Girlfriends in God Daily Devotional for Women

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Girlfriends in God - Apr. 13, 2009

April 13, 2009 
God Pursues Us 
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth 
Romans 5:8 “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (NLT).

Friend To Friend 
Jesus was on his way to Galilee from Judea.  In Jesus’ day, the Jews hated the Samaritans and would never purposely travel through their land.  There were other roads, better and safer roads Jesus could have taken and usually did take – but not today.  Today, he had a divine appointment.  Today he chose to go through the region of Samaria and he chose to go through Sychar, the small village where a certain woman lived. Meeting this woman was no accident on the part of Jesus Christ.  With great determination and forethought, he planned a divine interruption in her life, an interlude in which His love and forgiveness met her at the point of her greatest need.  He planned to set her free.

Little is known about this woman and what we do know is not good.  She was immoral and spiritually ignorant, an outcast despised by the Jews and even by her own people.  She was very popular with the men of the village who bought her to satisfy their own physical pleasure and then tossed her aside like a broken, damaged and used doll.  I am certain this woman had no illusions about the fact that she meant absolutely nothing to these men.  In the beginning, she may have convinced herself that they cared for her and perhaps even loved her, but I imagine that illusion was short-lived.  In fact, while studying her life, I have many times wondered if there had ever been a man in her life that she could love or trust.  I do not know what drove this woman to such an empty and futile existence, but I do know as far as Jesus was concerned, that old life was over!  It did not matter to Him.  He looked at this woman through eyes of healing and forgiveness and saw His precious child.  He just loved her – right where she was and just as she was.  It is very clear in this scriptural account that this woman at the well was extremely important to Jesus.   He recognized her worth. 

The life of this woman reminds me of the little boy who built a wooden boat. For hours he worked, whittling and carving, until it was exactly as he had dreamed it would be.  After sanding and painting the small boat, the little boy raced outside to the nearby river where the launch of his cherished creation would take place. It was beautiful. Every day, the young captain sailed his boat up and down the lazy river, his active imagination weaving tales of pirates and treasures, mermaids and sea monsters, every story ending with the return of his seaworthy vessel.  Then one day, after a torrential rain, the little boy sailed his boat on the burgeoning stream.  Too late, he realized that the swift current was taking his boat out of reach.  He frantically tried to retrieve the boat, but it was moving too fast and he ran out of shoreline.  The boat was lost.  Brokenhearted, he stood on the bank of the river, staring into the fading light as his precious boat sailed away from him.  When darkness came, the brokenhearted boy turned and slowly walked away. 

Several days later, he was on his way home from school when he passed the toy store.  There in the window was his boat!   Someone had found it!   Dropping his backpack, the boy slammed through the door of the toy store and with an anxious heart, the little boy told the owner that the boat in the window belonged to him. But the owner was not convinced and told the boy he would have to pay for the boat.  “Can you please, please hold it for me?” the little boy begged.  “Just until the store closes today,” the owner replied.  Frantic, but determined to have his boat, the little boy ran home, grabbed his piggy bank and bolted back to the store.  Minutes later, he walked out of the toy store, the boat securely in his hands.  “You are twice mine, little boat,” the boy whispered, “once because I made you and once because I bought you.”

Just as Jesus came looking for the Samaritan woman, He comes looking for you, willing to step right into the mess of your life with the gift of healing love and life-changing restoration in His hands.  The price Jesus paid was enormous but he gladly paid that price to buy back what He had created.  Like this woman at the well, we are important because God made us and because God pursues us.   What hope we find in Paul’s words written in the book of Romans 5:8, “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (NLT).

Let’s Pray 
Father, thank You for loving me just as I am and for being willing to send Your only Son, Jesus Christ, to die for me on the cross – paying for my sin in full.  I celebrate the forgiveness I find in You.  Your grace and mercy overwhelm me, Lord.  I realize that no one loves me like You do and that I am indispensable to no one but You.  Please help me live in the shadow of the cross and in the light of an empty tomb. 

In Jesus’ name, 

Now It’s Your Turn 
Read the following verses and answer each question:  

  • John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  
                What must we do in order to receive God’s gift of forgiveness?   
  • 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 
                This verse was written to believers.  What does it tell you about sin and the confession of sin? 
  • 2 Chronicles 7:14 “If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 
                What four steps does God ask us to take as we pray?

More From The Girlfriends 
Forgiveness is powerful and life-changing.  To experience the life God wants us to have, we must learn how to forgive others and how to ask others for forgiveness.  Forgiveness is not an emotion or feeling, nor does it depend upon the response of the person you are forgiving.  Forgiveness is a deliberate choice, an independent act between you and God - and forgiveness is hard!  In fact, it is impossible – outside the power of God at work in us.  Check out The Power of Forgiveness, a message that will teach you how to process pain and hurt, let go of it and forgive.  It is available as a CD or MP3.  My weekly online bible study, Light for the Journey, will help you to learn God’s Word and show you how to grow in your faith.

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