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Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

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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Not Hopeless Enough

It seems I start every blog post with a comment on how long it has been since I last blogged. This time, it has been over a year since the last entry. That’s impressive. =) I’m sure there have been people checking here everyday to see if today was the day that I would write. =) Well…I think this is the last time I will do that (comment on my infrequent blogging, not actually write.) I am going to accept that I am hopeless about blogging regularly. Since I only write to process thoughts anyway I should only need to apologize to myself.

Anyway…back to the original thought…I was walking last night and thinking about hope. For the most part, we are hope-filled creatures. If we started enumerating all the ways we have hope, most people would have numerous things to list. However, we all have bouts of hopelessness in our lives. Something isn’t going like we want and we struggle to keep hope. It’s easy to get myopic about the one thing in our lives that isn’t going well. The thought I had while walking was that maybe hopelessness is a good thing. Maybe I am not hopeless enough. I know… a strange thought.

Let’s see if I can make a case for my thought. Everyone has hope. To be sure, not everyone has the same amount of hope and not everyone has hope in the same things. But, I believe that once you cease to have hope in anything, you are not much longer for this world. Let me list a few things in which people have hope: enough money, people you love, a roof over your head, food to fuel your body, time, ability, normal life, entertainment, electricity, a good night’s rest, Jesus, health, productive work, good relationships, clothes that make you feel attractive, a car, a good credit history, the right body weight, the right candidate to get elected. There is only one thing on that list that you can bank on 100% of the time. One thing. One person, actually. You know who it is.

If you are not a follower of Jesus, you don’t have even one reason to have hope. You are experiencing God’s grace and mercy every second of every day. Every gift could be taken tomorrow, including your life, and God would have done you no wrong. Everything happening in your life (the good and the bad) is designed to drive you to Him… to acknowledge His supremacy in everything, so that you can know Him, so that you can thank Him. Everyone is on a journey to face Him. One day everyone WILL face Him. In this life, until you submit to Him and bow to Him as the King instead of yourself, you are taking what is His as your own. That’s theft and if we had a person in our lives that did that to us over and over again, they wouldn’t be in our lives very long. But… do not fear. God is good and forgiving. What He demands of us, He provides. He offers you Jesus. Your sin for His righteousness. He never did anything wrong. He gave up His life willingly to pay the penalty that God demands for sin. The Father poured out his wrath for sin on Jesus. Jesus paid the penalty for sin for anyone that trusts Him. He rose from the dead to prove that He was who He said He was and that He did what He said He would do. His perfect righteousness can be yours for the asking. You can’t beat that deal.

If you are already a follower of Jesus, you DO have a reason to hope. You have something rock solid to bank on everyday. Jesus will never leave you or forsake you. He will provide for your needs. He continues to forgive your sin. While I was walking I kept thinking how often I transfer this hope I have in Jesus into that gift list I listed earlier. If I am really honest, it’s the gift list giving me hope. I know… because if something goes away, I have a tendency to lose hope. Those aren’t good sources of hope. They are gifts, to be sure, but just that. They should produce thankfulness and reminders everyday of how good God is, but they aren’t good indicators of how much He loves me. The only thing that infallibly tells me how much I am loved is Jesus’ death for me.  If I turn the gifts into a hope source…they fail… and they all fail eventually. Using gifts as hope is idolatry. and an idol is just something we turn to for help other than God. So…maybe I am not hopeless enough. I’ve only got one reason to have hope… but, thankfully, it is a VERY good source of hope. When my false hopes fail, it drives me to the one good source of hope. Anything is good when it drives me to Jesus.

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