Tuesday, March 29, 2005

exposure to living water

Meals with Jesus
Exposure to Living Water
John 4.1-.42

In the forth chapter of John Jesus moves his ministry from Judea back to Galilee (John 4.1-.3). In order to do this he has to go thru Samaria (John 4.4). Now Jews of this time usually took the long way and bypassed Samaria because of the racial tensions between the Samaritans and the Israelites. Jesus on the other hand takes the short cut thru Samaria because he had to. Why did he have to couldn’t he have taken the long way? No and the rest of the chapter answers the question.
On this journey he stops at a well near the city of Sychar while his disciples went into town to buy some food (John 4.4-.6 & .8). While he sits there, a woman walks up to the well to get some water. Jesus asks her for a drink (John 4.7). She answers with bitterness “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” John explains her responses by stating for his readers that Jews and Samaritan don’t associate with each other (John 4.9).
Jesus doesn’t really answer her question instead he does what he came to do in Samaria. “If you new the gift of God and who it that asks you for a drink, you would have ask him and he would have given you living water.” (John 4.10) This doesn’t answer her surface question but it answers questions and desires she has deep inside of her but she doesn’t realize that yet. Instead she wants to know if Jesus is greater than Jacob the patriarch who dug this well (John 4.11 & .12). His answer is yes but it is more complicated than that. “”Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4.13 - .14) Yes I am greater than Jacob because the water I give quenches the thirst of the soul forever giving you eternal live!
She wants this water but doesn’t realize that exposure to Living Water can be dangerous.
First, living water exposes out sins. (John 4.16-.18) She asks for the living water so she won’t have to come back to the well and Jesus tells her to get her husband. BAM! Sin is exposed she isn’t married to the man whom she is living with. Jesus knows this in fact he knows that the she has had 5 husbands.
Next the living water creates tension in her. (John 4.19 - .20) She knows that her sin has just been exposed and she just admitted to it. Now she is uncomfortable and isn’t sure if she really wants this living water. So she tries to change the subject and talk about who knows the truth Samaritans of Jews.
Jesus knowing that she is trying to dodge the living water tells her the truth. (John 4.21-24) The truth is salvation is coming from the Jews. The truth is a time is coming and has come when people will worship not on mountains or in temples but in spirit and truth.
The exposure of her sin, her tension and the truth has created in her a desire to know the messiah. (John 4.25) Jesus satisfies that desire by telling her the ultimate truth; that He is the Messiah, the Christ who will explain everything! (John 4.26)
Now she has the living water and wants to share it. So she runs into town and testifies to the living water. You can imagine the town’s people. Here is a woman admitting to sin and telling them she has found the Messiah. The power of her unchanged and testimony draws them out to meet Jesus. (John 4.28 - .30)
While she is in town the disciples show back up and offer Jesus food. But Jesus has also found satisfaction by revealing His Good News to a woman who desperately needed it. He did his father’s work, which fills our deepest hunger and need. (John 4.31 – .38)
The town’s people come out and meet Jesus and listened to his many words. Because of his teaching they come to believe for themselves. (John 4.39 -. 42) The living water has done its job to them; exposing sin, creating tension, revealing truth, creating desire, providing satisfaction and finally they now testify to the power and truth of the living water.
Have you let Jesus’ living water do it work on you? Has it exposed your sins? Has it created tension in your life? Have you see the truth is reveal? Have you felt the desire for the Messiah? Have you felt the satisfaction that comes from Jesus Christ? Have you testified to the truth and shared the living water with your neighbors?

Friday, March 25, 2005

Psalm 65.5-.8

You answer us with awesome deeds of rigthteousness
O God our Savior,Link
the hope of all the ends of the earth
and of the farthest sea,
who formed the mountains by your great power,
having armed yourself with strength,
who stilled the roaring of the seas
the roaring of their waves,
and the turmoil of nations.
Those living far away fear your wonders;
where the morning dawns and the vening fades
you call forth songs of joy.
Psalm 65.5-.8

Friday, March 18, 2005

tyler sleeping in his highchair

tyler fell asleep in his chair

tyler panel final

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

diner at levi's house

Matthew 9.9-13, Mark 2.13-.17 & Luke 5.27-32

In the previous meal we saw that one of our responses to God's power at work in our lives is worship. Peter's mother in law is sick in bed. Jesus comes and rebukes the fever making her well again. Out of her gratitude she gets up and serves Jesus and the disciple. (Mark 1.29-.34, Luke 4.38-.41 and Matthew 8.14-.17)

The next meal moves from Peter and Andrew's house to Levi's (also known as Matthew) house. (Matthew 9.9-13, Mark 2.13-.17 & Luke 5.27-.32) Levi is a tax collector. One day he is sitting in his tax collector's both and Jesus sees him. Jesus walks up and tells Levi to “Follow me.” As crazy as it may seem Levi leaves everything and follows Jesus! Something about this short encounter with Jesus cause Levi to follow. None of the Gospels record any contact between Jesus or Levi before this conversation. I feel that Levi must have heard Jesus before. I feel this way because in context of this “calling” you find Jesus teaching and healing by the sea with a large crowd. It is possible that Levi/Matthew was in that crowd or as it got closer heard about what Jesus had been teaching and doing.

The act of following is the first response that we see in this meal story. Jesus doesn't call Levi to do anything but walk where He walks. We are called the same way. Jesus is calling us to follow. That is all. That is all that He expects from us as we start our lives as a follower. He doesn't leave us where He finds us. Instead we are being lead out of our sin and condemnation. We are being lead into an eternal life with the Father!

Following his call, Levi doesn't keep Jesus to himself. He invites all his friends to come and eat with Jesus. Here is our meal. Our second response to Jesus is to share him with others. We are to invite them to follow along with us and bring them into His presence so they can hear His call too. Today we might call this evangelism. What Levi does is so much simpler than what many people think of as evangelism. He doesn't sit down and have a personal Bible study. He doesn't discuss with them about the truth of Jesus. Instead he simply invites them to see Jesus for themselves. He shares what Jesus has done to him with them. Levi brings them into Jesus presense so they too can hear His call. This is what evangelism is all about. It is about sharing what Jesus has done in your life. It is about inviting other broken sinful people to walk with you as you follow Jesus. It is about bringing people into the presence of Jesus so they too can hear His call.

Bible studies are important. How else are you going to know who Jesus is in order to hear the call? Discussing the truth of Jesus is important. How else are people going to know that the historical Jesus is really the Son of God? In my opinion, your personal testimony is just as important. If all your Bible study and all the truth about who Jesus is doesn't change how you live, then it is meaningless. You have to be changed. You have to follow.

As some Pharisees and teachers of the law looked around they discovered that Jesus was eating with tax collectors and sinners. How could a rabbi do such a thing? How could the Son of God eat with these dirty sinners. He should be with the righteous like them. He should be pointing a condemning finger at “those people.”

Why is Jesus eating with “those people”? The answer is simple “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” He came to call the sinners. That is you and me.

This meal story is so very powerful. We see Jesus calling Levi to simply follow Him where ever he leads and Levi does. We see Levi responding to his call by inviting, sharing and bringing his fellow sinners into the presence of Jesus. Finally, we see that Jesus came to call us in the middle of our sinfulness to follow Him. As we follow Jesus, He leads us out of our sinfulness into eternal life with the Father. What an awesome message to share.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Supper at Simon Peter's Mother In-Law's House

Mark 1.29-.34, Luke 4.38-.41 and Matthew 8.14-.17

In the next meal we see in a small picture, the big picture of Jesus' ministry and our response to that ministry.
It was Sabbath day and Jesus had just finished teaching in the Synagogue. Suddenly a man possessed with a demon challenges Jesus. Jesus frees the man from his possession. The people were amazed at Jesus. They were amazed by the authority of Jesus over the demon and the fact that his teaching had authority! (Mark 1.21-.28 & Luke 4.31-.37)
Simon Peter and his brother Andrew invited Jesus, James, and John to their home. When they came to the house, Jesus is asked to heal Simon Peter's mother in law who has a high fever. Jesus goes to her and takes her by the hand, helps her up and the fever leaves her. Immediately in response to her healing she begins to serve them the meal. (Matthew 8.14&.15, Mark 1.29-.31 & Luke 4.38&.39)
Later when the sun goes down and the Sabbath day is done the people in the town bring all the sick and demon possessed to be healed. Jesus goes threw the crowd healing and casting out demons. He does this not in and impersonal way, but he touches them. Just like he reached out and touched Simon Peter's mother in law, he takes the time to provide a personal touch. (Matthew 8.16&.17, Mark 1.32-.34 & Luke 4.40&.41)
In these little pictures we see two big pictures. First, what our response to God's power working in our lives should be. Worship! Simon Peter's mother in law is sick in bed with a fever. Jesus comes to her takes her by the hand and the fever is taken away! God's power enters into her life and changes her. No longer is she sick but she is whole again. So what is her response to what happened? She serves him. She devotes time to wait on him. She worships Jesus with her actions. This is what our response to God's power working in our lives should be. When we are made whole, when our sins are forgiven, when our emptiness is filled by God's power, we are led to worship! We are led to devote our time and lives to the LORD!
The second big picture is Jesus' authority. In Mark's gospel authority is a major theme. In this story we see Jesus authority over disease and over demons. By healing and casting out demons he shows us his authority over them. We also see he has authority in his teaching. After Jesus finishes teaching and casting out the demon, the people are amazed because the teaching had authority on its own not like the teachers of the law!
Finally we see his personal touch. When Simon's mother in law is healed and when he heals the many in the crowd he touches them. In the middle of his mission to save everyone from sin, He takes the time to touch individuals in a crowd. He has the time for each of us.
In this little picture of the meal at Simon's house and the events surrounding it we see three big pictures. First we see that our response to Jesus' power in our lives is worship. Second we see the Jesus has authority over demons, disease and his teaching has authority. Finally we see that our LORD has time to touch each of us and not just deal with the crowd.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

back home and waiting

i am back home (have been since friday night) and now i am just waiting. waiting to hear back from the two intern candidates i offered the jobs to. i had one younglady turn us down already so i went to my second candidate. today is the day i asked for them to give me an answer.

this is the hardest part just waiting, not knowing and praying. i offered the internship to 2 really good candidates and i really really want them to accept and come out this summer. that is what i am praying for.

if they say no i keep searching. i am not looking forward to that if it happens