Jesus, the Living Bread.

Welcome to the Renew blog, a Six Step Bible Study.

We are a united group of Ladies from the UK, who believe in the transforming power of the Word of God for our lives. We meet every Wednesday at Create church, (part of Rising Brook) in Huntington and would love to welcome you to our group, if you live local.

Our Church Website

We are on week 8 of our study in the book of John and we’re continuing with Chapter 6.

Read

John 6 Verse 22 – 31

22–23 The next morning, the crowds were still on the opposite shore of the lake, near the place where they had eaten the bread he had multiplied after he had given thanks to God. Yet Jesus was nowhere to be found. They realized that only one boat had been there, and that Jesus’ hadn’t boarded, and they concluded that his disciples had left him behind. 24 So when the people saw on the shoreline a number of small boats from Tiberias and realized Jesus and the disciples weren’t there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum to search for him.

25 When they finally found him, they asked him, “Teacher, how did you get here?”

26 Jesus replied, “Let me make this very clear] you came looking for me because I fed you by a miracle, not because you believe in me. 27 Why would you strive for food that is perishable and not be passionate to seek the food of eternal life, which never spoils I, the Son of Man, am ready to give you what matters most, for God the Father has destined me for this purpose.” 

28 They replied, “So what should we do if we want to do God’s work?”

29 Jesus answered, “The work you can do for God starts with believing in the One he has sent.”

30–31 They replied, “Show us a miracle so we can see it, and then we’ll believe in you. Moses took care of our ancestors who were fed by the miracle of manna[q] every day in the desert, just like the Scripture says, ‘He fed them with bread from heaven.’[r] What sign will you perform for us?”

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Here we go again! The people are asking to see signs and wonders in order to believe in Jesus. Wasn’t it enough that he’d just fed the 5000 families with 2 pieces of fish and 5 loaves, let alone the rest of the miracles? These people were reliant upon seeing in order to believe. 

The thing is, Jesus wants us to live a life filled with signs and wonders but we can end up looking in the wrong places (as we will see throughout these verses).  Let’s reflect on our own lives and what these scriptures could mean to us now.

There’s no evidence here in the behaviour of the Jewish people, that they believed in any sort of a relationship with Jesus. They only saw him as just a man and they looked up to many different men but not the one that held the answers they were looking for.

Ponder on this question:

Can you think of times you’ve gone to Jesus begging for signs and wonders without placing your relationship with Him first?

Let’s continue to read on from verse 32:

32 “The truth is,” Jesus said, “Moses didn’t give you the bread of heaven. It’s my Father who offers bread that comes as a dramatic sign from heaven.33 The bread of God is the One who came out of heaven to give his life to feed the world.”

34 “Then please, sir, give us this bread every day,” they replied.

35 Jesus said to them, “I am the Bread of Life.Come every day to me and you will never be hungry. Believe in me and you will never be thirsty.36 Yet I’ve told you that even though you’ve seen me, you still don’t believe in me.37 But everyone my Father has given to me, they will come. And all who come to me, I will embrace and will never turn them away.38 And I have come out of heaven not for my own desires, but for the satisfactionof my Father who sent me.39 My Father who sent me has determined that I will not lose even one of those he has given to me, and I will raise them up in the last day.40 For the longing of my Father is that everyone who embraces the Sonand believes in him will experience eternal life and I will raise them up in the last day!”

41 When the Jews who were hostile to Jesus heard him say, “I am the bread that came down from heaven,” they immediately began to complain, 42 “How can he say these things about himself? We know him, and we know his parents. How dare he say, ‘I have come down from heaven?’”

 

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They don’t get it at all do they? The religion and logic have the better of them, they complain and grumble about Jesus, having no idea of who He is. Their eyes are fixed to what they’ve always known and the people they’ve always followed. Despite seeing all He’s done, they can’t see that He is the One they have been waiting for. 

Power hungry and desiring authority of their own, the religious leaders of this day had these people right where they wanted them; small minded and too self-righteous to have the humility to say,

“Maybe, just maybe, this man, son of Mary and Joseph, the carpenter, is the one that can change our lives.”

Much like the world today, we see so many people that are lost and searching for answers but still hold on to the drink, the drugs, the lying, the cheating, the money, the job, the control, whatever it is they don’t want to let go with fear of getting it wrong, it’s all rooted in pride and Jesus has the answer;

43 Jesus responded, “Stop your grumbling!44 The only way people come to me is by the Father who sent me—he pullson their hearts to embrace me. And those who are drawn to me, I will certainly raise them up in the last day.”

45 Jesus continued, “It has been written by the prophets, ‘They will all be taught by God himself.’If you are really listening to the Father and learning directly from him, you will come to me.46 For I am the only One who has come from the Father’s side, and I have seen the Father!

Still they didn’t understand! They believed in man to set them free, Moses was the one that had freed them, he was the one that provided for them and he was the one that was placed above Jesus. They were looking to man and not to God for their freedom. They idolised and turned to the religious leaders of their day for the wisdom they needed. They lived their lives to the law, in the belief it would make them righteous, that they could earn their way to righteousness and maybe even authority.

It’s much like this in the world too. We only have to look into corporations and how people behave to climb the ladder at work, or at the celebrity world, or even in church. People put people on pedestals! We lift them up and gaze at them in awe, developing an infatuation to be like them one day. I know, I’ve done it and the very reason I developed an addiction to nicotine was due to my awe of a girl older than me, more popular than me, prettier than me. I wanted to fit in. The point is we weren’t made to fit in, we were made uniquely, fearfully and wonderfully and the Bible tells us, in the image of God Himself. We are an image of  the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, why would we need to gaze upon people of the world and become more like them when we are all we were ever created to be? All we need to do is understand the One who created us in order to understand who we are! 

The problem with this behaviour is that we begin a spiral of sin, we disconnect ourselves from the One who created us for union with Him. Before we know it, we are idolising the mere person we look up to and we begin a cycle of wanting to please that person and be approved by them. So we pour out works of the flesh in order to make them notice us. I’m not saying that it’s wrong to respect people and encourage them for good things that they do, but when we are consistently looking to them in replacement of Jesus, therein lies the problem.

So my second question for you is,

Who do you look up to? 

In Verses 47 – 59, Jesus goes on to explain what they needed to do and why:

47 “I speak to you living truth: Unite your heart to me and believe—and you will experience eternal life! 48 I am the true Bread of Life. 49 Your ancestors ate manna in the desert and died. 50 But standing here before you is the true Bread that comes out of heaven, and when you eat this Bread you will never die. 51 I alone am this living Bread that has come to you from heaven. Eat this Bread and you will live forever. The living Bread I give you is my body, which I will offer as a sacrifice so that all may live.”

52 These words of Jesus sparked an angry outburst among the Jews. They protested, saying, “Does this man expect us to eat his body?”

53 Jesus replied to them, “Listen to this eternal truth: Unless you eat the body of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you will not have eternal life. 54 Eternal life comes to the one who eats my body and drinks my blood, and I will raise him up in the last day. 55 For my body is real food for your spirit and my blood is real drink. 56 The one who eats my body and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in him. 57 The Father of life sent me, and he is my life. In the same way, the one who feeds upon me, I will become his life. 58 I am not like the bread your ancestors ate and later died. I am the living Bread that comes from heaven. Eat this Bread and you will live forever!”

59 Jesus preached this sermon in the synagogue in Capernaum.

There is so much wisdom and knowledge in the world now that we look up to people a lot. We value human opinions, we discover things from them and begin to place their wisdom before His. It’s so important now more than ever that we discover who Jesus is and who we are in Him over everything.  Unless we yield ourselves to Jesus then we have nothing, apart from him we are nothing, there is absolutely nothing in this world that can satisfy us apart from His living breathing word. It’s no wonder that when we busy ourselves looking to man to approve of us we become worn out, offended and exhausted. Here’s what happened next; 

Many Disciples Became Offended

60 And when many of Jesus’ followers heard these things, it caused a stir. “That’s disgusting!” they said. “How could anybody accept it?” 

61 Without anyone telling him, Jesus knew they were outraged and told them, “Are you offended over my teaching? 62 What will you do when you see the Son of Man ascending into the realm from where he came? 

63 “The Holy Spirit is the one who gives life, that which is of the natural realm is of no help. The words I speak to you are Spirit and life. But there are still some of you who won’t believe.” 64 In fact, Jesus already knew from the beginning who the sceptics were and who his traitor would be.

65 He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one embraces me unless the Father has given you to me.”

As I said in the beginning, once we begin to engage in the behaviour of the world, we commence a cycle, we build up the people we are looking up to and before we know it, they are our gods. Hanging on their every word, we find their wisdom exceptional, we portray them to be something superior and we idolise them, we long to become more like them and we let go of the living bread Himself. We end up busying ourselves, working harder and harder to earn their respect, longing for their admiration and seeking their approval. We wind up working so hard that we become exhausted and we can’t physically do any more. The compliments then become less and less and the expectancy becomes more and more. The people we put up high upon that throne, slowly but surely let us down and there we are; burnt out, fed up and totally offended. Still lost, still hurting and still very much broken.

On the other hand, we could just as easily be the person that someone is placing upon a pedestal. If we allow ourselves to become inflated with knowledge, thinking we know better and taking the moral high ground whilst handing out advice and never thinking we’re wrong. I’ve done it myself, only to land up feeling more than inadequate and having let the people down I intentionally tried to help.

Maybe you are in one of these positions now, either looking up to man to solve your problems or being the problem solver with someone putting you on a pedestal. Maybe you find what I’ve written offensive. That’s the thing with The Word of God, it’s there to be challenging. I’ve been reading the Word countless times and felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit, there have been so many times I’ve sobbed my heart out once realising what I’ve done. Equally there is a huge amount of joy in this sort of conviction, because if we weren’t challenged it means we are stood still, unteachable, not flexible, rigid and proud, stuck in our ways and not His. It means that our growth is stunted, and we are beginning to turn the other way.

Peter’s Confession of Faith

66 And so from that time on many of the disciples turned their backs on Jesus and refused to be associated with him. 67 So Jesus said to his twelve, “And you—do you also want to leave?”68 Peter spoke up and said, “But Lord, where would we go? No one but you gives us the revelation of eternal life. 69 We’re fully convinced that you are the Anointed One, the Son of the Living God, and we believe in you!”

70 Then Jesus shocked them with these words: “I have hand-picked you to be my twelve, knowing that one of you is the devil.” 71 Jesus was referring to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, for he knew that Judas, one of his chosen disciples, was getting ready to betray him.

One of the reasons that people turn their backs on Jesus is because their eyes are fixed on the wrong thing, they are fixed on man or self. They want their own way, they are looking for a solution in mere human beings, they are looking at church (the building and its work) and wondering what they can receive from it, looking for them to solve the problem, which is what churches do, and very well. Please don’t get me wrong here. I do believe that the church as a building and as a people can provide a safe place for people in need, the problem begins when people don’t see Jesus, they see people. As followers of Jesus we must be providing a safe place but, in His will, not ours, the cycle begins when we as humans take control, when we as fleshly humans become the solution and not Him.

Peter knew that Jesus was the One. He is the answer to every question we have, if we walk united with Him then the eternal life we seek, the joy we seek, the peace we seek is ours. But we MUST take our eyes off everything else, no man, no woman, no child, no job, no house, no car, no ministry, no church is ever going to answer our deepest cries for help.

My final question for you is:

Where in your life can you see areas you need to let go of control?

This week’s Study Scripture: 

Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes. – Romans 12:2 TPT

 

6 R'S

For more information on the 6 R’s Bible Study CLICK HERE to watch the how to video.

We believe that the word of God is powerful and life changing. When the word of God is applied to your life, you will be renewed!

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What’s in the waiting?

Welcome to the Renew blog, a Six Step Bible Study.

We are a united group of Ladies from the UK, who believe in the transforming power of the Word of God for our lives. We meet every Wednesday at Create church, (part of Rising Brook) in Huntington and would love to welcome you to our group, if you live local.

Our Church Website

I’m so glad to be back into a routine this week, we had some time off last week, as here in the UK, it was half term for our children. We had a lovely week as a family doing lots of fun things and we also had the opportunity to chat to my eldest boy Kyan, aged 7, about his thoughts on this weeks study. You’ll be able to see that on our YouTube video later this week so be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel so you don’t miss it!

Let’s get started……

So, we are now on Chapter 6 of the book of John. I’m really enjoying what we are learning from the Holy Spirit and I know that the ladies at Renew are being quite blessed with all God is saying to them through the 6-step study.

I want to start this week by thinking about times in our lives that we are waiting for something to happen. Have you ever waited so long for something you thought it would never come? I have! 

I spent so long waiting for healing in the beginning of my walk with Jesus, that I thought I was kidding myself that I could be transformed into His image! In my mind, whilst waiting, I was just an unworthy no hoper that would always be the same, after all “a leopard never changes his spots!” There were so many people at my church who were constantly sharing their stories of healing and redemption but I just wasn’t seeing any change in my own life. I was still angry, still drinking and most definitely wasn’t showing any evidence of the Holy Spirit dwelling within me on my exterior.

In this story we see the disciples doing a little bit of waiting of their own, which set me to thinking what we do in our own periods of waiting.

Let’s have a look at this week’s scripture found in John 6:16-21 from The Passion Translation:

“After waiting until evening for Jesus to return, the disciples went down to the lake. But as darkness fell, he still hadn’t returned, so the disciples got into a boat and headed across the lake to Capernaum.

By now a strong wind began to blow and was stirring up the waters. The disciples had rowed about halfway across the lake when all of a sudden they caught sight of Jesus walking on top of the waves, coming toward them. The disciples panicked, but Jesus called out to them, “Don’t be afraid. You know who I am.” They were relieved to take him in, and the moment Jesus stepped into the boat, they were instantly transported to the other side!”

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We pick up this story right after Jesus had just fed 5000 families from a couple of bits of fish and bread.  Consider and imagine how the disciples were feeling left hanging around after all this excitement of seeing Jesus perform this amazing miracle. Maybe they were reflecting on their own thoughts, processing what had just happened and probably feeling very excited and expectant for what will happen next. But as they wait the thoughts continue to mull around in their mind. They get to thinking about who they are, who they’re not, what they can and can’t do, why they are there, what they are waiting for..…. 

As I mentioned in the beginning of the blog, I too was having to do a little waiting of my own. Waiting is something we will all have to do many times in our lives, whatever that might look like. It could be waiting for a man to marry, to conceive a child, for a ministry to birth, for a new job to come, for a new house, for a change in financial circumstance, for an illness to be healed, for a relationship to be restored, the list goes on……. which leads me to my first question to provoke your remove journaling today:

What are you waiting for? 

From what I can see from this wonderful story and also in my own times of waiting is that it is in the waiting that we experience huge growth. God says I want you to have this thing you are waiting for but I’m not about to give it to you on a plate. We have to continue to go through a process of refining. 

This process is when the storm descends, just as it did that day on the boat.

It’s in the storm that we learn resilience, it’s in the storm that we discover how strong we can be, it’s in the storm we recognise the area’s we need to develop.

The disciples discover in this story that their area of development needed to be a little more faith. In the two other accounts we see Peter step out in that addition of faith quite literally, he trusts Jesus and takes hold of His hand to walk on the water, but in the split second he takes his eyes off Jesus, he begins to sink.

In the storm we learn so much if we allow……

There are many different ways in which we deal with waiting and here are three I can think of that I’ve seen in my own life:

  • We could be still and peaceful resting in faith that the promise will come to pass. This person would continue to worship and praise God in the storm, be rooted in The Word and speak life continually into their problems.
  • We could strive and push in our own strength, setting unattainable goals and challenging ourselves to breaking point in the mindset of, “If I want it I must go out and get it.” This person would be so busy, they don’t have time to be still and allow God to speak. They would continually be pushing on doors that have closed and be totally determined that they are right and the things against them are wrong. 
  • We could give in and stop and let go of the promise we’ve been waiting for. This person would be someone that’s fed up and burnt out possibly as a result of continually pushing against God’s will. They’ve not had time to rest in God so therefore have lost focus of His promise and come to the conclusion they are barking up the wrong tree. So they give up completely, or worse, they are completely exhausted and have been made to give up.

The next question I want you to ponder on is:

What do you do in the waiting? 

Do any of the above resonate or do you imagine any of your own descriptions?

The fact of the matter is that Jesus came and spoke to the storm. The disciples, faithless as they were, Jesus came and calmed that storm, the winds and waves were no more, and peace was restored. This is what He will do for us if we choose to recognise it, every season of our lives are an opportunity to learn, be stretched and grow but without the storm in the waiting, we won’t grow.

Have you ever seen a child that is given everything they ask for without question? We generally call them spoilt. The fact is we are spoilt too, we are a fallen humanity, spoiled with sin. God wants us to learn where those weak spots are and to do that He has to allow us waiting and, in the waiting, we are tested by the storms.

God wants to teach us to navigate these life storms, he wants us to sail through and grow whilst on the move. This is the reason why Jesus gave us His living church services to attend. The sermon we here on a Sunday isn’t just a speech, it’s the living breathing Word direct from the mouth of God. He doesn’t want us to just sit and listen to it, He wants us to WAIT in it, ACT upon it, STUDY it, PLANT it firmly in our hearts in order to GROW, in order that we might navigate those high winds and waves, as the experienced sailors He ordained us to be! 

What can you speak to your storm?

Let’s move on now to our first step which is remove. Take the 3 questions and mull them over. What thoughts do they provoke? Is there anything else on your mind that you can clear out to make room for God to speak?

This week’s study Scripture:

1 Corinthians 16:13-14 (NIV) 13 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.14 Do everything in love.

 

The 6 R'S Bible Study

For more information on the 6 R’s Bible Study CLICK HERE to watch the how to video.

We believe that the word of God is powerful and life changing. When the word of God is applied to your life, you will be renewed!

See you all next Wednesday and be sure to listen to the YouTube video tomorrow, where Rachael and Hayley will discuss this week’s study.

Be still and know

Welcome to the Renew blog, a Six Step Bible Study.

We are a united group of Ladies from the UK, who believe in the transforming power of the Word of God for our lives. We meet every Wednesday at Create church, (part of Rising Brook) in Huntington and would love to welcome you to our group, if you live local.

Our Church Website

We are now on our sixth week of studying the book of John but before we begin and read Rachael’s study, let’s have a bit of a re-cap.

In our first week we looked at John Chapter 1 where Jesus called His first disciples. (This study isn’t on the blog yet but we’re hoping to put it on soon). The main point we looked at was Jesus’ question to His disciples, “What do you want?” Their response was to ask Jesus, “Where do you abide?” Little did they know, this was the correct answer! Jesus then took the disciples on a journey, which we are now following in the book of John.

Our first blogpost was centred around John Chapter 2 and Jesus’ first miracle at a wedding, where He turned water into wine, which we translated as turning meaningless religion into joy. See post Say cheers to endless joy

We then watched Jesus discuss the logic of religion with Nicodemus and the Woman at the Well, followed by Him healing the Officer’s Son from afar and freeing and healing a disabled man from his religious attitude and disability. Last week we studied how Jesus was given the authority to do such things and we talked about His communion with the Father. (See post for whose glory).

This week we are looking at another great miracle in John Chapter 6. Throughout Jesus’ ministry we discover that He is continually showing and teaching His disciples HOW to do things and this week we witness a little test for Philip!

Read

John 6:1-7

After this Jesus went to the other side of the Lake of Tiberias, which is also known as Lake Galilee. And a massive crowd of people followed him everywhere. They were attracted by his miracles and the healings they watched him perform. Jesus went up the slope of a hill and sat down with his disciples. Now it was approaching the time of the Jewish celebration of Passover, and there were many pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem in the crowd.

As Jesus sat down, he looked out and saw the massive crowd of people scrambling up the hill, for they wanted to be near him. So he turned to Philip and said, “Where will we buy enough food to feed all these people?” Now Jesus already knew what he was about to do, but he said this to stretch Philip’s faith.

Philip answered, “Well, I suppose if we were to give everyone only a snack, it would cost thousands of dollars to buy enough food!”

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I love this! Jesus didn’t ask Philip if they had the money to buy the food, He asked where will we buy enough food? Philip went straight into the logical, just as we’ve seen before with Nicodemus, the woman at the well and the disabled man. Philip has seen all these miracles first hand and you’d think he’d know better by now, wouldn’t you?

I think that this is a great example of us in the natural. We’ve seen how Jesus has changed our lives, we’ve encountered miraculous wonders, received supernatural strength in situations beyond our control and have felt the touch of the Holy Spirit and yet, there are times where we can’t quite look to Jesus to meet our needs or we struggle to perceive the concept of miracles.

We still lack that faith at times. 

At Create Church on Sunday, we had two great meetings. The first meeting was focussed on how we are the ‘Tabernacle’, the very dwelling place of God. We discussed ways in which our insides inform our outsides and how we need to be filled daily with the Holy Spirit in order to carry Jesus’ light into the world. When we are so full of God’s promises it becomes impossible for the negative to come out, there isn’t any in there to speak!

Then Sunday evening we had a night of sharing testimonies with one another and thanking God for all He’s done, all He’s doing and what He is about to do. It was such an amazing day!

My first question for you to ponder today is:

Who do you look to?

Who do you look to, to supply all your needs? Who is it you count upon? Yourself, your partner, your friends, your pastor, your leaders or Jesus?

John 6:8-9

But just then, Andrew, Peter’s brother, spoke up and said, Look! Here’s a young person with five barley loaves and two small fish . . . but how far would that go with this huge crowd?”

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Now it’s Andrew’s turn to be tested, a young boy comes from the crowd with all He has, to help feed everyone, did this young boy know exactly who Jesus was? I find it quite the coincidence that the Bible tells us to come to Him like children and here we have a child coming forward with all he has allowing Jesus to multiply! What happens next is a great example of what happens when you bring all you have to Him. When we give of ourselves, Jesus will take what we have and multiply it.

My second question then is this:

What would you like to give to Jesus for Him to multiply today?

I don’t believe that you need to work harder in order to bring more to Jesus. I see people all the time working harder and draining themselves in the belief that the more they give, the more they will receive. People have a tendency to believe that God will give them the strength that they need to do all that they are doing, and He will, but we have to be doing it His way and not ours. That blessing is dependant upon the heart that it’s given with. Look what Jesus goes on to teach them next.

John 6:10-12

 “Have everyone sit down,” Jesus said to his disciples. So on the vast grassy slope, more than five thousand hungry people sat down. Jesus then took the barley loaves and the fish and gave thanks to God. He then gave it to the disciples to distribute to the people. Miraculously, the food multiplied, with everyone eating as much as they wanted! 

When everyone was satisfied, Jesus told his disciples, “Now go back and gather up the pieces left over so that nothing will be wasted.” The disciples filled up twelve baskets of fragments, a basket of leftovers for each disciple.

 

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He had everyone sit down! Imagine this, over 5000 people were there that day. (I say over because the Bible tells us that this only counted men). I imagine it was complete chaos, people clambering over one another to catch a glimpse of Him but Jesus wanted peace and order. Jesus wanted each and every person to see what He was about to do, for them to see the direct access He has to the Father, to see the glory be given to God.

I believe this was something that He wanted them to take away with them, this is a lesson He wanted the world to learn. We don’t have to be striving to work hard to see the miracle or receive the living bread, the nourishment that comes from heaven.

Jesus wants us to SIT and receive, REST and receive, BE STILL and receive! 

Let me ask you my third question:

When was the last time you were still? 

Jesus teaches us in this small portion of scripture exactly how to live a life of abundant peace. 

  1. Bring what you have
  2. Look up
  3. Give thanks
  4. Rest
  5. Receive

It really is that simple. This young boy came and gave what He had to Jesus for Him to use for the good of others. It wasn’t much and I believe that was intentional. We don’t have to be breaking our necks; working hard, giving hard, but we do need to humbly bring what we have to Jesus. Our time, finance, resources…. whatever the Holy Spirit prompts you to think about here. We lift that up to God, look up and give thanks for what we have, not reflecting on what we don’t have. We then rest in His presence and receive the multiplication. 

I can honestly say that this has worked in my life, although I forget that sometimes too. I can worry over things and try to take it into my own hands but then I’m still…. I study something like this and I’m reminded of times that I have let go, like when I totalled my car and the money came to buy one, like when I had five weeks to do an assignment and spent the first four of them in the word but in the last week received supernatural knowledge and wisdom to complete it!

Or like the time we were stressing over not being able to pay for our holiday, as some projects we had going on weren’t going to be completed in time and the money came via a completely unexpected source, or like the time I worried about having enough hours in the day to complete everything and the Holy spirit whispered ‘be still’, so I did and I got it all done. There are so many of these examples that I could give to you and I’m sure you have many of your own.

As I type this I’m reminded of a conversation I once had with someone. They were wondering how on earth I managed to complete so much in my week. I have three kids aged 7, 5 and 18 months. I help run this Bible study group, I help run a uniform bank, I relentlessly study the word, I help church happen, serving on teams on a Sunday, my kids have clubs to go to. As with many other women yes I’m busy but I get so much accomplished because I’m still.

I’m not saying that I’m the only person in the world that’s busy, I know that we all are and I’m certainly not saying I’m holy and better than anyone else. I’m simply explaining that my chaotic lifestyle all starts with Jesus, unless I’m full of Him I couldn’t do what I do! On the days I miss time with Jesus, my life literally topples over and I turn in to the stressed out monster that the devil loves. So the most important thing to me is to sit and place my bum on the grass and wait peacefully for my portion of bread and fish!

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Look even Jesus knew that He had to have his alone time! 

John 6:14-15

 All the people were astounded as they saw with their own eyes the incredible miracle Jesus had performed! They began to say among themselves, “He really is the One—the true prophet we’ve been expecting!” So Jesus, knowing that they were about to take him and make him their king by force, quickly left and went up the mountainside alone.

Here’s a re-cap of those three questions:

  1. Who do you look to?
  2. What would you like to give to Jesus for Him to multiply today?
  3. When was the last time you were still?

This week’s Study Scripture

Psalm 46:10

     He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

 

The 6 R'S Bible Study

For more information on the 6 R’s Bible Study CLICK HERE to watch the how to video.

We believe that the word of God is powerful and life changing. When the word of God is applied to your life, you will be renewed!

See you all in two weeks, as it’s the half term holidays next week so we’ll be having a rest with our families. 

 

For whose glory?

Welcome to the Renew blog, a Six Step Bible Study.

We are a united group of Ladies from the UK, who believe in the transforming power of the Word of God for our lives. We meet every Wednesday at Create church, (part of Rising Brook) in Huntington and would love to welcome you to our group, if you live local.

Our Church Website

We are on our fifth week in the book of John and this week, Rachael will be taking us through John Chapter 5 Verse 16-32.

Before we get started, let’s recap on last week’s study because we’ll be picking up from where we left off, Feel free to read through the whole study, ‘As a man thinketh’, here or continue reading this brief overview……

Last week we looked at John Chapter 5 Verse 15, where a paralysed man who had been disabled for 38 years was healed by Jesus on the sabbath day. We begin this week’s lesson at verse 16 where the Jewish leaders begin to persecute Jesus for healing this man on the sabbath day.

Read

John Chapter 5:16 – 18

16 So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him. 17 In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” 18 For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

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Study

I absolutely love this passage of scripture. Just look at all those lovely red letters; the real, actual words of Jesus that came from His mouth! It makes me want to read them over and over and if I’d have actually been there, I think I’d have swooned over these words!

Jesus is talking here to the religious, Jewish leaders, in response to their persecution of Him for healing a disabled man on the Sabbath day and I just love all that He says!

Jesus knows that the religious leaders are angry and now is His time to set the record straight. He explains to these ‘haters’ that the reason for Him coming is to work.

In verse 17 Jesus says this , “Everyday my father is at work, and I will be too!”

Of course, this just made matters worse. What these men heard was Jesus saying, “I am equal to God.” This makes Jesus far more powerful than them! 

Have you ever been in a situation where you are chatting away to someone and they totally take the hump? You have no idea why, but they just do. Then, the more you say, the more their expression turns from blank to a full-on scowl! it’s completely evident that everything you are saying to them, irritates them more and more!

I imagine that this is the case in this exchange of words with Jesus and the Jewish leaders. What I love the most about this though is that Jesus is doing all the talking. I can only imagine the faces of the leaders on the receiving end!  

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Read

John Chapter 5 Verse 19 – 21

19 So Jesus said, “I speak to you timeless truth. The Son is not able to do anything from himself or through my own initiative. I only do the works that I see the Father doing, for the Son does the same works as his Father.

20 “Because the Father loves his Son so much, he always reveals to me everything that he is about to do. And you will all be amazed when he shows me even greater works than what you’ve seen so far! 21 For just like the Father has power to raise the dead, the Son will raise the dead and give life to whomever he wants.

We read here that Jesus is in constant communion with His Father, receiving instruction, encouragement, and plans for the work He’s been sent here to do.

Jesus tells us in verses 22 – 24,

“The Father now judges no one, for he has given all the authority to judge to the Son, 23 so that the honor that belongs to the Father will now be shared with his Son. So if you refuse to honor the Son, you are refusing to honor the Father who sent him.

24 “I speak to you an eternal truth: if you embrace my message and believe in the One who sent me, you will never face condemnation, for in me, you have already passed from the realm of death into the realm of eternal life!”

So, Jesus is now the one who gives judgement. Here we see that Jesus is telling them to embrace Him.

Just as He has been in constant communion with the Father we should be in constant communion with Jesus.

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My first question today is this,

Who are you communing with?

I (Rachael) have a confession to make…..

My biggest downfall is social media and I can quite easily spend countless hours scrolling mindlessly through news feeds that consume my mind with endless junk! It’s a habit that I have identified to have been a theme running through my life and is rooted in my past. That theme is escapism.

I use things as a distraction so as not to think in my own mind. As a child those distractions were books and imaginative play with dolls and teddy bears, moving in to teenage years I’d sit alone for hours in my room or the garden when forced by my Dad to get some ‘fresh air!’ Once I started high school that turned to more abusive things like alcohol and drugs. 

Thankfully, I’m now free of those things and as Jesus stated in verse 24, I have passed through the realm of death and I’m now experiencing eternal life with Him but I still must be aware of what I am doing, because escaping in social media is not communing with Jesus.

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Social media is a world filled with augmented reality, meaning most of it isn’t real. It’s a snare for the devil as there are so many traps we can fall into through filling our minds with this rubbish. Comparison, envy, jealousy, bitterness, resentment, the list really is endless. We must be on our guard and this is an area I’m very much working on.

Read

John Chapter 5 Verse 25 – 40

25 “I speak to you eternal truth: Soon the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who listen will arise with life! 26 For the Father has given the Son the power to impart life, even as the Father imparts life. 27 The Father has transferred to the Son the authority to judge, because he is the Son of Man.

28 “So don’t be amazed when I tell you these things, for there is a day coming when all who have ever died will hear my voice calling them back to life, 29 and they will come out of their graves! Those who have done what is good will experience a resurrection to eternal life. And those who have practiced evil will taste the resurrection that brings them to condemnation!

30 “Nothing I do is from my own initiative, for as I hear the judgment passed by my Father, I execute judgment. And my judgments will be perfect, because I can do nothing on my own, except to fulfill the desires of my Father who sent me. 31 For if I were to make claims about myself, you would have reasons to doubt. 32 But there is another who bears witness on my behalf, and I know that what he testifies of me is true.”

33 “You have sent messengers to John, and what he testified about me is true. 34 I have no need to be validated by men, but I’m saying these things so that you will believe and be rescued.

35 “John was a blazing, burning torch, and for a short time you basked in his light with great joy. 36 But I can provide a more substantial proof of who I am that exceeds John’s testimony—my miracles! These works which the Father destined for me to complete—they prove that the Father has sent me! 37 And my Father himself, who gave me this mission, has also testified that I am his Son.[f] But you have never heard his voice nor seen his face, 38 nor does his Word truly live inside of you, for you refuse to believe in me or to embrace me as God’s messenger.

39 “You are busy analyzing the Scriptures, frantically poring over them in hopes of gaining eternal life. Everything you read points to me, 40 yet you still refuse to come to me so I can give you the life you’re looking for—eternal life!

According to the law of Moses, a man’s testimony about himself is inadmissible and here we see Jesus stating the facts. Not only is He his own witness but John is also, as well as the Father himself, Jesus’ miracles and the Scripture.

There is no mistake, Jesus is who He says He is! 

However, these leaders are determined to pour over scripture frantically, trying to catch Jesus out! They are filled with fear that they will lose all power and no longer be in this over-rising position to the people. Desperate to prove Jesus wrong they will try absolutely anything. 

My second question today is, what is your motive?

As Christians we know that we need to be in constant communion with Jesus, we know that His word provides application for our lives and to be authentic disciples we need to continue to push into Jesus and figure out what God has called us to do with the gifts and talents He has given us. 

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The Word gives us wisdom and transforms our hearts but what if the motive isn’t right?

Have you ever encountered someone that insists on taking scripture and using it to tear down your lifestyle, to belittle and shame you into seeing their point of view? Their motive is purely to drive their opinion in order to get you to agree with them? 

That’s just what these religious leaders were doing! Their love for the word wasn’t to get closer to God and establish how they would bring Him glory, it was to dictate and speculate.

The final part of Chapter 5 has to be my all-time favourite.

Jesus says this in verse 41-47,

I do not accept the honour that comes from men, 42 for I know what kind of people you really are, and I can see that the love of God has found no home in you. 43 I have come to represent my Father, yet you refuse to embrace me in faith. But when someone comes in their own name and with their own agenda, you readily accept him. 44 Of course you’re unable to believe in me. For you live for the praises of others and not for the praise that comes from the only true God.

45 “I won’t be the one who accuses you before the Father. The one who will incriminate you is Moses, the very one you claim to obey, the one in whom you trust! 46 If you really believed what Moses has written, then you would embrace me, for Moses wrote about me! 47 But since you do not believe what he wrote, no wonder you don’t believe what I say.”

Firmly rooted in communion with the Father, Jesus says I do not seek your approval and I do not need man to validate me. I know what I’ve been sent to do and the will of the Father is enough for me. You people will never dictate who I am because my Father is the creator of all!

My third and final question for today is the title of this blog – For Whose Glory are we working?

It can be so easy to be intimidated by those that cast accusations and persecute us that we can start to work for their approval. If like me, you tend to commune with social media, we can easily be coerced into looking upon other people’s lives and posting for the approval of our friends or followers.

Sometimes when God gives a word of knowledge, we won’t speak it for fear of people ridiculing us or worse, for fear of people saying we are ‘fake’.

Be encouraged by this portion of scripture and take courage from the one we follow. Jesus set us the greatest example.

This week’s study scripture is,

1 Peter 4:11 For example, if you have a speaking gift, speak as though God were speaking his words through you. If you have the gift of serving, do it passionately with the strength God gives you, so that in everything God alone will be glorified through Jesus Christ. For to him belong the power and the glory forever throughout all ages! Amen.

Lets’ go on to our 6 Step Study with the three questions for today in mind

  1. Who are you communing with?
  2. What is your motive?
  3. For Whose Glory are we working?

For more information on the 6 R’s Bible Study CLICK HERE to watch the how to video.

We believe that the word of God is powerful and life changing. When the word of God is applied to your life, you will be renewed!

 

 

As a man thinketh

Welcome to the Renew blog, a Six Step Bible Study.

We are a united group of Ladies from the UK, who believe in the transforming power of the Word of God for our lives. We meet every Wednesday at Create church, (part of Rising Brook) in Huntington and would love to see you if you live local. Our Church Website

This week, Rachael will be taking us through John Chapter 4 Verse 43  through to John Chapter 5 verse 15, where we will study two very different, yet profound examples of healing.

But first, lets have a bit of a re-cap………

Throughout the last couple of weeks, we’ve been looking at the book of John.

We began our journey in John Chapter 2, looking at Jesus’ first miracle, where He turned water into wine. See Post – Say to Cheers to endless joy We likened the wine to our joy in Christ and the water was representative of the law, a tasteless and meaningless way of religion.

Click here to listen to our YouTube Study on John Chapter 2.

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Our next post, Modern Modesty,  was centred around John Chapter 3, where we examined modesty and humility and how this applies to our own lives. As we studied the conversation between Nicodemus and Jesus, Nicodemus was so caught up and blinded by religion, that he couldn’t even begin to understand the revelation of what Jesus was trying to say that you must be ‘born again’.

Click here to listen to our YouTube Study on John Chapter 3.

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Last week we looked at John Chapter 4 and the woman at the well in our post, Chuck in the bucket. Once again, Jesus exposed religion and explained to this lady that it is not important where we worship because it is the heart that the Father looks at.

Click here to listen to our YouTube Study on John Chapter 4.

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All three chapters, as reflected in our posts, have had a common theme of ‘religion’ running through them. In this week’s study, Rachael will be continuing on from this as we look at two powerful accounts of healing found in John Chapter 4:43 – 5:15.

Study

We begin at John Chapter 4:43 where we see Jesus return to Galilee where he was raised. The bible talks of ‘a prophet never been honoured in their home town’, however we read in Verse 45 that Jesus was in fact welcomed with open arms. Many of the people had been in Jerusalem during the Passover festival and had witnessed His miracles first- hand.

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We then see the interaction between a Government Official and Jesus. This man had heard of the miracles that Jesus had performed and in desperation to save his dying son, he walked 20 miles to find him! I imagine that was a powerful walk, maybe even a sprint!

The conversation in John 4:48 – 50 is recorded as this:

When he found Jesus he begged him, “You must come with me to Capernaum and heal my son!”

48 So Jesus said to him, “You never believe unless you see signs and wonders.”

49 But the man continued to plead, “You have to come with me to Capernaum before my little boy dies!”

50 Then Jesus looked him in the eyes and said, “Go back home now. I promise you, your son will live and not die.”

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Let us imagine for a moment….. the desperation of this noble man and also the heart of Jesus in this situation. I imagine the Official to be on his knees in mercy, pleading with Jesus to heal his son and take away his pain. Those of us with children will know there is nothing worse than seeing them suffer.  This man is asking Jesus with all his heart to save his son.

Let us now reflect on Jesus’ first response in verse 48,

“You never believe unless you see signs and wonders.”

These words from Jesus are interesting because they refer to what we were studying last week in John Chapter 4:1-30. The Samaritans that Jesus had been with, before returning to Cana, had all come to believe in Him without seeing any miracles.

They believed based upon the wisdom He shared.

Which brings me to my first point and question, What do we believe in our heart? 

Rachael’s testimony

Not long after I first came to know Jesus, I had an amazing encounter with the Holy Spirit.

I’d arrived at a church following one of the worst weeks of my life. I was extremely depressed and in fact, I would go as far to say that I was suicidal! Following a car accident, I now recognise I was suffering from PTSD.

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I’d only been to the church twice before and was still feeling very much like the woman at the well – confused.

I walked into church that morning filled with shame and feeling hungover. Ashamed because of the screaming fit I’d just thrown at my husband, in front of my five and three year old children, on the journey to church and hungover following the three bottles of wine I’d consumed on my own, the night before.

I walked into the church, took my seat and found myself sobbing uncontrollably in this room full of strangers! I met with Jesus that day,  He came and placed His loving arms around me and poured out a beautiful shower of the Holy Spirit.

I can only describe this encounter as being saturated in His love, soaked through to the heart. I sobbed, as He healed my broken and twisted heart.

Jesus invited me that day on a journey and I gladly accepted His invitation.

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Because of this beautiful encounter, much like the woman at the well, I am now on fire for Jesus! I love to speak about the healing I’ve received in my life and I’d love nothing more than to see that happen in the lives of those around me. This has now become my life’s mission.

I do understand though that not everyone is in that place. All of our experiences with the Holy Spirit are different. Maybe you haven’t reached that point yet, maybe your still in that confusion stage like the woman at the well, or maybe you can identify with the Government Official and you’ve passed the stage of confusion but are begging for a miracle.

Whatever point you’re at, allow me encourage you today as we continue with the rest of this story……

John Chapter 4 Verse 51 – 54

The man believed in his heart the words of Jesus and set off for home. 51 When he was still a distance from Capernaum, his servants met him on the road and told him the good news, “Your son is healed! He’s alive!”

52 Overjoyed, the father asked his servants, “When did my son begin to recover?”

“Yesterday,” they said, “at one in the afternoon. All at once his fever broke—and now he’s well!”

53 Then the father realized that it was at that very same hour that Jesus spoke the words to him, “Your son will live and not die.” So from that day forward, the man and all his family and servants believed. 54 This was Jesus’ second extraordinary miracle in Galilee after coming from Judea.

This guy is here on his knees, begging for Jesus to heal his son, twice he pleads with him after walking 20 miles, (that’s like one of us walking from Cannock to Birmingham City Centre by the way!) And Jesus says as casually as you like “Go back home now.  I promise you, your son will live not die”

Wow! This man believed in his heart, the words of Jesus and set off for home. He had received the gift of faith. I wonder what was going through his mind on that journey home? I would have been analysing the conversation, I think I’d be excited to get there and see. 

What this man did was key to his son’s healing…..

He made a decision.

The decision was made to ‘believe in his heart’. We don’t know why or how he felt when the decision was made, it could have been a supernatural peace that brought him to that decision or it could have been plain old human logic and that he had no other alternative but to believe in his heart.

This now brings me to my second point, What decisions are we making?

Are we believing the word of Jesus Or are we stuck in religious thinking? Is the devil whispering to you that you aren’t worthy, you’re not a Christian, you can’t be healed, you’ll never change, you’re good for nothing? 

Let’s now move on as we find encouragement from the next story found in John Chapter 5 Verses 1-5.

The Healing at Bethesda

Then Jesus returned to Jerusalem to observe one of the Jewish holy days.  2Inside the city near the Sheep Gate there is a pool called in Aramaic, The House of Loving Kindness. And this pool is surrounded by five covered porches. Hundreds of sick people were lying there on the porches—the paralyzed, the blind, and the crippled, all of them waiting for their healing. For an angel of God would periodically descend into the pool to stir the waters, and the first one who stepped into the pool after the waters swirled would instantly be healed. Now there was a man who had been disabled for thirty-eight years lying among the multitude of the sick. When Jesus saw him lying there, he knew that the man had been crippled for a long time. So Jesus said to him, “Do you truly long to be healed?”

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Here we have a very unfortunate man that has been lying here for 38 years! It’s interesting to read the footnotes in this portion of scripture as it references the five covered porches as being representative of religion. These five porches relate to the first five books of the bible – ‘The Torah’ which dictates the law. The sick people, along with this man, that are lying helpless at this pool are lying helpless and unhealed under religion.

Jesus asks this man out of hundreds of other sick people,

“Do you long to be healed?”

Another interesting fact from the footnotes of The Passion Translation is, that in this statement, the Greek phrase ‘Genesthai’ is not a future tense, it indicates something that has already been accomplished.

Jesus is asking this man if he is ready to abandon how he sees himself and receive faith for his healing.

With this in mind, we see that we do not necessarily receive the healing first, Jesus gives us the faith in order to receive the healing. 

Faith over fear! – But only if we are prepared to accept it. I don’t think this man was ready to accept it judging by his response:

The sick man answered him, “Sir, there’s no way I can get healed, for I have no one who will lower me into the water when the angel comes. As soon as I try to crawl to the edge of the pool, someone else jumps in ahead of me.”

It’s no wonder he’s been lying there for 38 years with that negative attitude! Which brings me to my third and final point, what are we speaking over our lives? 

Are we lying around in pity telling ourselves that we always be what we’ve always been? Or worse, are we negatively feeding into the lives of others and pointing our pain in to their hurt, giving advice that’s our opinion and not aligned to the word of God because we’ve lay around thinking we aren’t needing the healing that’s so readily available for us?

Do we really long to be healed? Are we daring enough to receive the faith the Holy Spirit wants to pour in to our lives to live in such a way the word teaches us? Or are we wrapped up in the promise it’s done so I don’t need to do anything? 

Both of these men had to activate their faith in order to receive their miracle, the woman at the well we talked about last week had to move although she was confused.

We must search our hearts and discover the roots in which we need healing then submit these to the Lord.

We first receive the faith in order to believe that we are healed, then do as we are instructed, in the accounts of both the woman at the well and the healing of the cripple Jesus tells them to go and sin no more. 

We must be vigilant and guard our hearts, continually searching for sin in our lives, renewing our mind in order to detect rogue thinking. The Bible tells us that the enemy is prowling around like a lion, awaiting a crack in our lives to creep in. If we do not fill ourselves with the word of Jesus and receive the faith that activates His instruction, we are left wide open to the devil for him to kill, steal and destroy all of the blessing we are to inherit.

We have a God of mercy and although this man was negative Jesus poured grace upon him and allowed his healing. He will with us too.

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Then Jesus said to him, “Stand up! Pick up your sleeping mat and you will walk!” Immediately he stood up—he was healed! So he rolled up his mat and walked again! Now this miracle took place on the Jewish Sabbath.

10 When the Jewish leaders saw the man walking along carrying his sleeping mat,[p] they objected and said, “What are you doing carrying that? Don’t you know it’s the Sabbath? It’s not lawful for you to carry things on the Sabbath!”

11 He answered them, “The man who healed me told me to pick it up and walk.”

12 “What man?” they asked him. “Who was this man who ordered you to carry something on a Sabbath?”[q] 13 But the healed man couldn’t give them an answer, for he didn’t yet know who it was since Jesus had already slipped away into the crowd.

14 A short time later, Jesus found the man at the temple and said to him, “Look at you now! You’re healed! Walk away from your sin[r] so that nothing worse will happen to you.”

15 Then the man went to the Jewish leaders to inform them, “It was Jesus who healed me!”

Let us continue to our study and whilst journaling the remove step mull over these questions:

  1. What are we believing in our hearts?
  2. What decisions are we making?
  3. What are we speaking over our lives?

This week’s study scripture for is: 

Proverbs 23:7 The Passion Translation (TPT)

For as he thinks within himself, so is he. He will grudgingly say, “Go ahead and eat all you want,” but in his heart he resents the fact that he has to pay for your meal.

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For more information on the 6 R’s Bible Study CLICK HERE to watch the how to video.

We believe that the word of God is powerful and life changing. When the word of God is applied to your life, you will be renewed!

Click here to join Rachael, Katie and Hayley with the study in this week’s YouTube video.

Chuck in the bucket

John 4:1-30

The woman at the well

We’ve heard a lot about the ‘woman at the well’, she was here in the middle of a messy life, had been married five times before and now she was living with a man that wasn’t her husband.

She’d been mistreated, abused, left high and dry and was looking for someone to love her. The man she was with currently didn’t even want to call her his wife! She would’ve felt like a good for nothing, filled with shame and hated by the world around her.

I really feel for this lady……  and so did Jesus.

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It’s easy to imagine that she didn’t like to run the daily errand of fetching the water. Maybe she’d venture out at a time when she wouldn’t bump in to too many people. The burden of shame would have weighed so heavy on her shoulders. 

I can think of numerous times, before I met Jesus, that I felt this way, can you?

Shamed by the world around her, she didn’t fit in. 

That day was different though, that day she had a divine appointment with a Jewish man, who happened to be hanging out at the well!

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I want us to picture this lady walking along with her bucket, carrying the burden of her meaningless, hopeless life. All the pain of the rejection she’d faced and probably hurrying so as not to bump in to anyone. Thoughts of bitterness and hurt running through her mind with each step, eyes fixed to the ground on the off chance she might pass someone by……. when suddenly she hears, “Give me a drink of water”.

She slowly looks up from the ground, her heart skips a beat, she’s fearful and wondering who this voice belongs to. Is she safe? What will he want with her? Will he hurt her? Will he treat her the way she’s been treated by all men? Her heart starts to race, her palms go sweaty, her mouth goes dry, her eyes reach His and she asks, “Why would a Jewish man ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink of water?”

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What a beautiful moment. What a beautiful picture of our beloved Jesus reaching out to us. The moment we are weighed down with shame, eyes to the ground, the lowest of the low….. He says, “Look up, dear child, give me a drink”.

I’d like us to look not just at the context of this story but also physically what Jesus is doing here.

Jesus is sat upon on a well, a well that was built by Jacob and his ancestors. This well, in particular, is a spring fed well, meaning the water that flows to it is from a larger source of water, further away and led into the well by a spring.

The larger source of water represents creation, Adam and the Fall.

The spring represents Jacobs life and the continuation of sin from Adam and the fall.

The well represents our life.

Jesus is the lid to cut off the sin being drawn from the well and He takes away the pollution. How beautiful is that?

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John Chapter 4 verse 13-14 says this:

13 Jesus answered, “If you drink from Jacob’s well you’ll be thirsty again and again, 14 but if anyone drinks the living water I give them, they will never thirst again and will be forever satisfied! For when you drink the water I give you it becomes a gushing fountain of the Holy Spirit, springing up and flooding you with endless life!”

The Greek verb used for “springing up” is hallomenou, and is never used for inanimate objects (water). It is a verb used for people (living things) and means “jumping,” or “leaping up.” The Septuagint translates this verb elsewhere as an activity of the Holy Spirit.

So, this whole conversation of living water goes on. Jesus explains to this lady how He can offer water that is ‘pure’ and ‘full of life’, which leads her to be curious about and then wants to receive it!

Likened to us, we experience Jesus’ goodness in a variety of ways. We come in to His presence and know that there is something more, something pure, something life giving and we decide to pursue this further which is exactly what the woman at the well decided.

Verse 15 goes on to say this:

15 The woman replied, “Let me drink that water so I’ll never be thirsty again and won’t have to come back here to draw water.”

Jesus, in verse 16, then goes on to speak of the sin in her life:

16 Jesus said, “Go get your husband and bring him back here.”

17 “But I’m not married,” the woman answered.

“That’s true,” Jesus said, 18 “for you’ve been married five times and now you’re living with a man who is not your husband. You have told the truth.”

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The six men represent humanity, as we learnt in our first lesson (Say Cheers to endless joy) , when Jesus turned water into wine, the number 6 represents man as we were created on the 6th day. This woman is looking to man for her fulfilment. Our hearts can never be satisfied with what we seek or find on earth, we must have the living water that comes from heaven.

Jesus is our 7th husband the only one that will ever satisfy us.

2 Corinthians 11:2 You need to know that God’s passion is burning inside me for you, because, like a loving father, I have pledged your hand in marriage to Christ, your true bridegroom. I’ve also promised that I would present his fiancée to him as a pure virgin bride.

Jesus is saying to the woman at the well and to all of us today: 

“My dear child, you’ve tried to fill your heart with things that aren’t of me. I’m here to take all of that away. Let me cut off that polluted water, give it all to me, and give me a drink of your heart, let me replace that rotten stinking water with an abundance of my pure love. You will never have to look for anything to fulfil you in this world again if you just take this life-giving water.”

This woman then goes on to logically fit together in her mind what she’s just heard.

19 The woman said, “You must be a prophet! 20 So tell me this: Why do our fathers worship God here on this nearby mountain, but your people teach that Jerusalem is the place where we must worship. Which is right?”

As humans we cannot comprehend the supernatural, we get all logical and think about our strategy towards what He is asking of us. We strive to do things to earn our salvation, or we try in our own strength to cut things out of our lives. We run off preparing a 3-course meal with wine when in actual fact all Jesus is asking for is a drink of pure water.

She steers the conversation on to what she’s religiously been taught. She’s trying to reason in her mind what this will all mean, instead of allowing Him to transform her heart. This woman is wanting to know what this all looks like logically and put it together nice and neatly to live it out practically.

I just love how Jesus steers her away from this religious nonsense! Look what he says next, in verse 21:

Jesus responded, 21 “Believe me, dear woman, the time has come when you won’t worship the Father on a mountain nor in Jerusalem, but in your heart. 22 Your people don’t really know the One they worship. We Jews worship out of our experience, for it’s from the Jews that salvation is made available.23–24 From here on, worshiping the Father will not be a matter of the right place but with the right heart. For God is a Spirit, and he longs to have sincere worshipers who worship and adore him in the realm of the Spirit and in truth.”

The word used for Worship in this portion of scripture in Aramaic is Seged, it means ‘to bow down’ or ‘to surrender’

Like last week where Jesus dealt with the religious beliefs of a moral religious leader we now see Jesus dealing with similar religious beliefs of an immoral shame filled woman, but He’s explaining the exact same thing.

It has absolutely nothing to do with keeping the law, reciting the scriptures, the type of offering we bring or the place they worship but absolutely EVERYTHING to do with the relationship we have with Christ.

Here Jesus is talking to her about her heart, and the faith she holds within her heart for her Father. He goes on to say it’s nothing to do with worshiping in the right place but everything to do with worshipping with the right heart!

The only concern for Jesus here is that she knows Him and His father, that she knows exactly who He is, why He is here and what He wants to do for us all.

25 The woman said, “This is all so confusing, but I do know that the Anointed One is coming—the true Messiah. And when he comes, he will tell us everything we need to know.”

26 Jesus said to her, “You don’t have to wait any longer, the Anointed One is here speaking with you—I am the One you’re looking for.”[Although the woman was confused she moved:

28 All at once, the woman dropped her water jar and ran off to her village and told everyone, 29 “Come and meet a man at the well who told me everything I’ve ever done! He could be the Anointed One we’ve been waiting for.” 30 Hearing this, the people came streaming out of the village to go see Jesus.

The drink that Jesus requires is the drink of our devotion, our surrender our bowing down. He no longer wants us to be filled with the world and conform. This story shows us that he is longing for this woman’s devotion, just as is he longing for ours. 

My question for today is how devoted are you?

Would you be able to chuck in your bucket as this woman did and surrender your life to Jesus?

Despite her confusion she went on to lead a whole village to Him, a village full of people that pitied her, could it be that we could do that too?

This weeks Study Scripture is:

John 4:22-24 TPT:

From here on, worshiping the Father will not be a matter of the right place but with the right heart. For God is a Spirit, and he longs to have sincere worshipers who worship and adore him in the realm of the Spirit and in truth.

The 6 R'S Bible Study

An easy and practical way to study the bible

For more information on the 6 R’s Bible Study CLICK HERE to watch the how to video.

We believe that the word of God is powerful and life changing. When the word of God is applied to your life, you will be renewed!

CLICK HERE for this week’s playlist, songs chosen are:

  • Now to Jesus by Philippa Hanna
  • Clean by Natalie Grant
  • Mighty to save by Hillsong

See you all next Tuesday and don’t forget to check out our YouTube video this Thursday, featuring Rachael and Hayley who will be chatting candidly about John 4:22-23 and what it means to them. 

Video Catch up 

Hayley & Rachael chat about Galatians 5:22-23

Hayley & Rachael chat about 1 Peter 1:23

Modern Modesty

A very warm welcome to the RENEW Blog! We’re on week two and today we will be looking at John chapter 3. Rachael shares her thoughts on these scriptures and we pray that it really resonates with you.

Jesus Teaches Nicodemus

Read

John Chapter 3:1-15

Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”

“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”

1 nicodemus

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’

The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.

2 nicodemus

10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things?11 Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.

12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?

13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”

Study

There are so many things we could take from Chapter 3 from the book of John, but as I read the stories and conversations throughout this chapter, I can’t help but notice a running theme – Humility.

Let’s see why…..

At the beginning of this chapter we read about a man called Nicodemus, a highly respected Jewish leader, who comes to speak to Jesus.

Nicodemus, in fear of ridicule, visits Jesus at night. It’s clear he didn’t want anyone to see him and it’s possible that he was even ashamed or embarrassed to have any association with Jesus. What would his associates think of him, speaking to a man who claimed to be the Messiah?

3nicodemus

Interestingly enough, the name ‘Nicodemus’ means ‘Conqueror’ and later on, in chapter 7, we read that Nicodemus advises his colleagues among “the chief priests and the Pharisees”, to hear and investigate before making a judgment concerning Jesus. Would Nicodemus’ go on to ‘conquer’ the negative opinions of his elite group of people, through his love and knowledge of the Messiah?  

Jesus and Nicodemus then continue to have a conversation about rebirth, or as translated, to be ‘born from above’. Nicodemus was seeking knowledge and therefore couldn’t understand what Jesus meant when he said we must be ‘born again’. Nicodemus was only seeing things through human eyes, rather than spiritual eyes.

In verse 5, Jesus refers to the water being the Word of God that cleanses us and gives us life, confirmed in the following verse:

1 Peter 1:23  (TPT)

For through the eternal and living Word of God you have been born again. And this “seed” that he planted within you can never be destroyed but will live and grow inside of you forever.

In verse 8, Jesus informs Nicodemus that the spirit wind blows where He chooses, meaning that the Spirit-Wind chooses everybody.

Read

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 

IMG_7857

Study

This had never, ever been revealed before….. GOD. LOVES. THE. WORLD. EVERYONE! Up until now God’s love had only been for Jews, so this was completely revolutionary.

Notice though that it says ‘Everyone who believes in him’. The world has a part to play in this. He gives to us first but only if we truly believe. In the amplified version it expands to say; ‘trust in, rely on and cling to’. We must deeply believe and rely upon this truth to receive eternal life.

Eternal life doesn’t just mean life after death, it refers to this life too. The play on words are that Jesus places the word ‘perish’ before having everlasting life, meaning that it is possible we can be perishing even while we are still alive.

Next, in verse 27 we read about a conversation that John has with his disciples, following an argument with a particular Jewish man. We aren’t sure who this man was but I bet it was someone that was extremely worried about losing his power and authority.

Look what John says – 

Read

John 3:27-30 The Passion Translation (TPT)

27 To this John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. 28 You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ 29 The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete.

30 He must become greater; I must become less.”

So what we have in a very quick whistle stop tour of John chapter 3 and an insight of what it looks like to take on ‘Modern Modesty’ as a disciple of Jesus:

  1. We have to humble ourselves enough to ask to be born again of the spirit.
  2. God loves all of us equally and uniquely but we must trust in Jesus
  3. In order for Jesus to work in our lives, He must increase, and our old self diminish.

How do you think we can ensure we are living this way?

This week’s Study Scripture

1 Peter 1:23  (TPT)

For through the eternal and living Word of God you have been born again. And this “seed” that he planted within you can never be destroyed but will live and grow inside of you forever. 

The 6 R'S Bible Study

An easy and practical way to study the bible

For more information on the 6 R’s Bible Study CLICK HERE to watch the how to video.

We believe that the word of God is powerful and life changing. When the word of God is applied to your life, you will be renewed!

CLICK HERE for this week’s playlist, songs chosen are:

  • In you I live by Housefires
  • Here I am to worship by Hillsong
  • Open the eyes of my heart by Michael W Smith

See you all next Tuesday and don’t forget to check out our YouTube video this Thursday, featuring Rachael and Hayley who will be chatting candidly about 1 Peter 1:23 and what it means to them.

IMG_7787Don’t forget to comment and let us know your thoughts on this week’s study scripture.