VIDEO The Great Outdoors, Rivers – Out of Your Heart Will Flow Rivers of Living Water

The Great Outdoors—River

He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. John 7:38

God delighted in running His finger across the planet and creating rivers. Four of them watered the Garden of Eden. The Promised Land was watered by the Jordan River, and other rivers provided picturesque settings for many Bible stories, such as the call of Ezekiel by the River Chebar and the founding of the church in Philippi by the riverside in Acts 16:13. This summer, many of us will enjoy the great outdoors alongside a scenic river.

Jesus used the metaphor of rivers to describe how spiritual ministry should flow from our lives. We quench our spiritual thirst by taking a drink of Him (John 7:37), believing in Him for eternal life (verse 38), and that drink soon becomes a river flowing from our innermost being into a parched world.

This is an image we can visualize. As you move through your day, meeting people and tackling jobs, see the people around you as thirsty ground, and imagine a river of refreshment flowing from you to them. Be a refreshing person today. Let the river of God’s Spirit stream through you.

High up in the throne of God are the everlasting springs of divine mercy. Charles H. Spurgeon


John Piper – Out of Your Heart Will Flow Rivers of Living Water

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That Smiling Man

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. Colossians 3:23

Going to the grocery store isn’t something I particularly enjoy. It’s just a mundane part of life—something that has to be done.

But there is one part of this task I’ve unexpectedly come to look forward to: checking out in Fred’s lane. Fred, you see, turns checkout into show time. He’s amazingly fast, always has a big smile, and even dances (and sometimes sings!) as he acrobatically flips (unbreakable) purchases into a plastic bag. Fred clearly enjoys a job that could be seen as one of the most tedious around. And for just a moment, his cheerful spirit brightens the lives of people in his checkout lane.

The way Fred does his job has won my respect and admiration. His cheerful attitude, desire to serve, and attention to detail all line up well with the apostle Paul’s description of how we are to work in Colossians 3:23: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord.”

When we’re in relationship with Jesus, any job we have to do gives us an opportunity to reflect His presence in our lives. No task is too small . . . or too big! Tackling our responsibilities—whatever they may be—with joy, creativity, and excellence gives us an opportunity to influence those around us, no matter our job.

Lord, help me to tackle everything on my plate today with grace, enthusiasm, and joy, knowing that my attitude may affect others in ways I’m not even aware of.

The best way to do satisfying work is to do it for the Lord.

By Adam Holz 

INSIGHT

In his letters, the apostle Paul will often soar in the atmosphere of heavy theology, and then at other times he brings it down to everyday life with practical instructions. Today’s passage is an example of the latter. The list of instructions given in Colossians 3:18–23 and a similar list in Ephesians 5:22–6:4 are known as household codes. In these passages Paul describes how to relate to each other in our various roles—as a spouse, child, father, slave, or master. Colossians 3:23 caps this code with a well-known verse that many of us use to remind us to work for the Lord at our jobs—whether the boss is difficult or in our corner, whether our coworkers support us or are trying to undermine our efforts. Working for the Lord, however, is not restricted to our places of work. Wives, husbands, children, fathers, slaves, and masters are to fulfill their roles as to the Lord.

What might it mean for you to work for the Lord with joy as a spouse, child, or parent?

J.R. Hudberg

The Priority of Obedience

Luke 6:46-49

The Creator gave Adam and Eve two commands—first, to fill the earth and rule over it, and second, not to eat from a certain tree in the Garden (Gen. 1:28; Gen. 2:17). Because they chose to disobey, their relationship with God was broken, and they had to leave Eden.

Not only did the first couple’s rebellion impact their own lives but it also had far broader implications: All future generations would suffer. In Romans 5:12-19, the apostle Paul explains why. Through the trespass of one man, Adam, sin made its entrance into the world, and death resulted for all mankind. Because Adam was the head of the human race, his disobedience affected everyone born after him. Every person starts out with a bent away from the Lord and a desire for self-rule.

By contrast, Jesus Christ made conformity to the Lord’s will the priority of His life. He obeyed God in both word and deed. (See John 8:28-29.) Having lived a perfect life—one entirely without sin—He qualified to be our Savior (2 Corinthians 5:21). Through the death of one man, Christ Jesus, payment was made for the transgressions of all mankind. God’s acceptance of the Son’s sacrifice brought us forgiveness and freedom from sin’s power.

Adam’s disobedience brought judgment and death, whereas Jesus’ obedience resulted in new life for all who believe in Him (Rom. 6:4). Our Savior calls us to deny selfish desires, live sacrificially, and follow Him (Matt. 16:24). A believer’s godly life will bring Jesus honor and point others to Him.

Things to Flee From

“Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” (2 Timothy 2:22)

There are times to stand and there are times to flee. There are some things so fearful and deadly that it is foolish to try to face them at all. The only rational course, when confronted by them, is to flee!

The most obvious of all such enemies is the wrath of God, for His judgment is terrible and eternal. Therefore, His message to all unsaved men and women is to “flee from the wrath to come” (Matthew 3:7—the first occurrence of “flee” in the New Testament) by receiving Christ as Savior.

It is wise to refrain from all kinds of sin, but certain sins have such deadly consequences, even in this present life, that the Scriptures warn us to flee from them. “But thou, O man of God, flee these things” (1 Timothy 6:11). In context, the apostle Paul is here warning against “the love of money” (v. 10) and those who suppose “that gain is godliness” (v. 5). Those who desire to be rich, he says, “fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition” (v. 9). Therefore, flee from this temptation!

He also warns us to “flee from idolatry” (1 Corinthians 10:14)—that is, from worshipping and serving any part of the creation “more than the Creator” (Romans 1:25). This warning is especially appropriate today when there is such a wide resurgence of evolutionary pantheism.

Also, we must “flee fornication” (1 Corinthians 6:18). This is a deadly danger to the Christian in this day of amorality. Finally, as our text says, young believers (and old believers need this admonition, too!) should “flee also youthful lusts,” if we are to be able to “call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” HMM

Help Thou me.”

Psalm 119:81-104

We have upon former occasions read portions of the one hundred and nineteenth Psalm. It is so precious that we will continue to study it, and now read from verse eighty-one to verse one hundred and four.

Psalm 119:82

We have the word in the Bible, but we want it to be applied by the Holy Spirit to our hearts, and we eagerly long to have it so. O Lord, grant our desire.

Psalm 119:83

Like an old wine-skin blackened and shrivelled by smoke, he was worn with pain and anxiety, yet. he did not leave the way of holiness, nor should we think of doing so, come what may.

Psalm 119:84-86

A prayer as sweet as it is short; let us use it: “Help thou me.”

Psalm 119:87, 88

We are always in need of the Spirit’s quickening influences. Our hearts cannot keep fast hold upon the truth if they become paralysed by worldliness.

Psalm 119:89

Other things are fleeting and changeable, thy promise is fixed and sure; and this is our soul’s stay in time of trouble. What should we do if the promise could fail?

Psalm 119:90, 91

Nature fulfils thy purposes, thou givest fixity to its laws, and even so shall the plans and promises of grace abide for ever.

Psalm 119:92-95

This was far better than considering his danger and devising plans for escape. Faith continues her meditations undisturbed by the rage of her adversaries.

Psalm 119:96

Perfect happiness in this world, or perfection in the flesh, are dreams, but the law is perfect, and so also is the glorious plan of salvation, therefore do we turn away from all else to rest in the Lord.

Psalm 119:98-100

He became wiser than “his enemies” in subtlety, than “his teachers” in doctrine, than “the ancients” in experience. What a fruitful harvest did David reap in the field of Scripture. The same wisdom may be found by each of us if we learn from the same testimonies.

Psalm 119:102

No other teaching is so practically effectual. He teacheth us to profit.

Psalm 119:103, 104

May such a holy abhorrence of sin be found in each of us evermore.

 

The men that keep thy law with care,

And meditate thy word,

Grow wiser than their teachers are,

And better know the Lord.

 

Thy precepts make me truly wise;

I hate the sinners’ road;

I hate my own vain thoughts that rise;

But love thy law, O God.

 

Experiencing Spiritual Suffocation?

Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound. (Romans 5:20)

How can I illustrate man’s proneness to spiritual suffocation?

I have read that mining companies used to take live caged birds deep into the mines to detect the presence of dangerous gases. If there was a high concentration of poison, the bird would quickly fall down and die in the bottom of the cage.

I consider a bird a miracle created by God; a wonder with wings, created to soar over green meadows and breathe the sweet air of the heavens. But take him underground where there is blackdamp and pollution and he quickly dies of suffocation!

You can apply that also to the soul of man!

God created man a living soul and intended him to rise and mount up into the eternities and live with God. There is in each of us a longing after immortality. But sin has ruined us. We have listened to that serpent, the devil. We have gone down into the isolated, dark poison-infested pockets of the world, and lost men are dying everywhere of spiritual suffocation!

 

Waiting, Not Running

“Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation.” Ps. 62:1

Blessed posture! — waiting truly and Only upon the Lord. Be this our condition all this day, and every day. Waiting His leisure, waiting in His service, waiting in joyful expectation, waiting in prayer, and content. When the very soul thus waits, it is in the best and truest condition of a creature before his Creator, a servant before his Master, a child before his Father. We allow no dictation to God, nor complaining of Him; we will permit no petulance, and no distrust. At the same time, we practice no running before the cloud, and no seeking to others for aid: neither of these would be waiting upon God. God, and God alone, is the expectation of our hearts.

Blessed assurance! — from Him salvation is coming; it is on the road. It will come from Him, and from no one else. He shall have all the glory of it, for He alone can and will perform it. And He will perform it most surely in His own time and manner. He will save from doubt, and suffering, and slander, and distress. Though we see no sign of it as yet, we are satisfied to bide the Lord’s will, for we have no suspicion of His love and faithfulness. He will make sure work of it before long, and we will praise Him at once for the coming mercy.

 

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