Sunday, October 23, 2011

YMCA McKinney Falls devotional notes

1. Jesus pursues us (John 4:3-8*)
When the Lord learned of this, he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee. Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) 
  • Jesus was headed from the Judean countryside to Cana in Galilee, 60-70 mile walk. About half way there was Sychar in Samaria. He was tired but went out of his way to meet her.
  • Eagerly seeking us is the pattern we see in Jesus!
    • Luke 19:10: "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost."
    • Luke 5:32: Jesus says, "I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance."
    • Luke 15 parables
      • v.4-7: shepherd with 100 sheep will leave the 99 to go after the one that is lost, until he finds it.
      • v.8-10: woman with 10 coins loses one, she sweeps the house and seeks diligently until she finds it.
      • v.11-32: man saw his prodigal son from a far way off and ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.
  • The point is that the woman wasn't looking for Jesus. He came looking for her.
2. We're never too far gone, damaged goods, or beyond help (John 4:9-19)
The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?” Jesus answered, “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.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.” “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.” “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet.
  • Most people went to the well in the morning or evening when the sun was not at its peak, since carrying water was hard work. She went to the well at noon (6th hour), which implies that she was an outcast, ashamed and not welcome at the well when respectable people were there. 
  • It wasn't even socially acceptable for a Jewish man to talk with a Samaritan woman, who was considered the very bottom of the social cast.
  • Satan would lie to us and tell us that we are damaged goods, and too far gone for us to come back to Jesus. 
  • But not true. We see other examples too of "damaged goods" that Jesus reaches out to
    • John 8:3-11: Sinful woman who Jesus didn't stone. Instead of condemning her, he told her to "go, and from now on sin no more."
    • Luke 23:39-43: To the criminal being crucified on the cross next to Him, Jesus says, "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."
  • There are girls here who will get weighed down by shame, disgrace, guilt, feelings of inadequacy. Dads, this applies to you too. Jesus wants to take those things away.
  • You may have made bad decisions, or someone else may have taken advantage of you, or both. You are not damaged goods. Jesus calls to you to turn away from your guilt and He will replace it with His love.
3. Jesus calls us to repent and eagerly seek after Him (John 4:25-26, 28-30, 39)
The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.”
Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” They came out of the town and made their way toward him.
Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.”
  • Jesus called her out on her behavior. It is not OK to come to Jesus but continue in sinful habits.
    • We have this image of Jesus that He is a push-over Jesus. He's not.
    • We think of Him as gentle, with kids piled on his lap. But He is also holy. 
    • Revelation 1:12-17 when John sees Jesus in heaven: His eyes were like a flame of fire, His voice was like the roar of many waters, His face was like the sun shining in full strength.
    • Revelation 19:11-16: In righteousness He judges and makes war. The armies of heaven follow Him on white horses. He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
  • American gospel would tell you that we're basically good, and God loves you. And He does--that part is true, but if you just take that gospel, you'll be left with emptiness, shame, and guilt, because you have to deal with your sin.
  • You will never experience abundant life if you take Jesus but don't repent and turn from your sin.
    • Romans 2:4 says that "God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance..."
  • Repentance means to turn away from sin and turn towards God
    • NIV Study Bible notes (Matt 3:2) say, "Repentance is not merely a change of mind but a radical change in one's life as a whole that especially involves forsaking sin and turning or returning to God."
    • NIV Study Bible notes (Mark 1:4) say, "Repentance involves deliberate turning from sin to righteousness... God always grants forgiveness when there is repentance."
  • Repentance is a gift from God
    • 2 Timothy 2:25 talks about how the believer should treat his opponents so that "God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth."
    • Acts 5:31 talks of Jesus, "God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins."
    • Acts 11:18 after God gave the Holy Spirit to Gentile believers, "...And they glorified God, saying, "Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.""
  • 1 John 1:9: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
  • Psalm 103:12, "as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us."
  • (favorite verse) Romans 8:1: "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."
  • So don't hold on to your guilt and your shame. Eagerly seek Jesus.
    • Psalm 86:5: "For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you."
    • Hebrews 11:6: "And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him."
    • Matthew 6:33: "But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."
    • Acts 17:27-28a NLT: "His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and exist."
So what:
  • Jesus is eagerly seeking after you.
  • You will never be damaged goods, too far gone to turn to Him.
  • Get rid of your shame and guilt. Turn from your sin and turn to God.
    • Romans 10:9, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
  • Eagerly seek Jesus. He will give each of us living water, that is the Holy Spirit. Nothing else will satisfy us.
    • John 7:37b-39a: Jesus stood up and cried out, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, 'Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'" Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive..."
  • Take hold of what God has given you, not just His love, but rest that is found in repentance. Confess your sins, turn away from them, and turn to God through Jesus Christ where there is abundant, everlasting life. Let those shackles go, fall from you, and run the race with freedom in Christ. There is freedom in Jesus Christ, and Jesus wants you to have and experience that freedom.
*All Scriptures are ESV except where otherwise noted.

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