Pastor Casey begins by briefly reviewing last week’s message on wells and trees. He really focuses in on the wells. He points out that you have to work to connect with water/have a well. When we connect with God our family tree can change. If we can’t seem to break free, perhaps we need to stop drinking from our familiar well. Maybe it’s time to go dig and drink from a new well that produces life.
So too, the woman that went to the well in our scripture passage this morning, could not seem to break free. She needed a new well from which to drink. Symbolically, Jacob’s well could only take one as far as the Law. It could never meet the deep need of the heart; a thirst for a new life, forgiveness, grace. Pastor Casey suggests we consider seven dispensations.
The Dispensation of:
1) Innocence- in the Garden of Eden, no knowledge of evil, only goodness
2) Conscience- after the fall, man was aware of evil, right and wrong
3) Government- managing man’s propensity to evil
4 )Promise- starts with the Abrahamic Covenant, promises of blessing
5) Law- the following of God’s rules- not personal, just follow the rules
6) Grace-Jesus fulfilled the Law; judgement served at the cross; we receive grace
7) Millennial Kingdom- the return of Christ to the Earth
A deeper look at our story shows that Jesus died under the dispensation of the Law, #5. He meets the woman at the well who has had five(5) husbands. She is looking for that which will transform her heart and mind, wash away her shame. The Law will never meet this need. Jesus offers a new source of water- Living Water, Himself. She is desperate, “give me this water”. We all are this woman-greatly in need of healing, newness, cleanness. We will never have this thirst quenched by Law. There are no works we can do to quench the deep need of our hearts. It doesn’t matter what you’ve been through, it matters what you do from now forward. Consider there is only one well that can satisfy the longing and thirst of the human heart- Listen as Pastor Casey encourages us to trust in the Lord Jesus.
Scripturereference: John 4:1-14
These are a couple of short encouraging words that followed the worship service. Dog lovers will especially appreciate one of the stories. (0:06)
Pastor Casey begins by sharing that a cut down tree often appears dead yet the scripture says at the scent of water, it could sprout again. Casey reminds us that often in the scripture water is symbolic of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit may speak to us in different ways/languages, as water comes in different forms-dew; mist; oceans; rivers; wells… When we think God only speaks to us one way, we may be missing or not recognizing where we are or what God is speaking to us. We love it when God pours out His Spirit in our lives, but we can’t just chase and live under rain clouds. We may be in the Valley of Baca, Psalm 84:6, a place of weeping or bitterness, a hard place- a place we want to get out of- but it is a place to dig a well and bring forth water.
A well is not seasonal water, it is consistent, reliable. We need wells for the dry dusty seasons. Each of us needs to make our life a well. Pastor Casey encourages us to dig deep in God. Digging a well is hard work; removing dirt-digging things our of our life like misguided ideas. We must use faith to dig for water, to believe something is there when we cannot see it. Much of the digging is done in the dark, in the places that no one sees. Yet, it makes a great difference in our lives and our families when we dig deep in God.
Symbolically wells are generational blessings. We see this in the Old Testament as wells were passed down to sons and grandsons and on and on. Will our children inherit the same old enemies we never bothered to defeat (struggle in the valleys in which we never dug a well,) or rejoice in the victories/refreshing wells that we labored over? In the end, we see Job didn’t have the whole picture. In the New Testament we see God’s promise of our old life passing away, dying in Christ, becoming new in Christ and finally in Ephesians 3:14-21, we must be rooted and grounded in God’s love.
Today we look at Genesis 28, where Jacob has stolen the birthright; manipulated and lied to people to get what he wanted; and is running for his life. Pastor Casey points out that like Jacob, we can be in a place with only a rock and God can make it “the house of God”. Like the stone Jacob anointed at Bethel, we need to remember the places we have met with God. These places/stones of remembrance in our life function to remind us when we pass this way again–Hey Wait a Minute!! I don’t go that direction any more–God has changed me.
Later in the Old Testament, we see God giving a pattern to Moses for a tent so He could have a visible presence, dwelling place, that could be among the people, move with them. Later yet, we see David wanted to build a temple. Then the house of God/temple was in a particular location or place. People had to travel to meet with God, which led to all kinds of problems. Yet, God’s desire has always been to be among His people.
In the New Testament book of I Corinthians 3:16, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” we are called the temple of the Holy Spirit, the house of God. Now God again dwells with His people and moves among them. Pastor Casey really encourages us to be aware of the presence of God in our lives and the impact it can make in our homes, jobs and communities.
Scripture reference: Genesis 28:10-22, I Corinthians 3:16-17, 6:15-20
Pastor Casey takes a couple of minutes to talk about the importance of worship. (0:04)
This morning we begin with the familiar story from Luke of the ten lepers. Pastor Casey points out that this healing took place in the midst of obedience to Jesus’s command. Luke 17:14 So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed. Pastor Casey goes on to point out that one of the ten, felt a responsibility to live in response to what Christ had done for him. It seems a reasonable service, to return with thankfulness and praise. This former leper did not hurry off to carry on his own life. Pastor Casey urges us to be the one that lives a life of response to Christ.
Scripture reference: Luke 17:11-19
Sherry Benner shares a word with us from Hebrews 6:19, The Passion Translation