Wednesday, July 18, 2018

What flows out of you?

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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Ezekiel 45-48; Psalm 44

“He told me, ‘This river flows east through the desert and the Jordan Valley to the Dead Sea, where it will heal the salty waters and make them fresh and pure. Everything touching the water of this river shall live…’” Ezekiel 47:8,9 TLB

What a lovely picture Ezekiel’s vision paints, of life returning and springing up as a result of living water flowing from the temple!  Ezekiel was not the only one who spoke of this.

Joel saw a similar vision:
“… water will fill the dry stream beds of Judah and a fountain will burst forth from the temple of the Lord to water Acacia Valley” - Joel 3:18.

So did Zechariah:
“Life-giving waters will flow out from Jerusalem, half toward the Dead Sea and half toward the Mediterranean, flowing continuously both in winter and summer” - Zechariah 14:8.

John in Revelation saw it too:
“And he pointed out to me a river of pure Water of Life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and the Lamb, coursing down the center of the main street (of the Holy City, the New Jerusalem - Revelation 21:1). On each side of the river grew Trees of Life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month; the leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations” - Revelation 22:1,2 (compare Ezekiel 47:12).

The beautiful thing is, Jesus also mentioned this life-giving water, but in an even more personal and present way. In John 4, He offered living water to the thirsty Samaritan woman:
“He (Jesus) replied, ‘If only you knew what a wonderful gift God has for you, and who I am, you would ask me for some living water … But the water I give them,’ he said, ‘becomes a perpetual spring within them, watering them forever with eternal life.’” John 4:10,13.

Then, in the temple, preaching to the crowd Jesus said:
‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. For the Scriptures declare that rivers of living water shall flow from the inmost being of anyone who believes in me'" (John 7:37,38, quoting Isaiah 55:1).

John interprets this pouring out as the pouring out of the Holy Spirit (John 7:39). Isaiah spoke of it this way:
“For I will give you abundant water for your thirst and for your parched fields. And I will pour out my Spirit and my blessings on your children” - Isaiah 44:3.

As those who cling to Jesus’ death and resurrection for our salvation, and who have surrendered ourselves to the Holy Spirit, this life-giving flow can be, should be flowing in and through us to others.

We do well to ask ourselves, am I a clear channel of living water? Does my presence bring God’s life, health and wholeness? Or have I become a muddled stream, the sort of which James speaks:
“And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth … Dear brothers, surely this is not right! Does a spring of water bubble first with fresh water and then with bitter water?” James 3:10,11.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, through the work of Your Spirit please flush all that is bitter, stale, and putrid from me. May only living water flow through my thoughts, words, and actions.
PSALM TO PRAY: Psalm 44.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from The Living Bible (or TLB) copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. The Living Bible, TLB, and the The Living Bible logo are registered trademarks of Tyndale House Publishers.

Thanks for reading! This year we are using The Bible Project "Timeless Reading Plan" to read through the Bible in 2018. If you'd like to read along in your own Bible, you can download a pdf of the reading plan HERE.

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