Friday, August 23, 2013

Thirsty Woman - Part 2

The woman said to Him, "Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty nor come all the way here to draw."

Her Thirst:
The passage expresses 2 things
1.       Her search of her life
2.       Her low self-esteem

She talks in 2 meanings i.e. both in Spiritual and earthly terms. By giving this answer she too gets in the wavelength of the LORD.

Spiritual water: LORD, give me this living water so I don't have to thirst again. I am searching for truth. Let this be my stop. I don't have to walk in Shame and guilt. I am walking in self loathe and blame.

Earthly water: Though she wants to live her life right, she is afraid to take the step outside with fear of being mocked and ridiculed. Given a chance by her fellow woman, she would have come to draw the water in the morning and their acceptance would have helped her with the new life. But it didn't happen. Her inner urge is to escape the world and their slander is expressed subtly and painfully in the above passage.

*The world sees her life and not her heart. She is in repentance. Nobody but the LORD alone can see it.

16 He said to her, "Go, call your husband and come here." 17 The woman answered and said, "I have no husband." Jesus said to her, "You have correctly said, 'I have no husband'; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly."
Her Life revealed: The lord says he knows of her sinful and immoral life. He doesn't condemn it. This is to let her know that her sinful life past doesn't matter. He wants to let her know that his grace and mercy is sufficient is enough to receive the living water. He wants her to walk free. Free from past guilt. If she asks, he will give the living water of eternal life.

3 key points:
1.       Salvation is for your entire household (v.16). Not just you.  (Acts 11:14, 16:31)
2.       She doesn't hide and put an act. She confesses by saying "I have no husband"(v.17). He seeks repenting heart. (Acts 2:38, Psalm 38:18, Luke 13:5)
3.       His hidden answer to her concern is in previous verse (v.14) – Your past does not dictate your freedom and salvation. I set you free. You are free. You don't have to hide yourself.

Reason why LORD chose her – She is waiting for him, the Messiah.

19 The woman said to Him, "Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship."
A believer:  Look at her response and her questions.
1.       She is not offended by JESUS's revealing of her life. She does not try to justify or scorn or get upset. Because she has a repenting heart about her life
2.       She asks about the place of worship because she knows that the solution that she is seeking lies only in spiritual realm. But she do not who is the real GOD
3.       Few more features of the Thirsty lady revealed here
·         She has practiced her religion and had not found peace. She believes GOD of Jews the Jehovah would be the answer. Hence the reverence and quick identification of Jesus as Prophet.
·         Being a gentile she do not know if she can pray to Jehovah. She is in look out for more information.
·         Another Important Character of the Lady is that she doesn't ask for Earthly blessings which I am sure she is in big need of. Yet, she has surpassed that because she has recognized that her spiritual needs are bigger than her earthly needs.
**Note: In my case, I can't help but compare myself to this Lady in this situation. Being born with a different religious background the search for real GOD for me stopped when I had the personal fellowship with the LORD thru Bible.

21 Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."
·         He calls her to believe her, - A disciple.
·         He teaches the principles of church and disciple ship
·         Talks about Holy spirit
·         TRUE Worshippers is of any race, creed and caste
·         Worship should be in Spirit and Truth (word of GOD)

In detail:
1.       You worship what you do not know – You are worshipping that is not true. You cannot be sure of its blessings because you do not know what you are dealing with.
2.       We worship what we know – We worship Jehovah who loves to bless his Children. (Psalm 136) While we worship Jehovah we know what is in store for us. What we can expect.
3.       For salvation is from the Jews – Salvation comes from Lineage of King David who is a Jew. He does not say salvation is FOR the Jews. It is FROM the Jews FOR everyone who believes.
4.       He moves to the worshipping the LORD – How the true worship should be? – In Spirit and Truth.
5.       He also says LORD seeks true worshippers. Their caste and creed doesn't matter. Gal. 3:7 "Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham"
6.       Why in Spirit – Because GOD is the word and spirit. Word is the truth.

25 The woman *said to Him, "I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us."

·         She is well aware of prophesy in Isaiah and believes in it.
·         She is WAITING for the messiah. She is waiting for him to come and declare her the TRUTH – AND for this reason the LORD is waiting at the well for her.

When you wait on the LORD,…Remember he is already waiting for you.

26 Jesus *said to her, "I who speak to you am He."
·         Revelation like how GOD revealed to Moses in Exodus. Also in Matt 16:16-20 he reveals the same to his close 12 disciples. Jesus by revealing this to her, he immediately acknowledges as his disciple. How significant it is!
·         Revelation is done only to Moses, the servant of GOD saying "I AM WHAT I AM" Exodus 3:14 and even today Lord Jesus has appeared only to the servants of GOD and other humble souls.

27 At this point His disciples came, and they were amazed that He had been speaking with a woman, yet no one said, "What do You seek?" or, "Why do You speak with her?"
Lesson for Disciples: Even today you cannot question GOD's work in people's life. He would be sinner, your adversary. If LORD decides, it is what it is. Remember Jonah story and Nineveh. Nineveh is a wicked pagan city, But LORD had decided to forgive and bless the city.

Just prepare to Be AMAZED!

28 So the woman left her waterpot, and went into the city
First thing first:

She leaves the water pot – meaning

· She has received the Living water

· She drops everything in her hand. She becomes an instant evangelist.
*said to the men , "Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done; this is not [f]the Christ, is it?
· Said to the men: She does not feel like moral out cast anymore. Her self esteem is high. She knows she is forgiven. She is not shameful in going in public and declaring the GOOD news.

· What I am in my life and heart: Also, she humbles herself to glorify his name.

They went out of the city, and were coming to Him.

· Her calling for Christ was so powerful that they came out of the city to meet him.

· The LORD reached out to only her. But, She brought the town to receive him.
The Samaritans
39 From that city many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, "He told me all the things that I have done." 40 So when the Samaritans came to Jesus, they were asking Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. 41 Many more believed because of His word; 42 and they were saying to the woman, "It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world."

· Testimonies can change plans

· It brings hope and vision
Plans Changed:

Jesus stays in the City of Gentile, Samaria for next TWO days. He Blessed the City and preached Love, Hope and Faith. Many become believers for they witnessed HIS grace and mercy for themselves in their life.

All was possible, because there was one humble repenting heart waiting for Messiah.

1.       Your heart matters
2.       Your longing for GOD matters
3.       Be Humble.
4.       Be ready to meet him.
5.       GOD will meet you anywhere if you are looking for GOD.
6.       When you have JESUS, the world follows you. I.e. Honor and Glory is yours.
7.       LORD will use you to reach out to many. Don't be surprised! HIS plans are perfect and so is his LOVE!

My Dear friend,
If you are that "Thirsty woman or man"…, don't lose heart. HE is waiting for you.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Thirsty Lady - Part 1

Ladies from New Testament had been in my constant ponder. Every time I come across, I cant help doing a role play and try to see thru their eyes the Messiah, the Savior, the Lover of our soul. Here is one such attempt of my favorite story "Samaritan Lady at the well" found only in Book of John. As you have read and learnt in many places, this story is so deep and carries such big truths for us esp. his love for the humble, lost and contrite souls. Oh! How he loves us.
Let us see his grace and mercy unfold in the story
John 4: 4 – 42
And He had to pass through Samaria.
Plans: Had to - this verb has a specific importance here. It is not required to pass thru Samaria geographically. May be it is a roundabout way to Galilee. Yet, the Son of Great living GOD decides to pass thru the city Sychar of Samaria to meet a special person he had in his mind.
So He came to a city of Samaria called Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph; and Jacob's well was there. So Jesus, being wearied from His journey, was sitting thus by the well.
Divine Appointment: It is not any other place. The LORD picks a specific place to meet this woman. A place that has theological and historical importance. A place where earthly needs are met. But there is something more in LORD's mind.
6It was about the sixth hour.  There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. 

His Person of Interest:
·         Introduction of Thirsty Woman – Here comes the gentile woman who ran out of water at home, thirsty woman hurries in scorching sun mid day to draw water. Drawing water is a chore done early in the morning or in the evening. A Household needs water in the morning and a refill in the evening. Dawn and Dusk weather-wise also makes it easy on the women folks to draw water and to carry it home. But here we see this woman coming to the well at the mid day.
·         An outcast: During those days, well is place of social get together for women folks – A Ladies club. Mid day is the time, people stay at home. Here is this woman coming alone. It looks she specifically chose mid day hoping to see anybody on the road or at the well. She seems to be a moral outcast in her own society or that's what she thinks of herself.
An Analogy: Weary Jesus among-st his busy 2 yr ministry decides to wait for the gentile lady to show up at the well.
Yes, it is the SIXTH hour. Not the Twelfth hour. He appears in the middle of the history bringing a message, a message to those who are thirsty and in search of water, the real Truth. He is for the people with thirst for the real GOD despite their past and background.
Jesus said to her, "Give Me a drink."  8For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. 
Rules Broken: Jesus breaks 3 rules
1.       He talks to a woman in public which is not accepted in then conservative society.
2.       He talks to a Gentile woman. Samaritans and Jews do NOT get along with each other. Samaritans are considered to have born out of interracial marriage. In fact they have their own and own place of worship as opposed to the LORD JEHOVAH revered at the mount Zion of Jerusalem.
3.       He asks her for water. He doesn't have a vessel. It means he has to drink from a gentile vessel which is ceremoniously considered unclean those days.
**Before reading the conversation between the lady and the LORD, we have to remember that the LORD speaks to her in a special language of words with hidden answers & meanings. His answers are not direct to the questions she posts. Yet, the answers were inquisitive and elaborate enough for her to understand. The reason being they are conversing in a spiritual level here.
 9 Therefore the Samaritan woman said to Him, "How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?" 
Lady Response: Surprised to see a man at the well and even more startled by the LORD's request.
Her thoughts race - Why would a Jew, a Man had to talk to me? He is a man. Can't he get a drink for himself?  Why ask me - a gentile woman..? Does he know about me, my background?  OR Does this man have 'other thoughts' of me knowing the background of my sinful life? She frames her thought as stern straight forward questions to him. I will not blame her. That's girls the reflexive thought about any unknown male's encounter in a secluded place. One thing is evident she regrets her sinful life and she is not happy with what she had done. Hence he questions are straight as an arrow. Had she been in other thoughts, her questions would have been different to the young handsome looking Jew.
10 Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water."
BIG TRUTH Unveiled: Look at the grace of the LORD. Jesus talks to an outcast, a broken, and a Gentile woman about the Gift of GOD he has for her. He encourages her to KNOW him and ASK him. He promises the living water, the salvation.  If you read the above verse John 4:10, it is another version of John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me. 
11 She said to Him, "Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water? 12 You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?"
Her Quest: With his response involving the Gift of GOD and living water, she develops an instant respect for him now. For realizes that this person is there to meet her needs and seems like someone who might have answers for her longing quest. She responds back to LORD Jesus addressing him differently  She asks him with great respect to about the living water. Her responses also reveal her depth of the theological knowledge and her reverence for the forefathers.  This verse proves that she is not a mediocre woman. Her soul has been pondering over her life and in search of the truth.
13 Jesus answered and said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life."
Salvation for Everyone: Key point here is "Whoever drinks". Salvation is available for everyone. He makes it very clear WHO doesn't matter, but WHAT he does with the water given by LORD matters. He also further explains – the water he gives is the water of Salvation which will lead to heavenly blessing of eternal life.
It has a message for us to. We seek GOD mainly for earthly blessings.
We asks
1.       For a loving spouse, Only to one day to find your-self hurt.
2.       For a lot of wealth, Only to one day to lose it.
3.       For a perfect health, Only to one day to die.
4.       For a high rank & honor, Only to one day to leave it another person.

When we ask and seek GOD for the living water the salvation, every heavenly and earthly blessing fall into our lap. (Mathew 6:20). 
Let us see if the Lady got it right in next post.   -  To be Continued

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Parable of a Faithful Father

Luke 15:11-32: Please read this familiar passage while re-reading the highlighted verses.
11 Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. 13 And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal (wild) living. 14 But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. 15 Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.
17 But when he came to himself (his senses) , he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”’
20 “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring (quickly) out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. 23 And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; 24 for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.
25 “Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’
28 But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. 29 So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. 30 But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’
31 “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. 32 It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’”

Many call this the parable of the Lost Son or Prodigal Son. But it is more apt to call it the parable of the Faithful Father. Let us glean some valuable lessons from the scriptures.

         1. Prayer of Intensity
The passage does not describe the sighs, the groans, the sleepless nights of this Father. The passage does not describe the intercession this Father made on his son’s behalf. But we get a clue from v17 – when the son came to his senses – he did not come to his senses by himself. In the background there was intense prayer. There was a spiritual warfare going on in the heavenly realm for this son’s soul. Father never stopped interceding for his son till he saw him come back.
Application: Never ever stop praying for your loved one’s salvation till you see them in the Lord. Till they have breath in their nostrils there is hope for them. When we know that it is God’s will for “none to perish” we should keep on pressing till we see results. So if your friend or family must come to their senses, you must pray, pray and not stop.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
Isa 50:2 Why was no one there when I came? Why was there no one to answer when I called?
Is My hand too short to redeem? Or do I have no power to deliver? Look, I dry up the sea by My rebuke; I turn the rivers into a wilderness; their fish rot because of lack of water and die of thirst.

2.Prayer of anticipation/expectation

V 20: But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him. He was not sitting in front of the TV and flipping channels, but he was anticipating that the son would come any day. That is why he was standing on the top – that is how he saw the son from far off.
We pray, we wrestle in prayer, but are we expecting great things from the Lord. In a church every one gathered to pray for rain. But only one little boy came to the prayer with umbrella. That my dear friends, is expectation. We pray with tears, we wrestle in prayer, but when answer comes, we are surprised. We should not be.

           3. Do not stand in the way of God
That Father was praying, was expecting, at the same time he gave full freedom to God, to deal with his son as He wished. He knew that his son was first God’s son to even begin with. God had to take that son so low – so low as to eat pig’s food – to bring him to his senses. We pray for salvation, we pray for repentance, but we ourselves stand in the way of God. Let God do his work. For God our soul is more important – because that’s what lives for eternity. Our trails are for momentary, light affliction. The following scriptures reveal how important it is for our soul to reach heaven.

Mark 9:43 -48  If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. 45 And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. 47 And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, 48 where “‘the worms that eat them do not die, and the fire is not quenched.’
      2 Corinthians 4:16-18  Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet       inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an   eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.     

         4. Do not join yourself to people of this world
V 15: Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country. We are called to be priests. We are a holy nation separated unto the Lord. Swine is an abomination to the Jew, but he was joined with the world and did not realize it. Friendship with world is enmity to God.
1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
James 4:4 Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?

5. Anger issue of the older son
V 28: But he was angry and would not go in. I am not writing much about the younger son as we have heard enough of him. We think he is the only bad one, but the older son was equally bad. The older son was with the Father, still bad. We can be in the church but still far from the Father. We can be a seasoned Christian, still not understand the love of the Father (his Father came out to meet him, just as he did for the younger son). He still cannot comprehend the compassion of the Father. The older son was not able to celebrate due to his angry. Anger steals us from the Joy of the Lord which is our very strength. If today, God is speaking to you, please get rid of the anger.

You may say – I am only angry against my mom, my dad, my mother in law, my spouse, but actually you’re angry against the Lord. Your anger will hinder answer to your prayers. It will not bring about the righteousness God seeks.

Gal 5:15   If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
James 1:19-20 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

Plus the bible does not tell how the older son responded to the Father’s love – did he go inside or just leave. Let us enter our Father’s house and celebrate.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Who/What I Am in Christ

  • I am reigning in life by Jesus Christ (Romans 5:17)
  • I am not looking at the things that are seen, but at the things which are not seen (II Corinthians 4:18)
  • I am walking by faith and not by sight (II Corinthians 5:7)
  • I am casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God (II Corinthians 10:5)
  • I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (II Corinthians 5:21)
  • I am rooted and grounded in love, because Christ dwells within me (Ephesians 3:17)
  • I am the workmanship of God, created in Christ Jesus for good works (Ephesians 2:10)
  • I am a partaker of God's divine nature (II Peter 1:4)
  • I am prosperous and in good health, because my soul prospers (III John 2)
  • I am being transformed by the renewing of my mind to prove the perfect will of God (Romans 12:2)
  • I am healed by the stripes of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:24)
  • I am more than a conqueror through Jesus Christ (Romans 8:37)
  • I am the salt of the earth, and the light of the world (Matthew 5:13a, 14a)
  • I am complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10)
  • I am strong in the Lord and in the power of His might (Ephesians 6:10)
  • I am taking the shield of faith and quenching all of the fiery darts of the enemy (Ephesians 6:16)
  • I am praying my desires and receiving them (Mark 11:24)
  • I am like a tree planted by the rivers of water and everything that I do prospers (Psalm 1:3)
  • I am a temple of the Holy Ghost (I Corinthians 6:19)
  • I am given exceeding great and precious promises, and by them I partake of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust (II Peter 1:4)
  • I am led by the spirit of God; therefore, I am a son of God (Romans 8:14)
  • I am not walking after the flesh, but after the Spirit (Romans 8:1)
  • I am receiving all of my needs met according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19)
  • I am casting all of my cares upon Him, because I know He cares for me (I Peter 5:7)
  • I am blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 1:3)
  • I am blessed when I come in, and blessed when I go out (Deuteronomy 28:6)
  • I am an heir of God and a joint-heir with Jesus Christ (Romans 8:17)
  • I am increasing and abounding in love (I Thessalonians 3:12)
  • I am being made perfect in every good work to do God's will (Hebrews 13:21)
  • I am showing forth the praise of God (Psalms 51:15)

Our Defense and Refuge