READ: Ezekiel 47-48
THINK: What's something you'd never want to live without? Does some possession or convenience come to mind, or perhaps another person who means the world to you? But one thing is worth infinitely more than anything: God's presence. The greatest blessing one could ever experience is the soul-invigorating, life-giving presence of God-the true essence of joy, happiness and peace. Apart from His presence there's no real life or hope. The absence of God's presence is the essence of hell's torment. The book of Ezekiel ends with a great promise that all God's people will one day live forever in a place called "THE LORD IS THERE" (48:35). As a result of God's eternal presence, His people will never again experience the sorrows, disappointments, pains and troubles of their former lives on earth (Revelation 21:4). This is our ultimate hope as we look forward to the day when we will see Jesus face to face.
RESPOND: What's special about the water that flows from the temple of God's glory? (See 47:1-12 note.) What happens wherever the river flows (47:9-12)? What's the significance of the river flowing to the Dead Sea (47:8-9)? (See 47:1-12 note.) What could the variety and abundance of fish symbolize as the river spreads (47:10)? (See 47:1- 12 note.) In addition to life, what else does the water bring (47:12)? How is the river's activity similar to what Jesus said would happen through His followers (cf. John 7:38)? How are the waters described in Ezekiel like the spiritual revival God can bring if His people pray and prepare? (See 47:1-12 note, subpoint 2.) If the reference to Israel's resident "aliens" (47:22) is spiritual and not just physical, then who might the children be? (See 47:21-23)? When will the allotment of land described in this passage take place? (See 47:21-23 note.) What's significant about the name of the city given in 48:35, and what hope does this provide? (See 48:35 note.) Why is God's presence the greatest blessing we can enjoy? What will be among the benefits of the Lord's eternal presence? (See 48:35 note.)
PRAY: Give thanks for the blessing of God's presence and the live-giving flow of His Spirit that can refresh others through you. Pray that God will send spiritual refreshment and renewal as needed in your life and your church.
ACT: Make deliberate effort to let God's love and life flow through you to encourage, help and influence the people you interact with and encounter today so that His presence, power and passion may become evident to them.
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