Monday, 10 September 2012

7 'W's at the well of Samaria (John 4:3-30)

The Way to the well

"He must needs go through Samaria"

There was always purpose in the Saviours direction, he never wandered! He walked the length and breadth of that land and never once was lost - he knew exactly where he was going, when he was going to be there, who he was going to meet there and why.

The Woman at the well

Simply - she was a sinner that needed to meet the Saviour, and the Saviour went out of his way to meet her and have that interview. Sometimes we hear people say "I found Jesus" and we know what they mean but it is probably more true to say that the Lord finds us! He said "I am come to seek and to save that which was lost".

Weariness at the well

The Saviour was weary with his journey and sat upon the well. I am sure there are many believers today who are weary with the journey. We can be weary physically, as ailments or old age come upon us; we can be weary mentally, due to illness, stress or deterioration; we can be weary emotionally as circumstances and pressures mount upon us.

But take comfort! The Saviour has experienced weariness and has been here before. Remember; Heb 4:15  "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin."

Water at the well

There is refreshment at the well! I realise this really refers to the waters of the Holy Spirit that spring up in salvation to the soul, but there is surely a practical application here. Ps 23 - "he leadeth me beside the still waters." The still waters like the well are deep and refreshing! Surely closeness to the Saviour, to the well and the water, and the Word of God will refresh our souls and help us with the weariness of the journey.

Wonder and Witness at the well

It's lovely to the se the simplicity of the woman's witness, it was a simple invitation to "come see a man... is not this the Christ?"

Surely there are lessons here for us as we sometimes over-complicate our one to one outreach, and perhaps we avoid opportunities, but not this woman! She freely told all with boldness and conviction and as a result many went out to him and many were saved from that city! A salutary lesson for us all surely?

The Water pot at the well

We read that she left her water pot and went on her way to witness to others! I picture the water pot still lying there redundant and unused by the well at the end of the day. She had a new perspective, new desires and new ways to spend her time. I wonder if we too have gladly 'left the water pot' behind us, or whether we still like to take it with us? Do we still care too much for the routine things of this world? Does it still command a disproportionate amount of our time? Do we spend time developing other areas of our life instead of that which should take priority and command our focus and affections?

May the Lord challenge our hearts and desires and encourage us on the journey.

Yours in Christ, Mark

Sunday, 2 September 2012

"Behold what manner of love..."

1 John tells us so much about the love of God. It would tell us that "Love is of God" and "God is love"Love is Gods very nature, his essential characteristic, and he defines what true love is!

In this epistle we learn that love came first from God and that he made the first move in love toward us, when we were far off; "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins"

We also learn that God's love toward us can be seen in the gift of his Son"In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him"

The epistle tells us of the love of the Father for his children"Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God" What manner of love indeed, what a subject to occupy our hearts and minds!

So we are taught much about Gods love for us, now what about our love for God in return? Well we are told once again that "we love him because he first loved us" and that should never be forgotten. We also learn that love for God is very definitely linked to obeying his commandments and keeping his word - "for this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments; and his commandments are not grievous." May this be a challenge to our hearts.

In the epistle we are also told what not to love - "love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of  life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof, but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever." I think there is very little else to say to this, over and above the solemn and clear word of God!

We are however, instructed to love one another"we should love one another... and this is his commandment... love one another, as he gave us commandment... let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth." Here is another challenge to our hearts, as it is all too easy to pay 'lip service' to these things, and very easy to put on a front to our fellow believers! But this is not how God loves, and neither should we. The epistle reminds us that there is no greater evidence of our salvation than this - "we know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren." Let us be encouraged in this exercise, and be characterised by love for one another.

I trust these simple verses and thoughts from 1 John regarding love will be of benefit and a challenge to all believers on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Yours in Christ, Mark.

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