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Living Water From Jesus

John 7:37-39
On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.’ By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified. (NIVUK)

On the last day of the Festival of Tabernacles, a solemn procession of priests left the Temple to draw water from the Gihon Spring, just outside the Temple Mount.  This spring was the only immediate water supply for Jerusalem and was seen as the ‘life of the city’.  The water was ceremonially carried in a golden jar back to the Temple and then poured over the altar.  It was a symbolic reminder that God provided water out of a rock during the wilderness wanderings (Exodus 17:1-7), to give life to His people.  All the people crowded the streets to see the spectacle which marked the climax of the Festival.  But Jesus stood up and spoke loudly, drawing attention to the words which had divine power.
He used the occasion to announce Himself as the God who satisfies.  The 'living water' He promised was not physical liquid drawn from a well or spring, but would be the life-giving presence of the Holy Spirit who would continue to satisfy and energise every believer.  It was the same promise Jesus had made personally to the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:14), and it is a promise which He continues to fulfil.

Before Jesus returned to Father God in heaven, the Holy Spirit had only been given to particular individuals to enable them to work with God.  People like Mary (Luke 1:34-35), Elizabeth (Luke 1:41), Simeon (Luke 2:25), John the Baptist (Luke 1:13-16) were all imbued with the Holy Spirit.  After Jesus ascended to the Father, the Holy Spirit was given to all the apostles and every believer (Acts 2:38).  The Spirit brings the promised eternal life of God into the hearts of all who trust in Jesus.
Although many Christless religions encourage people into pious activity, Jesus asks that people believe in Him as their Saviour and submit to Him as Lord.  When they do, God's Holy Spirit is given to authorise them to be God's children and fill them with His powerful presence (Romans 8:16).  That is grace: exchanging our sinfulness for His forgiveness and the indwelling presence of God.  If you are trusting in Jesus, wherever you are today the Holy Spirit is in you, longing to do His Divine work in you and through you - to satisfy you and to reveal the love of God to others.  You are not on your own; God lives in you. That is a great reason to praise and to pray, to worship and to work so that His kingdom may grow and the glory will go to Him.

My Lord and my God. Thank You for giving me the opportunity to hear about Jesus and for the faith to believe in Him, receiving the Holy Spirit. It is wonderful to know that You are with me always. I am sorry when I have pushed Your Spirit to the corners of my life, thinking that I do not need You. I repent and declare that I want to welcome the Spirit into every part of my life, to satisfy me and give me the wisdom and power to work with You in helping to build Your kingdom. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams