John 7:32-53

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 ever more fearful and panicky because of the threat to their positions. He is well aware that the people are very interested in all that He says and does, because there is no hope for them unless God sends the Messiah ("anointed one") to be their Saviour.

Again, Jesus speaks to the people, using an example from everyday life to which they can relate: water. In echoes of what He said to the Samaritan woman, Jesus says that He is the "living water". (John 4:14 See also Power Up! No. 7: The Right Place at the Right Time) He will satisfy spiritual thirst. Anyone who has a desperate need can come to Him and He will meet that need, now and for all eternity. (Revelation 21:6) Jesus is talking about the Holy Spirit, whose presence in a person's life offers the only way by which someone can continue to walk with God after Jesus has gone home to be with the Father.

Drainpipes or hosepipes

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, we will restrict the flow and be in danger of getting blocked by sin. As a drainpipe, we can allow far more of the Holy Spirit to flow through us. Being a willing channel gives no opportunity for carnal 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 (live) 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 growth of the body of Jesus Christ and for demonstrating to those outside God's kingdom 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 God 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 that 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

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)

Being lead by the Spirit

This I say then, walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh”. (Galatians 5:16)

Walking in the Spirit is the key to overcoming the "flesh" (the non-spiritual or carnal nature with which we are born). If you follow the prompting of the Spirit of God within you, you won't be dominated by the pressures that your old nature 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 read or 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 will give you daily victory.

God knows just what you need. He can look ahead in your life and see the traps and pressures that the enemy is laying for you. When you follow the Holy Spirit’s leading, 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 old nature. 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 other people who love His word and live it out in practice. Then we will notice that we are changing and becoming more like Jesus.

John 8:1-11

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 His word. By the power of The Holy Spirit, God will protect, provide for and give them their place - as He promises.

We are responsible to God for our attitude to those we know who 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.

Undeserved mercy

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 others. 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 old nature and its own cravings and desires.

We show that we are God’s people by living out the mercy of God to others daily. Here are some examples:

  • 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 Amplified version)
  • 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. “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.” (Luke 6:35-36)

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 every day. Remember it over and over in order to rekindle hope and stir up 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 God's word and see these blessings come to you - new every morning!

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