“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” John 7:38
Jesus, wholly motivated by love for all people, returns to the place where He had received most antagonism and rejection the previous day. After spending the night on the Mount of Olives with His Father, He is completely focused on fulfilling His destiny. Jesus knows that the Jewish leaders are becoming more fearful and panicky because of the threat to their positions. He is well aware that the people are very interested in all He says and does, as there is no hope for them unless God sends the Messiah to be their Saviour.
Again Jesus speaks to the people, using an example from everyday life that they can relate to: water. Like the Samaritan woman (John 4:14. See Power Up! No. 7: The Right Place at the Right Time) Jesus shows that He is the “Living Water”. He will satisfy all deep thirst. Anyone who has got desperate needs today can come to Him and He will fulfil all their needs for now and for eternity (Revelation 21:6). He is sharing with these people about the Holy Spirit, which will be the only way that they can continue to walk with God after Jesus has gone home to be with the Father.
We must be like a wide drainpipe connected to the reservoir of God’s Living Water by the Holy Spirit. Streams of living water will flow out of us without stopping. If we are a hosepipe or narrow bore tube, we will restrict the flow and we will have more opportunity to get blocked by sin. If we are like a drainpipe, we can allow far more of the Holy Spirit to flow through us. Being a willing channel strips away the fleshly behaviour and sin, which could otherwise so easily cling to the sides, causing a restriction in the flow of the Holy Spirit and meaning, ultimately, that less LIFE flows out of us.
For Christians today, there has never been a more crucial time to walk in the Spirit. We must consistently exhibit to the world, all the fruits of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22.) The gifts of the Holy Spirit are for the building-up of the Church of Jesus Christ and for demonstrating to the world who is in control.
There is a price to pay when rivers of living water flow out of our inmost beings. That price involves putting God first, spending much time in prayer and loving His Word above all earthly pleasures, knowledge and entertainment. It means walking in the Holy Spirit so that we will not fulfil the “lusts of the flesh“.
Like God, we have emotions because we are made in His image, but He is not ruled by feelings. He operates by doing what is right, regardless of how He feels. He can be grieved by our attitude, but He never changes in the way He loves us and deals with us. He has no self-pity, no anger on His own behalf and He does not retaliate.
Walking in the Spirit results in us:
- Being controlled and guided by the Holy Spirit.
- Having the words of Jesus in our minds, Romans 8:5-6.
- Having the love of Jesus in our hearts, Romans 5:5
- Having the power of Jesus evident in our behaviour, 2 Timothy 1:9
- Being free from the vicious circle of sin and death, Romans 8:2.
“Those who let themselves be controlled by their lower natures live only to please themselves, but those who follow after the Holy Spirit find themselves doing those things that please God.” Romans 8:5-11.
He will lead you
“This I say then, walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh”. (Galatians 5:16)
Walking in the Spirit is the key to overcoming the flesh. If you follow the prompting of the Spirit of God within you, you won’t be dominated by the pressure your flesh tries to put on you. All this pressure starts in the mind, so we have to take every thought captive to Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).
As you listen to the written Word and the Holy Spirit telling you what to do and take every thought captive, you’ll be constantly making little adjustments in your life according to what He says. Those adjustments will keep darkness from overtaking you and give you daily victory.
You see, God knows just what you need. He can look ahead in your life and see the traps and pressures the devil is laying for you. So follow the Holy Spirit’s leading and He will manoeuvre you safely around them to victory.
Spend more time pursuing the things of the Holy Spirit than you spend pursuing the things of the flesh. If we spend enough time with Him, He is going to “rub off” on us! His ways will become our ways, as we make ourselves available to Him by praying in the Spirit, worshipping, loving His Word, and being with people who love His Word and live it. Then we will notice that we are changing and becoming more like Jesus.
Jesus, well aware of the authorities’ motives, now saves the life of an adulteress, using supernatural gifts of wisdom and knowledge. He knew all about the private lives of these men but He did not use it to condemn them. He walked in the supernatural love of His Father and kept His own motives pure. His own, pure lifestyle must have been a point of great conviction to these men and as He bent down and, possibly, wrote the names of various women in the sand, they all left, recognising that they had been exposed for their hypocrisy.
Again, Jesus protects, elevates and shows great love towards a woman. He certainly transformed the thinking of the men of His day towards women and showed them how women should be treated. He showed women that there are men who walk in obedience to the Word, so, by the power of The Holy Spirit, God will protect, provide for, and promote them – as He promises.
We are totally responsible to God for our attitude to all people who we know have fallen into any kind of sin. As Jesus shows mercy to this woman and says some of the most exciting words any of us will hear (“Neither do I condemn you”) so we also have no right to do anything but show mercy to every person we meet.
God shows mercy to us when we don’t deserve it
“His compassion never ends. It is only the Lord’s mercies that have kept us from complete destruction. Great is His faithfulness; His loving kindness begins afresh every day.” Lamentations 3:22-23.
If it wasn’t for the mercy of God, we would all be wiped out. Remember it over and over, so that we may stop ourselves from judging anyone. All the characteristics that God in His mercy shows to us, we should show to others (Matthew 25:40-46). Mercy is shown in so many ways: through faithfulness, love, forgiveness, grace, kindness and endless care.
Note: “Since you have been chosen by God, who has given you this new kind of life, and because of His deep love and concern for you, you should practise tender-hearted mercy and kindness to others.” Colossians 3:12. Don’t worry about making a good impression on people but be ready to suffer quietly and patiently. We must “die” daily to our flesh and its own cravings and desires.
We show that we are God’s people by living out the mercy of God to others daily.
- Imitate Christ’s compassionate, forgiving attitude.
- Let love guide your life, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.
- Let the peace of Christ rule in your heart, and act as umpire continually, Colossians 3:15 (Amp)
- Always be thankful.
- Keep God’s Word in you at all times.
- Live as Jesus Christ’s representative.
Showing undeserved kindness is what God does to us (Luke 6:35-36). “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful just as your Father is merciful.”
We must give sincere love to all people, especially in the body of Christ. This requires effort, time and money, not just a superficial interest.
We know that God is full of mercy but we must recall it everyday. Remember it over and over, to rekindle our hope and stir up our faith.
Constantly speak out from Psalm 103.
- He forgives all my sin.
- He heals all my disease.
- He delivers me from hell.
- He surrounds me with loving kindness and tender mercies.
- He fills my life with good things.
- He gives justice when I am treated unfairly.
- He reveals His will and nature to me.
This will increase your faith and make you more confident of God’s love. Don’t just know about God’s blessings but be part of them.
Agree with the Word, and see these blessings come to you new every morning.
Home challenges for Power Up! – No. 13: Hosepipe or drainpipe?
1. Read the notes on John 7:32-53. What spoke to you from them?
2. a) Are you a hosepipe or a drainpipe?
b) Is there anything that is blocking the flow of the Holy Spirit in your life? Put it right straight away.
3. What decision are you going to make now, to enable you to walk daily in the power of the Holy Spirit and not copy the old habits? Remember we can never walk the Christian life in our own strength – only by the power of the Holy Spirit.
4. Read the notes about the adulteress from John 8:1-11.
a) What encouragement did you get from this passage?
b) Who do you need to show mercy to?
5. Do you have a testimony about how good it is to recall our blessings every morning? Write it down here…
Read John 8:12-30
Before starting this study, pray and ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to see wondrous things out of the Word.
6. What is the promise that God has given us in the Word if we follow Him? (John 8:12)
7. What is the second claim Jesus is making in this section about His origin? (John 8:19)
8. a) Why do you think Jesus is speaking so bluntly to the Pharisees?
b) Is this the same for Christians today?
9. Do you think there are any situations where it is right for us to speak strongly? Give an up-to-date example.
10. What more did Jesus say which added to the religious people’s concern in John 8:21-22?
11. What was Jesus’ explanation of His claim that He was from a different place? (John 8:23-24)
12. a) What question is asked of Jesus by the people? (John 8:25)
b) What is His answer? (John 8:25-27)
13. Who do you think Jesus is? Does your opinion match up with the Bible?
14. What time in the future was Jesus pointing towards when He said in John 8:28 “When you have lifted up the Son of Man… ”?
15. What was the anchor in Jesus’ life that enabled Him to keep going, despite all the antagonism surrounding Him? (John 8:28-29)
16. a) Did the Holy Spirit really show you something from this passage of the Bible?
b) Was it relevant to your situation?
c) Pick one verse to memorise.