NYC23 Student/ Parent Devotional Week 2

Jacob had made a mess of things. He was a deceiver. That’s what his name meant. He came out of the womb grabbing his twin brother’s ankle, trying to be first. He was competitive and tricky from day one. All this scheming took him to the desert, the dry place. But in the middle of the desert was a well. A resting place. An oasis. And even better, there was a woman, Rachel. He thought she was beautiful. So, in the desert, a man and a woman found each other at the well. It was a place of refreshment, hope, and life.

God called Jacob and Rachel to continue the covenant. To bring the river of life into the world. Jacob would know God’s blessing, and he would offer it to others. But he would also continue to make a mess of things. It’s just the way people roll.

Jesus changes things. In John 4, we see that Jesus arrived at what many scholars believe is the same well, the well of Jacob. It’s a familiar story to many. A woman came to draw water and Jesus began a conversation with her.

Here Jesus was in Samaria—a place the Jews said you shouldn’t go—talking to a Samaritan woman, a thing the Jews said you shouldn’t do. Jesus pushed through these boundaries. Why? Because he knew this woman was like Jacob in the wilderness. She was dying of thirst. Her soul was unfulfilled. She was making a mess of things, and Jesus knew what she needed: living water! Jesus himself. He would be one to satisfy her soul.

At the well, Jesus called the woman to a new way of living. She heard the call and shared this living water with others. Soon the whole town knew of Jesus because of one woman at the well.

Jim had heard God call him years before that mission trip in Arizona. He knew he had a purpose. And for me, his healing words were a reminder of God’s living water in my life.

In the same way, God is calling you. Whether you’re still in the desert or you’re loving life in the river, Jesus is pushing through boundaries to call you into a life of purpose. Will you stay at the well long enough to hear him? Will you go from the mountaintop and really start sharing this living water with others?

Jacob did indeed answer God’s call, and the whole world was blessed because of it. It wasn’t a perfect journey, but it was a lasting one. Jesus called the most unlikely people in the most unlikely places. We don’t know the name of the woman at the well, but we know she responded to Christ’s living water and overflowed to others. And in the same way, God calls us today and can use us—despite the messes we make—to bring an overflow of hope into our world.

“With so much distraction, it’s hard to hear good directions and even harder to stay focused on the journey. This is how it is sometimes with God’s calling on our lives. We have this calling from God to live into an amazing purpose, but we often fail to hear it and can easily get sidetracked from it.”

It’s crazy to think that the God who created the entire universe is so interested in each of us that he includes us in his plans for the world. He calls each of us to participate in his rescue operation. We all have a part to play. We just need to listen and then stay focused on the journey. We can help make God’s dream for the world a possibility.

God promised Abraham that he would be with him, bless him, and multiply his family, which would bless the world. Abraham’s son Isaac carried on the blessing, and Isaac’s son Jacob was also used by God. Jacob was someone whom God called, but he was always making things difficult. His choice to deceive his father and steal his brother’s blessing (read Genesis 27) led to broken relationships and eventually led him away from his calling into a lonely place as he fled for his life. He was in the wilderness when he had a vision from God at Bethel (read Genesis 28) and eventually found a deep well, where he began to realize God had a plan to continue the covenant through him.

• Where did Jacob miss the mark and live a life of deceit?

• What was the main purpose of Jacob’s dream at Bethel?

• Do you think Jacob deserved to be assured of this kind of blessing?

• Why would God choose someone like Jacob?

• What was the significance of the well? How did it connect back to the Adam and Eve story? How did it point ahead to Jesus at the well with the Samaritan woman?

It was thirty-eight generations later when Jesus showed up at a well in Samaria. Jewish people usually chose to go the long way around Samaria to avoid encountering people who lived there. Samaritans were basically Jewish people who had married outside of their ethnicity and had different religious practices. Jesus recognized all these things, but he also was interested in teaching his followers that all people were important, and that all people were created and called. His interaction with the Samaritan woman at the well was not acceptable behavior to some, but Jesus was willing to push through the normal way of doing things in order to make sure this woman heard the good news of Jesus. At the well, Jesus gave this woman a gift of living water—a well that would never run dry.

“This week, take some time to study the elements of calling found in a biblical figure of your choice (e.g., Gideon, Moses, Mary). As you study these passages, examine the different things God does to call these people. Write down these things (e.g., God speaks through a messenger, God affirms the person, God invites them to do something, God encourages them, God gives them power to do it),

Now, look at your own life and see if God is speaking to you in the same way. Where and how is God calling you?

Romans 15:13

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Monday: Read Genesis 28:10–22 and spend three minutes in silent prayer. In what ways is God reassuring you, walking with you, and calling you?

Tuesday: Read John 4:13–14 and spend three minutes in silent prayer. How would you describe your life with Christ right now? Is it a stagnant lake or a spring of living water? What is the result of Christ’s living water?

Wednesday: Read John 4:39–42 and spend three minutes in silent prayer. What was the Samaritan woman’s eventual response to Jesus’s invitation? How is your life overflowing to others?

Thursday: Read the “Go With the Flow” Weekly Summary and spend four minutes in silent prayer.

Friday: Read Ezekiel 47:1–5 and spend four minutes in silent prayer.

Saturday: Review the “Go With the Flow” Weekly Summary and spend five minutes in silent prayer.


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