May 31, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO QUENCH YOUR THIRST (part 3)

John 4:13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst;

We left off in the last devotional where Jesus explained to this lady that salvation was everlasting. He was explaining that if she wanted something that lasts, she would need to draw water from a different well. How many times have you and I dipped our buckets in the wrong well? We gave ourselves to things that we thought would satisfy us and bring contentment, but they ultimately left us empty. This passage is a lot like life. We must refill our buckets every day at the same “wells” because we become empty. Meanwhile, Jesus has offered life “more abundant”. What the world has to offer is just an empty, dissatisfying well full of temporary water. Here today and then gone tomorrow. Jesus offers “everlasting life”.

4) JESUS EXPLAINED THAT HE WAS THE ONLY WAY TO SALVATION
This lady decided that she wanted this water that Jesus was speaking of, so she asked Jesus for it. Jesus told her to go and get her husband. That brought up quite a story. This lady had been married five times, and the man she was with now she was not married to. She was amazed that Jesus knew this. Obviously, this woman had been searching for things in her life but came up with no answers. She moved from person to person, place to place, but found nothing but emptiness. As Jesus questioned her about her religious beliefs, she gave this response:

* John 4:25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. 26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.

Talk about surprising. Of all the people in the world, this lady ended up in the same city, and at the same well with the Messiah, the Savior, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. Here He stands right in front of her, telling her that He is the fulfillment of the prophecy she had heard about. Jesus is the only way.

* Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

He is not only able to quench your thirst, Jesus is the only one that can!

May 30, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO QUENCH YOUR THIRST (part 2)

John 4:10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

So Jesus, having been on a journey, sits down at the well and asks this woman, whom He had never met, for a drink of water. She was surprised because Jews did not have much dealings with Samaritans. So, she responds:

* 9 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.

Jesus uses this exchange to give her the truth of the Gospel. Let’s dissect the statement that Jesus made:

1) JESUS EXPLAINED SALVATION WAS A GIFT
“If thou knewest the gift of God”. Jesus is not a salesman, Jesus is the Savior. Salvation is a gift. We did not pay for it, and if we could pay for it, we could not afford it. Jesus paid the price, so we can receive the gift. Jesus wanted her to know there was no strings attached. She was not able to earn it, buy it, perform it, or create it. This was a gift straight from God.

2) JESUS EXPLAINED SALVATION WAS A PERSON
Notice, “The gift of God, and who it is”, and “he would have given thee”. Jesus was the salvation that He was speaking of to her. He was saying that salvation is not a tradition, it’s not following the law, it’s not accomplishing a task, and it is not making a sacrifice. Salvation is a personal relationship with Jesus. That is what He was offering to her. Jesus was offering Himself.

3) JESUS EXPLAINED THAT SALVATION WAS EVERLASTING
Jesus says, “living water”. He says in the following verses:

* John 4:13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life

Jesus uses some powerful statements. He said we would “never thirst” again. He said, “everlasting life”. Jesus did not say temporary life. Salvation does not depend on our works because the Bible says that our works are temporary. Jesus offered eternal life. Only Jesus can do that. Only Jesus can give us water that will quench our thirst eternally.

May 29, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO QUENCH YOUR THIRST

John 4:13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

How unexpected this was. This lady woke up, thinking this would be a normal, uneventful, discontent day. But it ended up being much more than that. This would be a life changing day.

Before we get into that, we need to see something interesting. This passage begins with these verses:

* John 4:3 He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee. 4 And he must needs go through Samaria.

According to a map, person would not need to go through Samaria from Judaea to get to Galilee. This was not on the way. This means it was not a “geographical” imperative, but apparently it was a “divine” imperative. In fact, the Jews went miles out of their way in great journeys not to go through Samaria because their hatred was so great of the Samaritans. But Jesus was not like everyone else, what a picture of our relationship with God. He came to us, we did not come to him. He came to us before we knew to come to Him. He came to us when we did not want him to come Him. The Bible says, “He came unto His own and His own received Him not”.

Jesus has always made the first move. He made the first move in creation. He made the first move in the garden. Jesus made the first move with Jacob, with Samuel, and with Paul. Jesus made the first move to the stable, on the cross, and out of the grave. When I could not come to where He was, He came to me. Aren’t you glad Jesus made the first move?

Yes sir, she was just going about her business as usual. Making the never-ending trips to get water only to have to come back again and again. The same thing every day. Not much hope or excitement in life. But it all changed when an unassuming man approached her with love and compassion and made the first move. Sound familiar?

May 28, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO BE THE POTTER (part 5)

Jeremiah 18:4 “…….so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it”

We have seen the POTTER, the PLAN, the PROCESS, the PROBLEM, and the POTENTIAL.

The sixth thing we see in this passage is the PATTERN:
The broken vessel was remade into another vessel “as seemed good to the potter to make it”. That is the pattern that every one of God’s vessels must go by. The vessel is only done when God says it is done. The vessel is only good if God says it is good. it doesn’t matter if we think we have been through enough. It doesn’t matter if we think that we are good. It doesn’t matter if we think that our vessel is as useful as it needs to be. The measure of the vessel is whether the Potter thinks it is finished. All of us would like to get off the wheels as soon as possible. All of us would like to get rid of the friction and the pressure as quick as we can. This process is not about pleasing you and me, it is about pleasing the Lord.

The last thing we see in this passage is the PRESCRIPTION:

* 5 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
6 O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.
8 If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.

This is a description of repentance. “If that nation…turn from their evil”. God says I can remake you, if you repent. Notice this, if you “turn”. Does that not sound like the process on a wheel? Turning is the key. Turning away from our former decisions. Turning away from our rebellion. Turning away from our frustration with the process. Turning away from fighting the potter. Learning to submit to what He is doing. Learning to submit to the changes He is making in us. Learning to submit to His will instead of fighting to do our will. Notice in verse six that we are still in His hand. That means that He could crush us if He ever wanted to. That means He could discard us if He ever wanted to. That means He could break us at any moment if He wanted to. But our Potter loves us, and He wants to remake us into something special.

This passage teaches us that if we will just repent and submit to the Potter, He will literally change his mind about our deserved judgement. This means that God wants so desperately to make us into something useful. He loves us so much that He wants the absolute best for our lives. He just wants us to give Him the chance to be the “Potter” that He is. Believe me, He is able!

May 26, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO BE THE POTTER (part 4)

Jeremiah 18:4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it

The fifth thing we see in this passage is the POTENTIAL:
“So, he made it again”. Can I have an “AMEN” right there. The Potter did not give up on the vessel, and God does not give up on us. In fact, if I could describe how God has been with me, I could say ‘He made me again and again and again and again…”. The Potter did not throw the vessel away. Maybe in your life right now you are feeling like you are a broken vessel. Maybe you failed to hold up to the pressures of the process. Maybe you rebelled against the “Potter”. I encourage you today, He will make you again. What I find encouraging here is that the potter is making it into another vessel. In other words, he did not take a broken vessel and decided to use it for something less. He didn’t make it into an ashtray or a coaster. He made it “another vessel”. Despite how bad we have messed up, God still has a wonderful plan for our life. He still wants us to be filled. He still wants us to be useful. He still has a purpose for our life. Look at these verses:

Psalm 103:13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. 14 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.

The potter would not have used his time remaking this vessel if he did not believe it could be useful again. He would not have made the effort if he did not feel it was worth it. However, let me make this detail clear. He had to put this vessel through the same process again. Yes, we have messed up, and yes God will make us again, but we will have to go through the pressure, friction, and molding process again. Often, we regret the mistakes we have made, but we don’t ever really make a change in our life. We still rebel against the process. God will make another vessel out of our lives, but we must submit to Him for that to happen. I have counseled with many people that feel guilt, and have regret, in the way that they have rebelled against the word of God and selfishly chosen a path based on the desires of their flesh. They see the problem it has caused, and the emptiness it has left in their life, but as God forgives and begins to make them again, they end up making the same decisions, same rebellion, and same choices.

Acts 7:51 Ye stiffnecked…. in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.

This describes an individual that God has made repeated attempts to remake them into the vessel that He has chosen. God is able to be the “Potter”, He is trying to be the “Potter”, but will you let Him be the “Potter”.

May 25, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO BE THE POTTER (part 3)

Jeremiah 18:4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.

We have seen the POTTER, the PLAN, and the PROCESS.God is the Potter, and God’s will is the Plan, and God’s work is the Process.

The fourth thing we see in this passage is the PROBLEM.
“The vessel…was marred”. Vessels are made to be filled. By the way, so are you and I. We are filled with the Spirit of God, or we are filled with our flesh. Vessels are made to be used for something. Vessels are to be useful, valuable, and to serve a purpose. This vessel did not stand up to the pressure. We do not know if it was marred on the wheel, or maybe in the heating process. The heating process will often cause clay vessels to break and crack. We can simply wonder “what happened”. As is so often the case in the lives of some Christians, marriages, and ministries. “What happened”? What happened was when friction or heat came their way, they cracked. We all show our true selves whenever the heat is applied. Every vessel normally looks nice, pretty, and strong, until it hits the heat. Only then do we know if there are any imperfections in the clay. That is why as a pastor, we try hard to invest in young people; praying that when friction or heat come, they will stand up to it. All around this area are houses tonight full of people that are out of church, away from God, not being used, having no purpose and we could sit down and ask, “what happened”. Our churches are full of marred vessels.

One thing before we move on I must comment on. If you will notice, the clay was in the potters’ hands as he put it on the wheel and turned it. It was in the potters’ hands as he molded it. And the vessel was in the potters’ hands when it was marred. It was in the potters’ hands through the whole PROCESS, but the Potter did not discard it after he saw the crack. He just started making it over. My dear friend, we are never out of our Fathers’ hands no matter if we crack under the pressure or break under the heat. We are always and will always be in God’s hands.

* Psalm 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. 24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.