Worship in Sprit, Truth and Faith – 10-06-22

But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.” John 4:23 NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! And we pray for the peace of Jerusalem! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the Gospel of John chapter 4 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV). 

A Samaritan Woman Meets Her Messiah

Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples), He left Judea and departed again to Galilee. But He needed to go through Samaria.

So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.

A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.

Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.

10 Jesus answered and said to her, “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.”

11 The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? 12 Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?”

13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

15 The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.”

16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.”

17 The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.”

Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.”

19 The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.”

21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

25 The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.”

26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.

The Whitened Harvest

27 And at this point His disciples came, and they marveled that He talked with a woman; yet no one said, “What do You seek?” or, “Why are You talking with her?”

28 The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, 29 “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” 30 Then they went out of the city and came to Him.

31 In the meantime His disciples urged Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.”

32 But He said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.”

33 Therefore the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?”

34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. 35 Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! 36 And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. 37 For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.”

The Savior of the World

39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of His own word.

42 Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed [a]the Christ, the Savior of the world.”

Welcome at Galilee

43 Now after the two days He departed from there and went to Galilee. 44 For Jesus Himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country. 45 So when He came to Galilee, the Galileans received Him, having seen all the things He did in Jerusalem at the feast; for they also had gone to the feast.

A Nobleman’s Son Healed

46 So Jesus came again to Cana of Galilee where He had made the water wine. And there was a certain [b]nobleman whose son was sick at Capernaum. 47 When he heard that Jesus had come out of Judea into Galilee, he went to Him and implored Him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. 48 Then Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe.”

49 The nobleman said to Him, “Sir, come down before my child dies!”

50 Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your son lives.” So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way. 51 And as he was now going down, his servants met him and told him, saying, “Your son lives!”

52 Then he inquired of them the hour when he got better. And they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” 53 So the father knew that it was at the same hour in which Jesus said to him, “Your son lives.” And he himself believed, and his whole household.

54 This again is the second sign Jesus did when He had come out of Judea into Galilee.

Footnotes
a.John 4:42 NU omits the Christ
b.John 4:46 royal official

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

Philippians 1:6- 

“being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ”

STUDY/DEVOTIONAL:

It was a nondescript day, in an unrememorable season, of a depressed year of my complacent life. If I was breathing or not – I do not even remember and at that time, I am sure I did not even care. Was I even alive? Truth be told I was dead and dried up – just dusty bones.
On my phone my blind eyes not even seeing and my thumb out of habit and not intention scrolled through a news feed of death, temptations, and distractions – when by accident it stopped on a preacher. And Italian from New Jersey who’s accent confirmed every stereo type. And what he said, I cannot remember. But it cut into my dried corpse. And it found a dried up and dormant seed.
His words, that sword turned into a river of life watered that seed.  At that moment all the thing I ever did were revealed, convicted, and I was so dry and thirsty, I lapped up the water in repentance – Grace, beautiful grace, began a work in me like nothing else I have ever experienced.  

Today John tells us of a Samaritan woman, who I imagine felt much like I did on that fateful day – which began as an ordinary dull day.

Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, 
“Give Me a drink.” For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.
Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.

10 Jesus answered and said to her, 
“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.”
11 The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? 12 Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?”
13 Jesus answered and said to her, 
“Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
15 The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.”
16 Jesus said to her, 
“Go, call your husband, and come here.”
17 The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.”
Jesus said to her, 
“You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.”
19 The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.”
21 Jesus said to her, 
“Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
25 The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.”
26 Jesus said to her, 
“I who speak to you am He.

Jesus had not told anyone He was the messiah until now. And it was a woman he told first – a hot mess of a woman too! Jesus met her doing her daily work. She did not go climb a mountain for get alone – she did not seek him – just in the middle of the routine, doldrums of the daily grind, He came and cut into her heart, found a seed and watered it.

When I had my experience – I said Lord, if I am going to worship you – it must be in truth – you must be who you say you are, signs and wonders must follow, and people must be healed, delivered and saved. Worship, communion, anointing, and power must flow no matter where.
And when this woman had her experience – the first thing she says is I will need to be able to worship you here in my life. You need to be real and who you say you are HERE not in the temple in Jerusalem where Samaritans are not able to go.
We both needed a REAL God where we were at and with the people we were surrounded by – not someplace else in some other form. And for both of us Jesus answers the same:
23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Humbly repent, the Kingdom of God is at hand – and in our humility, he wants raw honesty. It is honesty that is worship, it is humility that is worship, and it is our spirit that communes with God in worship!

After my experience, I began telling people what God did for me. I was set on fire and could not resist taking any and every opportunity to speak about God. SO much so that people told me I would push everyone away by speaking of God nonstop. And I may have – but I drew many into the kingdom. And chances are that if we got together I would inevitable spend the whole time talking about God.
So it is NO surprise when this lovely lady did the same thing:

28 The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, 29 “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” 30 Then they went out of the city and came to Him.”

Jesus not only saved her – she was commissioned as the first evangelist!

35 Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! 36 And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. 37 For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.”

The seeds had been planted in Samaria and they were ripe for harvest. In our world there are more seeds planted than there are waterers and more plants that are ready to be harvested and we have planters dropping seeds instead of harvesting. It is the fall – literally, and it is the harvest time,  for most of the world. We have the harvest rains – the latter rains. Stop throwing seed and… Lord, please open their eyes to see a world hungry for you!

I am not going line by line – so in a part that is not quoted Jesus refers to the work of God as his bread. John, the writer and a Jew, uses symbolism beautifully throughout all of his writings.  Water/Wine usually represent abundance, blessings, exceedingly abundant. And bread is provisions for needs and the basic work God has called us to.
For example, I get food from the food pantry – it is bread. I got a couple fancy pillows – it is water.
And just like every other Jewish symbol – we can also cross reference every time water/wine and bread are used in a symbolic way. This excludes when speaking of drinking too much wine and being a drunkard. In that case there is no symbolism.
You will see these symbols used often and I did not want to miss the chance to encourage you to go deeper when you see them used.

42 Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.”

Many were saved that day, because of that woman’s faith – then Jesus stayed there for a couple more days and even more were saved.

Now, John is describing the land scape as it was, not in the year 90 when people say this was written, but as it was earlier when Jesus was with them. The landscape changed in the year 70 when the Romans troops came through and destroyed so much. John expects us to know the landscape and the area.

46 So Jesus came again to Cana of Galilee where He had made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman whose son was sick at Capernaum.”

What we should just know, because John’s reader just knew is that it would have taken that nobleman 6 to 9 hours to get to Jesus on the roads they traveled on then. Possibly more as it was all uphill. Although his son was “at the point of death” – so maybe he ran and it took less time.

Jesus asks him if he is just seeking signs and wonders (and not Jesus) and the man, not hearing the nonsense, and having already asked once, respond with a demand:
49 The nobleman said to Him, “Sir, come down before my child dies!”

I need you, Lord I need you. Every Hour I need you. My one defense – my healing God – Lord how I need you!
I cannot seem to get that song/prayer out of my mind. How desperately I need a healer, I need a savior, I need a provider – I am desperate for Him. And He does do all these thing. It is ok to come to Him for healing, as long as you are coming to Him and if the healing doesn’t come, you will stay and if the healing does come, you will stay believing, trusting, and loving Him.
Once Jesus knew the man’s heart he says:

50 Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your son lives.” So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way.”

The man believed.
Above the lady believed and ran to town to tell everyone. Here the man believes and it was about the 7th hour – if he hurried home or paid someone to take him by horse or by chariot, he’d be home by afternoon and able to see his healed son and sleep. But this nobleman believed so well, he took his time, stayed the night, walked home the next day – a downhill journey probable a 6 or 7 hour walk.

51 And as he was now going down, his servants met him and told him, saying, “Your son lives!”
52 Then he inquired of them the hour when he got better. And they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” 
53 So the father knew that it was at the same hour in which Jesus said to him, “Your son lives.” And he himself believed, and his whole household.”

I probably would have ran back to my baby, being worried until the healing manifested. But that is not faith – that is looking for a sign. Seeing is believing. This man rested in peace. Perfect peace. Took a leisurely stroll home. Too way too much time to walk a short distance.

Have you ever stopped to wonder about this? About why, and how this man would linger? Maybe he stuck around to listen to Jesus preach some?
When anxiety comes into our lives about provisions and we can hardly imagine an exceedingly abundant – when fear is whispering in our ear, we need to stand resolute and solid. This father believed and grace transformed him, he was overcome with peace and amazing faith.  This is the type of faith I have always longed for. I pray, believing and move on to the next things without worry of concern. I just pray I know when it is time to be the persistent widow and when it is time to be fervent.

But today in my life and situation, regardless of and temptation to be anxious – I choose peace. I choose to believe. And then I turn my focus to being honest, raw and opened to receive – and pour myself out in worship in spirit and in truth.

***

Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace. Walk in wisdom.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

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