The promise – Part 6
“By this [Jesus] 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.” (John 7:39 NIV)
There’s a curious note in John’s gospel regarding the promise that Jesus made in a loud voice in Jerusalem that day, when he said that whoever believed in him would have rivers of living water flowing from within. It says, “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.” Jesus hadn’t yet died and risen from the dead. He had as yet to die for your sins and mine. Sin had to be pardoned and put away. Once he did that, the Holy Spirit was given and the promise fulfilled. The only way to experience what Jesus was talking about is to confess your sins and accept the atoning sacrifice of Jesus on the cross so that the debt of your sin can be paid. Then you can say, “I’m thirsty, Lord. You not only promised me forgiveness; you promised me fulfillment.”
So whether you’re a senior citizen or sixteen years old; whether you’re rich or poor; or whether you’re white, black, Asian, or Latino; the promise is for you. Remember: Jesus didn’t say, “If anyone’s thirsty, let them come to church.” You can go to church and never get to Jesus. You can even own a Bible and never get to him. It has to be a personal, intimate thing. You have to say, “Jesus, I am thirsty, and I know you didn’t plan for me to live this way. I’m thankful for all the physical things you’ve given me, but inside I have an emptiness and a yearning for something more, and I’m not ashamed to admit it.”
I want to declare to you today on the authority of God’s Word that only Jesus satisfies. Come to him today and tell him, “Change my life, Lord; fix it up. I am not experiencing the peace and joy that you promised in your Word. The problem is never with you; it’s with me, so with childlike faith, I’m coming to you!” You will be glad you did.