“Never give up; for even rivers someday wash dams away,” wrote Arthur Golden.
Isn’t this the story of Christianity and the mighty Roman Empire? Rivers of living water flowing out of the lives of Christians eventually overcame the mighty dam of Roman persecution. Within a few hundred years, the small and often persecuted movement called Christianity became the dominant religion in Europe and the Western world.
“Anyone who teaches you about God is breathing life into your spirit,” says Zack, 12. “Jesus helps our spirit grow in truth, knowledge and strength.”
Zack has captured the essence of Christianity. When the truth of the gospel of grace is spoken and hearers believe in Jesus Christ as their savior, God breathes his very life into their spirits. Law, including the 10 Commandments, can never transform a person from the inside out. Only God’s life can do this. If you would like to read my stories of modern, transformed lives, please visit FaithProfiles.org.
In writing a story for the Washington Post, I interviewed Pastor John Woods, the executive director of Washington’s 150-bed Gospel Mission: “We believe anyone can put a new suit on a man, but only the grace of God can put a new man in the suit. A gospel mission is the only place a guy can come in blind drunk and retire 25 years later as its executive director.”
Water is essential for life. You can live three weeks or longer without food, but you can live only three or four days without water. If you’re in a desert where it is very hot in the middle of summer, you could die in three or four hours without water.
By using the metaphor “rivers of living water” flowing out of the inner lives of his followers, Jesus is also saying that without him you won’t be satisfied. You’ll hop from one relationship or thing to another looking for a way to quench your thirst. If Jesus is the author and restorer of life, you’ll be frustrated with all attempts to find life apart from him. Even expensive attempts by the wealthy as featured on television shows and magazine articles will result in dryness. Guaranteed!
“I think that the more you pray, the more of God’s river flows through your body to your brain,” says Thomas, 10. “When it goes to your brain, you think of God.”
If you’re a Christian, you may have noticed that the flow of God’s life through you varies depending upon your closeness to God. Yes, even Christians can experience spiritual dryness if they are not walking closely with the Lord. Consider yourself blessed if you have regular fellowship with a Christian who is overflowing with God’s river of life.
The Book of Revelation gives us a glimpse of the New Jerusalem’s center: “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb,” (Rev. 22:1). Furthermore, the water of life is offered freely to all who thirst: “And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely,” (Rev. 22:17b).
Think about this: Jesus, as the water of life, wants live-giving water to flow freely through his people to a thirsty world.
Memorize this truth: Revelation 22:17b previously quoted.
Ask this question: If you have drunk of the water of life, are God’s rivers of living waters flowing freely through you to the thirsty people you encounter every day?
The Kids Talk About God website contains free, online content for children and families. See the Kid TV Interviews. Print free lessons from the “Kids Color Me Bible” and make your own book. Let a 12-year-old boy take you on a missionary safari through the Mission Explorers Kenya for Kids documentary with curriculum. Print Scripture verses illustrated by child artists. Receive a complimentary, weekly e-mail subscription to our Devotional Bible Lessons.
Bible quotations are from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.
COPYRIGHT 2017 CAREY KINSOLVING