Posted by Jeff Tiemeyer on May 14, 2018

Looking Past

Daily Devotionals

Monday, May 14

John 4:3-4
3 He left Judea and departed again for Galilee. 4 And He had to pass through Samaria.

Everyone’s life journey will, at one time or another, bring them through places that are difficult or uncomfortable. Jesus and the disciples, being Jewish, were not supposed to associate with Samaritans because of racial and theological issues that dated back hundreds of years. The tension between Jews and Samaritans, even though both could consider themselves descendants of Abraham, over the decades had grown continually worse. You don’t often read in the Bible that Jesus ‘had’ to do something, but in today’s text that is the case. The quickest route from Judea to Galilee was through Samaria, so that’s the route they had to take. Unlike what most people would have done in this situation, Jesus didn’t allow the uncomfortable surroundings to hinder Him from being who He was. He didn’t run through that area as fast as He could trying not to make eye contact with any Samaritans, or make His disciples form a protective circle around Him. He did what He always did…He operated in perfect love. The next time your life’s journey brings you to an uncomfortable place make a decision to be intentional with His love. Don’t allow a difficult season or situation to hinder the love that’s been placed in your heart by the Holy Spirit to have a Kingdom effect on the lives of others.

Tuesday, May 15

John 4:5-9
5 So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob's well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour. 7 A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 8 (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)

How do you respond when you feel that the Holy Spirit is asking something of you? Do you respond out of faith or do you respond through the limitations that you feel have been placed upon your life by your past and current situations? The Samaritan woman in these verses, when given the opportunity to be a blessing, immediately responded out of her status, not her ability. Granted, she didn’t realize who she was talking to, she still had it within her means to be a blessing. Many times, people miss God by simply not doing good when it is within their ability to do so. Her response came from her insecurities of being a Samaritan and a woman. Neither of which would have hindered her from from simply giving a thirsty stranger a drink. As a believer, it’s crucial to the Kingdom that you learn to operate with your eyes open and heart ready to do good. You don’t have to hear an audible voice from Heaven to go about doing good when it’s within you ability to do it. When you see a need, act. Unless you hear the Holy Spirit telling you otherwise, doing good deeds and walking in love are always the right things to do.

Wednesday, May 16

John 4:10
Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”

This woman had no idea who she was talking to, although she was about to find out. As a believer you have the advantage of knowing who it is that you pray to. You have the privilege of seeking an audience with the God of all gods at any and every opportunity. Living water can be your’s in abundance…all you have to do is stay connected to the Source. So what is causing your disconnect? When is the last time you asked for a drink? Unfortunately for many, the last time they received anything from Him was when they were born again. If that’s you, He is asking you the same question, “If you knew the gift of God, you would ask Me, and I would give you living water.” The reason why so many Christians stay dry and weak is because they’re getting to know Him stopped immediately following their initial salvation experience. Is that you? Do you feel like the majority of your walk with Christ has been dry and unfulfilling? There’s only one way to change that…ask! Ask for more living water. Spend time in the river of His love. He has never stopped pursuing you, you just stopped drinking. He never intended for you to drink from His well just once. Go to Him, spend time with Him, and be refreshed.

Thursday, May 17

John 4:11-13
11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

How are you connected to Christ? For many, their idea of being connected is by receiving from others. Jacob, one the Patriarch’s of Israel was a man of God and was key player in establishing the Israelite nation, but he was not God. The Samaritan woman was looking to what he had provided as her source so her sustenance was only temporary. The same issue still remains in Christianity today. Many people have become content drinking from someone else’s well. They rely upon their pastor’s message, their worship leader’s music, or a certain curriculum to fill a need and connect them to the Lord. Just like Jacob couldn’t save or sustain the Samaritan woman, your pastor or any other spiritual authority figure cannot save or sustain you. God may have given them a role to play in your spiritual development and they are to be respected and honored, but they are never, under any circumstance meant to be your Source of life. This puts undo and unfair pressure on those individuals as they are not God. No person, no matter how Godly they are, can or should stand in that place in your life. After you were born again, God never meant for you to drink from someone else’s bucket…He has given you your own. He is the well, everyone else is just a vessel.

Friday, May 18

John 4:28-30
28 So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” 30 They went out of the town and were coming to him.

If you’ve ever listened to the late Paul Harvey in his daily radio news broadcast, you’ll probably remember his segment that he prefaced by saying, “…and now, for the rest of the story.” In this segment, he would bring light to an otherwise unreported ending to a previously reported story. If you were to research the life of the ‘woman at the well’, after her encounter with Jesus you would see through ‘the rest of her story’ what an astounding impact He had on her. Her name was Photina and she was one of the 120 in the Upper Room. Her faith brought her throughout Northern Africa preaching the gospel and performing many miraculous signs and wonders until God called her to Rome to confront the brutal Emperor Nero. He tried many times and many ways to torture and kill Photina and her team, but he could not. She even led Nero’s daughter to the Lord. What an amazing story! An unknown, un-named, impure woman, with a shady past, from a despised race of people became a evangelistic, soul winning, miracle working juggernaut. That’s the rest of her story. What’s the rest of your story going to look like? Are you going to let your past cripple your future? Or, are you going to be like Photina and leave the past behind and give everything you are whole-heartedly to God and do His work? It’s time to move past your past into the greater things that He has set aside for you.

Saturday, May 19

John 4:21-24
21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

When believers get the revelation that worship is a lifestyle, not just a service, a song, or a duty, then and only then will they understand the concept of leaving there past behind. Worship involves one’s entire life, not just sporadic and spontaneous moments of ‘loving God’. When you’re in love with someone, you don’t just show it sporadically, no, it changes the way you live. So much so that you even dress in a way that you know pleases them. This kind of love only comes when you know that they love you the same way. If you will make an effort to try and love God the way He loves you, you’ll have no choice but to make worship your lifestyle. You’ll quickly come to the understanding that you don’t have time to think about anything other than Him, including your past. You’ll stop concerning yourself with the when’s, where’s, why’s, and how’s of ‘worship’ and just live a life that reflects how much you love Him. You’ll love Him in spirit and in truth…leaving all other lies and distractions behind. You’ll experience what true intimacy, the way He intended it really is. Stop trying set aside time ‘to worship’ and start living like you’re in love with Him. Every other issue and detail will fall away.