The Power of the Cross

111                    THE POWER OF THE CROSS

The first Easter weekend was the most important event in history for the human race. Sin was finally dealt with and conquered on the cross. 

Next weekend April 7- 9th, Easter 2023, the Christian Church around the world will be celebrating the death and resurrection of Christ. That’s good news, very good news. That doesn’t end there, the good news continues because we can share in the resurrection as we take our lives to the cross and receive the peace of God. The resurrection power is the inheritance of everyone who accepts Jesus Christ into their lives as Lord and Saviour.

 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1Co 1:18).

This is a very important message for us to understand. It’s more important than the anti-smoking ads with its message of early death or the drink driving ads on television trying to prevent tragic death on the roads.

 The power released through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ the Son of God is still available to us today.

 Do you really know what your inheritance is in Christ?

If you do know, are you using the power of the cross in your life?

 “The moment we receive Christ, we take possession of what God did for us 2000 years ago. Our identity as a child of God and our authority over spiritual powers are not things we are receiving or will receive at some time in the future; we have them right now. We are a spiritually-alive child of God right now. We are seated in the heavenlies with Christ right now. We have power and authority over the kingdom of darkness right now.” (Neil Anderson)

Do you ever get disappointed with God when He doesn’t answer your prayers not the way you expect? You begin to have doubts about your faith in Christ?

You are not alone in this Thomas had his doubts until Jesus appeared to him a week after His resurrection.  

Jn 20:29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

If you have doubts about your faith in Christ take it to the cross.

If you have a problem or sickness, take it to the cross.

If you’re not sure of your inheritance as a Christian surrender your life afresh at the cross. It’s at the cross where resurrection begins.

Jesus has risen and all who are “in Christ” have a share in his resurrection.

Resurrection is about the resurrection of Jesus being made manifest/real in our lives and in our living for him.   

What was the message Jesus had for His disciples on Resurrection night?

Jn 20:19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 

 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. 

 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 

And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 

If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven

 Dr Erwin Lutzer said “We do not just need a Saviour who can just “help” us; we need One who can “resurrect” us. We do not just need a Saviour who helps us when life gets tough; we need One who can help us when life ends.” Easter proves Jesus truly is “the resurrection, and the life”


110 The Jesus Healing Ministry

110      The Jesus Healing Ministry

Most of us have an understanding of Jesus healing the sick.

There are many accounts in the Bible of Jesus healing people. For example Jesus lays hands on a woman who was crippled for 18 years and He heals her. (Luke 13: 10-13)

The gospel message about healing is that God wants us to be healthy-spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. 

This is the message of Scripture, yet many have doubts and others have been disappointed.

Traditional Christianity over recent centuries, has tended to neglect the ministry of healing within the church by saying that miracles and healings in the name of Jesus was to assist in the establishment of the early church, but is no longer needed.

The need for Christian healing comes from our knowledge that our relationship with God has been broken by sin and disobedience and this relationship needs restoring.

 All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)

If we are going to draw on any of God’s blessings, our first requirement is to know what it is that God wants us to have. It is not just a matter of what we want but rather what God has promised and provided for us. We call this God’s will.

God has given us his very great and precious promises (2 Peter 1:4)

What does God promise concerning the healing ministry ?

The foundational promise:   “I am the LORD, who heals you.” (Ex 15:26)

Some people think it is faith healing. It is not faith that heals but God. However we need faith to draw on the healing that comes from God.

God has entrusted the ministry of healing to those who believe by faith.

We participate in this ministry through prayer and faith in Jesus Christ the Healer.

 When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick (Luke 9:1-2)

Healing is what God wants done in the world and it is the responsibility of the church to see that it is carried out. This ministry has been given to all members of the church simply by praying in faith.

If God wants us to be healed, and that is certainly His best purpose, then it is right for us to look to Him with faith, and pray for healing.

There are clear instructions in the New Testament for Christians to follow if and when they are sick.

 Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. (James 5:14-16)

This is a promise of God which is clear and definite and uncompromising as any other promise in the Bible.

Asking the elders to pray for us requires an act of faith on our part.

We need faith to draw on the healing that comes from God through Jesus Christ.


  1. We must know what the promises of God are, because they reveal His will.
  2. If the sick person hasn’t enough faith to believe for themselves, they need to have enough faith to ask the church to pray with them.
  3. It is the duty of all Christians to pray for healing, not a select few. 

Jesus heals today in the same way he healed in the days of his earthly ministry. But now he uses our faith, yours and mine. There is no limit to what God can do- if we know what is available and how to draw on it effectively.

109 Priority of Prayer

109            Priority of Prayer      

The importance of prayer and meditation of  the Word of God is a spiritual discipline too often neglected by church members with the excuse “I am too busy.”          ‘Prayer does not equip us for greater works-    prayer is the greater work.’ (Oswald Chambers)                                                         In the sermon on the mount Jesus gives his disciples their first public teaching. He tells them about the kingdom of God, its laws and its life. He not only explains that prayer is a very important part of life in the kingdom of God, but teaches them how to pray.    What better way is there  than praying the prayer Jesus taught? 

“This, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ Matt 6:9-13

The person, “Our Father.”                                                                                                                     We need to understand the Person we are talking to , Almighty God, and our relationship with Him. To pray the Lord’s Prayer effectively we must recognise He is our Father.

His position: (In Heaven). He is sovereign and in control.                                                                                   My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth .Ps 121:2                                         If He is Lord over every circumstance, and if He promised to help us  what do we have to worry about. We are in safe and secure hands.   

 His protocol: (Hallowed be Your Name).                                                                                        Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. Ps 100:4                             Not to enter God’s presence with a shopping list of wants but with thanks and praise. He is  our Saviour, Deliverer, Defender, Provider, Source of Strength, Lover of my soul and much more.  

 His priorities: (Your Kingdom Come) In the Kingdom of God, Christ rules. His Word settles all issues. “Seek first the kingdom of God” Matt.6:33, (His agenda, His priorities).  Each time God’s will is done, a little more of His Kingdom comes.

His provision: (Give us this day our daily bread).                                                                                             Jesus said “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4).  Some of the bread He feeds us is pleasant; some is painful. We need both to develop spiritual muscle to stand strong in the hard times.    God promises “No weapon formed against you shall prosper” (Isa. 54:17).

His pardon: (Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors).                                                         When we pray this we are asking God for a change of heart. Never forget God is always ready to forgive us when we ask Him.       “You are a God ready to pardon” (Neh. 9: 17).

His protection: (Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil). Protection from what? The evil one. Satan’s agenda is to “kill, steal and destroy” (Jn. 10:10). We place our hand into God’s hand to guide and protect us through life’s journey.

His pre-eminence: (Yours is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory, forever). “Yours is the kingdom”, reminds us that if Jesus is not Lord over all, He’s not Lord at all. “And the power” reminds us the purposes of God for our lives can only be fulfilled through His power at work within us. “And the Glory” reminds us that the credit for all our achievements must be given to almighty God.

108 Loving God

108            Loving  God

The importance of loving God in our daily lives only comes more apparent to us when we understand how much God loves us. Do you really know how much God loves you? Jn 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  Someone has said- I asked Jesus how much he loved me. He stretched out his arms and said, “This much”-and died.

How do we love God?    Worship. Prayer

The worship of God is the most important and the most difficult thing Christians do. Worship is being obedient to the first and great commandment.  “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’    Worshiping God creates a desire within us to seek His guidance and follow Christ and His teachings more closely. Jn 14:15 “If you love me, you will obey what I command. Worship of God is essential if we are to be the people God wants us to be. How much time and energy do we put into our worship?

3 principles to worship

  1. we must believe He exist
    • The jailer asked Paul and Silas, “what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” Ac 16:31
  2. have faith in Him. HEB 11 :6) Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
  3. Obedience to God’s Word.  Luke 11:28 “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”                                                                                 Prayer and Worship strengthens and develops our prayer life. Through worship we learn how and what to pray for. Passion to pray comes from worship.

“The Christian Church exists to worship God first of all. Everything else must come second or third or fourth or fifth. “Whatever Happened to Worship” A.W. Tozer

Hindrances To Worship 

Broken focus: In the story of Mary and Martha (Luke 10: 38-42) Jesus teaches us the importance of worship versus distractions.  Martha gets so distracted that she even tells Jesus what to do (v40). Distraction and worry can fragment us. Martha was preoccupied, whereas Mary was focused. What brought Mary into focus was her worship. 

107 To Honour God

107          To Honour God 

The beginning of the year 2023 opens up new possibilities for us in our personal life and in the Church. God is wanting to lead and empower us with the Holy Spirit into the new thing He has for us.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Cor. 5:17                   What does it mean we are a new creation? The Holy Spirit gives us new life; we are not the same anymore; we are brand new people on the inside i.e. re-created. 

If you have committed your life to Christ, then you have Christ living within your heart, you have a new life, you are born again by the Spirit of God. Once we have confessed our faith in Christ we have a spiritual obligation to  honour God in our lives. 

What does it mean to honour God? Like Samuel, we are to listen and respond to Him with our lives.

“Speak, for your servant is listening.” (1 Samuel 3:10) Listening and responding to God is vital in honouring God with our lives.     The phrase, ‘the Lord said’ is probably one of the most frequently used in the Bible.   God is speaking to us all the time.  The importance of listening to God cannot be overemphasized. If we want to know God’s will for us it is important that we learn how to tune in to His wavelength so that we might be able to hear what He is saying to us.

However there is a warning for all of us who have been followers of Jesus for a long time. One of the temptations for long term followers is to have an attitude that says: “I’ve heard enough,” and close our hearts to new things of God.   God is wanting a living relationship with His people through His Son Jesus. A living relationship is one that is never taken for granted but always seeking to be renewed by good communication.  Communication is a two way thing. That means we speak to God and He speaks to us.

How do we hear God’s voice?

Through prayer, Bible reading, and spending time waiting and listening. God chooses to speak to us mainly through His inspired written word in the Bible. However God does communicate to us in many other ways; visions, dreams, sermons, teaching, wisdom from other Christians, etc.

Honour God with our giving.

Honour the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. Proverbs 3:9-10. We need a generous spirit to give of ourselves and our possessions in order to honour our God.

Honour God with our bodies.

Our bodies are very important to us. Millions of dollars devoted to our bodies. Gym subscriptions, Weight watchers etc.  The Olympic games display what the human body can do through discipline, training and commitment. Our bodies are created by God for his Spirit to live in,  a temple of the Holy Spirit.

…. your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? (1 Cor 6:19)

 When we feel worthless or even begin to hate ourselves, remember the Holy Spirit is ready and willing to work within us. Sometimes we don’t let people get to know us completely because we are afraid they will discover something about us they won’t like.                                                                                    I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;(Ps. 139:14)

Our worth is not based on possessions, achievements, physical attractiveness, fame or fortune.  Instead it’s based on being made in God’s image. Because we bear God’s image, we can feel positive about ourselves. If we have a low self esteem we are actually criticizing what God has made and the abilities He has given us.

106 Hearing the Spirit -4

This is the final message in our series on ‘Are you listening to God?’  These messages are based on what the Spirit is saying in letters to the churches in Revelation 2-3. Love for God is the first priority and the second is to be faithful to God when experiencing hardship and persecution.   

Living in the truth of God’s Word is the third message of hearing the Spirit. 

The watchword in the fourth message in this series  is  Holiness..

Dictionary definition. Holy- ‘belonging to God; set apart for God’s service; sacred.’

Rev 2:20) I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols.

Ungodliness within the church, particularly sexual immorality, is being exposed through the media when church leaders fall prey to sexual sin. 

1 Cor 6:9-10) Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders….. will inherit the kingdom of God.

Some implications of sexual sin.

  1. Pollutes our identity.

Our sexuality is the foundation of who we are. First thing said about us at birth is, “it’s a boy or girl.” If we commit sexual sin then the foundation of our life is polluted.

  1. Violates and damages our emotions. 

Sexual activity awakens our deepest passions, it also exposes us to the greatest possibility of injury. e.g. Rape, both seducer and seduced have their emotions damaged.

  1. Sexual sin produces guilt that cripples our confidence in God’s forgiveness. 

Our sexuality is so significant a part of our human nature that when sexual sins have been forgiven by God we find it hard to release the guilt. It is easier to accept God’s forgiveness for other sins and not feel condemned.

  1. Marriage is compromised.

God invented marriage to provide the most intimate human relationship possible on this earth. Sexual sin causes a break in trust, which results in breakdown of communication, and loss of that intimacy which God so wants for us.

  1. Sexual sin has damaging spiritual consequences. 

1 Cor 6:15-16) Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 

According to Paul if we have Christ in our lives then we have the responsibility to keep our bodies pure. Falling into sexual sin  is like forcing Jesus to dishonour His body by having an immoral relationship with another person.

“Sex is like a river rich and deep and good as long as it stays within its proper channel. The moment a river overflows its banks it becomes destructive and the moment sex overflows its God given banks,  it too becomes destructive. Our task is to define as clearly as possible the boundaries placed upon our sexuality and to do all within our power to direct our sexual responses into that deep rich current.”   Quote R.Foster. Money, Sex  and Power. p 109

If we are aware of the terrible consequences of immorality it will help us not easily fall into temptation.

 Heb 12:14) Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.

The watch word for the Christians in Thyatira- ‘Holiness unto the Lord’.

It’s the same word for us today. 

Jesus is looking for a people who are holy- set apart for His service- to bring the good news of His healing love to all who would come to Him.

 Matt 5:8) Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 

All is not lost, as surely as the Lord Jesus calls us to be his disciples, he also forgives and sets us free from the worst of sins.

Remember Jesus words to the woman caught in adultery:“I do not condemn you, Go and sin no more.” (John 8:11)

105 Hearing the Spirit-3

Listen to the Spirit

The theme for this series is “Are you listening?”

To hear the voice of God more clearly we need to train ourselves to hear what the Spirit is saying to us and the do what He says. Listening involves being willing to be taught and eager to learn so that the knowledge we have gained can be used in God’s service.

Christian spirituality does not begin with us talking about our experience; it begins with listening to God call us, heal us, forgive us. This is hard to get into our heads. We talk habitually to ourselves and about ourselves. We don’t listen. (Eugene Petersen ‘Living the Message’)

God’s message to the Christians in Pergamum  could be summed up: 

Be faithful to the truth

Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me….(Rev. 2:13)

Pergamum was a sophisticated city, a centre of Greek culture and learning. Also a centre of cultic worship of the chief god was considered the god of healing so many came to this city seeking healing from this god. Pergamum was called the city ‘where Satan had his throne.’

Living amongst this satanic environment Jesus commends the Christians for not renouncing their faith even when one of their members was martyred by the Satan worshippers.

It was not easy being a Christian in Pergamum they experienced great pressure to compromise or denounce their faith in Jesus.

Rev 2:14-15) Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality. 15 Likewise you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 

The Nicolaitans compromised their faith so they could enjoy sinful practices.

If we have Christ in our lives we need to be aware of the temptation of compromise.  It may sound good, it may even make sense to our reason but it doesn’t lead to freedom.

It’s easy to make excuses to justify our behavior by saying to ourselves ‘it isn’t as bad as it seems or it won’t hurt our faith. God has strong words for those who look for excuses to sin.

Because we live in an imperfect world that imperfection permeates our lives. Sin and sickness touch our lives in one way or another, as a result we do not always experience the perfect life God would have for us.

John 8:31-32) Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you keep obeying my teachings.  32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 

Jesus came to set us free-not to do whatever we want because that would lead us back into slavery to our selfish desires. Rather we are set free to live an abundant life under his authority.

Hearing the Spirit- 2

104           Hearing the Spirit- 2

Rev 2:10) Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.         

In part 2 of this series, ‘Hearing the Spirit’, the Holy Spirit is warning the Christians in Smyrna that a time of persecution and suffering is coming soon but they are not to be fearful but remain faithful to Jesus even if it means death and their reward is the crown of life-eternal life.

The challenge for Christians  in the 21st century is to ask ourselves, “are we listening and being faithful to what God is saying to the Church?”

Jesus never said life  would be easy when we commit our life to Him:

John 16:33) “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” 

Paul encourages us with these words:

Rom 8:35-37) Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death? …. No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. 

We are to be faithful to Jesus and trust Him with our life’s situations whether they be times of hardship, suffering, sickness or just a difficult relationship and He promises us His peace.

John 14:27) Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. 

God is calling us to be faithful to Him as we hear and obey what the Spirit is saying to us in any given situation we may find ourselves in.                                                                          I want to draw our attention to what I believe is the greatest enemy to our faith,  ‘fear’.

Christians live in the kingdom of God by faith. We have faith in Christ as our Saviour and Healer. We trust Him with our lives.Young children trust their parents to supply all their needs. They don’t worry about such things because they trust their parents know what’s best for them. In the same way we should trust our Heavenly Father to supply what is best for us.

Paul says: Phil 4:6) Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Fear is the enemy of faith. Anxiety or worry is motivated by fear. Trusting is motivated by faith. Anxiety is a form of pride; it actually asserts that we think the matter is too big for God so we try to handle it ourselves. 1 Peter 5:7) Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 

Fear focuses on the problem- that which I feared has come upon me. If we allow the fear that we might get sick to dominate our thoughts, then we are creating an environment for sickness to germinate and grow. Fear puts doubts into our hearts that God can heal us. It can even cause us to doubt whether God wants to heal us.

Faith is the opposite to fear- Faith comes from God! Mark 11:22-24) “Have faith in God, I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, `Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. 

Too many Christians let fear control them, instead of allowing Jesus to rule their lives.God wants us to be a people of power and love and self control, a people who trust God, a people who let Jesus Christ be Lord of their lives.

103 Hearing the Spirit- 1

 Rev 2:7) He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. 

Are we listening to what the Holy Spirit is saying to the Church in 2023?

In this series of 4 messages I will be revisiting some of the teaching I gave in 2004 for the Jesus Healing Ministry Team at St. Thomas’ Anglican Church, Port Macquarie.NSW. Australia.


God was not pleased with the way the devil was having too much influence in the early church. He speaks through the Apostle John who was in exile on the island of Patmos, to write to seven churches in Asia. The letters contain God’s remedy for the devil’s strategies and outlines what God expects of His children.

As we look at what God is saying to the early Christians ask ourselves:

What can I learn from this?

What am I going to do about it?

What implications does it have for the Healing Ministry?

Letter to the church in Ephesus. Rev.  2:1-7     Summary :  LOVE

The Christians in Ephesus had let the influence of the world turn their eyes away from Jesus, reducing their passion for God which in turn diminished  their love for others.Ephesus was the wealthiest and greatest city in all Asia. It was the centre for occultic superstition, lucky charms pagan worship. The Temple of the god Artemis was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Craftsmen made a living from selling silver shrines  of Artemis and when Paul preached the good news of Jesus in that city it caused a riot the sales for the souvenirs of  Artemis dropped dramatically.

v2) ‘I know your deeds’  God knows all things

Ps 139:1-4) O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up.You know my every thought when far away. You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment you know where I am. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, LORD. NLT

We need to be aware we can’t hide anything from God- lying, bitterness, hate, unholy thoughts etc.

v3) God praises them for their  Perseverance & Endurance-  

Many times it will be necessary for us to persevere in prayer and persist in thanking God for the answer before healing takes place.

He also commends them because:

v6) They denounced and hated the Nicolaitans heresy:

  1. God’s law no longer applied, so we could do what we like.
  2. The body was evil giving permission for all types of sexual perversion etc.
  3. God’s grace protects us therefore one could do anything and not be harmed.

v4) You have forsaken (left) your first love-

They had not lost their first love but left it. When we lose something we don’t know where it is but when we leave something we know exactly where it is.

Forsaken first love means:

  1. enthusiasm & passion for God
  2. love for others.

I don’t believe one can be involved in the Healing Ministry without enthusiasm, passion for God and love for others. Without these attributes there is no incentive to pray or see people healed.

v5)  3 Steps to recovery.

  1. Remember where we have fallen in the past
  2. Repent and ask forgiveness
  3. Return to Jesus by recommitting our lives to Him.

102 The River of Life

102             The River of Life

Have you ever developed a great passion for something in your life for many years but of late your passion has weakened and it’s a struggle to be involved with that ‘something’?  It’s all too easy for believers in Christ with a long time commitment to the Christian faith and involvement in the life of the Church to lose interest and fall away.                                                         The church in Ephesus struggled with loss of passion for God. You have forsaken the love you had at first.  (Revelation 2:4)                        In today’s ever increasing pressure from social media etc, to follow the ways of the world, we Christians need to discipline ourselves to stand firm in the ways of God.

1 Peter 5: 9 Resist him (the devil), standing firm in the faith…

If you are a  believer who has had your spiritual thirst quenched by the living water of Christ who lives within you and you have been filled with the Holy Spirit. Then, according Jesus, out of your heart will flow rivers of life-channels of blessing-  living water-  the river of God.                                  John 7:38)  “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.                                                                                                                                                                      The river of God in Scripture represents His life and power. Sometimes the water flows from Jesus himself, at other times the living water represents the Holy Spirit. It is clear from the Bible that the source of the water of life is Christ himself and the Holy Spirit causes the water to flow and distributes it. The important thing to know is that the river of God represents spiritual life and power- the Presence of God.               The prophet Ezekiel sees a vision of the river of life. We need Holy Spirit discernment to understand the details given in this vision. (Ezekiel 47:1-12)

1-2) The river flows from the Temple-Sanctuary. John has a similar vision to Ezekiel, 600 years later. ( Rev. 22:1-2) The vision refers to our relationship with God. Daily quiet time, prayer and Bible reading.                                    Christian ministry flows from our worship of God.

 3)  Ankle- deep. -covering the feet.Initial blessings after conversion-honeymoon stage.                                                Isaiah 52:7 How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who Proclaim salvation, “Your God reigns!”                                                                                      The ministry of sharing the good news of salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ .

4)   Knee-deep.  Strength, endurance, persistence, perseverance. Ministry of keeping on- hang in there                                      Hebrews 12:1) Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.                                                         Also knee level could mean our full submission-bow our knee to the Lord.                                         Philippians 2:10) At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven  and under the earth and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

4  Waist-deep/ loins (RSV). Loins part of the body that produces seed to create life and gives birth. Fruit from ministry that brings life from the river of God. If no fruit, cut  it down.                                            Luke 13:6-9 Parable of fig tree with no fruit, given a 2nd chance but if no fruit then cut it down.

5  Too deep to cross- have to swim to allow the  river to take you. Flow with Holy Spirit-His direction. The Holy Spirit empowers the life of the church.

8)   Water reaches the Dead Sea- becomes fresh water. Salty water symbol of no life.                        Fresh water is life giving.

9)  Many fish live there- great harvest. The Holy Spirit alive church will attract many people.        Many souls are saved when they drink the life-giving water.

10)  Spreading nets- Represents unity amongst the churches. Many kinds of fish means many nations and cultures.

11)  Swamps & marshes- those who refuse to believe. River runs close by but the marsh remains salty. Those who oppose the church-Satan worshipers. Not willing to give up old life for the new life.

12)  Leaves of trees for healing- God’s healing power. Fruit never fails, unending blessings, fruit that lasts and satisfies our hunger.

There are 2 choices for all believers.

a) We can stand on the bank and watch the river flow past- there’s no benefit for us.

b) We can jump in the river even if we only get our feet wet. It is a great blessing.                                                    I’m not content to paddle in the river. I want to swim and allow the river of God to take me to where He wants me to go.