Rivers Flowing From Your Belly (Devotional Thought)

John 7:37-39, Revised Standard Version "On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and proclaimed, "If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink.  He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, 'Out of his heart [or "belly," Authorized Version] shall flow rivers of living water.'"  Now this He said about the Spirit, which those who believed in him were to receive; for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified."



Have you ever felt like you were just going through the motions of your day, week, religion, or life, and seemed to be getting nowhere or not experiencing real joy, growth and satisfaction?  You are definitely not alone.  It is a problem as old as religion itself.  Back in the day, Jesus was addressing a multitude of religious faithful who had gathered in Jerusalem for the annual celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles or Booths, a joyous, harvesttime celebration of God's blessings and anticipation of future blessings.  But strangely enough, the people of Jehovah were not experiencing much joy.  They had gone through the motions of the rituals, ceremonies and church all week long, but hardly got anything from it.  They could sense that something was missing from their religious devotions.

Jesus knew what was in their hearts, and longed to give them what they had come from so far and near in search of:  a real encounter with the living God, a renewing of their souls.  Only He who had been sent from God could give them what they deeply longed for in their hearts.  Taking the occasion of the closing ceremony of the feast, the pouring of the water and wine, He pointed them to the true source of their soul satisfaction.  "If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink.  He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, 'Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.'"  Now this He said about the Spirit, which those who believed in him were to receive."

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Throughout scripture, water has symbolized of the life-giving presence and work of the Holy Spirit.  As the seed in the soil needs water to bring forth life, the Holy Spirit brings to life every sin-dead soul He touches.  "For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground:  I will pour my Spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring:  And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses."  Isaiah 44:3, 4.  Jesus is telling us today to make sure we connect with the true Source of satisfaction, joy and real living.  He wants us to believe in him, and be filled with his Spirit Who brings us to life and satisfies our deepest need for a loving and intimate relationship with God.  I pray that you along with me will believe on Jesus Christ for eternal salvation and receive his life-giving Spirit to turn us into wellsprings of life that overflow with the life and love of God.

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