Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Why Pray?

Did you know that God wants to spend time with you?
 He wants a relationship with you. In Genesis 3, Adam and Eve hid from God when they heard him walking in the garden. Clearly, it was no surprise to them that he was there. The implication is that in the beginning God walked and talked with Adam. 
How much time do you think a good relationship requires?
I know that many of us have busy schedules, and finding time for prayer can be difficult. But I submit that we make time for the things that we find important. As a group, half of us spend five minutes or less a day communing with our God and Savior. Another quarter spend 5-15 minutes a day. Not long ago I was in that first half. But I made a commitment to pray more, and I have been seeing the fruit of this time spent with the Lord in my daily life.
So here’s my challenge to you: If you’re not already spending 15 minutes a day with God, make 15 minutes your daily goal. If you’re at 15 already, then challenge yourself to increase your daily time with him by 5, 10 or 15 minutes. And if you are already spending hours with him weekly, you are blessed! I know that you are seeing the fruit of your labor!
In Malachi 3:10 God says, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” This refers to crops or money, but I submit to you that if you give a “tithe” of your time you will see similar blessings in your life. God loves you, and He wants to spend time with you. But He needs you to make the next  move.
If you’re not sure what or how to pray, here’s a simple acrostic to help you: ACTS
A - Adoration - Worship God by admiring his attributes, creation, works, and activity in the world. Praise Him through music or reading the Psalms or other scripture about Him to Him.C - Confession - Your own, your family’s and your nation’s sins.T - Thanksgiving - In everything give thanks!S - Supplication - This is where you present your requests to Him. Don’t forget your leaders and nation, too! 

And if you have no idea what to say to God, just talk to him about what’s going on in your life. Remember, it’s a conversation, not a performance.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

John 11 - I AM the Resurrection and the Life

  At the close of John 10 we see the Jewish leaders once again seeking to arrest/kill Jesus. And once again He escaped their hands for His time had not come. Jesus then went across the jordan and remained where John the baptist was first baptizing. (John 10:40)   

In John 11 we see the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ coming to a close as Jesus is standing in the shadows of the cross. John uses this last & 7th sign of his gospel as proof that Jesus is the glorious divine Son of God. 

As this chapter opens, we see that Lazarus, a friend of Jesus, is very ill. His sisters send a messenger to let Jesus know. Jesus sends them this message from verse 4, "But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”.
Jesus said... 
1) Lazarus will not die
2) This illness is for the glory of God, so that the Son may be glorified.

 Lazarus, Mary, and Martha were good friends with Jesus. We see Martha opening their home to Jesus in Luke 10:38-42 and in John 12 they are hosting a dinner celebration in honor of Jesus. Note the love between this family and Jesus.
Mary loved and adored Jesus as Messiah.  vs 2 "It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment...." (we see this in John 12)
* The sisters, Martha and Mary, said, "Lord, he whom you love is ill." vs 3
Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus. vs 5

Jesus having dinner with Lazarus, Martha, & Mary. Luke 10:38-40
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when he heard that Lazarus[a] was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.  

It was love that kept Jesus away a few days longer.  God loves even when the cancer is not healed. He loves even when their is pain, suffering, and turmoil. He loves when the grade isn't made, when the money isn't there, when the children are acting up, when the spouse walks out, when it does not mean that God does not love. Sometimes there is a waiting period where roots of faith need to go down. God's love is not pampering, rather, His love is perfecting. He Loves us with a refining love.

In this story, Jesus would reveal His full diety and power to HIs disciples. In just a matter of days now, His disciples were about to see their Savior die on the cross and Jesus was preparing and perfecting their faith for what was to come. Jesus was about to reveal, once again, in a climatic manner that HE IS GOD.

Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” The disciples said to him,“Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?”Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. .”

It was time to go to Bethany to "awaken" Lazarus. The disciples did not understand and thought Jesus was out of him mind to want to head back to Judea where the leaders were looking to kill him. Jesus, being one with the Father, knew the will of the Father. Though His hour of suffering on the cross was getting close, it had not come yet. He would be walking in the day - walking in the knowledge and will of God. His hour had not come so He would be safe as walking in the day. Those who walk in self reliance apart from God's will walk in the dark and stumble.
The disciples did not quite understand what Jesus was saying, but bravely followed Jesus expecting to possibly die with him! The disciples had love and faith, but they still needed refining.

When Jesus arrives in Bethany, Martha runs to Jesus. 
Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 
She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” John 11:21-27
Martha believed. She believed Jesus was the Christ that Old Testament prophets had talked about and that the nation Isreal had been waiting for. She believed that Jesus was one with the Father and whatever He asked God would do to help make the situation better. Martha believed that there was a heavenly resurrection on the last day. But did she believe that Jesus could raise her brother after being in the tomb for 4 days? Was that too much for Jesus, the Son of God? Jews of that day believed that after 3 days the spirit of the deceased person left them. Lazarus was beyong the help of Jesus because it had been 4 days, you know! Jesus had done many many signs and wonders already up to this point, even raising 2 others (atleast 2 documented cases) from the dead. Why did Martha and Mary not expect Jesus to raise Him from the dead since in verse 4, Jesus did say this illness wouldn't lead to death. He also told them that God would be glorified! Were they so blinded by their sorrows that they forget what He had told them? How often do we take our eyes off of Christ and become consumed with our pain or suffering? That waiting time when we are unsure how God is going to rescue can be difficult. We as believers can stand in faith knowing that our God see's are situation and hear's our cries. He is a God who comes down to rescue. He doesn't always answer our prayers the way we expect, but He does ALWAYS love, hold, and carry His followers.

 "Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.”  Jesus wept. So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”  John 11:32-36
In this passage we see the humanity of Jesus and the heart of God. Jesus wept. We do not have a God who does not or cannot sympathacize with us! As Isaiah says, He was a man of "grief and sorrows". (Isaiah 53) Jesus loved these people and they were weeping as if they had no hope! We see the fall in Genesis 3 and since then this world has been cursed. Humanity suffers through life with much sadness, pain, evil, and our greatest enemy death. Jesus, being God, can see the great divide between good and evil. He knows hearts and the many who would deny Him even after seeing so many great signs. The human heart is fickle, who can understand it?! Thanks be to God who sent us Jesus Christ! He made a way for us to be healed and He made overcoming death possible!  "I AM the resurrection and the Life!" Jesus has power over life and death. He speaks it and it is. Nothing can separate from the love of God! (Romans 8) 
Jesus came to the tomb. He told them to move the stone. Martha could not help herself, she had to make sure Jesus knew it had been 4 days and moving the stone may not be a good idea Jesus because it's going to smell. Did the thought cross her mind that Jesus knew what He was doing?  Do we question Jesus sometimes?  Are we slow to understand?  God grow our faith and help us with our unbelief!
Jesus gently reminds Martha what He had already told her in verse 4, "Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?"  Martha steps back, quiets down, and watches God in the flesh awaken the dead!
Jesus thanked God the Father for the benefit of the listens to know and believe that they are ONE. Then Jesus spoke, "Lazarus, Come out!".  
 "The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” John 11:43-44
Awake and rise to life. The thief, Satan, comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but CHRIST comes to bring LIFE. (John 10:10) Unbind him and let him go. Set free the captives! (Is 61) What thought or action do you need to throw off? Who do you need to help set free?

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." Gal. 5:1
The words of Jesus from verse 4 ring true. The illness did not lead to death and God and the Son were glorified! Many believed Jesus and the disciples faith grew that day no doubt. 

Even youths shall faint and be weary,
    and young men shall fall exhausted;

but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
    they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
    they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:30-31

Wait on the LORD. Trust His timing. Even if you can't see the light in the darkness, trust that it is coming. Praise His name in the storm. Thank Him for His goodness. 
Ask Him, "LORD, show me your glory!!"

Not all were excited about this great miracle. When the leaders got wind of it they decided they weren't going to wait till after the passover now to sieze Jesus. 

Jesus was too risky. He was too dangerous. The Romans may take notice and end their temple worship and even nation all together. So Ciaphas, the high priest of Israel, out of pride, hardness of heart, and fear of the Romans, declared this innocent man guilty. He gave orders to look for and arrest Jesus. 
Ciaphas (High Priest AD 18-36) did not realize it, but he spoke a prophsey by saying that one man would die for the nation. 

(Ciaphas) prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. So from that day on theymade plans to put him to death." John 11:51-53
All of this was according to God's plan. He loves us. He has hope and a future for us. We have nothing to fear for He is for us and He has overcome death! What an incredible truth and promise! What an awesome and good God! 
"“Where, O death, is your victory?  Where, O death, is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Cor 15:55-56
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

John week 8 homework copy.pdf

Saturday, October 19, 2013

John 7:1-10:41 Jesus at the Feast of Tabernacles

Leviticus 23 mentions all the feast of the Lord. The main ones are the Sabbath, Passover, Feast of the first fruits, Feast of Weeks, Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah), Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) and Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot).

The Feast of Tabernacle is a seven day holiday instituted in the Torah. It takes place right after Yom Kippur. Rosh Hashanah is a fairly gloomy time as it is a time of repentance. For 10 days the Jews present offering to God and repent. Yom Kippur is a day of Atonement. Righteousness finally restored.

Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) on the other hand is a happy celebration. It is known as the week of rejoicing.

"My time has not yet come, but your time is always here. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil. You go up to the feast. I am not going up to this feast for my time has not yet fully come." John 7:7-8 (emphasis mine)

Jesus is telling his brothers that he is not going.


Let’s step into the time machine and go back to the Israelites in the desert at the foot of Mount Sinai (cf Exodus 20-32).

View from Mount Sinai

Moses is about to go up the mountain and is about to receive the 10 Commandments. The Israelites were to wait at the foot of Mount Sinai. Moses’ last words to them were

“Be ready on the third day, do not go near a woman.” Exodus 19:15

Moses was on Mount Sinai for much more than 3 days and the Israelites were getting antsy. So they decided to make a golden calf, worship to it and party.

When Moses came down the mountain and saw the debacle, he saw red and throw the tablets down. Thus being the first person to break all 10 commandments. :)

Moses ask for God’s forgiveness and go up the mountain again. The Israelites were to wait and repent. The first Rosh Hashanah and the first Yom Kippur. After this they started building the Tabernacle that would hold the Ark of the Covenant.

So the feast of Tabernacles represents restored fellowship with the Lord, God’s presence among His redeemed people.

"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us" John 1:14 (emphasis mine)

gerund or present participle: dwelling
live in or at a specified place.
"groups of gypsies still dwell in these caves"
synonyms:reside, live, be settled, be housed, lodge, stay;
informalput up;
formalabide, be domiciled
To dwell means that you are here to stay. When God restored His fellowship with the Israelites it was after a time of repentance. John had hinted before that there had been a serious spiritual decline in Israel. Jesus knew (knows) what was in the heart of men (John2:24).

Falsehood is the heart of men. Jesus was not there publicly at first because his true presence would not be recognized. Sins were not atoned for.
Interestingly enough John7:11 states that the Jews were seeking him.

Are you a seeker?

 "About the middle of the feast, Jesus went up into the temple and began teaching." John 7:14
Specific passages of the Torah are read throughout the year. So there would be specific readings for the feast of Tabernacles. Halfway through the feast the reading would have been on Exodus 33-34.
Exodus 33-34 is about the second time Moses went up the mountain and brought back the commandments. It is about righteousness being restored and fellowship with God. It is about building the Tabernacle and God's presence dwelling among them. Jesus is reading about himself, dwelling among His people and restoring relationships. How beautiful is that?!?!

Some wanted to kill him but most were asking

Can this be the Christ?

The Feast of Tabernacles has a prophetic fulfillment. Zechariah 14:16-17 states that every nation will come to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts at the Feast of Tabernacles. Ezekiel 37:26-27 states that at that time God's dwelling place with be with them and that He will pitch His tent forever.

"During the seven days of Sukkot a sacrificial pouring out of water (called a "water libation") was performed at the Temple (Sukkah 51a-b). In a ceremony called nisuch ha-mayim, the High Priest would lead a procession to the pool of Shiloach (Siloam) where he would fill a golden pitcher with water and then return to the courtyard of the Temple."
Jeremiah 2:13 is a warning from God to His people as He is telling them that they have sinned against Him by forsaking Him, "the fountain of living waters." On the last day of the feast Jesus stands up and shout "If anyone thirst, let him come to me and drink." John 7:38.

All who are thirsty........ It is a recurring theme throughout the Bible. Water is a mean of purification, cleansing and refreshment. During his encounter with the Samaritan woman, Jesus told her that  the water He gives will become a spring of eternal life.

Where do you get refreshed? Facebook? TV? Magazine? Or the Word of God? We make up all kind of excuses (me included) as for why we do not have the time to read the Bible and why we do not have anything to share about the passage because it was too long. We do not have the luxury to allow ourselves such excuses. We HAVE to spend time in His word and be truly refreshed.

After the water ceremony four giant Menorahs were lit.

The whole temple would be lit and become this beacon of light in Jerusalem.

Again Jesus spoke to them saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." Jesus 8:12 (emphasis mine)

 Jesus IS the Feast of Tabernacles. Jesus is I AM. Jesus IS all that we need.

The next sign he performs goes to prove all of that.
John 9 talks about the blind man. Many things can be drawn from that passages but here we will focus on the first part, the healing part.
Jesus spits on mud, puts it on the man's eyes and tells him to wash it in the pool of Siloam.

The pool of Siloam is the same one that the Priest would draw water from for the water ceremony during the feast of Tabernacles.

All who are thirsty.....

This pool is fed by a stream called the Gihon spring. This spring is mentioned in the book of Genesis as one of the spring flowing from the garden. The same spring was flowing at the bottom of the mountain where Abraham took Isaac to sacrifice him.
So the blind man went to the pool of Siloam and cam back seeing. (John 9:7)

I AM the light of the world.

Why did John write this gospel? He tells us in John 20:31 "but these things are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name."

John very carefully picked 7 signs and 7 I AM statements. Make sure to write those down and ask yourself what they mean to you. We have shown here that Jesus IS the feast of Tabernacles. We will later on show that he is the Passover and Pentecost. We will hopefully prove that he is everything, that in Him all things were made. John 1

Do you believe?

Friday, October 11, 2013

John 5:1-6:71 Healing on the Sabbath and the first I AM statement

So far Jesus is pretty popular. He speaks with authority and many come to listen to his teachings. He heals many and flocks of people follow him. But Jesus did not come to be popular. He was on a mission by the Father. He speaks with authority and the origin of this authority rubs people the wrong way.

John 5:1 "there was a feast of the Jews"........ 
The Jews have many feast, all ordained by God throughout the year. If you want to know more about them read Leviticus 23.

 All those feast are feasts of the Lord but here John calls it a feast of the Jews suggesting a decline in spirituality and lack of proper focus.

 By the pool of Bethesda laid a multitude of invalids. They were all waiting for the water to be stirred. It is said that an angel would come down and stir the water. The first person to go in the pool would be healed. One man that was there waiting, had been there for 38 years. 38 YEARS. Waiting, praying, hoping, at this point resigned to his fate.

The pool of Bethesda
Jesus walks straight to him. Jesus, the Word that became flesh, the son of God, I AM on earth is walking straight to this man who has been praying for 38 years to be healed and probably lost hope. Be encouraged by that. Pray, ask, keep on praying, keep on asking. Even when you lose hope God answers.

Jesus heals this man physically but more importantly he heals him spiritually. See verse 5:14

Beautiful story of grace, mercy, love, redemption except that it happened on the Sabbath. Because of this the Jews were persecuting Jesus. And Jesus answered

"My father is working until now, and I am working."

 The Jews had what they needed to persecute him and kill him. He was claiming to be equal with God!!! Blasphemy! Or is it?

What is the Sabbath?

The Sabbath is said to be be the best known and least understood of all Jewish holidays.

Where does it come from? 

"So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation." Genesis 2:3

"Six days you shall do your work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; that your ox and your donkey may have rest, and the son of your servant woman, and the alien may be refreshed." Exodus 23:4

"Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work. It is a Sabbath to the Lord in all your dwelling places." Leviticus 23:3
No work shall be done. What is work? The Hebrew work for work is Melachah. It generally refer to the kind of work that is creative, or that exercises control or dominion over your environment. Rabbis have then found 39 categories of forbidden work.  

So did Jesus break the Sabbath? A crime to be punished by death (see Exodus 35:2). What Jesus did was answer a man's prayer. Does God not answer prayer on the Sabbath? In my heart of heart I know that He does.

"Truly truly I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing." John 5:19

 But the Jews got him on a technicality and they will persecute Him until they can crucify Him.

This is the turning point of the Gospel of John. Gloves are off. Jesus speaks the truth and the truth hurts and disturbs. 

In John 6 Jesus makes his first I AM statement. I AM the bread of life. Whoever comes to me shall not hunger. "This is the bread that came form heaven, not like the bread the fathers are and died." John 6:58. He is referring here to manna, a coriander seed like bread that God provided daily for the Israelites while they were in the desert (See Exodus 16). Jesus makes here some very radical statements like "For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink." John 6:55
 Are we talking about the Walking Dead, season 4, Jerusalem edition?

We know that He is referring to the communion and the last supper. We know because we stand on the other side of the resurrection. We know because we have the Holy Spirit in our hearts helping us understand. We know but they did not. They did not understand that Jesus was talking about spiritual food (our daily bread, the Word). This was hard sayings and many were grumbling.

"Do you take offense at this?" 

 Some teachings are hard and makes us grumble. Homework might get harder as we will be dealing with longer reading and tougher teaching.

Do you take offense at this?

There will be times when the teaching will stir you and make you uncomfortable and you will want to close the book and walk away.
And Jesus will be asking you

Do you take offense at this?

"The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life?"

Do you want life?

Take his words, ponder on his teaching, follow his commandments. And when you hear him ask you "do you take offense at this?" be like Peter and reply "to whom shall I go you have the words of eternal life."


Saturday, October 5, 2013

John 4 - Samaritan Woman & The Faith of a Nobleman

His love never fails.
The love and calling of Jesus crosses every cultural, economic, ethnic, & social barrier. 

 Jesus  left Judea and departed again to Galilee. But He needed to go through Samaria. John 4:3-4

Jesus left Judea because the Pharisees heard that Jesus's disciples were baptizing more than John the Baptist's disciples. It was not time for Jesus to confront the Pharisees so He and His disciples headed north back towards His hometown region of Galilee. Most Jews of that day did NOT pass through Samaria when traveling through those parts even though it was the shorter route. This was because there was a deep hatred between Jews and Samaritans that rooted back hundreds of years.  

A little background on Jews/Samaritans: Samaria was once the capitol of the Northern Kingdom. In 722 BC the Assyrians conquered the area and lead many of the Jews into captivity. "The king of Assyria transported groups of people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim and resettled them in the towns of Samaria, replacing the people of Israel. They took possession of Samaria and lived in its towns." 2 Kings 17:24

 Jews not taken captive, stayed and intermarried with the Samaritans  Samaritans were now thought to be "half breeds" and no longer pure Jews. In addition, the Samaritans changed their place of worship and did not follow the same religious rituals. As a result, a deep hatred and sense of betrayal developed in the Jews towards the Samaritans. Jesus was fully aware of this deep hatred and called out one of the religious experts on it by telling the parable of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). In this conversation between Jesus and the Jewish religious expert, we see that the Jewish religious man knows the answer to the greatest commandment, which is "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength and love your neighbor as yourself." But when he goes on to ask Jesus, "Who is my neighbor " the man's heart condition is revealed.  Jesus answers the religious mans question with the parable of the good Samaritan.  In the parable the Samaritan turns out to be the hero of the story! Jesus closes the parable by asking which of the characters was the loving neighbor and unable to say the word Samaritan  the Jewish religious expert merely answered, "The one who showed him mercy". Jesus replied, "Yes, now go and do the same." (Luke 10:37). 

We see the mercy and love of Jesus in Samaria when He crosses cultural & ethnic barriers in talking to a Samaritan woman.

John 4:6 "...Jesus was tired from the long walk, and sat wearily beside the well about noontime." 
We see here that Jesus had physical human limitations. He was physically tired and weary. Jesus was 100% human yet 100% God!  He sat and rested while waiting for His noontime appointment  Some biblical scholars write that most women went in groups twice a day to gather water. But this woman came alone at noon which is most likely because of her negative reputation. We find out that she had 5 divorces and the man she was currently with was not even her husband. It would be easy for others to cast her away and look down on her. We don't know the exact circumstances of her life -  this woman could have been a promiscuous lady leaving all her husbands or she could have been the one rejected time and time again. We do not know. What we can know is that this woman had not had an easy life. She had to of been weary and spiritually thirsty! She was also looking and waiting for the Messiah to come! 
25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.” John 4:25-26

Some things the Messiah did already explain to her in their conversation at the well:
  • Jesus is the source of eternal life. The living water He gives cleanses and completely satisfies! "but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” vs. 14
  • Important concerning the controversy of the place of worship between Jews and Samaritans- Jesus states that it is not the place of worship that matters but the heart of worship. "Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”John 4:23-24
  • True worshippers worship in spirit and truth. Genuine worship comes from pure hearts. We worship in truth when we worship believing on Jesus -  "I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6 
When Jesus shared his identity with the Samaritan woman He said, Yahweh is here which means "I AM" is here! The woman left her drinking bucket and ran into town and told EVERYONE!

When is the last time you had an encounter with the Great I AM?!
When is the last time you were so passionate and excited about His gift that you went around telling everyone? 

 Jesus told the woman, "If you knew the gift God has for you and who you are talking to, you would ask me and I would give you living water." (vs.10)  Sometimes we have to remind ourselves of the gift we've been given! Sometimes we need to "be still and KNOW" (Psalm 46). Sometimes we need to keep asking in faith for  __________!

Keep on asking, and it will be given to you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking and it will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7 

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13

From this one woman's encounter with the living God in Samaria we see a revival take place! This is an example of what can happen when one believer has a genuine life transformation by the power of the Holy Spirit! One person on fire for God can spread His love and truth by the power of the Holy Spirit to the ends of the earth!

In Samaria, and through out the gospels we see that Jesus was about one thing - the will of God to the glory of God! Though He was tired and weary, He took the time to talk with this woman.  Doing God's work brings food & nourishment to the soul.  When the disciples came back with food for Jesus, He tells them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work." Jesus continues to say, "...but I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest." vs35b  Some "sow" the word by proclaiming the truth and some "reap" the harvest by leading people to a saving faith in Jesus the Christ through the power of God. The fields are ripe. Today is the day of salvation!  Are you working in the fields of your home? Community? World?!

After 2 days in Samaria, Jesus and His disciples traveled on north to Cana in Galilee. 
The numbers represent the sequence of Jesus's travels in the first year of  His ministry
Jesus back in Galilee & the faith of a Government official:
The people of Galilee had seen miracles Jesus performed at the passover in Jerusalm. Jesus was popular, however, His popularity was mainly based on what He could do for the people physically and not based on their genuine love for God. Jesus said that a prophet "has no honor in His own country" (vs44) His own lacked belief in Him. Not many miracles would be down there; however we do see the second sign in Cana with the faith of a government official.
Some insights we can learn from the Faith of the Nobleman:
  • He sought Jesus- he walked some 20 miles from Capernaum when he heard Jesus was back
  • He asked Jesus to heal his son who was very sick
  • Jesus told the man to go home and that He had healed him. The man believed and obeyed, he turned and walked back home
  • When the he arrived home, he realized that at the hour Jesus told him to go home was the same hour his son was healed. His faith grew!
  • He and his whole household believed!!
 FAITH grows as we use it!  
How is your Faith growing? 
How are you sharpening others? 

"...Believe on the LORD JESUS and be saved" 
Acts 16:31 " If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Romans 10:9

In JOHN 3 and 4 we see the truth & love of Jesus crossing boundaries and reaching two totally different people. 
1) Nicodemus - a moral and righteous Jew who was born in the right family line and followed all the rules. Apart from Jesus and with out a spiritual awakening he was spiritually dead. We cannot earn God's grace, it is a free gift of God.
2) The Samaritan woman - her past was full of sin and failure. Nothing that she had done in her past kept God from pursuing her with His love and truth. "No matter how badly we have failed, we can always get up and begin again. Our God is the God of new beginings." Warren Wiersbe

Overall, His Love is unchanging and unfailing. 
There is nothing that we can do to make Him love us more and there is nothing we can do to make Him love us less. 


How can you walk forward in love today?

How Marvelous, how boundless is His Love...