I left you with a cliffhanger from the first half of John 4 about the unnamed Samaritan woman. We eavesdropped as a conversation progressed between an unrighteous woman and a sinless Savior. This week, let’s see what that broken Samaritan did with what she learned from Jesus. I pray you’ll find healing for your own heart along the way and pass the good news along to others so they might believe.
“If we were asked to read to a dying man who did not know the gospel, we should probably select this chapter as the most suitable one for such an occasion; and what is good for dying men is good for us all, for that which we are; and how soon we may be actually at the gates of death, none of us can tell.” ~Charles Spurgeon
Sometimes we need a reality check. It’s so easy to day dream about another life. You see it on FB or IG and think, “Wow, their life is so picturesque. I wish I had that.” That’s a lie. Life is messy. Life is hard. And “your hard” isn’t as hard as someone else’s, just like “my hard” isn’t either. We lose perspective in the day-to-day and then start mentally architecting an easier, cleaner, wealthier, healthier life. I know you do it, because I do it, too.
Just because we wrestle with Scripture doesn’t mean God is trying to be tricky; this is God teaching us to discover Him. To work out our salvation (not work for it), as it says in Philippians 2:12. When we don’t work out our salvation using His Truth as absolute, we will drift. We begin rationalizing instead of searching and discovering with the use of Scripture. I bring this topic up because there’s a word of caution coming….
If you’re a new believer – you’ve come to the right entry point because we’re going to talk about foundational, spiritual teachings (aka: the shallow end of the pool). If you’re a seasoned believer – you’ve come to the right entry point because you should be teaching these truths to new believers and I will provide you with a clear framework to do so. Regardless of where you are on your walk, this Word is for you today.
My third son, Ezra, used to shove everything in his mouth. He had some developmental delays and putting things in his mouth was his way of examining items and understanding them better. However, what he chose to put in his mouth wasn’t always beneficial. New believers are similar – they don’t exactly know what’s right or wrong and they’ll “feed” themselves the wrong thing if there isn’t someone disciplining them...
…As we loaded the Uhaul I thought about all we tow around in life. Whether it’s a set of old, tattered books which contain knowledge from our experiences, one of those DIY projects we experimented with on our own heart, or some emotions we’ve shoved into a tattered bag and pushed to the back of the dark closet to keep them out-of-sight – we all have stuff. Hang-ups, bang-ups, and splintered edges.
Think about where you live. When it’s dirty – you know, clothes strung out, crusty dishes in the sink, mud caked on the floors, that weird smell coming from the bathroom – you can’t snap your fingers and it all magically goes back in place. The same with our own spiritual houses. From God’s perspective, we are neat and tidy, but sin still has residency. There are emotions strung out, dirty thoughts wandering the corridors, mud on our lips, and the pungent stench of pride. The penalty of sin is removed, but sin itself doesn’t evaporate when we say, “I will follow.” It’s a process, just like it is in our own physical homes. Room by room, closet by closet, the Lord transforms us. He helps pick up the messes, learn healthy practices, teaches where things belong, shows us what to throw out, and is a wonderful gentleman about it all.
God's presence provides rest. Have you ever had a season where you didn’t make time for God and then you found your life to be total chaos? God is not a God of disorder, and when I’m feeling the chaos creep in, I must stop and realize it’s because I’ve opened the door to something other than Him.
There are lots of things we can “worship” in this world, even without realizing it. Make a list of the things you do with your time, with your money, and with your thoughts. You're digesting those things into your life. The idols in our lives go down to the inmost parts (Proverbs 18:8) and they don’t just stay compartmentalized. They travel throughout our spiritual bloodstream.
God desires our best because He gave His best: Jesus. This a rich truth for us to anchor in our life, especially as we begin each morning. I understand not everyone is a morning person, but we see Christ’s example throughout the gospels of how He rose very early in the morning (Mark 1:35) to pray. Jesus knew that feeding our spiritual man first, would bring about a godly harvest for the day.
"God measures our love for Him by the love we show our brothers and sisters in every day fellowship with them. It is a serious thing to realize that our love for God just isn’t genuine if it fails the test of daily life with our fellow human beings. The same thing is true with humility. It is easy to think we humble ourselves before God. But humility before people is the only real proof that our humility before God is more than just a figment of our imagination. It is the only true evidence that humility has made a home in our hearts and become our nature." - Andrew Murray