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River of Living Water

But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. (John 4:23-24 NASB)

Did you know that God is looking for something? It is not something that he does not have, but it is something He wants more of.

And this is nothing new. Do you remember this verse out of 2 Chronicles?

For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. (2 Chronicles 16:9 NASB)

Do you see it?

The Father is looking for people who’s hearts are completely His. I love that phrase, completely His.

I expect that many of you, like me, learned this verse in the King James Version where it says whose heart is perfect toward Him. But I love this phrase – heart is completely His.

That is such a perfect description of true worship.

Is your heart completely His?

Maybe your saying to yourself – if I am honest – I was lusting after other stuff yesterday, or earlier today, and my heart was going after this or that.

How bout right now – as you read these words – isn’t your heart crying out to be completely His?

Guess what – that right there – that moment of giving your heart to Jesus completely – that was a moment of worship.

Can you go longer – just a bit longer – in worship – full on desire to love Him more today that you did yesterday?

If you will put your will to work on what you know in your heart and reborn spirit is right, before you know it you will be just the kind of worshipper the Lord is spending considerable effort looking for.

Let today be better than yesterday, and tomorrow we can get after it again.

BenLet’s live a life of ever-increasing worship!

Thank you for stopping by today.

Ben

 

This post originally posted in February of 2013

8

photo credit: robertmorgan.net via photopin cc
photo credit: robertmorgan.net via photopin cc

A few years back Billy Graham was coming to New York City. It was a Big Deal. His team came before him and contacted every church in the tri-state area. Church members everywhere in a 50-mile (I am guessing at 50) radius were recruited and trained as counselors and ushers. There were local and regional prayer gatherings. There were classes set up for follow up after the big event, and training for those who would receive a large influx of attenders in the following weeks.

It is a great system, and it is set up to insure that no one falls through the cracks. That if someone comes to the moment of ‘decision’ they would be able to navigate their way to grace.

If you wanted to reach your town or city with the gospel message, where would you start?

  • Would you start by approaching the mayor perhaps?
  • Prayer walks around all the neighborhoods?
  • Postcards in every mailbox?
  • Street theater?
  • A booth in the town flea market?
  • Knock on every door?
  • Signs in the front yard?

(Just for the record, I've been involved in almost every one of these strategies – I'm in favor of them all.)

Jesus had another plan. Jesus plan in John 4 was pretty simple. ~I am going to head down to the well in Sychar in Samaria, and sit at the well. I sense that I,m supposed to skip lunch and see what happens~

The Word tells us that Jesus only did and said what He heard and saw with the Father, and I am not sure how clear those pictures were, and how much detail He got in advance. I feel like it was impressions, because I get that, but I know people who hear things and obey – more like taking dictation, and others who see scenarios in their spirit’s eye and have a better idea of how things are going to break.

We're told most Jews go around Samaria to get from Judea in the south to Galilee in the north. Not Jesus:

He left Judea and departed again to Galilee.
But He needed to go through Samaria. (John 4:3-4 NKJV)

Then there was a divine appointment.

A woman of Samaria came to draw water. (John 4:7 NKJV)

Conversation ensued (see the last couple weeks worth of posts if you want details)

And in a few short minutes an evangelist was born.

And from that city many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all the things that I have done.” (John 4:39 NASB)

Hmmm – sounds like the key to the city was a woman with a broken life, bad reputation, and a deep draught of living water. [Tweet This]

photo credit: Theophilos via photopin cc
photo credit: Theophilos via photopin cc

I have a few take-aways today.

First, planning is great – plan, pray, strategize – all great, but as you execute your plan, keep listening for the Spirit of God on the inside and be willing to go with His plan. Even if you don’t have a plan laid out, let your plan be to listen for the Master’s plan.

Next don’t discount anyone the Father puts in your path. Woe to me if the Lord puts a person in my life who I deem unworthy of or maybe impenetrable with the gospel.

Finally, perhaps you see yourself as damaged goods (a leaky bucket). Maybe you’ve screwed up every relationship you have ever been in, or perhaps more people than you can count have abandoned you. You have become jaded and disheartened because every thing you have ever set out to do has fallen apart before you. Your reputation has betrayed you, and you have nothing to offer.

You, like the woman at the well, need a drink - a drink of living water. One drink from this fountain and a river will form inside of you and flow to your city.

This woman with a past and no hope or vision for a future tuned out to be the key to the city.

What will God unlock with you today?

BenI am psyched about the possibilities.

See you tomorrow.

Ben

 

Originally posted March 8th of 2013

photo credit: robertmorgan.net via photopin cc
photo credit: robertmorgan.net via photopin cc

A few years back Billy Graham was coming to New York City. It was a Big Deal. His team came before him and contacted every church in the tri-state area. Church members everywhere in a 50-mile (I am guessing at 50) radius were recruited and trained as counselors and ushers. There were local and regional prayer gatherings. There were classes set up for follow up after the big event, and training for those who would receive a large influx of attenders in the following weeks.

It is a great system, and it is set up to insure that no one falls through the cracks. That if someone comes to the moment of ‘decision’ they would be able to navigate their way to grace.

If you wanted to reach your town or city with the gospel message, where would you start?

  • Would you start by approaching the mayor perhaps?
  • Prayer walks around all the neighborhoods?
  • Postcards in every mailbox?
  • Street theater?
  • A booth in the town flea market?
  • Knock on every door?
  • Signs in the front yard?

(Just for the record, I have been involved in almost every one of these strategies – I am for them all.)

Jesus had another plan. Jesus plan in John 4 was pretty simple. ~I am going to head down to the well in Sychar in Samaria, and sit at the well. I sense that I am supposed to skip lunch and see what happens~

The Word tells us that Jesus only did and said what He heard and saw with the Father, and I am not sure how clear those pictures were, and how much detail He got in advance. I feel like it was impressions, because I get that, but I know people who hear things and obey – more like taking dictation, and others who see scenarios in their spirit’s eye and have a better idea of how things are going to break.

We are told most Jews go around Samaria to get from Judea in the south to Galilee in the north. Not Jesus:

He left Judea and departed again to Galilee.
But He needed to go through Samaria. (John 4:3-4 NKJV)

Then there was a divine appointment.

A woman of Samaria came to draw water. (John 4:7 NKJV)

Conversation ensued (see the last couple weeks worth of posts if you want details)

And in a few short minutes an evangelist was born.

And from that city many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all the things that I have done.” (John 4:39 NASB)

Hmmm – sounds like the key to the city was a woman with a broken life, bad reputation, and a deep draught of living water. [Click to Tweet]

photo credit: Theophilos via photopin cc
photo credit: Theophilos via photopin cc

I have a couple take-aways today.

First, planning is great – plan, pray, strategize – all great, but as you execute your plan, keep listening for the Spirit of God on the inside and be willing to go with His plan. Even if you don’t have a plan laid out, let your plan be to listen for the Master’s plan.

Next don’t discount anyone the Father puts in your path. Woe to me if the Lord puts a person in my life who I deem unworthy of or maybe impenetrable with the gospel.

Finally, perhaps you see yourself as damaged goods (a leaky bucket). Maybe you’ve screwed up every relationship you have ever been in, or perhaps more people than you can count have abandoned you. You have become jaded and disheartened because every thing you have ever set out to do has fallen apart before you. Your reputation has betrayed you, and you have nothing to offer.

You, like the woman at the well, need a drink, a drink of living water. One drink from this fountain and a river will form inside of you and flow to your city.

This woman with a past and no hope or vision for a future tuned out to be the key to the city.

What will God unlock with you today?

BenI am psyched about the possibilities.

See you tomorrow.

Ben

River of Living Water

The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us. (John 4:25 NASB)

Well now she has said a mouth full!

When the anointed one comes He will declare all things to us.

Jesus is the Word made flesh

Jesus is the express image of God

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son. (Hebrews 1:1-2 NASB)

So here is this woman, who does not know the first thing about worship, talking to the King of Kings and Lord or Lords, the very Word that God spoke to spin the universe into the nothing.

Do you get how completely crazy it is that someone like this broken woman should have an audience with the First born of all Creation, the One who has all above all and in all, in whom all the fullness of the God head dwells bodily?

Jesus is nothing like the gods of this world who spin us to their whim and fancy, bending us unnaturally to do their bidding, then letting us crash and burn, all the while laughing at our plight.

Not Jesus. He actually takes time away from the 12 who left everything to follow Him, and spends time interacting with a broken woman.

I love this man!

Do you hear today that no matter how you have screwed up your life to date, Jesus is ready to meet you at the well where you are trying to draw life, and lead you to living water?

And what will He declare over your life?

Much as He said to this woman – it might go like this.

I know who you are, I know what you’ve done, yet I have living water for you to drink that will satisfy the longings I placed in your inner most being, when I spoke your name in your mother’s ear.

Come to Jesus and drink deeply today.

BenThanks for stopping by.

See you tomorrow.

Ben

 

River of Living Water

But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. (John 4:23-24 NASB)

I have heard this told a number of different ways. Some say mind and heart, and I am OK with that. In fact Jesus said it was the foremost command in scripture:

Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘HEAR, O ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD; AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.’ (Mark 12:29-30 NASB)

Please allow me to take this phrase for a little spin.

I see spirit worship as that which happens when you sit in the presence of the Lord. For sure your mind is involved, and your mind feeds your spirit the wonderful delights of your relationship with your Maker – Lover – Friend – Husband – Master.

The praise that comes from your lips draws the presence of the Holy One into the room in a tangible way. Your whole being is involved – heart, soul mind and strength.

  • Heart – your will – you set yourself to glorify your Lord, regardless of the music, style, décor, seating or smoke machine.
  • Soul – your emotions – you actually feel the joy of the Lord in the midst of your circumstances.
  • Mind – your memory floods with testimony after testimony of all the details of what the Lord has done in and through you.
  • Strength – You body responds – perhaps you stand, kneel, lay on your face, jump up and down, raise your hands, dance, sing.

This is worship in spirit.

But what of worship in truth?

Is it a worship of the Bible – the Holy writ? I think not.

No, it is worship played out in the work place, school yard, PTA meeting, market and ball field. [Tweet This]

It is your body offered up on the altar of life – a living sacrifice – acceptable, nay pleasing to Him – your act of worship.

It’s funny, because strictly speaking, the Word actually says in Romans 12, that this is your act of spiritual worship – so maybe I have them swapped, but I guarantee this is the blessed pair the Father is seeking – holy eyes running two and fro across the whole earth looking for one man or woman whose life is an act of worship.

Are you in? All in?

BenTell Him – Show Him

See ya,

Ben

River of Living Water

But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. (John 4:23-24 NASB)

Did you know that God is looking for something? It is not something that he does not have, but it is something He wants more of.

And this is nothing new. Do you remember this verse out of 2 Chronicles?

For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. (2 Chronicles 16:9 NASB)

Do you see it?

The Father is looking for people who’s hearts are completely His. I love that phrase, completely His.

I expect that many of you, like me, learned this verse in the King James Version where it says whose heart is perfect toward Him. But I love this phrase – heart is completely His.

That is such a perfect description of true worship.

Is your heart completely His?

Maybe your saying to yourself – if I am honest – I was lusting after other stuff yesterday, or earlier today, and my heart was going after this or that.

How bout right now – as you read these words – isn’t your heart crying out to be completely His?

Guess what – that right there – that moment of giving your heart to Jesus completely – that was a moment of worship.

Can you go longer – just a bit longer – in worship – full on desire to love Him more today that you did yesterday?

If you will put your will to work on what you know in your heart and reborn spirit is right, before you know it you will be just the kind of worshipper the Lord is spending considerable effort looking for.

Let today be better than yesterday, and tomorrow we can get after it again.

BenLet’s live a life of ever-increasing worship!

Thank you for stopping by today.

Ben

River of Living Water

But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. (John 4:23-24 NASB)

You have heard of the Now and Not Yet of the kingdom of God? Larry Nevenhoven (aka Larry Who – larrywho.wordpress.com) in his book Where’s the Kingdom of God? (I highly recommend this booklet. You can get it at Amazon.com) talks about the fact that the Kingdom of God is both now and not yet, and how important it is for us to discern between the now parts and the not yet parts.

This is not that.

This is also not the favorable year of the Lord.

This is not even the day of the Lord.

We are talking hours here.

He looks this woman in the eye, and says “an hour is coming, and now is.” In other words – GET READY!

He looks in her eyes like no man has ever looked in her eyes before, and says things are changing right here and right now. This is your time.

What has for all your life been a religious practice, a formality (maybe even a travesty) is coming out of the box – breaking out from behind the curtain – the rules are changing – right here – right now.

Get ready to know what love is, and worship up close and personal.

Are you ready for this today?

Has your life been full or religion, but missing the void of the lover of your soul.

Jesus says this to you today.

The hour is coming – in fact – it’s here.

Worship Jesus today!

BenThanks for stopping in today.

See you tomorrow.

Ben

River of Living Water

The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.” (John 4:19 NASB)

Yesterday we heard Jesus call to a place deep inside this Samaritan woman with the words “Go, call your husband, and come here.” With that request, He was able to break through her confusion about Living Water.

However, He also managed to flip the switch on her religion vocab.

You had me intrigued with this talk of living water, but now you want to talk religion, well, I am ready. Bring it on. If you want to talk about religion let’s talk about it. Who are you Jews to tell us how to worship?

Jesus’ penetrating words touched a hurt and triggered a defensive lockdown.

Setting up barricades to guard your wounds.

Rather than deal with her chronic relational issues, this daughter of Samaria brings up an age-old argument, that goes back to the great national divorce, when Rehoboam and Jeroboam divided the nation.

She puts her defense up and talks about where they ought to worship.

“Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” (vs 20)

It’s like a Pentecostal and an Evangelical arguing about whether it is necessary to raise hands during worship, rather than dealing with the sin of pride separating them. (Sorry – forgive me my tiny little rant please.)

Next week we will talk in detail about what Jesus says about worship.

Today I have a simple question for you.

What defenses are you using to hide from Jesus? When Jesus probes your life, looking to heal and deliver you from your pain, are you throwing up walls?

You and I need to let the Great Physician heal the things that hurt when He pokes them.

Don’t resist today. Don’t act all religious to cover your pain. Let Him bring beauty from the ashes of disaster in your life.

BenThanks for coming by.

See you next week.

Ben

River of Living Water

He said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come here." (John 4:16 NASB)

Just what she did not want to hear?

This unsuspecting Samaritan woman comes to the well, as she has done for decades, to draw water for her household.

She had been chatting with this foreigner, this Jewish man for a few minutes now, and He was hitting her with some metaphors that she was just not picking up on.

Time to bring it – Jesus looks her in the eye and hears the voice of the Spirit whisper – tell her to call her husband.

======

Time out for a brief theology moment

You might be thinking, Jesus knew this woman’s past because He is God, and you would be wrong.

Jesus knew this woman’s past because He was flowing in the River of Living Water (the Holy Spirit) the same way you or I can know things in Him.

Jesus said this:

For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me commandment, what to say, and what to speak. And I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me. (John 12:49-50 NASB)

Now back to our regularly scheduled blog

======

So they had been bantering back and forth about this Living Water metaphor, when Jesus brings it out of the theoretical imagination she was toying with [Hey – if no one gets thirsty then I don’t have to drag this pitcher back and forth from here to there every day] directly to where her particular bucket was leaking.

She had a busted relationship bucket. She had a God given longing for intimacy which she was trying to draw from the wrong well. She just didn’t seem to be able to get this thing right.

Five broken vows and now life with no promise at all.

But up walks this Jew from Nazareth and she can taste the hope dawning, just beyond the horizon. [Tweet This]

Is your bucket leaking today?

There is a source that can satisfy every longing of your heart.

But it might just get a little uncomfortable because all the leaks will be exposed before they can be repaired.

Are you ready for living water? (even if it hurts at first?)

BenCome and Drink Today!

See ya,

Ben

 

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