Monday, February 09, 2015

Devotional : A Mighty River - Psalm 46:4

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

            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 verse expresses a similar event, all couched in spiritual terms. From a small stream at the heart of Jerusalem, God has created three world-wide religions that have affected the entire world, even 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, has engendered a Faith which has over 2 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.

Question 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.

John Stuart is currently the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to ask questions or make comments about today’s message, please send him an email to

Today’s image is one of John’s latest Pentecost drawings called “Spirit Dancers.” If you would like to view a larger version, please click on this link: Dancers.

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