Pastor Casey starts us out with a question, “Are you hungry; what are you hungry for?” Then he shares a great promise in Jesus’s own teachings; Matthew 5:6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be filled.” Shall is a very strong word saying you will receive. Then in John 7:37-38 “on the last day, that great day of the feast, (Tabernacles) Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
An interesting bit of history on the feast of Tabernacles shows us that this is the only Jewish feast at which all were welcome to the celebration, gentiles and Jews alike. Tabernacles was celebrating a time of meeting with God. At the end, a time of pouring out water on the altar to symbolize the glory of God covering the earth. So here are people celebrating, eating, drinking, visiting, living in booths/tents and participating in the symbolic act of pouring out water on the altar. Jesus will soon be pouring out his life in order to cover the earth with the glory of God.
Listen in as Pastor Casey shares his heart on going after God with a hunger and thirst to be filled.
Scripturereference: Matthew 5:6 ; John 7:37-38; II Samuel 23:14-45.
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)
Repentance is sometimes misunderstood. It often gets associated with feeling bad about yourself. As if God wants you to dwell on the guilt of your mistake. Repentance includes a sorrow for your sin, but never a self-made magnification of your guilt. The fullness of repentance is a change of direction with a result of joy. The goal of the Christian life isn’t to feel worse about yourself – it’s to restore joyful relationship with the God you made you and who wants you. Repentance leads to restoration.
Following a morning of powerful testimonies about transformed lives, Pastor Casey continued the encouragement on what makes gospel transformation possible. God loves you and has already taken care of the sin that causes shame and guilt. Jesus took care of your sin before you even acted it out. Sharing your problems with God and others is never the problem.
The problem comes when you don’t let Jesus free you from the shame you hold over yourself.
Scripture references: 1 Peter 1:15-23; Revelation 13:8