A Mighty River

March 19, 2015
by John Stuart

Psalm 46:4 – There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. (NIV)

Ezekiel 47:1b,3-5 – I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east. 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. 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. 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. (NIV)

I was born and brought up in Glasgow, Scotland. At one time, there used to be over a million people living in the city. Glasgow prospered due to being situated on the banks of the River Clyde, where great ocean-going steamships were built to be sent all over the world. Most Glaswegians are proud of their city and its achievements. They also love its famous river which brought economic prosperity to the whole population.

The source of the river is at a small town called New Lanark. Four small streams converge as waterfalls (or linns, as they are known in Scotland) and the River Clyde meanders to the sea, growing deeper, wider, and larger at every mile downstream. The Falls of the Clyde are quite beautiful and well worth visiting by any tourist. Out of that small stream in a small town, a mighty river is born which has changed the industrial history of Scotland, the United Kingdom, and the world.

Today's Bible verses express a similar process, all couched in spiritual terms. From a small stream at the heart of Jerusalem, what God has done has affected the entire world to this very day. Out of a small place, God's work has meandered throughout history until every nation on earth has been influenced by what has occurred in Jerusalem.

For us Christians, we are reminded that Christ's isolated and relatively insignificant death outside of the city walls of Jerusalem, and His subsequent resurrection have engendered a faith which has over two billion followers and is still growing throughout the earth. The goodness of God and the gladness of Christ's people have spread across kingdoms and nations, civilizations and generations in an amazing process of truth and love. And until Christ returns, that river of redemption will continue to grow, that small stream of salvation will carry on affecting the lives and souls of billions of people who are as yet unborn.

Questions for reflection:

What is the source of my faith? How am I passing on that source to the next generation?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are the source of everything that is sacred, loving, and true. You have called each of us into Your kingdom and continue to influence the lives of others around us. Help us to do whatever we can to encourage other people to come to Your living waters and be redeemed and forgiven, restored and welcomed into God's holy dominion. In Your sacred name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

John Stuart <traqair@aol.com>
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you John.


    You and I must think alike.


    Good Morning, John,
    Your devotionals always get my attention, but the river analogy is especially effective.
    Thanks and blessings.


    John, thank you so very much for all your time and efforts in sending your thoughts and teachings to us through the internet. When reading your blogs I often wonder what Paul would have done were the internet available to him in his day.
    This sermon is so honest and true that it makes us wonder why more ministers are not addressing the issues with sincerity and boldness. We are so thankful that you are!
    Please keep up the good work and not be discouraged by the lack of conviction of others. I plan on sending this sermon to others that I know will appreciate it and will let them know where to find you on the internet.

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