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)
Persecution is real, scary and causes problems for the persecuted. Yet, God uses persecution to grow and strengthen his people. If persecution leads to scattering, then the gospel has an opportunity to scatter too. Like a farmer planting a crop, seeds are scattered across the field so that a new crop will grow.
Not only does the good knowledge of Jesus go with the scattered people, but so does his power. Christians are not only equipped with knowledge about Jesus but are also equipped with the very power of Jesus. Living by faith includes the use of spiritual power; the power of God provided to you by the Holy Spirit of God. The same power (the whole package) that was available for Jesus to use is the same power every single Christian has. We just have to believe that and learn to use it.
The power of Jesus was spread into the whole world because the original Church was persecuted in Jerusalem and the Christians were forced to scatter. Their joy of Jesus, their belief that he forgives and saves us from our sins and their trust in his healing power never disappeared. They took it all with them and continued to tell their story.
If persecution causes you to run and hide, then you’re thinking of it in the wrong way. Persecution may cause you to run and get out of town, but as you go look for ways to take the gospel with you. Persecution does not create happy times, but it creates circumstances for the power of Jesus to change people’s lives.