5 Habits - Overflow #4

Welcome to Everyday Devotions. These daily Bible readings and Prayer Pathways are designed to help you go deeper with God each day in response to what you are hearing at the Everyday Church services and Life Group gatherings.

Thursday 6th February

Over the past four weeks, we have looked at four healthy habits that promote spiritual growth in us – Bible Meditation and Prayer Pathways and Sung Worship and being filled with the Holy Spirit. This week, we are looking at a fifth and final healthy habit – allowing what God is doing in our hearts to Overflow to the world around us.


Bible Meditation

John 7:37-39

37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

1) Most of us would have been content for Jesus to have promised us that the Holy Spirit would ‘trickle’ out of us. Why therefore is it significant that Jesus promises that “rivers of living water” will flow out from within us?

2) How do you feel about the sheer lavishness of this promise from God? How do you feel about its sister promise in John 3:34 – “God gives the Spirit without limit”?

3) Being completely honest, would you say that you live with such a lavish God in view? Do you live each day as one who has access to rivers of the Holy Spirit? Do you instinctively say to people, like Peter in Acts 3:6, “What I have I give you”?
 
Jesus doesn’t tell us which Old Testament Scriptures he has in mind when he says that “Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” There are actually a number of Old Testament Scriptures that he might have in mind, so we are looking at several of them in our Everyday Devotions across the course of this week. Here is the fourth one:

Ezekiel 47:1-12

1 The man brought me back to the entrance to the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was coming down from under the south side of the temple, south of the altar. 2 He then brought me out through the north gate and led me around the outside to the outer gate facing east, and the water was trickling from the south side. 3 As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits and then led me through water that was ankle-deep. 4 He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist. 5 He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in—a river that no one could cross. 6 He asked me, “Son of man, do you see this?” Then he led me back to the bank of the river. 7 When I arrived there, I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river. 8 He said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, where it enters the Dead Sea. When it empties into the sea, the salty water there becomes fresh. 9 Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live. 10 Fishermen will stand along the shore; from En Gedi to En Eglaim there will be places for spreading nets. The fish will be of many kinds—like the fish of the Mediterranean Sea. 11 But the swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they will be left for salt. 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 fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.”

4) How does this ancient prophecy from the Old Testament book of Ezekiel remind you of what we read yesterday in Revelation 22? Do you think that God is trying to get a message through to you, loud and clear?

5) All this talk of ‘measuring-sticks’ and ‘deep enough to swim in’ and ‘a river that no one could cross’ is all meant to communicate the same thing as John 3:34. There are no limits to how much God wants to fill you with his Spirit. So how are you going to respond to this amazing promise? Will you take some time out today to pray and say ‘yes’ to God?

6) “The Dead Sea” in verse 8 was the saltiest and deadest place in the entire land of Israel. Where would that be in the spiritual landscape of your own life? Which of your nonbelieving friends do you think are the most unsaveable? Which of your work colleagues has the illness that you regard as the most incurable? Which of the areas in which you spend your week do you find people to be the most ungodly and sinful? Those are the Dead Sea areas of your own life, so note what God promises will happen to them when the River of the Holy Spirit reaches them.

7) Think of all the nonbelievers that God has placed in your life. How does it encourage you to find that God promises you in verse 9 that “Where the river flows everything will live”? How does it encourage you to find God that promises you in verse 12 that “Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them”?


Prayer Pathway

Let God’s promises to you in John 7:37-39 and Ezekiel 47:1-12 stir you into fervent prayer. Using The Lord’s Prayer as today’s prayer pathway, pray some mighty prayers of “Let your Kingdom come!” Pray for the River of the Holy Spirit to flow into you and to overflow into the world around you. Use this prayer to order your thoughts before God and to ask him to pour out his Holy Spirit on all those with whom you come into contact today.

OUR FATHER: Joyful thanks to God that today you can run freely into his arms as your Dad and as the Source of the River of the Holy Spirit.

IN HEAVEN: Faith-filled proclamation of the truth of Psalm 115:3 – “God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.”

HALLOWED BE YOUR NAME: Speaking God’s Name back to him from the Scriptures, asking him to be true to his Name and to make all the world confess his Name is holy.

YOUR KINGDOM COME, YOUR WILL BE DONE: Pray specific prayers for the Holy Spirit to descend on your own life, on the lives of your family and friends, on the lives of your Life Group and your wider church family, on the lives of your nonbelieving friends, on your workplace or college, and on your nation.

GIVE US TODAY OUR DAILY BREAD: Be specific with God in your answer to his question: “What do you want me to do for you?” Bring focused, specific and faith-filled requests that he will provide for all your daily needs.

FORGIVE US, AS WE FORGIVE OTHERS: Confess your specific sins to God, including the sin of withholding forgiveness from others.

LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION: Ask God to grant you strength to resist sin, the flesh and the Devil. Ask him to fill you with the Holy Spirit today and to help you grow in holiness, as he has promised you in Ezekiel 36:26-27.

FOR YOURS IS THE KINGDOM, THE POWER AND THE GLORY FOREVER: End with a time of praising God for his greatness and that he has heard your prayers.

AMEN: Before you stop praying, connect your prayers to the rest of what you have planned for today. Receive a commissioning from God to get up off your knees and to become the answer to many of your prayers.


End with Worship

In order to help you to respond to God in sung worship, we have created two playlists for you on Spotify.

The Everyday Devotions playlist contains a handful of songs which are particularly relevant to our Everyday Devotions this week. This song list changes each week along with our devotions.

The Everyday Church Song List playlist contains most of the songs that we are singing right now across the venues of Everyday Church. This is a wider song list for you to play throughout the day to help you worship as you wash up, as you drive, as you shower, as you sit on the bus and as you go about your day.

If you are somewhere where you can sing loudly, why not use these two playlists to end by singing some songs of worship to the Lord? If you are on the bus or train, why not put on your headphones and sing in your heart to God instead?

This week the songs are largely prayers for God to fill us with his Holy Spirit and to overflow into the world through us.
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These Everyday Devotions have been produced and edited by Phil and Ruth Moore on behalf of the Everyday Church Elders

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