Week Three: John 7-9

Ever feel like you’re not enough?  Like you cannot possibly accomplish or live up to the task?  Or like there’s so much junk in your past that your hope is gone?  Take a moment today to get alone with the Lord.  Quiet your heart, and sink into today’s post, wonderfully written by Lauren Calkins, and hear what Jesus has to say about your life…

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This Week’s Reading:  John, Chapters 7-9

The Gospel of John provides a beautiful picture of the way Jesus set out to change the world.  In this week’s chapters, Jesus spends much of His time challenging the “religious” snobs, officials and Pharisees about their beliefs and values. At the same time, He focuses on revealing who He is by loving those who had been written off or abandoned, such as the blind man and the woman who was caught in adultery.  I want to center this post on this idea:

Christ loves and works through the inadequate and the lowly.

Our text this week gives us a clear picture of Jesus’ heart.  What awesome examples we encounter of Him loving the unlovable, and caring for those who have nothing to offer, other than their vulnerability and shortcomings.  Amazingly, Jesus not only cares for them but also reveals Himself through them.  Those least expected are the ones He chooses to use for His purpose of bringing others to faith.  This week is all about Him using us in our weakness for His purpose to show His glory and power.

WHAT DID JESUS SAY?

1. Then Jesus said to them (his brothers), “My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready.” John 7:6 NKJV

In this scripture, Jesus was referring to the time that He would reveal Himself to the world as Christ on the cross. Although the plan was already set in motion, His time to show His fullness had not yet come at this point in the story.  Instead, He challenged His brothers that their time to reveal God through their own lives was RIGHT NOW…and NOW…and NOW.  They were to be in a constant state of readiness to reveal God’s glory. 

2. “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12 NKJV

Jesus was in the temple that morning, teaching the people.  In come the Pharisees with a woman whom they had caught in adultery.  Can you picture the shame on her face?  

They were sure Jesus would condemn her for her sin and would encourage them to stone her for such a disgraceful action.  She was scared and unaware of her fate that lay in the hands of this Man.  In these moments of the woman’s uncertainty, can you picture the grace that was upon Jesus’ face? 

Rather than sentencing her to the punishment of stoning (which was the typical punishment for adulterers), Jesus challenged the Pharisees saying “he who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” John 8:7 NKJV.  Instead of doing what was expected and condemning this woman, Jesus chose to breathe redemption into this story.

3. “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.” John 9:3 NKJV

After narrowly missing His own stoning at the temple, Jesus and His disciples pass a beggar who had been born blind.  The disciples assumed that this man’s blindness had been caused by sin, so they ask Jesus for the reason that this man was given this burden.  I love Jesus’ response because it carried much more weight than simply answering the question.  His response ultimately describes that God had a purpose for this man’s blindness – that Christ should be revealed in him.

In this miracle, the blind man received sight and Jesus has the opportunity to use the blind man’s imperfections to show His power.  This burden that the man carried from birth was not because of something he had done or a bad decision like that of the adulteress earlier in the passage.  The blind man was not in his situation by choice. Yet, like the adulteress, God redeemed him and used his situation for good.

WHAT IS JESUS SAYING TO US?

The theme of these two miraculous transformations is this:  Jesus will use our inadequacies, weaknesses, failures and imperfections for His glory

In 2 Corinthians 12:9, Jesus says

“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

As women, we often carry with us shame, self-doubt, guilt, and/or low self-esteem, which causes us to feel inadequate and insecure.  Some of these insecurities come from the choices we have made (like the situation with the adulteress) and other times we feel these insecurities due to circumstances in our lives (like the blind beggar).  As followers of Jesus, it is important that we understand, no matter what our circumstance or past choices, we can be vessels used by Him for His glory.

  1. God can redeem you from your past.  The Gospel of John, as well as the whole Bible, is filled with examples of how God used those who were broken, weary, condemned, failures in the eyes of society, etc.  God can overcome any past, for His power is made perfect in our weakness.
  1. Be ready.  Even if you feel inadequate to be used by God right now, He can still work through you.  It is not a question of if God will choose to use your life as a testament for His glory, but when and how

CHALLENGE

This week, open the journal you got in Week 1 (right?) and do three things:

1.  Prayerfully reflect on God’s calling and purposes for your life.  Maybe He’s called you to be a wife, or a mother.  Maybe He’s called you to work at a specific job.  Or maybe He’s challenging you to step out in faith, be a mentor, or teach others His word.  Write down whatever it is for you.

2.  Ask yourself this question:  What is hindering you from a whole-hearted commitment to His purposes?  What insecurities do you have, or maybe what lies have you believed, that make you feel you’re not a good enough vessel for God’s employment?  Write them down.  

3.  Write down 2 Corinthians 12:9.  Then, in light of this verse, give those insecurities and lies to Him this week.  Commit to thanking God for the promise that He can and will use you for His glory, even in your weakness.

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One of the biggest lies the enemy tells us is that we are the only one who feels this way.  We are the only one who is weak in this area, everyone else has this figured out.  

How has God shown Himself strong in your weakness?  Speak it to someone, write it in your journal, post a comment.  Let’s be women who live in the Truth of what God’s word says about us.  “We will overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony” Rev. 12:11

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Written by Lauren Calkins, Foothills Community Church

I feel so blessed to have been a part of the Foothills community for the last 2 ½ years.  My husband, Josh, is the Jr. High Pastor for the FCC Student Ministry, Warehouse: 180, and I am fortunate to serve as one of his female leaders.  Along with our ministry, I stay busy working in HR for a software company (I love my job!) and I get to enjoy being a mom to Asher, our 1-year-old little boy (I love being his mommy!).  In my very rare moments of free time, I love to travel, snuggle with my bulldog, travel, watch movies and travel.

 

Leave a comment

3 Comments

  1. Sherry Becker

     /  June 29, 2012

    I love this use of technology:D
    God is using this tool for His glory.

    Reply
  2. Brynn Wennen

     /  July 5, 2012

    Such good truths. I copied some very good reminders into my journal. Thanks, Lauren!

    Reply
  3. Lauren Calkins

     /  July 12, 2012

    Thanks for the comment, Brynn! The Book of John is FILLED with good truths, such a great book for us all to study together this summer!

    Reply

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