by Richard L. Burguet •
At the end of the feast Jesus stood and cried out, “If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.’ But this He spoke of the Spirit.” John 7:37-39
The evangelism God uses is the result of an overflowing heart of someone vitally connected to his heart. Ultimately, authentic and effective outreach is what is left in our wake when we hotly pursue after Jesus. If we are overwhelmed by God’s grace, we will overflow with His Spirit and we will not be overcome by the fears which so often paralyze and discourage us from sharing our faith. Our primary preparation, then, is to first preach the Gospel to ourselves so that the refreshing truth of His grace flows deeply in our own hearts. Then we will attract those who are thirsty for the “living waters” of His grace. (John 4:13-15)
Evangelism is not something you go out and do in your own effort. Rather God desires that we become so connected to the Holy Spirit as the source of our lives that His character (the living Word) and His message (the written Word) bubble up and overflow into all of our relationships. You can not give away God’s love, joy, peace, grace, purpose or forgiveness if you are not experiencing them firsthand. Jesus understood that we often try to serve from the dryness of our own resources (John 15:1-4) As a result, we have nothing of substance to give because there is no overflow.
Are your key relationships being blessed because of God’s overflow in and through you? (Relationships like spouse, kids, family, friends, neighbors, work associates.) Proverbs tells us to “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:23 Are you prepared for evangelism by making certain you rlife is built daily around the living waters of God’s Word and Spirit which bring life and vitality? Christ called us to be fresh, flowing rivers who give ourselves away to others, rather than stagnant reservoirs who hoard the blessings of God for ourselves. That is why He cried out concerning the Spirit, He who believes in me… from his innermost being will flow rivers of living water. (John 7:37-39)
When Paul prayed for the church at Ephesus to overflow their faith to their friends he prayed that God would bless them according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:16-19)
Two serious questions stand now that you must answer. First, at present, is my life more like a reservoir or a river? Why? And second; What must I do, to once again become overwhelmed by God’s grace so that I can experience overflow?