Saturday, July 9, 2011

Let the Rivers Flow! - July 9th, 2011

On the last day, that great day of the feast, 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

History and Context:
The Gospel of John is the last and the most unique of the four gospels. He focuses more on the Words and teachings of Jesus and not always as much on the actions. John also is known for the "I am" statements of Christ. There are seven statements in which Jesus declares who He is. Through these seven statements, John paints a powerful picture of who Jesus is. In this chapter, Jesus was avoiding the Pharisees because they were attempting to kill Him. He then sneaks into the feast and begins preaching with authority. The people are amazed because they see Him as one who has "never studied", but Jesus says that He gets His doctrine from the one who sent Him.

The Text:
This particular text Jesus is talking about the Holy Spirit. We find out from the following scripture that the Holy Spirit was not yet known because He would only come after Jesus was glorified. So Jesus is telling His followers, ahead of time, that if they continued to believe in Him after He was gone, they would receive the Holy Spirit and rivers of living water would flow out of them. What are these rivers? They are the Spirit of God. He told them that they would not only be filled with the Spirit, but the Spirit would flow out of them to those around them. Already He is sharing the purpose of the Holy Spirit. He is here so that we can help others receive this living water. So that we can help change the lives of those around us.

The Challenge:
First of all, you can't have someone flow out of you who has not flowed into you. If you have not recieved the Holy Spirit into your life, that has to be your first step. Jesus shared with us how easy that is: "(...)how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!" All you need to do is ask and the Father will send you the Holy Spirit! Now that you have the Holy Spirit we have the real challenge. So many Christians focus on the filling of the Holy Spirit. They focus on what the Holy Spirit can do for them, which is important, but not the most important thing. The main purpose for this power that is inside you is for you to let it out on those around you. Seek opportunities to allow that river to flow out on those around you.

The Prayer:
Lord, fill me again with your Spirit. Let those rivers flow out of me into the hearts of those around me. Help me to see the opportunities that you give me throughout the day, to reach out. In Jesus' name, Amen!

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