By Jane Fryar
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High (Psalm 46:4 ESV).
Brooks, streams, and rivers crisscross the pages of the Bible. In the beginning, for instance, four rivers flowed out of Eden - the Pishon, Gihon, Tigris, and Euphrates (Genesis 2:10–14). John the Baptist preached on the banks of the Jordan (Matthew 3:4–6). In heaven, a crystalline river will forever flow across the landscape (Revelation 22:1–2).
Many of these rivers are literal, but some are deeply symbolic. Psalm 46, for instance, pictures a river that brings joy everywhere it flows. Its description in Psalm 46 brings to mind these words of Jesus:
“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.’” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive (John 7:37–39 ESV).
There is a river . . .
When we are sick, sad, hurt, or confused, we can retreat to its banks. There, our thirst for peace, for certainty, for joy is quenched:
Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life (John 4:14 ESV).
This river flows in you and from you. Wherever this river flows, it brings life (Ezekiel 47:9) - especially as you speak words of hope and courage in Jesus to those who sit beside you in worship week by week.
Because this river flows in and through all believers, we have the honor of bearing witness to those around us about Jesus the Savior. All of us in every faithful congregation share that honor (John 15:26–27)!
So don’t dam up the river by cool disinterest. Don’t gossip or form factions. There is a river! Let it flow freely!
Prayer starter: Take me, Lord Jesus, to the river of life! In your cross, forgive my apathy and my timid words of witness. Refresh, renew, and reenergize me for your service, especially in my own congregation, when . . .
Editor’s note: Today’s devotion comes from CTA’s brand-new book Created for Community. The devotion book and digital teaching tools come together to form a five-week experience that will encourage your worshippers to love, worship, and serve together - inside and outside your church walls. Check it out today!
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