Satiety

ImageYesterday, I wrote about how I once tried to resist meeting a Samaritan woman at a well. Thanks to the working of the Holy Spirit in my heart, I finally stopped circling the well; settling down to drink, rest and eat – just like Jesus did in John chapter 4.

 

John doesn’t actually record Jesus physically eating or drinking at the well. He does however mention in verse 14 that Jesus offered the Samaritan woman water to drink that will prevent her from thirsting ever again. John further goes on to say that Jesus refused food offered to Him in verse 32. In fact John quotes Jesus in verse 32 as saying: “I have food of which you do not know”. Sensing that He had confounded His disciples, Jesus clarifies his statement in verse 34 by saying: “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work”. In this case, Jesus spoke of course of doing His Father’s bidding. He was fed by simple obedience to His Father’s will. 

 

I remembered how I felt after my interaction with the Samaritan woman who crossed my path years ago. I remember feeling exceedingly joyful. I remember an overwhelming fullness in my soul – a completeness. I realize now, I was nourished by the exchange. Nourished, by the kind of comfort food that can only come from our Heavenly Father. I was hand-fed by God Himself.

 

Obedience to God manifests as satiety of soul. It is a condition of soul where you are filled with marrow and fatness; where nothing is lacking or missing in your life. To obey is to taste and see His goodness and to drink from the Overflowing Cup, that is our Wellspring of Life. 

 

 

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In the Company of Samaritans

In John 4 Jesus meets a Samaritan woman at a well, and asks her for a drink. With this single interaction, Jesus defies many cultural norms of the day. Firstly, Jews did not associate with Samaritans. Samaritans were considered scum. So much so, that even the woman was surprised by Jesus engaging her. We read her response in verse 9: “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”. The response from His own disciples in verse 27, gives us even more insight into the culture of the day. We read that they marveled that He spoke to a woman! Then, to add even more intrigue, we read in verse 18 that this was actually a woman of ill-repute who had five husbands, and was presently living with another, who was not even her husband. So, in short Jesus is consorting with a Samaritan woman of ill-repute.

His love, and willingness to defy the culture of the day wins her heart. Fueled by the revelation of meeting the Christ, she goes on to testify about Him to many in the city where she lived. Her testimony then, lead many to Jesus.

I love so many things about this story. I particularly love the fact that Jesus was not concerned with His reputation, for He knew who He was. He even told her so- “I who speak to you, am He (The Messiah)”. By revealing His identity to her, He seemed more concerned with her reputation, for He knew who she was, and the life she was living was not consistent with who she was created to be.

Knowing then who we are, we also should also not regard our reputation in engaging with the Samaritans of our day. Their reputations should be prized higher than our own.

In the Company of Samaritans 2

I read this morning in John 4 about an encounter that Jesus had with a Samaritan woman at a well. As I read it, the Lord reminded me of an encounter I had with a Samaritan woman, not at a well, but under a lamppost.

I once asked the Lord to give me grace to run, and  He did. I now consider myself to be a jogger. If it seems all to easy, it is because it is. Our Father has a sweet tooth for giving good gifts to His children. And He just charges the gifts to the grace account. Grace then declares that there is a jogger inside all of us.

My jogs became time spent with the Holy Spirit. We literally would run together. He is so gracious, and would allow me to think that I was actually setting the pace and agenda for our runs. He would whisper to me during our runs – “turn here”, “run there”. His words would be to me as Hansel and Gretel’s pebbles; forming markers by which I would navigate and plot my way in this journey of  life.

A few years ago, I was running on Main Road, Kenilworth in Cape Town. It is not uncommon to see prostitutes on this street, even during an early morning run. As I ran, I saw a such a prostitute ahead. The Lord told me to stop and speak to her. He told me to tell her that Jesus loved her. A short and concise message that had the potential to change her life.

I am usually obedient, but on this particular day I struggled with the instruction. I thought, what would people think to see me speaking to a prostitute? What if they thought I was soliciting her for sex….? I even justified my behaviour by saying that my avoidance was actually honouring God… Mmmm. So, I ran past her. Fast. But, the Holy Spirit, sometimes does His best work with a gentle”drip” rather than by brute force. He just kept breathing on my heart, until I turned around and went back to the lamppost where she stood. I stood before the lady, looked her in the eye, and said: “I just want to let you know that Jesus loves you”. She smiled, and thanked me. With that, I turned to complete my run with the Holy Spirit.

This woman, and much of the world, navigate their lives by a lamppost – that is the wisdom of man. It is the light that guides and illuminates their path. The wisdom of man may say that hanging with the Samaritans of the day is not good for your reputation. And, it may even say that as a representative of Christ, we need to avoid talking to Samaritans, because it may just taint us. Conversely, the Holy Spirit is the Lamppost of our hearts and He is not so much interested in exposing our deeds, but the motive behind our deeds. He judges the spirit of the action rather than the action itself. This would explain why Jesus was comfortable speaking to a Samaritan woman at a well. It is because  Jesus was concerned with saving the lost, hurt, and broken, and so this also should be our concern. Christ did not consider His reputation when He was falsely accused, and neither should we.

Please read today’s devotional for more on this subject.

 

Unity in the Home Begins with Unity with God

Yesterday, using Psalm 133 as a reference, I wrote about the blessings available to us, the Body of Christ, when we dwell in unity with God, and one another. The blessings flow from the Father, through Jesus Christ to us His Body. Today, I want to bring it closer to home.

Unity in the home, begins with unity with God. Let me explain.

Aaron, is mentioned in Psalm 133, as the one from whose head the blessings flow. Aaron was a priest  of God, and the blessings were meant to flow from his “headship”, to the nation of Israel  – those whom he served as priest. If the priest were to be separated from God for some reason, he would literally be cut off from the Source of all blessing, and as a result would not be able to impart any blessings to Israel. It goes without saying then, that the priest needed to be in unity, and right standing with God in order to minister to his flock and manifest the blessings of God. In the same way, the husband is the priest of his home. He is the head, and all blessings from the Father, should rightly flow from him to His family. Should the head of the home, not be in unity and right standing with God, then he could not command a blessing to his home. As I said, unity in the home, begins with unity with God.

The first step to living in unity with God the Father, (and to be in right standing with Him), is through Jesus Christ His Son. It is through His sacrifice and blood that we are cleansed from all (sin) which separates us from Father God. Through Jesus, we are born of God, so that we may be one with Him.

Tomorrow I hope to explore some consequences from choices, that the head of the home may make. And how they affect unity, and subsequent blessings.

Should you want an introduction to Jesus email me at: twotinsonayarn@gmail.com

Unity Commands a Blessing

Psalm 133 reads as follows:

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brethren to dwell together in unity!

It is like the precious oil upon the head,
Running down on the beard,
The beard of Aaron,
Running down on the edge of his garments.
It is like the dew of Hermon,
Descending upon the mountains of Zion;
For there the Lord commanded the blessing—
Life forevermore.

The Psalmist makes it clear that blessings flow from unity. It is noteworthy that these blessings flow from the head, down to the rest of the body. The Trinity serves as a perfect example to us of what this does, and should look like. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit have always dwelt together in perfect unity. In truth, they are One! Their “One-ness” has resulted in The Father bestowing every blessing on His Son Jesus, and in turn, these blessings are available to us –  the Body of Christ – provided we dwell in unity.

All I have is Yours

In the story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15), the older brother is offended by the reception that his younger brother received from their father. He feels that his brother squandered all he was given, and as such, is not worthy of receiving a celebratory welcome where the fatted calf is slaughtered, much less have gifts bestowed on him.

We read the older brother’s particular objections in Luke 15:29-30: “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”.

Their Father’s tender response in verse 31 is astounding: ““And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours”.

As sons of God, we have the guarantee of two things from our Father: 1. He is always with us. 2. All He has is ours. Despite these promises, we do at times, live as one’s who never celebrated this truth. We hanker for a party with our friends, happy to settle for a goat, when in truth we have access to the fatted calf. God’s perfect goodness as a Father does not depend on our perfect goodness as sons. Our access to Fatherly perfection, love and resources, is also not based on our performance as perfect sons. All we need do is ask. There is but one perfect Son after all – Jesus – and it is through Him that we have access to the Father.

 

When Gifts Outweigh Character

The story of the Prodigal Son, in Luke 15, opens with the following 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 living”.

The son asked for his inheritance before it was due to him, and his story teaches us, that his character was of such a nature, that he was not able to steward the inheritance given him. Gifts, talents and treasures, both in the spirit and natural realm can be your ally when you are ready to steward them correctly. However, if we receive the manifestation of such before our character is sufficiently developed, they may just become a debilitating burden to us.

Sometimes, our Father withholds the manifestation of our inheritance from us, not to be cruel, but because He loves us. He is not so much concerned with what you or I will do with such a gift. He is more concerned with what the gift will do to us. Though we may prize such a gift; we are of greater value to Him than any gift.