please consider donating today to aid them in spreading the hope and joy that only comes from the Good News of Jesus. We are raising money for ECNM in our current Water Appeal - click here to read more and donate today.
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  • Prayer Challenge: This week, each time you are having a shower or a bath, remember that God loves you so much that He has washed you clean from your sins by the blood of Jesus, so you can have a perfect relationship with Him. Thank God for His sacrifice and rejoice in knowing that you are a new creation in Christ every day.

A Lent devotional on 1 Peter 3:18-22

“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits – to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolises baptism that now saves you also – not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand – with angels, authorities, and powers in submission to him.”

For two years I struggled with depression, feeling hopeless, worthless and like I had no purpose. Miraculously, God provided me such healing and growth that, not only was I able to come back to church, but I was in such a place in my faith that I knew that God was calling me to be baptised. I was baptised a few months ago now, and I am still in awe of how incredible the blessing of God is to be washed clean of my sins, and to be a new creation where my past burdens no longer have a hold over me.

As Christians, particularly those who have been Christians for a long time, it is easy to forget that Jesus' sacrifice is just as relevant today as it was when we first gave our life to God. We have to make a conscious decision every day to live our lives according to God’s will, and every day we fall short of how we should be. How incredible is it that, through Jesus' blood, we are washed clean and made new and can have a personal relationship with God.

Whether you are a new Christian or have been a Christian for 60 years, Jesus still washes us clean every day. Have confidence and be reassured in the fact that no matter what we do, we are never too far away for God and we can have a “clear conscience toward God” (1 Peter 3:21).

Water of Life

  • Journey Highlight: We hope you have enjoyed seeing WorldShare’s ministry partner examples in this series. Isn’t it amazing to see how, all across the world, Christians are working to bring literal water and the water of life to vulnerable lives. If you would like to find out more about our work, and be the first to hear when we bring out more devotionals like this one, please sign up to our mailing list. Just click the sign up button in the top right of this page.
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  • Prayer Challenge: Listen to the song ‘Living Waters’ by Keith and Kristyn Getty (available on YouTube and Spotify). As you reflect on the lyrics, ask God to help you to fix your eyes on Jesus, the Living Water, and look forward to eternity with Him.

A Lent devotional on Revelation 22:1-3

"Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him."

There is something so peaceful about being near water - I find myself gravitating towards it. It’s calming to see the waves crash in the ocean, a river flow along a valley, a still lake in the mountains. Every holiday I take, I always end up by or in water. I’m the first to run into the sea or dip my toes in an icy cold stream. Unfortunately, I’m from Stoke-on-Trent and now I live in Doncaster, both places nearly as far from the sea as you can get in England.

When I read the book of Revelation, I am amazed to see beautiful descriptions of where I will live forever. When I was little, I used to think that when I died, I would go and float around on fluffy white clouds and, to be honest, it sounded a bit boring. John’s visions in Revelation, picture-language though they may be, show us the richness, splendour and beauty of a new heaven and a new earth, not a fluffy white cloud! One day, we will live in paradise where clear waters flow, trees bear fruit, where mourning, crying, pain and death will be no more (Revelation 21:4).

But best of all, we will live forever with Jesus, the water of life. Although we try to plant ourselves in Jesus now, the curses of this world make it hard. Suffering, busyness, worldly concerns all distract us and pull us away from the water of life. But not so in eternity! One day, we will live perfectly with Jesus, worshipping at the throne of God beside the river of the water of life, under the tree of life. It’s a beautiful picture of a beautiful reality. I can’t wait to live with my Lord forever. This Easter, let’s praise Jesus that He died and rose again for us, making eternal paradise a certain reality for us to look forward to.