He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. John 7:38

At salvation, the Holy Spirit is received into our lives to direct and correct us for the rest of our lives on this earth. That is just one of the gifts we receive at salvation; there are many more. The Word of God is then illuminated by the Holy Spirit like a fountain of freshwater for the soul.

God has ordained that the Christian should collect this eternal life-giving truth or “water” to supply his own soul and then to give it out to those in our circle of contact through word and deed. God gives us truth, not only for application for our own souls but to recycle to the thirsty souls of this world. God has chosen us to participate in the application of the love of God for all mankind. This is the greatest way that we can bring glory to God and lift His name up. It is the purpose of the Christian life; otherwise, we might as well go to Heaven immediately at salvation. The thriving saint learns to freely drink of this water and then to give it away to make room for more.

I have seen that our churches are populated with three different kinds of Christians. They are illustrated by three different kinds of ponds.

First, there are far too many saints sitting in the pews with a very stagnant pond. They regularly drink of the truths from the Word of God through preaching and even from their own Bible study, then do nothing with that truth. They effectively take the water in but do nothing to give it out. It doesn’t take long to stagnate and stink. It is easy to feast on the manna and get fat and sassy while the world around goes to Hell. This pond breeds no life and is a source for the parasites to multiply to the hurt of our fellow man. This is one of the major reasons that the world does not see or know Jesus Who is abundantly evident in everything around us.

Another kind of Christian that probably isn’t sitting in the pew is the saint who replaces service with a relationship with God. This is the convert who actively serves God and shares his “water” with all those around him but fails to drink enough himself. He gives the water out through sharing and service but doesn’t reach back into the well to replenish. Depending on his fervency, this is the Christian who serves for a time and then quits. His life-pond dries out, and this once vibrant Christian can no longer support any other life. He is probably not in church anymore but now recluses at home, having contracted a multitude of diseases associated with the dry pond: discontentment, discouragement, depression, feeling of being deprived. If you meet another Christian who says, “I used to go to church, but…” you have probably met one of these dry-pond saints. This spiritual death can take days, months, or even years; it depends on the ratio of get to give.

Lastly, there is the Christian who is living the abundant life that Jesus promised. He freely drinks deeply and regularly from the truth and fellowship the Holy Spirit offers and then just as freely shares it with others around him. The difference, I guess, is love—I Corinthians 13 love. That love compels him to share what God has given him with a dry and thirsty world. That fountain of life supports a multitude of other life. I have seen some Christians who support ten other Christians in a Sunday school class, another who supports twenty on a bus route, and others who support thirty, forty, fifty, and more in the ministries that God gives to him. The amount, to some extent, is up to him. Every Christian must be careful to first get, and then give. The more he drinks, the more he has to give; the more he gives, the more he gets. Just be careful to get as much or more than you give. It requires a lifetime of balance.

To the saint who masters this truth, God promises an abundant river of life…

He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. John 7:38

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Jim Carey, Christian School Teacher

Jim Carey was the first staff member hired by Pastor Trieber in 1976. For over 40 years, he has served in many capacities. He has taught in the Christian school since its inception and has taught junior church every Sunday for that entire time as well.