Extreme Love of God
A few days ago I found myself sitting in wonder and amazement as I read, as if for the first time, the beautiful story of the woman at the well, (John 4).
It was an ordinary day for the Samaritan woman. She had gone to draw water from the well in the afternoon because of her shame. You see, she was living with a man outside of marriage, and had been married five times before that.
Samaria was a village where the Jews wouldn't even pass through. It just was not culturally acceptable to associate with Samaritans. Neither was it acceptable to divorce or live with a man outside of wedlock. So this woman couldn't even go and draw water when everyone else in the village was there.She was an outcast among the outcast.
Have you ever been through a divorce? It is a very painful experience. You feel like a failure, rejected, abandoned, and cast aside. Can you just imagine the pain this woman felt after five divorces, and the trauma of being ridiculed by the community? Had she been a Jew, she would have been stoned.
So imagine her surprise when she comes to draw water and finds a Jewish man sitting there by the well, and not only that, he asks her for a drink of water. Why would he do that? Why would a Jewish man even speak to her, or even consider drinking out of her cup? But she was soon to find that this was no ordinary man.
As the conversation continued she was surprised to find that he knew everything about her. But who was He, was he a prophet? After all, He offered her "Living Water." That seemed like a good deal, then she would never have to return to this place and draw water, never have to face the stares and the looks of disdain from her community again.
This well had been here many years. Jacob had dug it long ago and it was a good well, but this man was offering her the type of water that would give her eternal life, and satisfy her thirst forever.
She attempted to debate religion with Him but He revealed to her that He was the true Messiah. Jesus invited her to share her life with Him. He wanted her devotion.
This woman became a convert, a Believer in Jesus Christ. She left her water jug and ran into the village to spread the Good News. Many in the village followed her back to the well to hear Jesus teach. He stayed in Samaria for two days, and that Samaritan village experienced transformation.
The woman at the well found her purpose in life. She became the first evangelist of the Gospel. He took away her shame and totally accepted her, (even though nothing in her life would command respect).
I have been noticing something about married couples lately. Many of them sit across from each other in restaurants and don’t even talk. Truth be known many no longer sleep together, or have intimate relationship with their spouses.
What happened to the passion they once shared? Do they remember the day they received that marriage proposal? Where is the joy and delight they once shared in the presence of their lover?
Perhaps it is not their first marriage, maybe it's their second or third, and it isn't going so well. I have been thinking about all of this and how it relates to my Christian walk.
Jesus Christ, the Creator of the Universe, asked me to be His wife, isn't that amazing? He considered us to be so valuable that He was willing to die for us even when we don't seem to value ourselves, (or the mates we have been given).
The Lord created intimacy to teach us how to value Him. If we do not value each other, we cannot be intimate with Him.
"Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered,” (1 Peter 3:7).
The Bible describes the covenant between Christ and His Bride as, "The great mystery." Could the key to transformational revival be hidden in the very relationship that is to be shared by husbands and wives?
“This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she reverence (respect and affectionately love) her husband,”(Eph 5:22-33).
How long has it been since you pondered the extreme love that God has for humanity?
In the Garden, the enemy tricked Eve into blaming God for her sin. Adam knew he was not supposed to eat the forbidden fruit but he loved Eve, and not wanting to be separated from her forever, partook of her sin. This separated them from the pleasure of God's company, and allowed strife to enter into their relationship.
Jesus came to redeem us, (buy us back) so that we could once again enjoy an intimate fellowship with Him; but the cares of this world, the worries, pride of life, and so many other things can keep us from the pleasure of His company.
God longs for us to have love and order in our homes, for harmony and peace to prevail. The "Passion Translation" of the Bible, by Dr. Brian, Simmons puts it this way:
“My family is a family of joy, a family of peace. The love of Father, Son and Spirit is to be the love in your family, even as it was in Mine. I come this day to remove confusion from your heart that will block My love from flowing through your life.” (Philippians 2:2).
The key to intimacy with Christ is found in learning to ABIDE. "Let the husbandman prune you that your life may produce much fruit," (John 15:1-17).
My life is to be hidden in Christ. "Christ in me," isn't that the way a healthy marriage should look, cleaving to one another, the two becoming one flesh?
Christ has poured out His grace upon us in abundant measure. I long to know Him intimately, and I know He placed that desire in my heart.
I want to feel His embrace, smell His fragrance, hear His voice, and I desire to taste and see His manifest goodness.
The "Passion Translation" says:
“The ones who follow God will have overflowing joy! They will not walk in step with the wicked, not share the sinner’s path or be found sitting in the scorner’s seat. Their pleasure and passion is remaining true to the Word of I AM, meditating each and every moment in the revelation of light.
They will be standing firm like a flourishing tree planted by God’s design. Deeply rooted by the brooks of bliss, bearing fruit in every season of their lives, they who are never dry, never fainting, ever plentiful, and always blessed. What indescribable joy!” (Psalm 1).