First-hand Faith (10-08-22)
Psalm of Praise: Psalms 28:7-9
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.
The Lord is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.
Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever.
Bible Reading: John 4:28-30, 39-42
The woman left her water jar, went back to the town, and said to the people there,
"Come and see the man who told me everything I have ever done. Could he be the Messiah?"
So they left the town and went to Jesus.
Many of the Samaritans in that town believed in Jesus because the woman had said,
"He told me everything I have ever done." So when the Samaritans came to him, they begged him to stay with them, and Jesus stayed there two days.
Many more believed because of his message, and they told the woman,
"We believe now, not because of what you said, but because we ourselves have heard him,
and we know that he really is the Saviour of the world."
Jesus’ conversation with the woman at the well had covered a lot of ground, including the Living Water that Jesus gives, the importance of true worship and the coming Messiah. He also talked with her about her own lifestyle; the fact that she had had five husbands and the man she was now living with was not her husband. And yet, in spite of this ‘full disclosure’ she goes back to her townsfolk and says to them, "Come and see the man who told me everything I have ever done.”
It seems that, for this woman, her brief encounter with Jesus at the well did not leave her with a sense of shame, but with a sense of liberation. Jesus had not condemned her, instead she felt accepted and loved. She wanted to tell everyone else about this man.
I wonder how you feel about the reality that God sees and knows everything that you have ever done and said. Like Jesus with the woman at the well, he sees, he knows and he still loves.
When the woman shared her story it was enough to stir the interest of her neighbours, and a few believed in Jesus because of what she had said. They then begged Jesus to stay with them and, after two days, many more believed in him, not because of what the woman’s encounter with Jesus, but because of their own encounter with him.
Your words and testimony about your own faith journey can be an important part in the faith journey of those known to you and it may be that you are the only expression of the Christian faith that they come across. But ultimately, for all of us, it is our encounter with Jesus that is important.
Who do you know who is on a faith journey at the moment? Pray that your words and actions may help them on that journey. Pray to that they will come to a place where they encounter ‘The Saviour of the World’ for themselves, first-hand. Rather than second-hand through you.
Thank you Lord, that although you know me through and though, yet you still love me.
Help me show your love to someone else today.