Visit La Jolla Lutheran Church
Sunday at 9:30 a.m.
7111 La Jolla Blvd in beautiful La Jolla, CA
14 miles north of downtown San Diego, CA

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A river of living water flows from the heart of a believer (John 7)

Monday John 7:37-39 (NRSV)
On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, "Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, 'Out of the believer's heart shall flow rivers of living water.'" Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive; for as yet there was no Spirit, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

John explains that Jesus was talking about the Holy Spirit when he said that if you believe, rivers of living water will flow from your heart.

If an unbeliever asked you what these rivers of living water were like and what happened when they flowed, what would you say?

Tuesday John 4:13-16 (NRSV)
Jesus said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life."

The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water." Jesus said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come back."

A few weeks ago we looked at this story. When the woman wanted the life-giving water, Jesus identified the brokenness in her life. As a result of their exchange, the woman said to all her neighbors, "Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?"

What is the most broken part of your life?

How might talking with Jesus about it free you to receive more of the life-giving water?

Wednesday Ezekiel 47:1-6 (NRSV)
He brought me back to the entrance of the temple; there, water was flowing from below the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east); and the water was flowing down from below the south end of the threshold of the temple, south of the altar. Then he brought me out by way of the north gate, and led me around on the outside to the outer gate that faces toward the east; and the water was coming out on the south side. Going on eastward with a cord in his hand, the man measured one thousand cubits, and then led me through the water; and it was ankle-deep. Again he measured one thousand, and led me through the water; and it was knee-deep. Again he measured one thousand, and led me through the water; and it was up to the waist. Again he measured one thousand, and it was a river that I could not cross, for the water had risen; it was deep enough to swim in, a river that could not be crossed.

Ezekiel sees a curious vison about the river of God: it gets deeper as it flows.

Some experiences don’t seem like much when we first encounter them, but we learn over time how deep and important they were.

What does Ezekiel’s vision say to you about the river of God?

Thursday Ezekiel 47:7-12 (NRSV)
He said to me, "Mortal, have you seen this?" Then he led me back along the bank of the river.
As I came back, I saw on the bank of the river a great many trees on the one side and on the other. He said to me, "This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah; and when it enters the sea, the sea of stagnant waters, the water will become fresh. Wherever the river goes, every living creature that swarms will live, and there will be very many fish, once these waters reach there. It will become fresh; and everything will live where the river goes. People will stand fishing beside the sea from En-gedi to En-eglaim; it will be a place for the spreading of nets; its fish will be of a great many kinds, like the fish of the Great Sea. But its swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they are to be left for salt. On the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing."

What does this part of the vision tell you about the river of God?

Friday Revelation 22:1-2 (NRSV)
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

In the spirit, John saw the new Jerusalem “coming down out of heaven from God.” (Rev 21:10) In the middle of the city is the river of the water of life, flowing from the throne of God. The description is remarkably similar to the river Ezekiel saw.

What does this tell you about the river of life?

1 Cor 3:16 says you are God’s temple and God’s Spirit dwells in you.

What might you expect about the living water that Jesus says flows from your heart when you believe?

Saturday
How To Be A Christian (in four easy steps)
1) Talk to God about what’s up.
2) Do whatever God tells you.
3) If you don’t hear anything specific, do anything Jesus told his followers to do.*
4) Repeat.

*Jesus told his followers lots of things, but here’s a reminder of the basics: 1) Love God with everything you’ve got. 2) Love those you see in need in the same measure as you love yourself. (Ways Jesus taught his followers to love people were to announce good news to the poor, heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons, and raise the dead.)

What needs of the world to you want to talk to God about?

What are you hearing God tell you?

When will you take action?


Check out other Bible Studies and videos for 2013 or messages for 2012 or messages for 2011.


La Jolla Lutheran Church is a member of Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ, a fast-growing association of churches that believe the Bible. Other LCMC churches in the San Diego area include Penasquitos Lutheran Church at 14484 Penasquitos Drive; and St. Timothy Lutheran Church at 2602 Reo Drive. Check the list of more than 800 congregations to find an LCMC church near you.

The Scripture quotations contained herein are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible (NRSV), copyright, 1989, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S. A. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Visit La Jolla Lutheran Church Sunday at 9:30 a.m.

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La Jolla Lutheran Church
7111 La Jolla Blvd, La Jolla, California, 92037
14 miles north of downtown San Diego.

 

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