Thursday, March 23 | Ed Hamlin | John 4:16-18
Breathe and Contemplate: “You don’t realize Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you have.”―Timothy J. Keller, Counterfeit Gods
Consider: None of us deserve the love and forgiveness we receive from Jesus. That is why it is called grace. All of us have events that we would prefer that our grandmothers never knew. The woman at the well certainly did. She had been married five times and was living with a man who was not her husband. Jesus knew that and broke it to her softly. He let her know that it was not her past that he was concerned with; rather it was her heart.
The text does not tell us why she has had so many failed marriages. During that time men could easily divorce a woman, but a woman could not divorce a man. She could have been divorced for her inability to provide a son. What we do know is she put her trust in men and that proved to be a bad choice every time.
But is she any different than most of us? Many of us are guilty of trying to gain meaning in our lives by placing our trust in the other gods like beauty, power, money, a perfect family, and achievement. When we love those good things God has made above anything else, we become addicted. We turn those good things into the ultimate thing. Tim Keller, famous author and Senior Pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC, calls the human heart an “idol factory.” Whatever controls us is our lord.
You can imagine that the woman at the well, after each failed relationship, had to have thought, “If I can just get this next man, my life will have meaning, then I’ll know I have value, then I will be secure.” But she has proved over and over, that is not how it works for any of us. When we place our trust in anything other than Jesus Christ, we will be disappointed.
Call to Action: List some of the “other gods” in your life. What do you need to do to keep God first?
Prayer: Precious God, forgive me when I try and turn gifts you have provided into things that dictate my happiness. Help me know that it is through you and you alone where I will find peace. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.