Lessons Of A Lifetime

SUNDAY NOV. 18, 2018

Scripture To Consider:
“And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Jesus because of the word of the woman who testified, ‘He told me all things that I ever did.’ So, when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Jesus to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. And many more believed because of His own word.”

“Then they said to the woman, ‘Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.’” John 4.39-42

Something To Consider:
Many believed in Jesus because of the word of the woman who testified to others, “He [Jesus] told me all things that I ever did.” The word testify, means to make a solemn declaration, whether spoken as the woman at the well, or written as we find throughout Scripture. To testify is to bear witness to the truth, to support the truth, or to affirm solemnly for the purpose of establishing a fact, (Noah Webster’s Dictionary 1828). The woman Jesus met at the well just minutes earlier testified of Jesus to others. The end result was that many believed in Jesus of Nazareth.

There is a great divide between those who believe and those who do not believe. The writer of Acts chapter 14 testified to that great divide beginning in verse 1. “Now it happened in Iconium that they [early disciples after the death and the resurrection of Jesus] went together to the synagogue of the Jews, and so spoke that a great multitude both of the Jews and of the Greeks believed [in Jesus]. But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brethren.” The great divide over believing in Jesus often creates great dissension.

The writer continued in verse 3, by stating, “Therefore they [early disciples] stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands. But the multitude of the city was divided: part sided with the Jews, and part with the apostles. And when a violent attempt was made by both the Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to abuse and stone them, they became aware of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding region. And they were preaching the gospel there.” Yes, the preaching of the gospel does indeed create a great divide as it is in these end times!

Something Else To Consider:
How important do we think the preaching of the gospel was to the early church even in the midst of violence and physical abuse? How important do we think it was to the early church to boldly believe in Jesus while facing the threat of death? According to Scripture, the prophets, Paul, Peter, and even Jesus, we too should realize how important it is to maintain a present tense belief and an up to date faith in God through our present tense relationship with Jesus Christ. Will we be prepared for end time perplexities?

According to Jesus in Matthew’s gospel chapter 24, as Jesus is answering His disciple’s questions concerning the signs of the end times, warned; “Then they [those who do not or who no longer present tense believe in Jesus] will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.” But, Jesus, just a few verses later in Matthew 24.13 proclaimed; “But he [or she] who endures to the end shall be saved.” Will we be found present tense believing and present tense enduring to the end or will we join ranks with the opposition of unbelievers?

The apostle Paul wrote an epistle to encourage Timothy, a young leader in training. His words are as much applicable to us today as they were nearly two thousand years ago. Speaking of the high regard to be given the Word of Jesus Christ, the Word of God come in the flesh, Paul declared in 2 Timothy 4.2-4; “Preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all long-suffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth [Word of God], and be turned aside to fables.” 

As fellow believers in Jesus, are we participating in the preaching of the gospel according to the Word of God? Are we praying for God to properly prepare laborers to be sent into the vast harvest field of this world? Are we helping in the process of reaching the world with the truth of the true gospel of Jesus Christ? If the evidence was presented in a court of law would we be found guilty of being involved in the furthering of the gospel in our own lives, in our own homes, and in our own workplaces? It does not take a lot if every true believer is involved! And we must remember that it is not by man’s might, man’s power, or man’s ingenuity, but by God’s power and God’s Holy Spirit.

Something More To Consider:
Yes, many in our text believed because of the woman hearing the Word of God. Yes, many more believed because they too heard the Word of God as taught by Jesus Himself. And yes, the Word of God is alive and it is powerful and more than able to bring about faith in those who hear.

Paul declared, “But how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?” He goes on to ask, “How shall they hear without a preacher?” We might add, “How shall they hear without a preacher, teacher, evangelist, or an ordinary man, woman, boy, or girl, fetching water at a well, or simply going about their daily routine while being willing to share the true gospel message?

The fact is that faith comes to each heart and mind by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. The mission is still in progress, for there are many more who need to hear and need to believe in Jesus. For Samaria, the mission of sowing the seed of future salvation was accomplished. Where is it that we will sow spiritual seeds of the gospel message today? What will be our mission field for Him? Will we accept the challenge that allows others to hear the truth and to be set free from sin by that truth?

The bottom line is, are we being about our heavenly Father’s business of furthering the kingdom of God, or furthering the kingdoms of men on earth? Or, are we so personally involved in the building of our own little kingdom and the amassing of earthly possessions and obtaining earthly positions that there simply is not enough time left over for the furthering of God’s kingdom? If that is the case how sad of a case it is indeed! There simply is no earthly possession or earthly position that will be worth obtaining in exchange for the kingdom of God. If we are guilty of furthering our own kingdom or the kingdoms of men, what can be done to reverse the damage?

A Few Final Words:
We have a choice to make as always after hearing the Word of God. We can either continue to lay up treasure here on earth where moth and rust will destroy, or we can begin to lay up treasure in heaven where we will reap benefits for all eternity. For according to Jesus, “For where your treasure is there your heart will be also.” In our text many believed the words of Jesus and their lives were changed forever. In Samaria, for that time and place the spiritual mission of Jesus was accomplished. And yet, the spiritual mission continues and we are fortunate enough to be given an opportunity to become a part of that divine process!

Will we become personal supporters of the preaching and teaching of the true gospel of Jesus Christ? Will we become personal supporters of the true spiritual mission that is taking place around the world and surprisingly just around the corner? If we are willing to do our part, we must do our homework as to how we become partners in the sharing of the gospel. In the end, we do not want to be found guilty of supporting false messages founded on foolish fables or based upon demonic doctrines. Let us be found studying to show ourselves approved onto God and true discerners of the truth.

We must seek the Lord for divine direction in our giving of our time, talents, and treasures. And we must never forget the power of prayer in the furthering of the kingdom of God. The fervent prayers of righteous men, women, and young people are what propelled the gospel in the early church and it is by God’s design that which will bring about the believing of many.

The prayers of the righteous true believers in Jesus will bring about the furthering of God’s kingdom in this final generation as it did in the first generation. May we endure the expected difficulties that will come due to the earthly opposition to the spreading of the gospel. May we endure the evil persecution that the enemy of the kingdom of God will unleash upon the earth in these last days. And may we be found looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith that must be based upon the Word of God!

Our Father in heaven, there is much work to be done in the vast harvest field of this earth. Prepare us for the work of Your ministry. In Him Always, Amen!

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