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Sunday, June 20, 2021

Rivers of Living Water

He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.
- John 7:38

Rivers have characteristics that distinguish them from every other body of water. One of the most notable is that they have banks. Banks provide boundaries for the river, enabling it to flow in a certain direction. A river can be a powerful force for good, including providing water, transportation, or water power to do work. But a river without boundaries is either a flood or a swamp. Floods are uncontrollable and destructive. Swamps are treacherous places and can be dangerous to anyone who ventures into them unprepared for the risks they contain.

Rivers flow in well-defined and specific directions. They move along intently toward their end. Inside their banks, these rushing waters carve out a path through the landscape and drive toward their destination with purpose and authority. Rivers also often contribute to other bodies of water. The Mississippi River, for example, empties into the Gulf of Mexico. In other cases, one river may merge into another.

John 7:38 tells us that rivers of living water will flow out of our hearts. In order for a river to flow, it must have banks or boundaries that define where it goes. God provides those boundaries to us in that same verse, saying that “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said….” The first step is to believe in Him. We can go no further without that being addressed first. The second step is to know the Word of God. This verse tells us, “…as the Scripture has said….” You can’t know how to do what the Scripture says if you don’t know what the Scripture says!

As we believe in Him and know what the Scripture says, living water will flow out of us to a parched and thirsty world. Rivers contribute water to the land through which they travel. Barrenness is turned to fruitfulness when a river touches it. That is one-way God wants our lives to affect others. We can bring refreshing and fruitfulness to what was previously dry and barren.

But that is not all. We are also designed by God to be carriers not only of the Gospel message but also of the power of the Holy Spirit. A river is a powerful force, sweeping away anything that tries to block it or slow it down. Jesus intends for us to walk in the same power and authority that He demonstrated when He was on this people planet so that we will be able to overcome any obstacle to carrying the gospel to the world around us.

Further Reading

  • John 7:38
  • Hebrews 4:12
  • Genesis 1:28

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