John 7:37,38 - Living Water: Its Flow & Grace.
If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me,
as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living
water. John 7:37b,38 (KJV)
[If any man thirst] Spiritually. If any man feels his need of salvation.
His offer, Come to Me and drink, was an offer of salvation. [Bible Knowledge
Here is a gospel invitation to come to Christ, and a gospel promise of
comfort and happiness in him. (Matthew Henry's Commentary)
"Come to me and accept me; and I will put into you through my Spirit a new
life which will give you purity and satisfaction, and give you the kind of
life you have always longed for and never had." [Barclay Commentary]
The word "belly" is often put for the midst of a thing, the center, and the
heart, (Barnes' Notes)
Jesus used the term 'living water' in 4:10 to indicate eternal life. Here he
uses the term to refer to the Holy Spirit. The two go together: wherever the
Holy Spirit is accepted, he brings eternal life. [Life Application SB]
The "living water" (v. 38) was the coming gift of the Holy Spirit. The
Spirit within a believer satisfies his need of God, and provides him with
regeneration, guidance, and empowerment. [Bible Knowledge Commentary]
[Living water.] As a true spring is ever supplied with water from the great
deep, with which it has communication, so shall the soul of the genuine
believer be supplied with light, life, love, and liberty, and all the other
graces of the indwelling Spirit, from the indwelling Christ. (Adam Clarke
Living water, running water, which the Hebrew language calls living, because
still in motion. The graces and comforts of the Spirit are compared to
living (meaning running) water, because they are the active quickening
principles of spiritual life, and the earnests and beginnings of eternal
life. Rivers of living water, denoting both plenty and constancy. (Matthew
If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink (justification). He who
believes in me, as the scripture has said, Out of his heart shall flow
rivers of living water (sanctification) [Joh.7:37,38]. Only as we
constantly drink the living water can our behavior be an outflow of love and
blessing to others. [SS Lesson 4/22-28/90]
When we put our faith in him and ask for a drink, he gives us his Spirit.
The Holy Spirit becomes an inexhaustible river of living water, welling up
in us and flowing through us. The indwelling and eternal Holy Spirit goes
with us wherever we go and can quench even our strongest spiritual thirst.
Having this water "on tap" is the key to resisting the temptation to escape
through alcohol, food, sex, work, codependent relationships, and other
compulsions. [Life Recovery SB]
A great power can exist for years and even centuries without men being able
to tap it. To take a very relevant example there has always been atomic
power in this world; men did not invent it. But only in our own time have
men tapped and used it. The Holy Spirit has always existed; but men never
really enjoyed his full power until after Pentecost. As it has been finely
said, "There could be no Pentecost without Calvary." It was only when men
had known Jesus that they really knew the Spirit. Before that the Spirit had
been a power, but now he is a person, for he has become to us nothing other
than the presence of the Risen Christ always with us. In this apparently
startling sentence John is not saying that the Spirit did not exist; but
that it took the life and death of Jesus Christ to open the floodgates for
the Spirit to become real and powerful to all men. [Barclay Commentary]
One of the terrible tragedies of human behavior is for people to turn to
other human beings in an effort to find sustenance for their spirits. They
are always deluded, ever disappointed. Our spirits can only find life in
the Living Spirit of the Living Lord. Our eternal quest for life-giving
water can only be quenched by the eternal life of God Himself coming to us
through the hidden springs of His own person who indwells those who are open
channels for His life. W. Phillip Keller [Time with God SB]
He who seeks to quench his thirst at the fountains of this world will drink
only to thirst again. Everywhere men are unsatisfied. They long for
something to supply the need of the soul. Only One can meet that want. The
need of the world, "The Desire of all nations," is Christ. The divine grace
which He alone can impart, is as living water, purifying, refreshing, and
invigorating the soul. Jesus did not convey the idea that merely one draft
of the water of life would suffice the receiver. He who tastes of the love
of Christ will continually long for more; but he seeks for nothing else.
The riches, honors, and pleasures of the world do not attract him. The
constant cry of his heart is, More of Thee. DA187
The heart that receives the word of God is not as a pool that evaporates,
not like a broken cistern that loses its treasure. It is like the mountain
stream, fed by unfailing springs, whose cool, sparkling waters leap from
rock to rock, refreshing the weary, the thirsty, the heavy-laden. It is like
a river constantly flowing and, as it advances, becoming deeper and wider,
until its life-giving waters are spread over all the earth. The stream that
goes singing on its way leaves behind its gift of verdure and fruitfulness.
The grass on its banks is a fresher green, the trees have a richer verdure,
the flowers are more abundant. When the earth lies bare and brown under the
summer's scorching heat, a line of verdure marks the river's course.
So it is with the true child of God. The religion of Christ reveals itself
as a vitalizing, pervading principle, a living, working, spiritual energy.
When the heart is opened to the heavenly influence of truth and love, these
principles will flow forth again like streams in the desert, causing
fruitfulness to appear where now are barrenness and dearth. PK233,4
Dear Child, I watch you laboring and fretting and anxiously striving to
achieve things for me and my kingdom. Hear me. Your work is not my primary
concern. Your work is now, has always been, and always will be secondary to
your relationship with me. What you do will flow out of your relationship
with me as irrigation streams flow out of a deep, clear, powerful river.
The river (the relationship) will set your motives and supply your strength.
Then your work will flow forth to honor me. Any time you allow your work to
come ahead of your relationship with me, you risk working against me and my
purposes. Draw near to me and rest. Seek my will at every small turn.
Listen for my voice. Be filled with my Spirit. Then work with joy and
abandon! The Source of your power, God [PostCards from Heaven by Claire
A river touches places of which its source knows nothing, and Jesus says if
we have received of His fulness, however small the visible measure of our
lives, out of us will flow the rivers that will bless to the uttermost parts
of the earth. We have nothing to do with the outflow-"This is the work of
God that ye believe. . . ." God rarely allows a soul to see how great a
blessing he is.
A river is victoriously persistent, it overcomes all barriers. For a while
it goes steadily on its course, then it comes to an obstacle and for a while
it is baulked, but it soon makes a pathway round the obstacle. Or a river
will drop out of sight for miles, and presently emerge again broader and
grander than ever. You can see God using some lives, but into your life an
obstacle has come and you do not seem to be of any use. Keep paying
attention to the Source, and God will either take you round the obstacle or
remove it. The river of the Spirit of God overcomes all obstacles. Never get
your eyes on the obstacle or on the difficulty. The obstacle is a matter of
indifference to the river which will flow steadily through you if you
remember to keep right at the Source. Never allow anything to come between
yourself and Jesus Christ, no emotion, or experience; nothing must keep you
from the one great sovereign Source.
Think of the healing and far-flung rivers nursing themselves in our souls!
God has been opening up marvellous truths to our minds, and every point He
has opened up is an indication of the wider power of the river He will flow
through us. If you believe in Jesus, you will find that God has nourished in
you mighty torrents of blessing for others. [My Utmost for His Highest by
It means here that those who are Christians shall diffuse large, and
liberal, and constant blessings on their fellow-men; or, as Jesus
immediately explains it, that they shall be the instruments by which the
Holy Spirit shall be poured down on the world. (Barnes' Notes)
No sooner does one come to Christ than there is born in his heart a desire
to make known to others what a precious friend he has found in Jesus; the
saving and sanctifying truth cannot be shut up in his heart. If we are
clothed with the righteousness of Christ and are filled with the joy of His
indwelling Spirit, we shall not be able to hold our peace. If we have tasted
and seen that the Lord is good we shall have something to tell. SC78
Every true Christian is a living fountain, ever receiving of the unfailing
streams of grace, ever refreshed and ever refreshing those that are around
him. Those who are coworkers with God manifest a missionary spirit; for they
are ever receiving, that they may ever be giving to others the light and
blessing of heaven. CSW66
Johan is young, tall, blond, and Dutch. I got to know him through my
cousin, who attended the same Bible school in England. Gifted and handsome,
Johan could have carved out a comfortable youth ministry in his native
Netherlands - or most anywhere in the world, for that matter.
Comfort, however, isn't one of Johan's major goals. He chose to take the
gospel of Christ to the Bedouins and nomads near Israel's desolate Sinai
desert. A forgotten people in one of the most desolate corners of the
Johan works by an oasis near the sea, attracting travelers and Bedouins by
offering hot meals, clothing, and first aid....
From the Bedouins, Johan learned it is considered worse than murder if you
know of a water source and yet neglect to tell your fellow man.
Few of us will ever live in a wilderness like the one where young Johan has
pitched his tent. Not many among us will ever proclaim salvation to desert
nomads. But all around us, no matter where we reside or work, there are
thirsty men and women. The neighbor down the street, the man at the service
station, the boy who carries our groceries, the secretary who types and
files, or even the distant aunt who occasionally comes by for visits.
If these people don't know Christ, they're going to die of thirst...
Do you know the Source of living water? If you do please don't withhold a
drink from somebody who is thirsty.
It's not just a matter of hospitality. It's a matter of life and death.
Joni Eareckson Tada [Time with God SB]