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I Can See!

As Jesus was walking, he came upon a man who was born blind. The disciples wondered and asked Jesus, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” He responded, neither of them sinned. “This happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as its day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

The first time Jesus says He is the light of the world in John is found in chapter 8:12. “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” When we choose to follow Jesus, He illuminates our path and makes a way for us to go. Though, before Christ we were walking in the darkness of this world, directionless and without hope.

After Jesus said He was the light of the world, he spit on the ground and made some mud with saliva. He then put it on the man’s eyes. Next he told him to go to the Pool of Siloam and wash it. The man did as Jesus directed him and he came home able to see!

People began to take notice. Especially his neighbors who remembered him begging. Though some weren’t sure if was actually him. But he insisted, I am the man. Now they wanted to know how it happened. He told them, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.”

This man’s life was completely changed because Jesus healed him! It was a miracle. He no longer would need to beg to provide for himself but he would be able to work for the first time in his life. He was also able to see the world around him for the very first time. He was could to take in the beauty of a blue sky, the warmth of a smile, and the rich colors of a sunset. What incredible delight he must have felt.

When have you experienced the healing hand of Jesus on your life? It could have been with the help of a doctor or surgeon. Maybe it wasn’t a physical healing but an emotional healing. Take time to think and journal how Jesus has healed you. Thank Him for the way he met you in your time of need.

Isn’t it beautiful to think that He heals us so that His work might be displayed in our lives. Glory to God! Glory to the Son!

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No Longer Condemned

Jesus was teaching in the temple courts. There were people gathered around him as he sat down to teach. In the middle of his teaching, the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery. “They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.” I can imagine them pointing their fingers at this woman as if to shame her. They were taught in the law of Moses to stone a woman found doing such a thing. They came to Jesus and asked him what they should do. Their whole goal in this was to trap Jesus and have a reason to accuse him.

Jesus bent down and started writing on the ground with his finger. They continued to question him, then he straightened up and had something to say. “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dirt.

Without sin! Who of us is without sin? No one is! One way to describe sin is from archery. It means missing the mark. Another way to define it is it’s going against the law of God or rebellion against God. Our sin separates us from God and can also separate us from others.

Getting back to the story, the Pharisees began to go away one at a time, the older and then the younger. Now the only people there left were Jesus and the woman. “Jesus straightened back up and asked her,”Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

Condemn in the dictionary means to “express an unfavorable or adverse judgement or indicate strong disapproval of.” There are other verses about condemnation in the Bible. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1) “God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” (John 3:17) “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned, he has crossed over from death to life.” (John 5:24) If we belong to Jesus we are no longer condemned. Isn’t that wonderful to mediate on.

Jesus commanded the woman to, “Go now and leave your life of sin.” Jesus tells us the same thing. We are to leave our life of sin and follow after Him. Is there any sin in your life today that you have been hiding from God or others? I would encourage you to confess it and turn away from it so you can be free. Jesus desires for us to be free from the bondage of sin. Come to Him today and let Him usher you into greater freedom and joy!

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Don’t Be Afraid

This section of scripture takes place after the feeding of the 5,000. Once evening came, the disciples went down to the lake. They got into a boat and sailed across the lake to Capernaum. (John 6:16-17) Jesus had not yet joined them as he was by himself on the mountainside. (vs. 15). A place like this is where He would often go and spend time with His Father in prayer.

As they rowed, a strong wind came up and the waters grew difficult to navigate. Then Jesus approaches the boat, walking on water, around the 4th watch of the night. The 4th watch was around 3 to 6:00A.M. This meant that the disciples had been rowing for about nine hours though they had only gone three to four miles. They must have been exhausted and discouraged from their constant rowing. Their response to Jesus though was fear and trepidation. Jesus then calms them and says, “It is I; do not be afraid.”(vs. 20) Once they hear His voice, they let him into the boat. Next an amazing thing happens, they arrive immediately to shore.

When was the last time you heard Jesus say to you, “It is I, do not be afraid.” Maybe not audibly but in your heart. Maybe you are much like the disciples that are discouraged and exhausted from the storms of life. You need your Savior you to bring you safely to the shore. You’ve had it with the wind and waves and now you are ready for something more stable and sure.

For me personally, the last time I sensed Jesus tell me not to be afraid has been with my counseling. I’ve needed to go to hard and unseen places of the heart that can be painful and scary. Working though rejection from people I loved has been a big one for me lately. Past pain and hurts can make it difficult to really look long and hard at the true source of where it all started. With Jesus, I was able me to go to those painful places and receive acceptance from the Father.

Where do you need to hear from Jesus, “It is I, do not be afraid.” Let him meet you like he did the disciples. Let Him step into your boat and take you to shore. He is more than willing and able.

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Poolside Healing

Jesus comes to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. There He visits the pool of Bethseda. This was found on the eastern side of the city. Bethseda means “house of mercy.” This rectangular pool had two basins and five porticoes or porches around it. They believe the basins were possibly used as Jewish ritual baths. I actually had the chance to see this complex site when I was in Jerusalem in 2018.

Many sick people who were blind, lame, or paralyzed lay on the porches. A certain man had been sick for thirty-eight years. “When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time; he asked him, ‘Would you like to get well?” The sick man responded and said, there is no one to put me in the pool when the water bubbles up. “Someone else always gets there ahead of me.” This man and others believed that angels stirred up the waters and brought healing to them.

Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!” Can you imagine going from a lame state to standing up and walking? This was a day for rejoicing for this man! Instantly the man who had been lame for thirty eight years was healed. He pick up his mat as Jesus had directed him to do.

The tricky thing about this miraculous healing was that it happened on the Sabbath. This was a time that the Jewish strictly adhered to a no work day policy. It included no picking up of mats. The Jewish leaders could only focus on the fact that he had taken up his mat and not that he had been fully healed. They told the man, “You can’t work on the Sabbath. The law doesn’t allow you to carry that sleeping mat.” The leaders wanted to know who issued him to do such a thing. The healed man had no idea.

Later Jesus found the man in the Temple and told him, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something worse may happen to you.” This was a serious warning. We have no idea what sin he had committed that left him lame.

What do we see from these passages? Well, first off, Jesus is in the business of healing. He has compassion on those who have suffered a long time like this lame man. He wants to see those who are sick restored to wholeness. Not just their physical body but emotionally too. Secondly, Jesus is more concerned about someone’s well being than he is of following Sabbath day rules and regulations.

How can we apply this today. Let’s bring to Jesus our infirmities. He is our great physician and can bring about healing in his perfect time. Take to Him your inner struggles and physical issues you are facing. He longs to do a work in your heart and in your life!

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Mountainside Miracle

Jesus is going from place to place doing miraculous signs. He crosses the Sea of Galilee and has a large crowd following him. They were drawn to Him because they saw Jesus heal the sick. As He walks, He sees a mountainside and sits down with His disciples. Next Jesus looks up and sees that throng of people coming toward him. “He communicates to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” (John 6:5) Though Jesus does this as a test. He had a plan of what he could do to satisfy these hungry people. Philip responds, “It would take more than a half year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” (vs.7) Philip saw the impossibility of feeding such a vast amount of people.

Now Andrew spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how will they go among so many?” (vs.9) Andrew looks at the situation they are in a little differently than Philip. He looked at what they had and yet still questioned how it could happen.

Jesus had a plan. He told the disciples to have the people sit down. “Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.” (vs. 11) I love that Jesus doesn’t sit them down with a “box meal” and say okay this all you get but enjoy. Not at all, He lets them have as much as they desire. Doesn’t that make the miracle of the feeding that much more?!

When they had enough to eat, he had his disciples go and gather everything that was left over. Jesus didn’t want to waste a thing. The disciples went among the crowd and retrieved twelve full basket loaves of food. Take notice that there was one basket for each of the twelve. Was Jesus trying to make a statement to the disciples? I think the left over baskets said to them that Jesus provides abundantly above and beyond what we can think or imagine.

Jesus is still in the business of providing for his children. Think over your life, in what ways has He abundantly provided for you. Take time to thank Him and believe Him for even greater provision in the future.

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Harvest Time

This is the fourth blog post on the Samaritan woman. If you haven’t had the chance yet to read the other posts, I would highly encourage you to check them out. It will better set the stage for what I’m about to share.

“The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) is coming. When he comes, He will explain everything.” Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you – I am He.” (John 4:25-26). I’m sure that the Samaritan woman was floored at Jesus’s response. The long awaited Messiah was standing right in front of her! Though, she isn’t fully convinced He is the Messiah yet.

Now the disciples return from getting food. They are surprised that Jesus is talking to a Samaritan woman. They don’t question Him though they are curious.

The woman rushes back to town and leaves her water jug. She says to others, “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” The people are interested and make their way to the well.

The disciples are worried about Jesus not eating. Jesus responds, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” They don’t understand and think someone must have brought Jesus food. Jesus said, My food is to the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work.” I love Jesus’s response! What nourishes and gives Jesus life is doing God’s will. Think about your own life for a moment. Could you say the same thing about yourself? Do you find joy and life in following after God’s will?

Then Jesus speaks of the harvest. He tells his disciples to open their eyes and take a look at the fields. “They are ripe for harvest! Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together.”(vs.36). The harvest of souls was right before the disciples eyes. Many of the Samaritans came to believe and trust in Jesus because of the woman’s testimony.

What testimony do you have to share with others? Jesus has done some pretty incredible things in your life as he has mine. Take some time to write it down today and share it with someone else. You never know the eternal impact it could have on another life. Let’s be faithful to share our story with others and see what the Lord might do!

“Open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for the harvest!”(vs.35)

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Spirit and In Truth

This is the third installment about the woman at the well. So if you haven’t had the chance to read the previous posts, I’d encourage you to check them out.

The Samaritan woman said to Jesus, “Our ancestors worshipped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place we must worship is in Jerusalem.” The Samaritans built a temple on top of Mount Gezirim. This was considered to be a holy site of theirs. They did this because they believed this was the place where Abraham sacrificed Issac. This wasn’t based on fact though. Jesus responds and lets her know that it won’t matter in the future where people worship. He then makes a decisive statement. “You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation in from the Jews.”(John 4:22)

Then we get to the passage above. “Yet a time is coming and has now come when true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.”(vs.23) We don’t have to be sitting in a church or be in a holy place to worship God. We can worship Him anywhere. Why? Because the Holy Spirit lives inside us as believers. The temple of God is found in our heart. Since Covid began and churches stopped meeting on a weekly basis, this has caused me to miss corporate worship. Though, my worship for the Lord has grown tremendously. I find myself singing to God as I take my dog Daisy for a walk. Or I sing to God as I do chores around the house. I’ve also begun including worship in my daily times with God which has only increased the richness of my time in His presence.

Jesus goes on to say, “God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship Him in Spirit and in truth.”(vs.24) What does it mean that God is spirit? “God is a spirit, an infinite and eternal mind, an intelligent being, immaterial, invisible, and incorruptible.”(Matthew Henry) We must worship God in truth. We need to sing out truth about who God is, our infinite and eternal one. We need to declare who He is to ourselves and others.

Today I’d like you to think about how and when you worship God. Jot it down and then ask God how you can know Him more intimately through worship. “Worship changes the worshiper into the image of the One worshiped.” (Jack Hayford) Let’s worship Him in Spirit and in truth.

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At The Well

Jesus offered the Samaritan woman living water. “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.” (John 4:10) The woman is confused because she is thinking Jesus is speaking of the well water. All she can think about is that He has nothing from which to draw the water. Then she says something intriguing. “Are you greater than our Father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself.”(vs.12) She acknowledged where the well came from and asks, ‘Are you greater than Jacob who built the well?’

Jesus has a wonderful response to her question. “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of living water.” (vs. 13) Jesus is the true source of living water. True everlasting life flows from Him! His water quenches our thirsty and dry spirits.

Now Jesus has the Samaritan women’s attention. She desired this water but was still confused and thought it was literal well water. Jesus then tells her to go get her husband. She responds and says she has no husband. Then Jesus begins to tell her about personal life. “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you have is not your husband. What you said is quite true.” (vs. 18) Jesus knows us so intimately. We don’t need to tell him about the details of our lives because he already knows them.

What are you thirsting for in your life? Is it greater intimacy with the Father? Or are you thirsting after worldly fulfillment like the Samaritan woman? She was searching for love in all the wrong places as the song goes. I think she thought if I could just find a man to love me, my longings would be satisfied.

The only one who can curb our insatiable thirst is Jesus. Take time to talk to Him today about your longings and desires. Let His living water wash over and fill you today to overflowing. He loves you dear one and desires that you thirst no more!

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Living Water

Jesus and his disciples were on a journey from Judea to Galilee. He needed to pass through Samaria to get there. He ended up in a city called Sychar, near a portion of ground that Jacob gave to Joseph. Jacob’s well was there too. Jesus was tired from his journey and decided to sit at the well. At about 12PM a Samaritan women came with her water jug to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” The disciples were not with him at the time. They had gone into town to buy food.

The woman was surprised that Jesus asked her, a Samaritan, for a drink. You see, Jews and Samaritans did not associate with one another. Samaritans were outcasts because they were half breeds. Jesus responds in a powerful way. “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.”

Jesus took his disciples into Samaritan territory because he had someone special to meet. This Samaritan woman. We will find out tomorrow that he knew all about her. How wonderful is that?!

This woman is completely taken aback when Jesus asks for water. The Samaritans intermarried with foreigners and therefore were despised by the Orthodox Jews. She thought he would never ask her for a drink of water. Something I learned today was, “the giving and receiving of water was a covenant of hospitality.” This was a way to show the value and worth of another individual.

Jesus surprises the woman again and offers something called living water to her. She doesn’t yet know this but it is, “living water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:14) The living water he is offering her is eternal life. This will quench her spiritual thirst forever!

Have you ever been really physically thirsty at the verge of dehydration? What quenched your thirst at that time? I have and nothing but a cold glass of water would do. Now think of a time you have been spiritually thirsty. You were are out there looking for meaning, purpose, and love. Jesus is the one that will satisfy our thirsty longings. Take some time today thank Jesus for the living water he provides. He is all that we need and the only one who will truly satisfy!

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A Holy Life

What is holiness? It means separateness, to be set apart, free from any contaminants. We are called by God to live holy lives that please God. How do we do this on a day to day basis? We fully submit and surrender our lives to God honoring Him with all that we are and all that we have.

Jesus is our example of one who lived a holy life. He did this by doing the will of God who sent Him. (John 6:38) Jesus said to his disciples that “his food was to do the will of him who sent him and to finish his work.” (John 4:34). As children of God we need to be about the Father’s business. We find out what He desires through prayer, reading the word, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Prayer is a way for us to connect and become more like our heavenly Father. “Nowhere can we get to know the holiness of God, and come under His influence and power, except for his inner chamber. It has been well said, “No man can expect to make progress in holiness who is not often and long alone with God.” (Andrew Murray)

Reading and meditating on the word of God challenges and changes us from the inside out. We find out as we dedicate ourselves to reading the word that God is concerned about our holiness. “As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as He called you is holy, so be holy in all you do.” (1Peter 1:14-15).

When Jesus was preparing to leave the earth, He told His disciples that he would not leave them alone. The Holy Spirit was given to all believers to be with them always to counsel, lead, convict and guide. As we see, one of the roles of the Holy Spirit is to lead us into all truth. It says, “He will bring glory to Jesus by taking what is His and making it known to us.” He also convicts the world of guilt in regard to sin, righteousness, and judgment.” (John 16:8) This impacts us as we desire to become more holy and set apart for God.

I shared three ways to grow in our holiness. They are prayer, reading the word, and seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Out of those three areas, which one do you need to focus on. Take some positive steps today to move forward in your area of growth. This is a life long journey but a wonderful investment for eternity.

“Holiness, not happiness, is the chief end of man.” Oswald Chambers