I hope you’re looking forward to the Thanksgiving holiday and time with family and friends. I find myself counting my blessings and valuing my close relationships more than ever. Like most people I have experienced some loss during the pandemic but the most important things in my life have remained intact — especially my faith in God.
I’ve also been thinking more about people who don’t share my faith in Jesus. People who are walking through this troubled and divided world without any real peace in the present or hope for the future. I believe the Church and the Gospel are the source for real peace and hope, but many today don’t look to the Church as they once did.
We live in a world where truth is relative, sin is not a recognized category, and many do not believe in an afterlife. If we hope to be the Church in our generation, we need to learn a new way to engage the non-believers all around us.
Jesus modeled a way for us in his famous conversation with the Samaritan woman in John’s Gospel. In this extended conversation Jesus not only shows us what it looks like to Share Our Faith but helps recover the original mission of the church.
We are here to help the people in our day hear the words of Jesus for themselves.
Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony…. And because of his words many more became believers. They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”John 4:39-43
This Sunday I am going to begin a 5-week series on this famous account in John 4. It’s fascinated me for many years and I believe it’s one of the most important passages of Scripture for the time in which we live — for this unique moment in the life of our church.
For the last many weeks we have been preparing our hearts for this time by praying for a burden for the spiritually lost, praying for power in our lives and witness, and then praying for individual people who God may be leading us to.
I encourage you to read over the entire passage (John 4:1-42) once each of the next five weeks.
- Learn from Jesus how to open your heart to people in need.
- Learn from this woman how to open your life to God.
- Learn from the disciples how to open your eyes to the world God is calling you to serve.
This week take some time to stop and count your blessings. No matter what is going on in your life — what you feel is missing — focus on the most important things and important people. And take time to offer God thanks.
Then start praying for God to open up opportunities for you to share your life and His love with others.
Praying with you.
Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together.John 4:35-36