“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” John 7:38 ESV
A few years ago, I was blessed to travel to Israel with a group from my church. During this amazing trip, we renewed our baptismal vows in the Jordan River, took a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, and “swam” in the Dead Sea.
All three of these bodies of water are physically connected. The Jordan River flows into the Sea of Galilee then onward to the Dead Sea.
Since the late ‘60s, the Jordan has provided irrigation for crops of citrus fruits, bananas, dates, sugar beets and other vegetables. The Sea of Galilee is still famous for its variety of fish. Yet the Jordan ends at the Dead Sea, the lowest elevation in the world where nothing grows or can survive.
How is it that water so vital to life becomes dead?
Even though the Dead Sea is rich in minerals that are excavated for skin treatments and sold around the world, nothing flows out of it. The water comes in but doesn’t leave.
I wonder how many Christian lives look more like the Dead Sea than the life-giving waters of the Jordan river?
God pours His blessings into our lives but doesn’t intend for us to hoard them selfishly and grow stagnant like the Dead Sea. He calls us to be a blessing to others through the gifts He gives us. Our lives are to be a living river allowing the Holy Spirit and God’s love to flow through us to others.
Jesus told us to be the salt of the earth. The Jordan River and the Sea of Galilee both are salty but that salt is dispersed to grow other things and support life.
Our world needs us as followers of Jesus to be salt, to share hope, to shine His light now more than ever. Too often we choose the life of comfort, not stretching out of our safe zone. Dr. David Jeremiah said recently, “Living for God isn’t a safe zone; it’s a faith zone. Will you live your life saved and safe or bold and blessed?”
Here are just a few suggestions of how you can “flow” into others:
- Reach out to an international student that may be attending a university near you.
- Attend worship at a church with a different cultural background and history than your church.
- Reach out to a neighbor you don’t know well or who may even be the “black sheep” of the neighborhood. Read the book “A Man Called Norman” by Mike Adkins to be inspired.
- Pray this bold prayer: Lord use my life for You in every way. Open my hands and heart to share every blessing You have given me for the glory of Your kingdom.
I was listening to a podcast recently discussing the concerns many Americans have over religious freedoms. The speaker stated statistics that estimate 90 percent of “Christians” in the U.S. will never share their faith story with anyone.
If you have accepted Jesus as your savior, someday you will stand before His throne to account for everything you’ve done in your earthly life. On that day, I want to say I lived more like the life-giving Jordan River than like the self-absorbed Dead Sea.
The same speaker I mentioned above said when we reach heaven, Jesus will ask us two questions:
- Do you love me?
- Who did you bring with you?
If you’re still breathing, there is still time to be the flowing river for God.
Holy Spirit, fill our hearts with courage and joy so that we will be a flowing river of life for Jesus. Help us feel an urgency for those who are living in darkness without knowing the joy and life-giving Truth of Your Gospel. We love you and want to bring others to the hope of eternal life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.