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Thursday, August 27, 2009

John 4

Based on today’s reading, what areas of my life do I need to put into Christ’s hands because I trust him?
In verses 16-20 we find one of humanity’s most unhealthy tendencies. Jesus tries to get beyond the surface issues to the real core issue that was adversely affecting this woman. Her struggle was that she was “looking for love in all the wrong places.” As soon as Jesus began to go to the root of her disappointment with life, she tried to cover up her pain with religious debate about worship. It seems to me that we humans often use religion, of all things, to pridefully hide our true selves from God, others and, most of all, ourselves. Today, I will trust God by refusing to use religion as a “fig leaf” through which to hide my deepest needs and struggles from Him.

Based on today’s reading, how can I lovingly submit to Christ by obeying his commands?
I am inspired by the commentary John gives about the man with the sick son. Once Jesus promised the man that his sick son would be well it say “the man took Jesus at his word” (v.50b). I am challenged by this. Yes, I do believe in Jesus and more often than not take him at his word. But, to be honest, there are times when I’m experiencing anxiety or fear. Usually these emotions flow out of my unwillingness to take God at his word. I suspect that every fear, anxiety, or worry we experience is attributable to our unwillingness to take God at his word. Try to up the level of your trust in God’s word, the bible, by obeying what you know he is calling you to do. This is what God is challenging me to do through this verse.


Roberta said...

I am learning for me that giving over to God areas that need me to trust is a daily thing. Some time ago, God told me that I was holding on to some things that were in the way of He and I. Some of them were small, some were not so small, but were things too important to me and he wanted to be more important than anything or anyone else in my life. As he worked through these things with me, one at a time, I learned that letting go of everything that I thought I needed gave freedom. Having said all of that, yesterday was a day in which I felt great anxiety over a dangerous situation. When I feel anxious I know that I am not trusting him to take care of me. So it was a day of praying and focusing on him so I that could trust him with the problem. I dont' think that there will ever be a time in my life when I will have arrived at the place that I automatically trust him with ease. There will always be new challenges in my walk with him.

Anonymous said...

I love this story! Jesus is tired and hungry. He takes a short-cut through enemy territory, and is rejuvenated by an encounter with a person who has at least three strikes against her: she's a woman; she's from Samaria; and she's an outcast of society (some believe she was rejected repeatedly by the men in her life since women had no rights in that day). She and Jesus share these few brief moments; her life is transformed, and He is nourished by His investment in her. For the first time He reveals that He is the Messiah--to her, a despised Samaritan, social outcast, and a woman, no less! She goes and evangelizes her town and many believe. Jesus makes this provacative statement: ". . .true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks." For me, then, there are four challenges in this potent chapter: no matter where I'm at, Jesus will meet me there--and--love me; like Jesus I can be rejuvenated by investing in others (even when I feel drained); I want to be the "kind of worshiper the Father seeks;" finally,like the royal official, I yearn to have srong faith so that I, too, will take "Jesus at his word."

Brad said...

Hopefully on the day I meet Jesus and he tells me everything I ever did, the discussion will not dwell on my past mistakes, but be more focused on the time I began living in the light! I have received His forgiveness for the past nonsense. I pray His Spirit leads me from now on, rather than my sinful nature! I also pray that I will continue to believe in Him just because of how my life has improved, not needing to see miraculous signs and wonders!

Lenny Luchetti said...

Great insights...all of you. I want to pick up on an insight that "anonymous" made. You say you want to be like one of the true worshipers that the Father is seeking. Me too! But let's discuss what that might entail. What are some of the characteristics that God is looking for in the heart of a worshiper? This is a discussion question for all of us to jump in, anyone!

Anonymous said...

What are some characteristics of a "true worshiper?" Hmmm. Authentic, selfless, submissive are a few virtues that come to mind but I feel as if I'm missing the depth. If I were God how would I want to be worshiped? I can't project my tiny thoughts around such a concept. As a human, however, I know what I look for among my circle of friends and family. I want them to believe in me and to respect me--that I am a trustworthy person of integrity--a safe place for them to be who they really are without fear of rejection,betrayal,ridicule or shame. But I don't want to be worshiped, just valued. I don't deserve to be worshiped; I only want to be a true worshiper. Maybe the question is . . . what is worship? Passionate devotion? Thankfulness? Respect? Single-minded submission? Loving wholeheartedly? All of the above? I don't know.

Roberta said...

Re:True Worshipper... The story of David fascinates me because God has put him up as an example of a "man after his own heart". I want God to see me that way. Surely, Psalm 51, David's prayer of confession gives insight into his heart. Psalm 78:71 says that David shepherded his people with "integrity of heart". In reading his story it appears that he was pretty consistent in seeking God before he made major decisions about going to battle, where Saul before him made his decisions and then asked God to bless him. David's story gives hope because he was guilty of great sin and yet God looked at his heart and was pleased with him.