Jesus showing love

This morning I was reading John 4 about the woman at the well and her encounter with Jesus.  This story is rather familiar to me however today, Jesus’ absolute, unconditional and extravagant love struck me like a 2×4.

When Jesus approached the woman, He was asking for water.  Then Jesus changed the conversation to the gift that He could give her.  Then Jesus changed the conversation yet again to her personal life and worship.  He was drilling down in her heart to the real issue at hand.  Yes, she would love to have some water so that she did not have to keep coming back to that well just for a drink.  But what she really NEEDED was the well in her heart to be filled.  Could this come from the men she had in her past or the man she currently had?  NO.  She had to go to Jesus to get her heart filled.

The woman’s words to the town also struck me, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” (John 4:29)

Because Jesus knew her intimately, she believed what He said.  And not only did she believe, but she called others to meet this precious Jesus who “told me everything I ever did” yet did not bring condemnation but only love.

I want to be like this woman- getting my heart’s fill from Jesus alone and telling others about His love and striving to love others like He loves me.  True and authentic.  Love that does not bring bitterness or condemnation.  Just absolute, unconditional and extravagant LOVE.

May I encourage you to read John 4 today and see what the Savior is saying to your heart.

The Woman at the Well

well-w-bucket

This week I have been focusing on the story of the Samaritan woman at the well. It can be found in John 4. I am sure you have read it before but it does a heart good to reread the story and see what God wants to show you.

This morning when I read it again, God really opened my heart that I am not too far off from this woman He had to go see. This is a mess of woman who is going about her normally daily duties when she encounters the Lord. What stood out to me the most this morning is that she desperately wants this living water. She wants a quick fix to cover up her sin problem. And she wants a quick fix so that her sin will no longer affect her daily life. In John 4:15 she says “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

I have been there. Actually I think this is where I have been living my life with Jesus for far too long. I want Jesus to give me a quick fix to get over my sin so that I don’t have to keep coming back to this same place time and time again. Also I am weary of my sin affecting my family. But I believe all quick fixes do is bring temporary relief to a deeper issues.

So, of course, Jesus doesn’t offer her a quick fix, He goes deeper with her. Jesus offers her his perfect love in the midst of her mess. She had been with five men and was living with guy number six. None of  these men could fill this deep need of love in her life. She was speaking to the man who could offer her perfect love. Not in a sexual kind of way, but the perfect love that comes out of 1 Corinthians 13- patient, kind, not envious, not boastful, not proud or dishonoring, not self-seeking or easily angered. A love that keeps no record of wrongs, that rejoices in truth, protects, trusts, hopes, always preserves and NEVER fails. This is a love that no man could show her. Only the one, true God could allow her to feel this kind of love.

God offers this same perfect love to me. In the midst of my mess. In the midst of my sin. There are no quick fixes in Jesus, only His perfect love that was shown on the cross. And the great thing is there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that I can do to earn it and nothing I can do for it to be taken from me. God’s offer of His perfect love has no strings attached.

Today, I would like to end by sharing one thought taken from the book, “A Confident Heart” by Renee Swope:

Sweet friend, wherever you are, Jesus meets you there. You and I are not worthy of His love and we can never do anything to deserve it– but we are worth His love because He chose to give it to us. We are His! Hold on to this promise and live in the power of its truth: because God’s love is perfect, you don’t have to be!

Today I am choosing to walk in His #perfectlove.  How about you?

Believe 2011

Last weekend I went with a crew of 27 to Believe in Anderson, Indiana.  It was a great week of getting to know these students and adults, and diving into God’s story in the book of Esther.  The music was great!  The art was amazing!  And the speaker did a great job of presenting Esther and challenging us to look for our NOW moments. 

However he made a comment that has stuck out to me all week long.  (I have studied Esther before, but this weekend, I was shown something in a different light.)

I have been told before (and read it myself) that God’s name is not mentioned in the book of Esther.  However HE is written through out the story.   This weekend the speaker made the comment, that God challenged Esther through the mentor in her life. 

Now, it doesn’t seem all too remarkable, unless, however, you are a mentor.  Then it makes a big difference.  God can use the mentoring relationship that I have to bring about HUGE change.  And not only change in the life of the person I am mentoring, but saving the lives of lots of people around her. 

What a great responsiblity that comes with the mentoring relationship. 

Lord, I pray I am up for the challenge.  Help me to see YOUR potential in the lives of the girls I mentor.  Help me to speak encouragement into their lifes.  I want these young ladies to love you most of all, but I also want them to WANT change in their homes, friendships and schools.  Help me to always be leading others to Your cross. 

What are you treasuring?

Today is my “turn” to take the kids to school.  It only happens once a week normally, since Daddy drives right by there on the way to his office.

And like most families, we have a typical routine.  Mommy is always running late.  Andrew is usually super happy to get going, unless, of course, he woke up on the wrong side of the bed.  Aida is always on time and ready to go.  We get to the high school, Aida jumps out and we say our goodbyes.  But then, we get to the elementary school… and again, we have a routine.

Andrew always quickly unbuckles himself and climbs into the front seat to talk to mommy.  Man, I love these talks.  Sometimes we talk about what is gonna happen that day.  Sometimes mommy quizzes him about the words he is learning.  Sometimes we read a book.  But we always spend time together… even if just for a few quiet minutes, him and me.

This morning the topic of discussion was quite cute.  He was sitting there in the cold van (because I didn’t have enough time to go preheat it) and breathing really hard.  For the first time this year, he noticed he could see his breath.  He was sitting there fogging up my windows breathing out hot puffs of air as we discussed the hows and whys of breathing these hot puffs.

When I knew it was getting close to time for the bell to ring, we jumped out of the car and ran to the door.  He turned and gave me a kiss and then our quiet moment was over.

As I drove home to finish getting ready for work, all I could think about was this verse…

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.  Luke 2:19

I cannot imagine being Mary.  Knowing that the Son you were raising was God’s.  But as any mother would do, she treasured the time they spent together.  And ya know, we still need to do that with our Lord.  Treasure those special quiet times.  Ponder over the things He is teaching us through His Word.  Long for those times when we will get to be together, just him and me.

I am gonna forever treasure my weekly talks in the car with my boy.  I know there will come a day when he just wants me to drop him off in the circle drive.  And then our talks will be over.  And so will our kisses.  But for now, I will treasure and ponder.

Thank you, Lord, for my son!

A Beautiful Thing…

During my quiet time this week I have been going over and over this story…  

While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table. When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked.  “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”  Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me.  The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me.  When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial.  I tell you the truth, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”  (Matthew 26:6-13)

After reading this same story in the other Gospels, it really opened my eyes.  (Mark 14:3-9, Luke 7:37-38 and John 12:1-8).  What really stuck out at me was that she did not realize what she was doing was super important.  Also, in John’s Gospel Jesus says that it was intended that she save this perfume for this occasion. 

I guess this passage just make me wonder if I am using my life to do beautiful things.  Doing things that are unknown to me as beautiful but that the Lord sees it that way.  I sure hope so.  I hope that my legacy is filled with beautiful moments for God’s glory.