Monday, December 1, 2014

Working from a Place of Rest - Part 2

Part 1 of this can be found here.

Reading #4 Finding Refreshment on the Journey
Jesus was at Jaco's well which was a national treasure to the Samaritans. It was a physical place with a spiritual significance. It was a physical activity with a spiritual counterpart. Water is the symbol of the life-giving Spirit John 7:37-39. A physical need with a spiritual equivalent.

Jesus was sitting there at the well. He needed help to get the water. Jesus was not afraid to ask for help. Humility is the precursor for blessing.

We need grace in salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9). We need grace in living (Colossians 2:6-8). and we need Grace in ministry (Ephesians 3:8, I Corinthians 15:10, Acts 14:27)

We need to nurture the inner life so that the inner life will flow from my life. Ministry is about fullness and overflowing. If we are giving, we need to be receiving.

Learn to drink from the living water, it is a discipline.

Reflection Questions:

  1. How would you describe the state of your soul currently? Do you feel refreshed on the inside or a bit dehydrated. Drink deeply from he well of salvation.
  2. Take some time to look at the way Jesus lived his life (John 5:19, 30; 8:28; 12:49 and 14:10( and the way Paul lived (I Corinthians 15:10, Colossians 1:28-29; Philippians 2:12-13; I Thessalonians 5:24). What did you notice? What are your conclusions?
  3. How would you describe the way you live and minister? Is it based on grace or self-effort? Is it you doing things for God or God working through you?

Reading #5 Watching God at work on the Journey
We finally moved beyond the first four verses.

One woman's story - Her journey to faith.

Suspicious vs. 9
Disparaging vs 11-12
Playful vs. 15
Defensive vs. 17
Disarmed vs. 19
Argumentative vs. 20
Seeing vs. 25
Believing vs. 29
Testimony vs. 39

Jesus opens her heart so she can see her need and receive the living water. We all long for intimacy. Knowing God is the goal. I know and I am known.

We see Jesus ministering. He is being led by the Spirit to go through Samaria. He is open to the people along the way. He broke all the rules of conventional Jews. He was willing to "waste some time". He is recognising God at work, being attentive to the moment. Jesus seized the moment. For us it might require boldness.

Reflection Questions:
Mediate on Galatians 5:22 and Isaiah 30:21. What do you learn about being led by the Spirit?
Think about your attitude towards people? How do you regard them: Are you too busy to notice them?

Reading #6 The contemplative activity
Working in a different way

Jesus models for us exactly what it means to work from a place of rest. It is important that we integrate the contemplative strand (resting) with the activist strand (working) in our lives.

Understand the season - harvest time - There are seasons in ministry.
The harvest is ready (4:35) This is the moment of opportunity.
The harvest is people (4:35) We need a love for people.
The harvest is teamwork (4:36-37)
The harvest is a gift (4:38)
The harvest is now (4:39-42) Believe God for things we don't see.

Nurturing new life - As a result of that encounter with one woman there is a mini-revival that breaks out in the village. Their spiritual journey:
Awakening - because of her story (vs. 28)
Exploration - they take steps towards Jesus (vs. 30)
Faith - They believe in him (vs. 39)
Hunger  - they ask him to stay (vs. 40)
Learning - they heart his words (vs. 41)
Assurance - they know for themselves (vs. 42)
Testimony - this man really is the Saviour of the world (vs. 42)

It is possible to be full of passion and not be consumed.

Build the rhythms of grace. I Thessalonians 5:24

Reflection Questions:
How would you explore working from a place of rest? (I might need to work on that and condense my notes to be able to explain this.)
What can you learn from Jesus as you see him in a time of acute busyness? Are there principles that you can transfer to your own ministry and life?

So after six days of listening and learning now I need to take what I have learned and put it into practice in my life. How can I homeschool from a place of rest? How can I live from a place a rest?

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