Loved

DRINK

A Samaritan Woman Meets Her Messiah

John 4:1 Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples), He left Judea and departed again to Galilee. But He needed to go through Samaria.

In John 4:4 there is a word that stands out – needed.  Jesus needed to go to Samaria, he had a requirement, necessary duty, an obligation there.  So much so, that He went miles out of His way to get there for His appointment with a certain woman.  The great news is, He goes out of His way for us too.

John 4:5 So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.

Samaritans were a group of Jewish people who settled North of Judah.  Due to war, people of other cultures and religions settled in their land and they began to inter- marry.  The Jews from Judea looked at them as impure Jews, they hated them and would go far out of their way to avoid them. Not Jesus, He came for all.

John 4:7 A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.

We find ourselves witnessing an interesting encounter.  Women were the water gatherers and they normally came to draw water in the mornings and in the evenings.  Our Samaritan woman is at the town well at noon, in the heat of the day.  This tells us something important, that she was avoiding the other women.   Ever find yourself i that spot,wanting to avoid anybody and everybody?

John 4:9 Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, 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.”

At this moment I wonder if here thought was “Gift from God, seriously, every man says that.”  Then she does what all women do well, begins to tell him what He is doing wrong –

  • I am a Samaritan and you are a Jew, you should not be speaking to me

He gives her an even stranger answer –

John4:10 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.”

John 4:11 The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? 12 Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?”

She begins to question Him again pointing a few other points she feels could be incorrect-

  • You have nothing to draw the water with, where is you container?
  • Where are you getting this living water?
  • Are you saying you are greater than Jacob, the man who dug this well?

Jesus speaks these unbelievable words –

John4:13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”  15 The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.” 

 She believes that Jesus is offering her actual water, some kind of special water, that once she drinks it she will never be physically thirsty again.  She was thrilled at the idea of never making her daily trip to the well in the stifling heat again.

She says, “I’m in, I’ll take some of this living water.”  She doesn’t realize that the living water He is offering is for her heart and soul.  It is a drink that He offers us as well, will we tip the glass and take a sip?

You can finish listening  here LOVED Lesson 6 – DRINK

 

Loved

MORE

Increase

To become greater, as in number, size, strength, or quality

Our human nature causes us to look at ourselves, think about ourselves and talk about ourselves.  We strive to become greater, bigger and stronger.

The heart of John the Baptist was and is rare.  He was always thinking about Jesus, talking about Jesus and pointing people to Jesus.  He consistently worked at becoming   less and Jesus becoming more.

Decrease

To diminish or lessen in extent, quantity, strength, power

John the Baptist’s words, He must increase and I must decrease, are a picture of his heart.

John the Baptist Exalts Christ

John 3:22  After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He remained with them and baptized. 23 Now John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there. And they came and were baptized. 24 For John had not yet been thrown into prison.

Here we see some important facts.  Even though Jesus has come on the scene and is beginning to baptize people, John the Baptist still continues on with his work.

He clearly knows his calling and is sticking to it.  His calling is going to lead him to prison and eventually death, yet he stays faithful.

John 3:25 Then there arose a dispute between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purification. 26 And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified—behold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to Him!”

Gossip is a slippery sin that can get us into heaps of trouble.  It causes bickering, backbiting and comparison.

When John the Baptists’ disciples begin to gossip about Jesus, trying to create a competition between them, John was not having any of it and squelches it instantly.

John 3:27 John answered and said, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven. 28 You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent before Him.’ 29 He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. 30 He must increase, but I must decrease.

John is saying clearly, I am not the Christ, the Messiah or the Groom at the wedding.  I am not the main attractionJesus is the Christ, the Messiah and the Groom we have been waiting for.   I am the best man who stands by Him rejoicing and pointing everyone to Him.  I am filled with joy, my mission is fulfilled.

We must remind ourselves, we are not the main attraction, Jesus is.  We represent Him well when we reflect His character.

 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:18

When we purpose to become less and allow Jesus to become more, we are being transformed, becoming more and more like Him.  We reflect His character of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.  He takes us from glory to glory. Who doesn’t want more of that in their life?

For more l you can listen here:  LOVED Lesson 5 – MORE

 

Loved

NEW

New, don’t we love new?  Who doesn’t love a new outfit, a new car or a new home?   To be honest new sheets or towels give me a thrill!  New – something made fresh. A do over, a new start that is what Jesus offers us.

Here we will see, Nicodemus, who is part of a group of powerful religious leaders who were called the Sanhedrin.  Most were jealous of Jesus because he challenged their authority and their views.

Somewhere along the line they became so caught up in law and judgment, that they completely missed the Messiah when He was standing right in front of them.

Nicodemus, was drawn to Jesus and he paid Him a visit undercover in the night.

The New Birth 

 John 3:1 There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”

John 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

I don’t even want to think about what Nicodemus was having in his mind.  No Nicodemus – no one is crawling back inside their mother’s womb.  Thank the Lord!

He could not understand Jesus words – born again.  Jesus wasn’t speaking in the natural, but in the spiritual.

John 3:5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?”

How can they be?  Let’s break it down:

Born of Water/Born of the Flesh  – Our physical birth, we all have been born of water,  born from our mother’s wombs.

Born of the Spirit – Spiritual birth, when we accept Jesus as Savior a new thing happens within us.

For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children

Romans 8:16

To listen to more about Nicodemus and walking in the Light click here LOVED Lesson 4 – NEW

Loved

MIRACLE

Water Turned to Wine

John 2:1 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.”

Maybe you, like me are wondering, “What is the big deal about the wine?”  When we run out, we run out, the party is over.   Not the case in these days, to be unprepared in the area of hospitality was like breaking an unwritten law.  Your family would be shamed and humiliated.  Your wedding would be remembered as, that wedding.  To the family this was a big deal.

Mary seemed to think that Jesus, her oldest son, could do something to help.  I have to wonder, did she know this would be the moment of His first miracle?

Yet, His answer to her is this –

John2:4 Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.”

Mary’s life was filled with moments of joy and moments that would pierce her heart.  I believe that this moment was a heart piercing.

Her beloved son calls her woman, not mother.  A shift is beginning to happen in Jesus’ life.  He is going on a journey and no one will be able to go with Him to the end, even His beloved mother.

John 2:6 Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim.

What a strange request.  These were some big pots, normally used for ceremonial washing.  When people would come in to eat, they would wash themselves to cleanse themselves from all of the unclean things they had touched throughout their day.

What a neat practice.  Our days can bombard us, covering us with all kinds of yuck, physically, emotionally and spiritually.  What if we pause, before we walk in the door of our homes and clean ourselves off emotionally and spiritually?

How could that make a difference in how we treat the most important people in our lives, our family?

John 2:8 And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it. When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. 10 And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!”

The host was amazed to see that out of those big water pots came  the finest wine.  Traditionally the best was served first and after people had ate and drank for a while, out came the cheap wine.  We will see that Jesus is never afraid to break tradition.

He longs to fill our pots with the best wine, not cheap imitations.  When we throw out the cheap wine in our lives, we have room for the best wine, Jesus.

You can listen to Lesson 3 here:  LOVED Lesson 3 – Miracle

Loved

Something Beautiful

Last night we gathered around the Gospel of John together, for the first time.  There is something beautiful about women gathering, heads bent over God’s Word.  Something beautiful about women laughing and crying together.  Something beautiful about women becoming vulnerable with one another.  Something beautiful when you hear the woman beside you praying to the Father on your behalf.

Last night as we kicked off our Fall study of LOVED – A Journey through the Gospel of John it was simply beautiful.

If you would like to join in you can listen to the teaching sessions here Women of Worth Bible Study

My prayer for each woman is this –

loved-prayer

 

Loved

More of you, Lord – Less of me

My head has been buried deep into the Gospel of John over the summer.  Writing a Ladies Bible Study that begins in September. It is a combination of God’s Word, Teaching, Journaling, and Coloring.

LOVED
A Journey through the Gospel of John

loved art

I have waves of excitement and waves of terror.  It has been a wrestling of sorts.  A wrestling with myself and with the Lord.  Moments of being on top and moments where I was certain I would here the slap of the mat and the word PINED being yelled out.

  • Am I qualified for this? – No
  • Am I educated enough for this? – No
  • Will I have all the answers? – No

When these questions plague me I am certain this match is over and I have lost.

Then there is this… for the win

  • Is the Lord qualified for this ? – Yes
  • Is the Lord educated enough for this? – Yes
  • Will the Lord have all the answers? – Yes

This verse, John 3:30 has been circling in my heart and in my head

More of you (1)

I can rest knowing that all I have to do is make room, become less, and ask Him to  increase.

 

 

 

Loved

Life and Light

Life

a corresponding state, existence,

or principle of existence conceived of as belonging to the soul

The Eternal Word – John 1

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

Words are important, they can speak life or death.  God chose to speak life.

  • God created all of creation with His spoken words.
  • He spoke life and life came forth
  • God’s written Word holds His Law and His message of Love.

How about our words, do they speak life?

Everything was made by God, including you. He breathed life into you.  You are unique  one-of-a-kind. God has placed gifts within you for His purposes.

If you choose to live without God –

you abandon the purpose for which you were made.

When you choose to live for God –

He works hand in hand with the gifts He has placed within you.

Let’s take an inventory of our gifts and abilities.

Dig deep, write them down.

Are we wasting them or using them for His glory?

Loved and Light pic 1.png

Light

The natural agent that stimulates sight and makes things visible

Some days it feels like darkness is winning, overtaking everything around us. No matter how dark it may become, we have a source of light that will never go out.

When Jesus came, the light of men came.  A Light shining in the darkness, making everything visible.  Darkness cannot figure Him out.

Light will always overpower the darkness

Loved and Light pic 2

 John, Jesus’ beloved disciple was first a follower of John the Baptist.

Let’s look back at Jesus and John the Baptist when they were still in their mother’s wombs. Mary, Jesus’ mother and Elizabeth John’s mother were cousins and friends. They were pregnant at the same time. Before Jesus and John were born they had an encounter.

Mary Visits Elizabeth- Luke 1

39 Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, 40 and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 45 Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.”

Once in the presence of Jesus, John the Baptist did a happy dance in his mama’s womb. I’m sure that was something Elizabeth had never felt before.

God put things in motion, two miracle births,  His timing perfect.  John the Baptist would go out before Jesus, preparing the way.

John, the writer of this Gospel,  would have the privilege to sit as a disciple under both John the Baptist and Jesus.  What an honor and a privilege.

Let’s listen as John speaks about John the Baptist –

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. John 1

10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1

John is very clear that John the Baptist was not The Light – he was sent to tell people the Light that was coming.

There are a few things the world did not know yet:

  • They did not know the magnitude of who Jesus was
  • His own people would not receive Him
  • Those who would receive Him and believe in His name would become Children of God.

For those who choose to believe in Jesus, everything changes for us. We are no just born of man, we become born of God. We step into a glorious inheritance, we become God’s children. Stepping into His marvelous light,leaving the darkness, well… in the dark wondering –  “What just happened? “

Loved and Light pic 1

Art compliments of Happy Flower Printables