April 30, 2014
Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“Blessed is the man (and woman) whose strength is in You, in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
Psalms 84: 5
“Though winds are wild,
And the gale unleashed,
My trusting heart still sings;
I know that they mean
No harm to me,
He rideth on their wings.”
Today’s Study Text:
“Then the woman left her water jar and went away to the town. And she began telling the people, ‘Come, see a Man who has told me everything that I ever did! Can this be the Christ? Must not this be the Messiah, the Anointed One?”
John 4: 28, 29
Behold The Man” – Part 10
“He Knows Everything About Me
and Loves Me Anyway”
“God always seeks out those He loves. That is His nature, the nature of Love.”
As I look back over the experiences in my life, do I really believe that Jesus knows everything about me and still loves me?
What does it mean to me to have the unconditional love of Jesus surrounding my life?
“Trust God’s love. His perfect love. Don’t fear He will discover your past. He already has. Don’t fear disappointing Him in the future. He can show you the chapter in which you will. With perfect knowledge of the past and perfect vision of the future, He loves you perfectly in spite of both.”
“He (God) converses and delights Himself with me incessantly, in a thousand and a thousand ways, and treats me in all respects as His favorite.”
When my sister and I were young girls, we would occasionally ask our parents, “Who is your favorite child?” Obviously, no parent, with their head screwed on straight, would want to answer a question like this. That is unless you don’t care about how your children feel about you. This is why I loved the words penned by Brother Lawrence: “God treats me in all respects as His favorite.” In reality, every single one of us is “God’s favorite.” We are each unique individuals who are loved by God specifically due to the fact that there isn’t a one of us that He doesn’t care about.
As I sought to let this thought sink into my brain, I reflected on the fact that it was quite possible that a woman, who had been divorced five times and was living with “Mr. Six” as we know him, had never in her life felt she was anyone’s favorite. And then, out of nowhere, a “Man” came into her life that got her to rethinking what the word “love” was all about.
That in itself would be shocking enough for any of us to deal with, but here’s the most interesting fact which is revealed in the story found in John 4. And it is this: Jesus loved this woman even though He knew the best, worst and everything in-between when it came to her life. He had seen it all. And He said, “There’s nothing in the diary of your life that will cause me to abandon you.”
This point becomes so critical for it is at the heart of the witness, her personal testimony, which she chose to share with everybody in town who she knew.
In her comments on this story in John 4, Professor Anna Carter Florence shares this interesting perspective: “If I were asked to pick one story that shows us the most about who Jesus is, it would be this one.” You might be asking, as I did, “Why is this the case?” Well, let me share several of Professor Florence’s thoughts as to what we find out about Jesus in the story of the woman at the well.
Revelation #1: Jesus initiates the conversation even when it doesn’t meet with societal norms. Talking with a Samaritan and a woman was out-of-bounds for two significant reasons. Yet this didn’t stop Jesus. As Professor Florence states, “Jesus broke the rules to talk to the Samaritan with a shady past, a low-down reputation and a scorching verbal dexterity. Than she continues by pointing out that Jesus will, today, break the rules to converse with you and me. And as she questions, “What lines will Jesus step across in order to speak about what truly matters and what may save our life?” This is a question we need to ask ourselves when some hurting heart is reaching out to us, hoping to find a healing heart of love, ready to respond as Jesus did.
Revelation #2: Jesus was the one who was thirsty. The fact that Jesus asked for water to relieve his thirst opens up an opportunity for us to think about the way Jesus used a simple cup of water to share the gift of heaven’s “living” water. “Can a little thing like a cup of cool water, offered in love, be the beginning of a salvation journey? Yes; and we will never know until we meet the stranger, and tend to the human need first,” Professor Florence notes. What a lesson for us to take into our hearts!
Revelation #3: Jesus has an intimate knowledge of the woman, of everyone of us, and loves us anyway.As Professor Florence uncovers, “Notice the unfinished nature of the sentence, (“Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done!”), especially given what we know about the woman’s history…’Everything she ever did’ is a long list of sins, and common knowledge besides; it is always before her, in the judgmental expressions of her neighbors…For Jesus to know her past, and still love and forgive her – well, that is as unbelievably new and fresh as anything she has ever heard! The man who told her everything she ever did…and loved her anyway…is what saves her life.”
And, I might add, this same message saves your life and mine, too. Jesus loves you…Jesus loves me…in spite of our worst, despite our past, and certainly not because of our best. In the words of Robert Robinson, “Oh, to grace how great a debtor, henceforth I’m constrained to be! Let Thy grace, Lord, like a fetter, bind my erring heart to Thee…Here’s my heart, oh take and seal it, seal it for Thy courts above.”
“Wellspring of Wisdom,
hear the cry
of your faith-filled daughters and sons,
whom Your sanctifying waters seek to sooth
We hunger and thirst
for that life-giving word…
We are ready to risk all gladly –
as we struggle now
to worship You
in Spirit and Truth.
“A Psalm on Living Water”
“You are like a mountain spring,
O Fountain of Living Water:
I sip from the deep down freshness
of Your never-failing love.
You are like a summer rain,
O Sudden Benediction:
Drench my soul and quench
my thirsting spirit
with Your peace.
You are like a raging sea,
O Storm Upon My Ocean:
breaking to bits
my fragile bark
as I learn to lean on You.
You are like a waterfall,
Oasis in My Desert:
Source of my heart’s survival
in the press
and stress of life.
You are like a cleansing flood,
River of Reconciliation:
of my sinfulness.
You are like a bottomless well,
O cup of Lifegiving Water:
full up to overflowing.
Praise be to You, El Shaddai.” - Miriam Therese Winter
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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