Let the River Flow

by David & Stephen Olford

David & Stephen OlfordText: "If anyone thirsts let him come to me and drink. He who believes in meout of his heart will flow rivers of living water. But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom these believing in Him would receive" (John 7:37-39).

Thought: These words of the Lord Jesus will stand forever as the secret of spiritual blessings through the yielded lives of God's believing people. It is the divine purpose that every Christian should be a channel of blessing through which the Holy Spirit may flow. Let us consider:

I. The Source of the Spiritual Flow: "He who believes in meout of his heart will flow rivers of living water" (vv. 37-38). Quite clearly, the source of this spiritual flow is in the Lord Jesus Himself as the glorified Savior and Sovereign. The records tell us that the Holy Spirit was to be given after Jesus was glorified; and the New Testament makes it evident that His glorification was His crucifixion, as well as His coronation (see John 12: 23-24 and Heb. 2:9). So from that glorified Lord there flows the stream of the Spirit available to all believing Christians. 

II. The Secret of This Spiritual Flow: "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink" (v. 37). If we are to enter into this experience of exhaustless blessing flowing through us, we have to fulfill certain conditions. The secret is bound up in three words: "thirsts," "come," and "drink." In other words, there must be the desiring of the Person of Christ-"If anyone thirsts"; secondly, there must be the believing of the promise of Christ-"let him come to medrink." And the wonder of it is that as soon as we fulfill these conditions the rivers of living water begin to flow. 

III. The Sufficiency of This Spiritual Flow: "Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water" (v. 38). Although the source is in Christ, yet God in His wisdom has designed that Christian people should be the channels through which the rivers flow, and what a sufficiency there is for all! Notice that this sufficiency is lasting-"rivers of living water"-not mere trickles, brooks, or streams. They are the spiritual Mississippis, Amazons, Danubes, Niles, or any other river that you can name, all joining together; and furthermore, they are living rivers. Wherever these waters flow there is life. This is beautifully pictured in Ezekiel 47:9: "Everything livingwherever the rivers go will live."

Thrust: What a wonderful thing it is to be channels of lasting and living waters of spiritual grace!

David Olford teaches expository preaching at Union University's
Stephen Olford Center in Memphis, Tennessee

2011 Disciple 155x50 2011 AMG 155x50
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