Thursday, July 24, 2014

July 24 - The River of Life

Today's Reading:
Ezekiel 47:1-48:35
Matthew 22:34-23:12
Proverbs 19:3-12
Click on Text Link to Read Online

Focus Verses:
Ezekiel 47:12
12 "Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing."

Most of Ezekiel's temple vision seems like a literal description of something to come, but suddenly, the vision turns more poetic and symbolic. In the middle of all the measurements and details, he begins to describe a life-giving river that flows out from under the very entrance of the temple. From this place of worship, a stream of life and blessing are flowing out into the surrounding land—first ankle deep, then knee deep, and finally so deep it cannot be crossed. The trees along the bank are always fruitful. Their fruit is nourishing and their leaves have healing, restorative attributes.

True worship and a right relationship with God are like a river of life. Those who know and honor God are standing in that river and they should bear fruit in every season. They should be a source of nourishment and healing to everyone around them.

Response and Action:
I must draw near to God, through Christ Jesus. I will worship and honor God in thanksgiving for the river of life and blessing Jesus has opened up for me. I will draw upon this living water, and seek to be a source of blessing and healing for others around me. Bearing fruit, nourishing others, and giving health are things I will expect to result from a life of genuine worship and praise.

O God, I thank you for the streams of living water that flow from your Son, Jesus. Wash over me and transform me so completely that I become a source of life, blessing, and health to the world around me. May streams of living water flow from my heart, the innermost part of my being. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses:  
Revelation 22:1-5
1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.

The Throne, the Lamb and the Dragon: A Reader's Guide to the Book of Revelation
by Paul Spilsbury

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