RIVER FLOWS FROM HIS SIDE

Jn.7:37-39 – Then on the most important day of the feast, the last day, Jesus stood and shouted out to the crowds—“All you thirsty ones, come to me! Come to me and drink! Believe in me so that rivers of living water will burst out from within you, flowing from your innermost being, just like the Scripture says!”

Jesus was prophesying about the Holy Spirit that believers were being prepared to receive. But the Holy Spirit had not yet been poured out upon them, because Jesus had not yet been unveiled in his full splendor.

There is a river that flows from the throne of God. Seated on this throne is the One John saw in the book of Revelations. He said that this One on the throne was both the Lion of the tribe of Judah and the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. This is what Jesus was prophesying about in today’s passage. He was speaking of the day when He would be glorified with His Father on the throne with the River of Life streaming out from Him. We live in that day. There is a River and it flows from the glorified Lord into and out of His church on earth. Here are some comments from the Passion Notes on this passage.

“This splendor included the splendor of the cross, the splendor of his resurrection, and the glory of his ascension into heaven. Just as water poured out of the rock that was struck by Moses, so from the wounded side of Jesus living water poured out to heal, save, and bring life to everyone who believes. The Holy Spirit poured out of Christ and into the church at Pentecost.”

John said Jesus was prophesying about the glory flooding from Christ after He took His place at the Father’s right hand. John saw this living water flow out from Christ when He was pierced on the cross. John19:34 – “But one of the soldiers took a spear and pierced Jesus’ side, and blood and water gushed out”. There is still living water flowing out of the wounds of Jesus on us today. There is a River of life flowing out to the thirsty; whoever drinks from this river will never thirst again. This Living Water will heal our broken heart, restore our devastated lives, and heal our bodies. Look to Him now, there is a River that flows from the throne of God.

UNVEILED SPLENDOR

Jn7:38,39 – Believe in me so that rivers of living water will burst out from within you, flowing from your innermost being, just like the Scripture says!”

Jesus was prophesying about the Holy Spirit that believers were being prepared to receive. But the Holy Spirit had not yet been poured out upon them, because Jesus had not yet been unveiled in his full splendor.

This is a classic passage of scripture that took on a whole new life to all of us effected by the River Outpouring in the 1990’s. This verses came alive to us as we found ourselves overwhelmed by the River that flows from the throne of God. Today’s verses are quoted from the Passion Translation. Here are some comments from the Passion Notes.

“This splendor included the splendor of the cross, the splendor of his resurrection, and the glory of his ascension into heaven. Just as water poured out of the rock that was struck by Moses, so from the wounded side of Jesus living water poured out to heal, save, and bring life to everyone who believes. The Holy Spirit poured out of Christ and into the church at Pentecost.”

The unveiling of Christ began in His work from the cross to the throne. The Glory of God was poured out on whosoever will as a result of His death, resurrection, and glorification in heaven. This passage calls it God’s splendor. Splendor means magnificent and splendid appearance, grandeur. The magnificence of God was released through the humiliating death Jesus experienced on the cross. His humility released the glory of God. The creator was cloaked in the form of a man and was executed by the Roman soldiers to fulfill the redemptive plan of God. Christ died to save sinners, even those who nailed Him to the cross. This was the beginning of the release of God’s splendor. After three days in a tomb Jesus was raised from the dead. Man’s greatest enemy, death, was conquered. The glory of God was displayed in God’s resurrection power. Then there is the glorification of the man, Jesus of Nazareth. From the humility of His arrest, trial, and death on a cross to the astounding splendor of Christ being glorified on the throne. This humble carpenter from Nazareth in Galilee is now ruling all things by His word. One glimpse of His splendor and we find ourselves in His glorious river.

THE LAST DAY OF THE YEAR

Jn.7:37 – On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink”.

Everyday, from the Lord’s perspective is important. You can see it in today’s verse, the scriptures specify that the Lord’s appeal came on the very last day of the feast. No one knows how many days they have on this side of eternity, we do know this is the last day of the year. For some, today is just a day for another party or another opportunity to get high. Maybe there is something else that matters on this New Year’s Eve. Rather than fireworks and party trays and adult beverages maybe there is something else, something more satisfying. That is exactly what Jesus was saying in today’s verse. For many, this Jewish feast was a chance to go on a trip, not to have to work, and hang out with friends and family. The Lord was calling out that there was something more. He was begging His hearers to come drink from Him, drink living waters that will quench the thirst of your soul. This living water would not only quench your thirst, it would flow out to others. Here is how Charles Spurgeon describes it.

“Patience had her perfect work in the Lord Jesus, and until the last day of the feast he pleaded with the Jews, even as on this last day of the year he pleads with us, and waits to be gracious to us….Pity expressed herself most plainly, for Jesus cried, which implies not only the loudness of his voice, but the tenderness of his tones. He entreats us to be reconciled. We pray you, says the Apostle, as though God did beseech you by us. What earnest, pathetic terms are these! How deep must be the love which makes the Lord weep over sinners, and like a mother woo his children to his bosom! Surely at the call of such a cry our willing hearts will come.”

Maybe 2019 was not all you hoped. Maybe you are happy to say goodbye to whatever the last year held. Don’t enter 2020 the same way. Listen to the crying out of Jesus. “If anyone is thirsty come and come to Me and drink!” Just come to Him, take the thirst that was directed at other activities and turn it to Jesus.

COME AND DRINK

Jn.7:37 – On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.

This simple verse is the very heart of the practical Christian life. Jesus had a way of getting right to the heart of a matter. Here He describes the basic receiving and pouring out that is the essence of our Christian faith. A number of years ago the Lord brought me and our church into a much needed time of renewal. I was totally unaware of what had happened right under my nose. My congregation, starting with me, had forgotten the basic essential step one of the Christian life. What would that be? If anyone is thirsty come and drink. There it is, Christianity 101. Receiving consistently from the Lord is the life flow of our faith. Here is how Augustine described drinking 1600 years ago.

“The Lord, therefore, cries aloud to us to come and drink, if we thirst within; and He says that when we have drunk, rivers of living water shall flow from our belly. The belly of the inner man is the conscience of the heart. Having drunk that water then, the conscience being purged begins to live; and drinking in, it will have a fountain, will be itself a fountain. What is the fountain, and what the river that flows from the belly of the inner man? Benevolence, whereby a man will consult the interest of his neighbor. For if he imagines that what he drinks ought to be only for his own satisfying, there is no flowing of living water from his belly; but if he is quick to consult for the good of his neighbor, then he becomes not dry, because there is a flowing. We will now see what it is that they drink who believe in the Lord; because we surely are Christians, and if we believe, we drink. And it is every man’s duty to know in himself whether or not he drinks, and whether he lives by what he drinks; for the fountain does not forsake us if we forsake not the fountain.”

We start with drinking, that’s when all the action starts. Our lives become like a bubbling fountain flowing out like a river of this living water that is the source of our life. It flows out of us to the other thirsty ones in our world. So our thirst results in drinking, our drinking results in an overflowing fountain, this fountain flows out to quench the thirsty in our world. Is anybody thirsty? Come and drink and you too will become an overflowing fountain.

DOUBLY BLESSED

Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said,

streams of living water will flow from within him.

Jn. 7:38

The promise given by the Lord about living water is one of the greatest promises in the Bible. First He said that if we would drink this living water we would never thirst. That in itself is really over the top. Jesus is describing utter and total satisfaction that only comes from the Lord. Nothing from His glorious creation could ever make that boast, total satisfaction. What is different about this living water? It is actually a reference to the Holy Spirit Who is not created at all, He is the glorious third person in the deity that makes the satisfying life of intimacy with God a reality. The second promise associated with living water is in today’s verse. The living water would flow out of our innermost being, that place of intimate fellowship, to minister to others. This is the second blessing of living water. Here is Andrew Murray’s description.

“Jesus said in his conversation with the Samaritan woman, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst”. In today’s text the promise is even greater: Rivers of living water will flow from his heart, bringing life and blessing to others. John says that this refers to the Holy Spirit who, while Christ lived, had not yet been poured out. Christ first had to be sacrificed to God by the eternal Spirit and, by virtue of the resurrection, be declared by the Holy Spirit as the Son of God. Then only would the Son of God receive power from the Father to pour out the Holy Spirit, for the children of God to be able to declare, “The Holy Spirit of Christ lives in me.” What does one need to be able to experience the promise of the streams of living water? Only one thing: an intimate clinging to Christ—an undivided submission to Him and the assurance that His Spirit will do the work within you that you yourself cannot do. You need a faith which trusts Him from day to day to let the living water flow from you.”

That is a great description of our Christian life. We drink this water, we are satisfied, and it flows out to meet the needs of others all around us. So are you thirsty today? Go ahead and have a drink, soon streams of living water will be flowing out from you.

DOUBLY BLESSED

Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said,

streams of living water will flow from within him.

Jn. 7:38

The promise given by the Lord about living water is one of the greatest promises in the Bible. First He said that if we would drink this living water we would never thirst. That in itself is really over the top. Jesus is describing utter and total satisfaction that only comes from the Lord. Nothing from His glorious creation could ever make that boast, total satisfaction. What is different about this living water? It is actually a reference to the Holy Spirit Who is not created at all. He is the glorious third person in the deity that makes the satisfying life of intimacy with God a reality. The second promise associated with living water is in today’s verse. The living water would flow out of our innermost being, that place of intimate fellowship, to minister to others. This is the second blessing of living water. Here is Andrew Murray’s description.

“Jesus said in his conversation with the Samaritan woman, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst”. In today’s text the promise is even greater: Rivers of living water will flow from his heart, bringing life and blessing to others. John says that this refers to the Holy Spirit who, while Christ lived, had not yet been poured out. Christ first had to be sacrificed to God by the eternal Spirit and, by virtue of the resurrection, be declared by the Holy Spirit as the Son of God. Then only would the Son of God receive power from the Father to pour out the Holy Spirit, for the children of God to be able to declare, “The Holy Spirit of Christ lives in me.” What does one need to be able to experience the promise of the streams of living water? Only one thing: an intimate clinging to Christ—an undivided submission to Him and the assurance that His Spirit will do the work within you that you yourself cannot do. You need a faith which trusts Him from day to day to let the living water flow from you.”

That is a great description of our Christian life. We drink this water, we are satisfied, and it flows out to meet the needs of others all around us. So are you thirsty today? Go ahead and have a drink, soon streams of living water will be flowing out from you.

NO MAN SPAKE LIKE THIS MAN

Jn.7:46 – The officers answered, “Never has a man spoken the way this man speaks.”

The temple guards were not able to carry out their duties, they were stopped literally in their tracks by His words. Their reply to their superiors, “No man ever spake like this Man”. Just think about what had just happened, Jesus stood up in the middle of the service at the Feast of Tabernacles and basically made a claim to deity. He was either a liar, a fool, or the Son of God. The temple guards were not able to stop Him or arrest Him, they were taken with His words. When was the last time you were stopped in your tracks by the Word of God. Even today, Jesus is still speaking and still no one speaks like Him. Here is a comment from the ESV Study Bible that describes the source of the power of His words.

“No one ever spoke like this man is more profoundly true than these officers could have realized, for no other man in history has been fully God as well and thus able to speak with the infinite knowledge and authority of God himself.”

The people were looking for signs and wonders but Jesus Himself was all the sign and wonder anyone needed. Here is how Albert Barnes describes this verse.

“They were so impressed and awed with what he said that they dared not take him. There have been few instances of eloquence like this. His speaking had so much evidence of truth, so much proof that he was from God, and was so impressive and persuasive, that they were convinced of his innocence, and they dared not touch him to execute their commission. We have here, a remarkable testimony to the commanding eloquence of Jesus…..No prophet, apostle, or minister has ever spoken the truth with as much power, grace, and beauty as Jesus. It should be ours, therefore, to listen to his words, and to sit at his feet and learn heavenly wisdom.”

Today, Jesus is still speaking and His words still carry the same power and life that they always have. He speaks today through the written word to everyone who has ears to hear. Take some time to read your Bible today; you too will discover the One Who speaks like no other man; you also may be stopped ti your tracks.

THE LAST DAY OF THE YEAR

Jn.7:37 – On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink”.

 

Everyday, from the Lord’s perspective is important. You can see it in today’s verse, the scriptures specify that the Lord’s appeal came on the very last day of the feast. No one knows how many days they have on this side of eternity, we do know this is the last day of the year. For some, today is just a day for another party or another opportunity to get high. Maybe there is something else that matters on this New Year’s Eve. Rather than fireworks and party trays and adult beverages maybe there is something else, something more satisfying. That is exactly what Jesus was saying in today’s verse. For many, this Jewish feast was a chance to go on a trip, not to have to work, and hang out with friends and family. The Lord was calling out that there was something more. He was begging His hearers to come drink from Him, drink living waters that will quench the thirst of your soul. This living water would not only quench your thirst, it would flow out to others. Here is how Charles Spurgeon describes it.

 

 

 

“Patience had her perfect work in the Lord Jesus, and until the last day of the feast he pleaded with the Jews, even as on this last day of the year he pleads with us, and waits to be gracious to us….Pity expressed herself most plainly, for Jesus cried, which implies not only the loudness of his voice, but the tenderness of his tones. He entreats us to be reconciled. We pray you, says the Apostle, as though God did beseech you by us. What earnest, pathetic terms are these! How deep must be the love which makes the Lord weep over sinners, and like a mother woo his children to his bosom! Surely at the call of such a cry our willing hearts will come.”

Maybe 2017 was not all you hoped. Maybe you are happy to say goodbye to whatever the last year held. Don’t enter 2018 the same way. Listen to the crying out of Jesus. “If anyone is thirsty come and come to Me and drink!” Just come to Him, take the thirst that was directed at other activities and turn it to Jesus.

FOOLS, THIEVES, AND HARLOTS

John 7:37 ¶ On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.

It seems that many people I talk to have a new sense of expectancy as we get ready for 2017. Expectancy starts with a spiritual hunger or thirst. It seems the Lord awakens our thirst for Him and His kingdom when He is preparing to do a new thing in the earth. You can only take so much apathy or spiritual lethargy until you have just had enough. I think we may be in one of those seasons right now.

So, let me ask you the question, are you experiencing a new spiritual thirst in your life? Do you feel an excitement about changes on the horizon and want to be a part of all of it? If you answered yes to those questions it is a good indication that the Lord is calling you into a whole new spiritual season in your life. After all, this living water is for anyone. Here are some powerful words from Charles Spurgeon as he talked about ending one year and beginning another.

“No waiting or preparation is so much as hinted at. Drinking represents a reception for which no fitness is required. A fool, a thief, a harlot can drink; and so sinfulness of character is no bar to the invitation to believe in Jesus. We want no golden cup, no bejewelled chalice, in which to convey the water to the thirsty; the mouth of poverty is welcome to stoop down and quaff the flowing flood. Blistered, leprous, filthy lips may touch the stream of divine love; they cannot pollute it, but shall themselves be purified. Jesus is the fount of hope. Dear reader, hear the dear Redeemer’s loving voice as he cries to each of us,
IF ANY MAN THIRST,
LET HIM
COME UNTO ME
AND DRINK.”
I love the brutal honesty of Spurgeon, ‘a fool, a thief, or a harlot’ can drink this living water. Obviously our thirst results in drinking, drinking, results in renewal, and renewal ends up in ministry. There is a big world out there that has no idea what is available to them in our Christian faith. They think we are bigots, hypocrites, and pharisees; they have no idea we are really fools thieves and harlots that have been changed by God.

RIVERS OF LOVE

John 7:37, 38 ¶ 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.”

God’s love is more than an emotion, way more. His love is actually a person. Yeah, you heard me right. God is love, not God has love. His love is so powerful it is actually one of the members of the Trinity. Just as Jesus is the embodiment or manifestation of the wisdom of God, the Holy Spirit is the love of God. This love is eternal. Even before creation the Father loved His Son. This love between the Father and the Son is a person, the blessed Holy Spirit. When we are touched by the power of the Holy Spirit we are actually having an encounter with God’s love. His love is amazing and will change everything in your life. William Seymour led the Pentecostal revival known as Azusa Street. Here are some of his thoughts about being baptized in the Holy Spirit.

“The baptism of the Holy Spirit is power, the understanding of His Word, and the glory of God on your life. Whenever the Lord wants to play His harp, He tunes it up and plays with His own fingers, speaking and singing in any language he wishes. The man who hears you speak a message right from the throne, falls down and seeks God and gets up to report that God is in you of a truth. The baptism of the Holy Spirit makes you more humble and fills you with divine love. Through Spirit baptism, the grace and fruit of the Spirit are manifest. When you get your baptism with the Holy Spirit, you will surely go up into the mountain with Christ. If you want to know what it is to praise God and have the joy of the Lord in your soul that flows like a mighty river, tarry and get your personal Pentecost. He keeps the rivers flowing in your soul that you may be fit for irrigation wherever you go.”
To be loved is one of our basic human needs. This need is finally met when we begin to experience the baptism of His love. Today can mark the beginning for you. Like Jesus said, “Wait until you are clothed with power from on high”.