Day 20: Rivers, One Percent, and an Overflowing Heart

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On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’

John 7:37-38

Did you know that the Egyptians were the first people to record methods for treating water? These records date back to 400 A.D. The most common ways of cleaning water were by boiling it over a fire, heating it in the sun, or by dipping a heated piece of iron into it. Filtering boiling water through sand and gravel and then allowing it to cool was another common treatment method. Just travel to some less developed countries and you’ll realize that drinking untreated and unfiltered water can be hazardous to your health. And how about this for abundance:

About 70% of the earth’s surface is covered with water.

Ninety-seven percent of the water on the earth is salt water. Because it is filled with salt and other minerals, we can’t drink this water. And though the salt can be removed, it is a difficult and expensive process. Two percent of the water on earth is glacier ice at the North and South Poles. This ice is fresh water and could be melted; however, it is too far away from where people live to be usable.

That leaves less than 1% of all the water on earth as fresh water that we can actually use for drinking.

Water is the fundamental building block of all known life forms. There are organisms that can survive indefinitely without oxygen, in boiling temperatures, in near absolute zero freezing environments, even in the radioactive vacuum of space – but absolutely nothing can live without water. So when Jesus talks of water, he’s not merely talking about something that’s nice to have but imperative for life. In fact, he first talks to anyone who thirsts. For them, he simply says come to him. But then he says that rivers of life will flow out of your heart if you believe. That’s because when you believe in Jesus as the Lord of your life and heart, his Holy Spirit lives in your heart. He is the rivers of life-giving water within you. So be thankful for a source of life that is ample and unending within you, but let that thankfulness overflow to so many more that thirst like you once did.

Questions to ponder

What is the largest or most impressive body of water you have ever visited?

Have you ever been so thirsty or dehydrated that you felt ill or maybe even like you were going to die?

How often do you think about the Holy Spirit within you as rivers of living water? Possessing such a source of life, how can you live in thankfulness in how you share him with others?

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