Sunday, February 27, 2005

Sunday Morning Thoughts From Oswald Chambers

John 4:5-11 (New International Version)

“5So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
7When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8(His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
9The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.[
10Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
11“Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?”

Oswald Chambers often hits home with me. He wrote with such great insight, seeing the frailty of human nature. But the beauty of his insight was that it never left us without hope. Today’s excerpt from “Devotions for Morning and Evening” is, for me, a wonderful example of this great ability to dig deep into human nature and then call the reader to dig deeper yet into the richness of Almighty God to heal, encourage, strengthen, challenge:

Impoverished Ministry of Jesus

“From whence then has Thou that living water?” (John 4:11)

“The well is deep” – and a great deal deeper than the Samaritan woman knew! Think of the depths of human nature, of human life, think of the depths of the “wells” in you. Have you been impoverishing the ministry of Jesus Christ so that He cannot do anything? Suppose there is a well of fathomless trouble in your heart, and Jesus comes and says – “
Let not your heart be troubled”; and you shrug your shoulders and say, “But, Lord, the well is deep; You cannot draw quietness and comfort out of it.” No, He will bring them down from above. Jesus does not bring anything up from the wells of human nature. We limit the Holy One of Israel by remembering what we have allowed Him to do in the past, and by saying, “Of course I cannot expect God to do this thing.” The thing that taxes almightiness is the very thing which we as disciples of Jesus ought to believe He will do. We impoverish His ministry the moment we forget He is Almighty; the impoverishment is in us, not in Him. We will come to Jesus as Comforter or as Sympathizer, but we will not come to Him as Almighty.”

“The reason some of us are such poor specimens of Christianity is because we have no Almighty Christ. We have Christian attributes and experiences, but there is no abandonment to Jesus Christ. When we get into difficult circumstances, we impoverish His ministry by saying - “Of course He cannot do anything,” and we struggle down to the deeps and try to get the water for ourselves. Beware of the satisfaction of sinking back and saying – “It can’t be done”; you know it can be done if you look to Jesus. The well of your incompleteness is deep, but make the effort and look away to Him.”
I hope, dear reader, that these thoughts edify you this Sunday morning.

1 comment:

James Fletcher Baxter said...

Yes, they do edify. Thanks Phil. They personalize both the problems and the solution for Believers.

While my own ignorance is a/the problem, Faith is the solution that fills my void. He is the personal filling of my lack. He is more than 'Knowledge.' He not only gifts me Faith, but is the very substance of what ever Faith I have. He is not just a philosophical view of experience - He is its meaning. He is its value. He is its eternal purpose. He is my friend.

Thank you Jesus.