Leo (Genesis 1) - Man is given a mission in Genesis and a Spiritual mission in the Gospels. He hears his calling to spread the word!
June Hee (Genesis 2) - In a distressing, discouraging, and depressing world, she saw the true value God instilled within her from before creation, before time.
Adriana (Genesis 2) - She is finding clearer and clearer purpose to live a life devoted to others.
James (Genesis 3) - I could really relate to James' testimony. He spoke of living by every word of God so as not to fall to the same doubts as Eve. But how can we do that unless we know the word deeply? Thank God for Bible study and Bible teachers!
Frederick (Mark 12) - What seems impossible is just an opportunity for purer faith.
David (John 8) - The transformation that is through Christ Jesus.
Jesus answered her, "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."
In the fourth chapter of John, Jesus meets a woman at Jacob’s well in Samaria. He is resting there while his disciples go to get food; and it is at this time that a lone woman comes to draw water. From the outside, she appears to be an average woman. She doesn’t have some disease that she wants cured, no leprosy or anything. However, Jesus knew her heart – that she did need something. She sought it from men in her life, but could not find it. Her deep, true heart longing was one she didn’t even clearly recognize. By the end of the conversation with Jesus, though, she comes to know who Jesus is and is changed. Amazed and eager, she goes into town to tell everyone! Now, she can finally be fulfilled, now that she has met and spoken with Jesus.
As for me, I had never had a clear picture of what this meant until recently. In the past I thought that a Christian was one who believed in the presence of God, the victory of Jesus, and in response acted in a Godly manner. Obedience, faith, and repentance were included in that, too. When people talked about having a relationship with Jesus, though, it made me uncomfortable. I didn’t know what they meant by that. I mean, I prayed, but that seemed more like talking to and not talking with Jesus.
Well, last year I still didn’t know what to make of all that, but I did know that I had an interest in learning more about the Bible. So, I got to work! I dove into reading the books of history, even all the Laws in Leviticus that everybody skips! :p To take it further, I got a whole bunch of books from the library about the clothing of the period and the stones of the High Priest’s breastplate. I felt that it was all good and fine, thinking that I would gain lots of good, solid, Christian knowledge. Sadly, I was seeking knowledge, and not the “knowledge of Jesus.” It’s as if I was standing there at the well in Samaria and meditating on Jesus’ sandal, thinking – “Whoa, how amazing! Now that I know about this, I can be wise and act in an appropriate manner!” I was looking straight at Jesus and didn’t acknowledge him or seek to talk to him. How sad must my Savior have felt! But as it happened to the Samaritan woman in the passage, it was Jesus who spoke and sought her attention.
When I started Bible study of the Gospel of John with Maria, I found that we talked a whole lot about Jesus. We read about his life, discussed his actions and his speech, and she asked me plenty of questions about what it meant! In fact, she asked me some hard questions about Jesus’ love for me. My automatic reaction was that Jesus is loving, in general, but he wouldn’t really want to love me and to die for just me. He wouldn’t think about me, right? As we read the word, though, my eyes were opened to Jesus, who was right there before me, calling that I would find him. As the Samaritan woman was surprised by Jesus’ words, so I was taken by surprise. As she was touched by his compassion, so was I in awe when I realized that, yes, Jesus did die for me. He truly does care for me, as he cared for the Samaritan woman, offering her, and me, true life. Even when I wasn’t looking for Jesus, even when the Samaritan woman tried to ignore him, he speaks to her, and me, and gently teaches us.
I thank God for guiding me this year to have the desire to converse with Jesus, to get to know him for myself and claim the gift of living water that he offers. My key verse for this year is a message from Jeremiah 2:13:
“My people have committed two sins:
They have forsaken Me, the spring of living water
And have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.”
I wanted to remember Jesus, to turn my face towards God, and to seek out that relationship that I had myself forsaken for so many years. Often I prayed the prayer that King Solomon spoke at the Dedication of the Temple in I Kings 8:58a:
“May he [the LORD our God] turn our hearts to him....”
Thank God that He is answering my prayer, filling me with a heart that longs for Him and to grow in knowledge of His Son. May God draw me ever closer so that I can see Jesus more clearly and follow his lead.
One Word: I didn’t know what I was missing!