When Moses was born the Egyptians were throwing the Hebrew babies into the river to die, so Moses’ mom hid him in a basket in the river. He was found in that basket by Pharaoh’s daughter and raised in the kingdom. Moses, who would have died or been raised as a slave, was instead raised in the palace. Moses would eventually help deliver the Israelites out of Egypt. So why does God do this with Moses? You see God needed someone who thought differently than everyone else. He had to get a Hebrew delivered out of slavery and into the kingdom. God used the river to deliver Moses into a new way of thinking. In the same way, when we are born again, we are born into the Kingdom of God. It is in the palace that we learn to think differently. We are being transformed. You see, we need deliverance from the slavery of sin. In the river, we are delivered. But in the palace, you aren’t just delivered; you become a deliverer. Get into the Temple of God, His Royal Palace, and learn the Kingdom mindset. You are no longer a slave to sin–you’ve been set free. You are a deliverer!
In Luke 8, there is a woman who has been bleeding for 12 years and she’s seen every doctor, and no one can help her. She’s spent all her dough, but she sees Jesus, and she pushes through the crowd and reaches out and touches Him. Jesus says “who touched me.” Well, lots of people touched Him, but only one person got something. So she tells Jesus that she is healed, and Jesus says “Your faith has made you whole.” You see, there were hundreds of people pressing around Jesus, hundreds who were touching Him who got nothing. But there was one who got something. She believed, and she was hungry for healing. She was out in public where maybe she would feel ashamed, but she was bold. She pushed everyone out of her way. She was going to touch Jesus, and she was going to get healed. Her attitude stopped Christ in His tracks. It’s the kind of hunger He seeks. Jesus has the answer to your need, and He will stop everything to make sure you get it, but you gotta go get it. You gotta get hungry. You gotta press in, be bold, be unashamed, and be full of faith knowing that Jesus is the exact answer you need.
It says in Luke 15:1 that the “sinners” were gathering around Jesus “to hear him.” Gathering is a favorite trait of Christ, He is always gathering others. It’s in his next lesson as he shares the parable of a hundred sheep. They’re all together, but then one wanders away. The sheep are the believers. Notice that the one who wandered away didn’t cease to be a believer; he didn’t turn into a wolf or a goat, he is still a sheep. He only stopped gathering–he left the group. God hasn’t rejected him. He just stopped being a part of the gathering. Maybe the other sheep were making fun of him. Maybe he thought the grass was greener up the hill. This story is about believers who aren’t planted in a church. They’ve stopped gathering with the flock, but in this case, Jesus drops everything and runs to find the one. In verse 5 it says that “He joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home.” Whose home? Ah yes, the house of the Lord. Have you been away from church for a bit? Jesus is calling you back today. And as you walk in the door, picture yourself on the shoulders of Christ–He’s carrying you home.
“Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river.” (Ezekiel 47:12) These fruit trees are you; you are called to bear fruit to God. It goes on to say “Every month they will bear fruit, because…” Wait, because what? For a tree to bear fruit every month, something magical is happening. Most fruit trees give you fruit once a year. I want to be fruitful like this! So, because what? You ready? It says, “Every month they will bear fruit because the water from the sanctuary flows to them.” This whole chapter is about the new church, the church that Jesus spoke of, His church, His bride, the gathering place of those who are called out, the city whose architect and builder is the Lord. When you plant yourself in God’s house, and you get that water from the sanctuary every week, then you’re in the river of God’s Word and His Spirit. And it comes with a promise, not just of promised land that you are on, not just the glorious riches that are in the saints, not just the hidden mysteries of God, but also extra fruit. Do you need more fruit? Then get planted in God’s house, rooted and established in Him.