Rivers of Living Water
Tony R. Nester
How strong is the flow of the Holy Spirit in your life? Is the presence of God flowing through you like rivers of living water?
That's how Jesus describes the gift of the Holy Spirit in John 7:38.
The life of God in us is not meant to be a stagnant pool with no inflow, nor a dammed up reservoir with no outflow, but rather a moving, mighty flowing river of presence, power, and purpose bring life to all touched by its life-giving waters.
Pentecost was the fulfillment of what Jesus prophesied in John 7:37-38: those believing in him would find flowing out of their innermost being rivers of living water.
The Gospel writer adds his own interpretive comment in verse 39: "Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive."
And receive they did on the Day of Pentecost.
Believers had gathered together as Jesus had instructed them. They met and prayed and waited for the promise of the Spirit. They kept a low profile and stayed out of sight. After all they were in the City of Jerusalem -- the City that had crucified their Lord.
But then, on the Day of Pentecost, God gave them a vision in which they heard the roar of a mighty wind and saw flames of fire descending on each of them. They were filled with the Holy Spirit.
It was the end of their secret discipleship and the beginning of proclaiming the Gospel to the world. The Spirit propelled them out onto the streets of Jerusalem where they proclaimed the Gospel of Christ to the very City that had crucified him.
Some three thousand responded that day to Peter's message the Church was born.
Look back from his post-Pentecost vantage point John remembered the words of Jesus that out of the believer's heart would flow rivers of living water. "We didn't know it then," says John, "but now we recognize that Jesus was pointing to the Holy Spirit which believers in him would receive."
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