Living Waters

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Jesus said, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.'” Now he said this about the Spirit which believers in him were to receive; for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”
(John 7:37b-39 NRSV)

Jesus gives life and refreshment to those who come to him, believing in him. Those who have received the gift of the Holy Spirit have a flowing well of refreshment within, not just for their own benefit, but rivers of living water that flow out of their heart to give life and refreshment to others.

Jesus elsewhere speaks of a person knowing the scriptures (the Old Testament or Hebrew Bible) as well as being trained in the kingdom of heaven, and from this combined wealth bringing “out of his treasure what is new and what is old.” (Matthew 13:52). To know the scriptures and be trained in the kingdom of God is to have treasure within that can be brought out and shared.

Paul also wrote about this treasure within the Christian, the gospel of the glory of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:4), saying “we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us.” (2 Corinthians 4:7). Whenever a Christian shares this gospel of the glory of Christ with an unbeliever for salvation, or with a fellow Christian for encouragement, the treasure is displayed, the living water flows, the power of God works through the flesh.

“For it is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6 NRSV). So then Christians, having received the gift of the Holy Spirit promised by Jesus to those who believe on him, have living water flowing within and from their heart, a treasure from God, the light of knowledge, that can be shared.

The power belongs to God, he is the source, but we can be useful vessels, containers and conduits. The living water comes from God, but flows through his people to bring life and refreshment to others.

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