It’s Your Ministry… Your Sustenance (John 4)

As I’ve read through the Scriptures over the years I found myself comparing Bible characters, both good and bad, to other people.  I’d commonly read a passage, and tell myself “This is how I should react when dealing with these kinds of people.” 

But as I grow in my walk with Christ, I’m coming to see myself represented by the characters instead.  I’m realizing more and more truth about my own participation in the fall, my own inabilities, and my own heart.  And I’m coming to realize more and more that God is the one responsible for all the good that I’ve done, not me.  And in turn I have a fuller appreciation for the good He has in fact done through me and in me.  I have a deeper reverence and love for He who is able to work so mightily in fallen man.

Today, for the first time, I saw myself as the woman at the well specifically in the passage from John 4:39-42…

From that city many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all the things that I have done.” So when the Samaritans came to Jesus, they were asking Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. Many more believed because of His word; and they were saying to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world.”

Though I wish I could say that my influence for Christ has been as great as this woman’s, I cannot.  But I can see yet another picture of my role in the Kingdom of God.  Jesus spoke to this woman, and she was affectly so deeply that she passionately spoke to her people about Him and what He did in her life.  She spoke in a way that touched the people so much that they came to have a belief in Christ.  Then the people met Christ directly, and they came to a belief in Him because of what He Himself did in their own lives.  All these things happened in a matter of only days.

Her role is the role that all Christians are called to.  If a person has truly given their all to Christ then they have come to recognize, in a limited yet overwhelming sense, that God has deeply affected their own life.  And they have something immense to share.

I mentioned in the post before this one that one of my favorite passages is in the verses just before our text here.  It’s where Jesus says that His food is to do the will of the Father.  The specific case of the Father’s will is seen in the context we are now considering. 

Spreading the gospel was His food.  It is our food.  Though we have other duties in regard to His will that are just as important, we cannot therefore forget this ministry of reconciliation.  It is something that gives our soul necessary nourishment.  We need this.

When we consider how much people need Him, how can we remain silent?

When we honestly consider How great He truly is, how can we not shout it from the mountaintops?

Daily Bread (John 4)

One of my favorite passages is here in John 4.  Verses 31-34:

Meanwhile the disciples were urging Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But He said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” So the disciples were saying to one another, “No one brought Him anything to eat, did he?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.

We often make it a point to eat at least three meals a day.  We constantly think about what we’re going to do for fun either when we get off of work, or over the weekend.  We save money to buy things that we think we’ll enjoy.  With 168 hours in a week, we think mostly of self fulfillment.  It seems God gets the leftovers, maybe 8 hours if we’re feeling generous.

Leftovers are such humble things,

We would not serve to a guest,

And yet we serve them to our Lord

Who deserves the very best.

We give to Him leftover time,

Stray minutes here and there.

Leftover cash we give to Him,

Such few coins as we can spare.

We give our youth unto the world,

To hatred, lust and strife;

Then in declining years we give

To him the remnant of our life.

-Author Unknown.

Jesus smacked this idea in the face with His life here on earth.  He was sustained by doing the Lord’s work.  We must change our minds and our hearts so that we are sustained by doing His will.

Don’t be fooled by the devil’s schemes.  He wants us to try to get bread out of stones, but we must remember… man lives by every word that proceeds from the Father’s mouth.  True life can only be found in Christ.  We live in Christ by doing the will of the Lord.  It’s how Jesus found His nourishment.

God said in 1 Timothy 5:6 that those who live for pleasure are dead even while they live.  They constantly go to the earthly wells, just like the Samaritan woman did in our John 4 text.  But Jesus pointed out that those wells cannot satisfy.  He said we must drink of the eternal well.  Ever notice how He gave this message twice in this passage?  Both to the Samaritan woman and to the disciples.  It’s the same idea. 

Self service leads to death.  Doing God’s will brings life.

Job 23:12 says I have not departed from the command of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.  

I’ve mentioned food a few times in this post.  

Is your mouth watering and your belly rumbling from hunger? 

Are you full to the brim from your last meal? 

Are you devouring a gourmet meal right now?

 

feast1

 

I’m speaking of spiritual food.  What portion of His will are you putting on your plate?.

.

.

.

Get Personal 2 (John 4)

I’d like to reiterate a point I made in this post a while back.  We need to reach out to people’s hearts, not waste their time with the things that don’t really matter.  Rich Mullins said in a song…

Well you can talk about fashion
You can talk about the weather
It’s all just stuff and it all goes up in flames
Just in case somebody comes askin’
Why don’t you do ’em one better
If you got to talk why don’t you tell ’em
‘Bout the things that remain the same

Please, don’t be scared to talk to people right where they are, however it comes up in the conversation.  And show the world that you truly believe Romans 11:36 by relating their life directly to Jesus…

For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.

If we are ashamed of Him, He will be ashamed of us. 

And always, speak to people with truth and with love.  Just like Jesus did…

The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty nor come all the way here to draw.” He said to her, “Go, call your husband and come here.” The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have correctly said, `I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. “Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. “You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”

Do you look away? (John 4)

I found a pretty cool Keith Green video today on Arron Chambers’ blog, and I thought it fit in well with the story here in John 4.

What do you do when you meet the Samaritan at the well?  They all have the need for living water…

Heavenly Well(John 4)

In John 4 we have the well known account of when Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well.  I wonder how many times we’ve gone over this story.  I wonder how many times we’ve thought of ourselves as the woman…

I never picked up completely on her misunderstanding before.  Jesus told her He would offer a water that would never leave a thirst.  Water from a continual spring.

She responds in verse 13 with “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty…”  I always skimmed over her answer and assumed that she was catching on.  I thought it was obvious to her that Jesus was speaking of a spiritual water.  But then I consider the rest of her reply, “… and have to keep coming here to draw water.” 

Her focus is still on a physical fulfillment.

Too many times I have done likewise.  Jesus has promised me eternal things, and I mistake them for temporal gifts… things that will burn away.  It’s hard, because we live in a culture where physical reward is king.  Even much of the broadcasted preaching, from those who claim to have God’s message, is filled with this fallen focus.  God doesn’t need to make us rich, powerful, popular or beautiful.  There are plenty of those people in the world. 

What God calls us to is something beyond this far country.  Something that carries the scent of our true home.  We must long for the spring of water that wells up to eternal life.

And we must be careful when we tell other people about the promises of God.  The average person will be looking for physical gifts, things that can help them in their present circumstance (from an earthly point of view).  We must shine in the darkness so people can see that their needs are beyond what is seen.  So they can find the well that longs to eternally burst forth within them.

Can we see taste clearly enough to tell when the water is not from the physical well, but rather from the eternal well?