Tag Archives: grace

WELCOME TO THE WELL – Sunday’s Sermon

Welcome to the Well

Scripture taken from John 4:1-26. You can also see this Scripture on Youtube. You can view  the podcast.

One thing I like about the way Pastor John gives a sermon is the historical background he gives us. The story of the Samaritan woman at the well is known to many of us but he also told us the following tidbits of information:

  • The Samaritans came from the 12 tribes of Jacob, but they were from the northern kingdom of Israel. They had become “half-breeds” because they married the Babylonians and Assyrians. He compared the feud of the Jewish people and the Samaritans to the McCoys and the Hatfields.
  • The first line of the Scripture says: Jesus had to go through Samaria. He didn’t take that route for travelling necessity but took it because God needed Him to meet the Samaritan woman.
  • The historicity of the well is such that they can say for almost certain “here is the well”, and that’s after 3000 years since it was dug. That’s authentic.
  • The time that the Samaritan woman came to the well is noon – very hot. And she came alone. That is not what women did who went for water. They came when it was cooler and they came together so they could talk about all that is going on in their lives. The Samaritan woman was an outcast so she couldn’t go with the others. She came alone.

The four points of the lesson:

God’s love is not based on who we are.

I learned that everyone is important to Jesus. He crossed cultural (a woman), historical (Samaritan), moral (she was an outcast) lines. That means I too have to cross those barriers when I meet others. I can’t label people. I must see them as God sees them – with a genuine love of Jesus. I must make eye contact and show them that I care.

I must be ATTENTIVE.

God’s love is not based on what we know.

If I want an abundant life I need to be different. I can’t be complacent and let life pass me by. God said:

“For I know the plans I have for you, … plans …  to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV).

Even in retirement God is not finished with me yet. Am I trying to box God in? Or can I take the living water and drink deeply?

I must be CURIOUS.

God’s love is not based on what we’ve done.

This resounded with me because it repeated what I read from Oswald Chambers this morning. I can’t keep changing the subject with God when He is trying to tell me something. The Samaritan woman does her best to take the talk away from her sin. But Jesus keeps bringing it back to her, until she relents and starts listening to Him.

Oswald asks:

“You say – “I know I am right with God”; but still the “high places” remain, there is something over which you have not obeyed” (Oswald Chambers April 15).

Is He talking to me or to you right now? Are we listening to Him or making excuses?

I must LISTEN.

God’s love is based on who Jesus is.

Jesus is the I AM. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Jesus is the Bread of Life. All we need to say is, “I am sorry” and He says, “You are forgiven.”

I must COME TO JESUS.

To top off all I learned today I received an email with a song that is new to me. The words spoke exactly what we learned today. It is called GRACE by Laura Story.

The words are awesome.

Grace

My heart is so proud. My mind is so unfocused.

I see the things You do through me as great things I have done. And now You gently break me, then lovingly You take me and hold me as my father and mold me as my maker.

Chorus:

I ask you: “How many times will you pick me up, when I keep on letting you down?

And each time I will fall short of Your glory, how far will forgiveness abound?”

And you answer: ” My child, I love you.

And as long as you’re seeking My face, You’ll walk in the pow’r of My daily sufficient grace.”

At times I may grow weak and feel a bit discouraged, knowing that someone, somewhere could do a better job. For who am I to serve You?I know I don’t deserve You. And that’s the part that burns in my heart and keeps me hanging on.

Chorus

I ask you: “How many times will you pick me up, when I keep on letting you down?

And each time I will fall short of Your glory, how far will forgiveness abounds?”

And you answer: ” My child, I love you.

And as long as you’re seeking My face, You’ll walk in the pow’r of My daily sufficient grace.”

You are so patient with me, Lord.

As I walk with You, I’m learning what Your grace really means. The price that I could never pay was paid at Calvary. So, instead of trying to repay You, I’m learning to simply obey You

by giving up my life to you For all that You’ve given to me.

Chorus:

I ask you: “How many times will you pick me up, when I keep on letting you down?

And each time I will fall short of Your glory, how far will forgiveness abounds?”

And you answer: ” My child, I love you.

And as long as you’re seeking My face, You’ll walk in the pow’r of My daily sufficient grace.

PRAYER LINE

Prayer Line

by Heather McGillivray (reprinted from June 10, 2011 with permission)

This morning, as I was hanging my laundry on the line in descending order of weight and size, I took my time to drape the last few articles—with stains—facing the sun. Nothing can disintegrate mustard spots and fade the vilest blotches of blood like a June morning’s piercing rays. Last week I hung a white tunic up with a mango mark that hadn’t come out in the wash, and hours later I reeled it back in without spot or wrinkle. Okay, it still had a few wrinkles­—we’re at the mercy of the wind for that—but the yellow fleck had forever fled from the sun’s penetrating gaze.

That wasn’t the first time this morning I’d aired my dirty laundry, though. I hauled my basket full of soiled cares and sullied concerns to my prayer place and washed them in the water of His Word. I let His mercy pour healing agents into the rinse as I scrubbed every anxiety over the washboard of His wisdom and commands. Ours is no quick-cycle chemical cleansing—prayer is a ‘roll up your sleeves’ kind of rewarding work.

Sometimes I get up from on my face before God fully cleansed and refreshed. Other times, like this morning, I find there are things that just didn’t come out in the wash.

So I hung them up on my faith-line. I tethered them to mercy, and secured them with trust—carefully positioning each one before the Son’s face. He sees them, I know. They don’t stand a chance against His penetrating gaze.

Clouds might get in the way, this is true. But out there they will stay until He comes through.

I like to think that prayer is a little like doing my laundry. I have to keep up with it or I don’t have anything to wear. Sometimes a gentle rinse cycle is all I need. Some requests get put through the wringer. And some things just have to hang and dry.

purify yourselves and change your clothes. Genesis 35:2

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Heather McGillivray

Heather lives in Chelmsford, Ontario, with her college aged children. She knows they haven’t left yet because she’s still doing their laundry and buying lots of groceries–she just can’t figure out where they’re hiding, or what they’ve done with the van.
The most exciting thing in her life right now, apart from Jesus, is that He’s letting her write her very first novel, and she’s almost done it. She loves poetry, and could get lost for weeks at a time in a good one.
What she knows above all else, is that God hears and answers prayer–and for that she is eternally grateful. Visit her at her blog.

A Clean Slate

A Clean Slate

I thought the other day as I wiped off my whiteboard to start into a new list of activities, how easy it was to wipe away the black marker. But it is harder to wipe away mistakes, unkind words or past troubles.

I remember listening to Tony Campolo a number of years ago when I first took my halting steps toward a faith in Christ. He reminded the audience of the Nixon tapes that were erased. No longer could anyone know what words were actually spoken in his office during the Watergate affair. Then Tony looked directly at me (I felt like he was looking at me) and said: “Well, God can erase the tape of your past!”

Those words have remained stamped in my mind. But I questioned, “Could all my past mistakes, troubles, and feelings be erased like that tape?”

This erasure did not happen overnight. I would go to God again and again with the same past –  pleading for those memories to be gone. They would resurface over and over.

A few times at women’s conferences we would have a speaker who would do a similar talk and ask us to write down on paper those things that bothered us. Then we would file up to the front with our papers and either put them in a garbage bin, or lay them at the foot of the Cross.

I can’t remember when I realized that those memories were fading, were not eating at me, were not pushing down my shoulders and weighing down my soul. But somewhere along the path with God – He released me from them. I accepted His grace and I stepped into the peace and freedom of Christ.

Do you know what I mean? Have you been there? Are you still in the walking stage or have you been able to be free with God erasing the pain of the past.