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Archive for December, 2013

A Deep Well

Scripture

John 4:11-14

11 She said* to Him, “Sir , You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water? 12 “You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?” 13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”

Observation

Jesus refreshes the deep places in our hearts

Application

When Jesus told this woman that if she would have asked him he would have given her living water, she only looked at him with her limited understanding. She has no spiritual sight yet. All she can think of is the physical world. She knows getting water requires a bucket and she saw he had no bucket, so no way to get water. She also tells him the well is deep. As I was thinking on why she said that, I came up with two possible reasons. One, she could be commenting on the fact that a stranger might not know that the water coming from the well was cold and refreshing because of its depth. In other words, maybe she is saying to him, “You’re offering me something better than what I can get here? Who are you to make that offer and how will you do it?” Another possible reason she might have commented on the well being deep is to tell Jesus that it won’t be easy to retrieve the water. But we know something beyond the physical is going on here. The woman is speaking of the physical realities of thirst and water, but Jesus is speaking of the spiritual realities of desire and satisfaction.

How well do you know yourself? It’s safe to say that you know yourself better than any other living person on earth, but there is One who knows more. Someone created you. You can only see what you can see. There are some things in us so deep that only the Lord who made us can help us see them and then meet the need. Some desires are deep within us. He is deeper still. We realize the woman doesn’t understand spiritual realities yet, but don’t we do the same thing even when we do have spiritual sight? Don’t we look with our physical eyes, and question how he will deliver on the staggering promises in the Scriptures? We wonder, “Is what He’s offering really better than what I can manufacture in my own strength by following my own way?” And deep wells are hard to get to. It takes effort…and really…who has the energy? The Good News really is good. He knows what you need even when you don’t and He meets needs you can’t meet.  He is the living water. His presence is enough. … He bids us to come and drink the water without price. Slow down today and meet with Him.

Prayer

Lord, we desperately need you. We don’t even know how much we need you. Draw us to yourself today. Fill us with your overwhelming goodness. Help us see You. Thank you for promising that you will never leave us or forsake us.

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Take the Gift

Scripture

John 4:7-10

7 There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” 8 For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. 9 Therefore the Samaritan woman said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

Observation

Jesus is the giver, not you.

Application

Neediness. Who wants to be needy? It feels much better to be in control and having no needs you can’t meet yourself. But, no matter what financial or emotional or physical state you find yourself in, there is an unalterable truth to our universe: You ARE needy. We are needy 100% of the time. We are dependent creatures. We need air, food, water, shelter, clothes, love, hope…it’s an endless list of neediness. This passage is so awesome because Jesus starts with a picture of his own human neediness. He was weary from his journey. He was thirsty. He really was fully human. He entered our humanity so that he could be a sympathetic high priest. No matter what you are facing today, Jesus experienced the same aching reality of humanity. Now the focus of the story shifts to the appointed person in His appointed plan. The woman comes to this place in time in desperate need, but she doesn’t realize it fully. I love that Jesus is the instigator in this entire story. He comes to the well at the right time. He engages in conversation with the woman. She doesn’t seek Him out. She doesn’t even know she needs what He’s got. That’s our Savior…He came to seek and save the lost. He is seeking you right now. You need Him. He is the gift He’s offering. His living presence inside you exchanging His life for your death. Make the exchange. Surrender to Him.

Prayer

Father, I confess that I desperately need you. Your word says the one who comes to you will certainly not be cast out. You are a good and faithful and sympathetic high priest. I can trust you to give me what  I desperately need. You see my inner place and my brokenness. You are not put off by the ugliness. You came to heal the broken places and set them right. Thank you that you do not get weary of me. Renew my spirit today. Cause me to walk in your commands.

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His Definite Plan, Timing, and People

John 4:1-6
Therefore when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John 2 (although Jesus Himself was not baptizing, but His disciples were), 3 He left Judea and went away again into Galilee. 4 And He had to pass through Samaria. 5 So He came* to a city of Samaria called Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph; 6 and Jacob’s well was there. So Jesus, being wearied from His journey, was sitting thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.

Observation:
Jesus had a very definite plan with very definite timing with very definite people.

Interpretation:
Seeing the word “Therefore”, makes you realize that the text is telling us this story based on reasons previously communicated. The prior chapter has told us two significant stories. The first is Jesus revealing to Nicodemus that eternal life comes through a second birth, not through the first physical birth. The second story is John revealing that Jesus’ ministry is more important than his own. Namely, that Jesus will remove the wrath of God from us. John 3:36 “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” So, with that backdrop, Jesus knew the time was right for Him to reveal specifically and directly that He was the promised Messiah.

Samaria is a country of outcasts and full of impurity to the Jewish religious order. The name of the town mentioned, Sychar, actually means town of the tombs…or town of the dead. It is full of Jewish history as the place Jacob gave Joseph and where Joseph actually was buried when his sons carried his body from Egypt back to Israel. So here, in the town of the dead, with the actual dead body of the first “savior” of Israel, Jesus will reveal himself to be the real Savior. Joseph had saved Israel through suffering. He was thrown into a pit by his brothers, sold into slavery, falsely accused and thrown into jail, and then exalted to a position of influence to save his nation from famine. Joseph famously says to his brothers as he forgives them, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive. “ Gen 50:20

Jesus comes to dead people and brings life with Him.

Application:
Wherever you find yourself at this moment in time, it is no accident. God has a perfect plan with perfect timing. When you are in the middle of something you don’t like or something that doesn’t feel good, it is easy to feel like it is just a big mess up. It’s not. Trust Him. He knows what He is doing. He knows ALL things. God is working all things… ALL things… to reveal Himself. We have been called for this moment in time to go to a far away place because God has a definite plan for a definite group of people. He’s doing a work in us and through us to reveal Himself to specific people in Ecuador. We don’t know all the details. We never will on this side of heaven. All we know is to be faithful in the moments He gives us. Rest in His plan. Rest in His timing. Repent of any lack of trust in Him. He is all-wise and all-good.

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