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The Woman at the Well – Part 2

(John 4:27-30, 39-45)

In the last post we looked at the conversation between Jesus and the woman at the well. We saw the interactions between them and there were lessons that are useful to understand today coming from that discussion. As we continue to look at this situation there is still more to be understood. So now we will pick up from when the disciples returned and when the woman left them to return into the town.

The Woman’s Joy

When the disciples returned they were amazed at the conversation going on between Jesus and the woman. They probably suffered the same prejudices of the Jews at that time who did not have anything to do with Samaritans, and that may have added to their surprise. However they did not say anything or interrupt but just looked on.

The woman though had discovered the Messiah. She knew he was to come for she said as much, and when Jesus told her that He was the Messiah or the Christ, she must have been amazed and ecstatic with joy.

This is the second article in a two part series written by John over at The Bible As I See It.  If you missed part one, you can find it here. We can indeed learn much from the woman at the well and her interaction with Jesus. We can also learn more from her interaction with her people and what happened when she went back to them after speaking with Jesus.

To finish reading this article, please head over to http://freegiftfromgod.com/blog/2012/07/the-woman-at-the-well-part-2/
While you are there, why not check out the rest of John’s site, let him know something he wrote blessed you.

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Struggling with Addictions

Opium poppies
(Photo credit Wikipedia)

Have you ever had an addiction? Maybe you find yourself struggling with one even now. For those who have never been addicted to something, they cannot possibly begin to understand what it is like.

An addiction is horrible; it is like dragging a lead weight around that you cannot be rid of. Even if you want to be rid of your addiction, you find that you are drawn right back to it again. Often though, people are addicted to things, and will not admit it or do not seem to care.

I was addicted to many things. At one time I used drugs for a while in my life. Not a good thing drugs. I was even more addicted to alcohol and cigarettes.

The list of addictions I could write would fill pages up! People are addicted to social media, television, music, drugs, porn, movies, blogging, and many more. If you have to have it, or have to do it all the time, it is an addiction!

When I drank it was every day. No exceptions, every single day no matter what. It did not matter if there was an appointment that day, company was coming; nothing mattered enough that it would prevent me from drinking. This is the nature of addictions; an addiction is not something you can just stop whenever you want to. I knew I drank too much; I was not interested in stopping this behavior most of the time.

Addictions are a way of self-medicating because people have problems. Lets face it life is not easy for anyone. If I as a person do not posses a solid foundation on which to stand, I will turn to what helps me…often with disastrous results. The other problem is that if the addiction produces a “high”, some type of pleasurable feeling, then the person becomes addicted to the very feeling and continuously desires more. It is a very vicious cycle that is incredibly difficult to get away from.

I had become a follower of the Lord, but had not given up alcohol yet. Despite what some would say, you can be a Believer and still be doing things you really should not be. People do not become Believers and then just like that all things are nice and tidy in their lives…it does not work like that. One has only to look at King David to see the truth of what I am saying, and yet many a person would disagree with me here.

I am one of the exceedingly lucky ones; God Himself took away the desire to drink from me…I could not stop. For reasons unknown to me (I say this because I know people still struggling) the Lord took this awful burden from me. It happened in a very simple way. I was drinking as usual; I was also reading in the Word. It occurred to me that reading and studying the Word of God while guzzling down beer was not right. That was it; I was done right there and then, just like that.

There is hope for addictions, there is healing. Support groups are great; friends are good as well. First and foremost though I would say a relationship with Jesus is the most important thing. Then one needs a real desire to give up the addiction, this is not a game. Addictions are very serious business. Prayer is a key element as well; ask God to help you, keep praying do not stop. If you fall, don’t beat yourself up about it, get back up and keep trying. Success can and does come because of perseverance.

Satan wants you to remain locked in bondage to your addiction; it serves him well. Do not let him fool you; break free with God’s help! You can do this! Be encouraged that addictions can be beaten. In Christ you can do all things.

Online resources and encouragement:

Setting Captives Free
Addiction Tribe

Think In Today

Darrell Creswell

Good Life

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“For We Were Slaves”

I have reposted this entire article as it is rather short. This was written by Deb over at Deb’s Blog. Great poem, hope you enjoy it!
You can see the original post here. While you are there, why not check out the rest of Deb’s blog and let her know something she wrote blessed you.

“For we were slaves.  Yet our God did not forsake us in our bondage, but He extended mercy to us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to revive us, to repair the house of our God, to rebuild its ruins, and to give us a wall in Judah and Jerusalem.”  Ezra 9:9

God did not forsake us in our bondage either.

Lord, thank You for extending mercy to us through Jesus on the cross.  And here’s a simple poem . . .

Unforsaken

source – servantsofthefather.org

Oh what a wonder
Your mercy is to us

reviving, repairing
building us up in Jesus

for we were slaves
stuck in sin’s lair

but unforgotten as Mercy
brought us out of there.

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“You Have a Spiritual Problem”

There is a great deal of rather ignorant talk from some Christians about mental illness. I think everyone has at least heard of, if not actually experienced, Christians who believe that mental ill-health is a spiritual problem rather than a medical one. Such people believe that a Christian must be in emotional good health, and any deviation from that good health means that that person has an unconfessed, unrepented sin in their life, that they have a demon, that they lack the correct mental attitude to Christ and the Christian life, and that that is why they suffer from depression, bipolar, schizophrenia and so on.

I do not believe this. I do believe that sin has a part to play in our mental state – the only reason that mental illness exists is due to our living in a broken, sinful world where things are not “good”, where the original plan of Eden has been broken by sin. So I do believe that mental ill-health, and physical ill-health, are caused by sin, but by corporate sin rather than necessarily individual.

This is a great article about the causes and concerns relating to mental health and bodily health as well. Written by Emma over at Believer’s Brain, this is a good look at the incorrect thinking out there about mental illness among Believers.

To finish reading this article, please head over to http://believersbrain.com/2012/07/14/you-have-a-spiritual-problem/. While you are there, why not check out the rest of Emma’s site and let her know something she wrote blessed you.
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Radically Christian

“And before we destroy children’s love and belief in world-saving mission, before they get cynical and become like us, they even think about their future vocation in terms of mission, don’t you see that? They never just say …’I’m probably just going to work in an office somewhere.’

You ever heard that, huh? ‘I’ll be working on a computer, and I’ll be pushing paper around.’ You ever hear a seven year-old say that? No! Even when they say I”m going to be this, or I’m going to be that, [it's] because I’m going to make a difference, I’m going to help people, I’m going to change things! Haven’t you heard of that? They always see their future in terms of mission. There’s a joy there …

I happen to be a part of a … college generation that did its utmost to hold on to that belief in world-saving missions almost into adulthood. Remember those days? … We sang ‘If I had a hammer,’ we went on peace marches and civil rights marches, and we all promised ourselves that we’d never go into business … But we would change the world, we’d bring in love and peace, we’d hammer out justice … What’s happened to us? …

This is a great post by Ash over on is more simpler. When we younger we more fired up! What happened to that fire, do you still have some of that energy?

To finish reading this post, please head over to http://ismoresimpler.com/2012/07/14/radically-christian/. While you are there, why not check out the rest of the site and let Ash know something he wrote blessed you!

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The Woman at the Well – Part 1

(John 4:1-30)

There are several lessons that we learn from this discussion between Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well. So much so that I have decided to split this post into two parts rather than cover it in one long post.

Jesus taught this woman much that we can learn from today and it is important that we listen to her story

Living Water

This woman was a Samaritan, and that is significant for a number of reasons.

The Samaritans and the Jews did not have dealings with each other. The Jews looked down on the Samaritans and it is evident from several passages in the bible that these two races were at odds with each other.

This woman knew of this tension between the races for she was shocked when Jesus spoke to her to ask for a drink of water. She said, “The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)” (verse 9)

She was amazed that this man sitting at the well, and clearly a Jew, would even consider asking such a request. But Jesus would have been aware of this for apart from the water, he was about to teach her a spiritual truth.

This a great article about the woman at the well written by John over at The Bible As I See It. The insights John presents in this article are really quite good. This is part one of a two part series.

To finish reading this article. please head over to http://freegiftfromgod.com/blog/2012/07/the-woman-at-the-well-part-1/ While you are there, let John know something he wrote blessed you, and check out the rest of his site.

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Do you serve Christ: or expect Him to serve you?

I was listening to a podcast on Solomons Porch Radio recently. This was a very good interview with Peter Guirguis, (Not Ashamed of the Gospel) on what he does in his ministry that is focused on Internet evangelism.

One of the hosts of the show (Mike and Mark) made a comment about serving Christ. The paraphrase of what he said is this; I would serve Christ forever more if He did nothing else for me. That got me to thinking…

Why do we serve Christ, more specifically, why do you the person reading this serve Him??

Do you serve with an expectation of reward, maybe in this lifetime, or assuredly in the next? Or maybe you serve Jesus with no expectations or very few?

What is your motive to serve the Lord? I’m here to tell you, it DOES matter. Lets say that you have a ministry. And lets also say that you do what you do with some expectations that the Lord is going to do some things for you here on this earth because of your service to Him. Or how about this, you are looking for recognition and a name because of what you do for the Lord.

Ever wonder why your ministry just does not seem to prosper? Or that your ministry seems slow to grow, doors do not seem to open? Does the above preceding paragraph describe your ministry, even one that is not yours but you are involved in? When you serve the Lord with these expectations, are you really serving Christ, or are you serving yourself?

The ministries I see growing are those that are not serving themselves, but are in fact serving the needs of others. Let me be clear; I am not talking about the occasional self-serving thought here, we all have those. I am talking about those who have a self-serving agenda wrapped up as service to Christ’s people. I am also unfortunately speaking of the ones who really do want to help God’s people, but yet still have a strong desire for that recognition, self-glorification. This is not in line with God’s will for us.

I will be honest with you; I have struggled with this myself. First we have to admit it, and then we have to do something about it. Take it to the Lord, admit what you have done, and ask Him to help you. Pride comes before the fall, and humility comes before honor.

Serving God should be all about God, not me (me here refers to me personally, but you as the reader as well). Serving God should be done because He cared enough to serve us…long before we even knew He existed.

Keep in mind here that Christ was and is God. I know that you have heard it all before, but again…God stepped out of heaven and became a lowly man. That was a rather large step down was it not? During His time on earth, Jesus gave up His rights to use His Godly power. Jesus did not ever give up His deity…but He did give up His Godly privileges if you will.

During Jesus time here, He served…God served men! Can you imagine sitting in your favorite chair in your living room, and Jesus Christ on His hands and knees before you washing your feet???? Well imagine it! Jesus actually did this for His disciples! Jesus says; give me all your bad things, all your sins, I will take them all…and give you back life in return. In the end, Jesus gave up His life for us.

So, you see my friends that God has done all things for us already even if He does nothing more for us! The Lord God died on a cross for us to have life. We place our faith in Him and serve Him, and we come away with the grand prize.

We are here to serve and glorify the Lord. He made us, and He saved us…we are His bought at a price. Who are we to make demands upon Him?

Prosperity teaching and this feeling of entitlement by some, dare I say many…is just plain wrong. We as Christ’s people are not here to prosper ourselves. We are here to serve Him, and a big way of doing that is in blessing His body. This is and should be a central truth to any ministry. After all, why does any ministry exist? Is it not to serve the body of Christ and in so doing glorify God??? Where do you see self in there?

Do you want to see examples of how to conduct a ministry? Just look around you, look for the ones that do not lift themselves up, look for the ones that are always willing to help. Look for the ones with a humble spirit, a kind word for other ministries. In other words, these ministries will be focused on other people’s problems and helping them find solutions through and in Christ…not on “look how great I am”.

Is your focus on Christ?

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