Life-Changing Encounters 7
Message No. 0634 | Twitter @GodandUs | www.wisdom-speaks.ca
My job involves occasional traveling, and I personally classify my trips into two categories: the trips I get to make and the ones I have to make. Full disclosure: both classes of trips must be done, without hesitation or complaints, because, as I say to my colleagues, the job has to be done as we signed for it and earn income from it, and if we do not do the job, who will; we might even be violating God’s commands. But, back to the point, the trips I get to make are the ones that I look forward to – the environments are nice, providing excellent travel experience, I eat food freely without hesitation or suspicion that it may not be good, and if ever I remember that my phone has a camera app, I take few pictures. On the other hand, the trips I have to make are the ones on which I’ve had enough just by landing at the destination airport. At those moments if I could take the return flights back home, I would, because the environments are little less than nice, the foods are suspect, and my brain never reminds me that I have a camera app on my phone.
In John chapter 4, the Bible says that Jesus decided to make the trip from Judea (assume Jerusalem) to Galilee (assume Cana). This was traveling from Southern Israel to Northern Israel and while this was a long journey, it would have been more straightforward if He took the standard route. But in verse 4, the Bible says that He had to go through Samaria. Notice the phrase ‘had to go,’ which was the reason I wrote the first paragraph above to distinguish between ‘get to’ and ‘have to.’ Samaria was enemy territory as Jews and Samaritans don’t like each other (much like the relationship between Israel and Palestine today). Besides, His journey will be much longer now because of this diversion.
Upon reaching Jacob’s Well in Sychar, the Bible says Jesus was tired from his journey and He sat down by the Well. I recently embarked on daily long walking (for few days) and was doing average of 12 kilometers daily. Each day I arrived home, I was completely exhausted, so I understand why Jesus was tired: the distance between Jerusalem and Sychar is 74 kilometers. Jesus dismissed his disciples to go find food but stayed behind because this was the reason He had to pass through this location. Soon, a woman of Samaria came to fetch water and Jesus struck a conversation, breaking many Jewish rules (thou shalt not talk to a woman, or have anything to do with a Samaritan, etc.). I remember a flight where a Jewish man requested to be reseated because a woman was seating beside him.
Jesus ignored the cultural rules and the pain of a longer trip because He had to save this woman, an obvious sinner who had been married five times and was currently living with a boyfriend. This woman had an encounter of a lifetime, gave her life to Jesus, and ran into the community to bring other people to see and receive Jesus into their lives. Are there cultural rules we are hesitant to ignore for the sake of the gospel? Are there pains that we are unwilling to bear in order to save a soul for Christ? Are there costs that we are unwilling to pay to rescue a soul from destruction?
In John chapter 3 verse 18, the Bible says:
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
And in Romans 10:13-14, the Bible further says:
for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
There is no encounter on this planet that is greater than meeting Jesus and surrendering one’s life to Him. But in order for this to happen, we must take the message to unbelievers. We are the sent of the Lord and should not spare any pain in order to bring a soul to God’s Kingdom. The woman of Samaria not only surrendered her life, she became an instant evangelist, transforming from a life of sin to a life of righteousness and dedication to God’s work. Wouldn’t it be nice to be the person who preached to the next Billy Graham? In Proverbs 11:30, the Bible says the fruit of the righteous is a tree of life and those who win souls are wise. Would you not rather win a soul today?
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PLEASE ACT NOW: If you are yet to give your life to Christ, you do not have a covenant with God and His promises do not apply to you. To come under these promises, please surrender your life to Christ today, by praying this prayer: Lord I know that I am a sinner and I am unable to save myself. I am sorry for my sins and I pray that you please forgive me. I am aware that Your Son Jesus died for my sins and I accept Him as my Lord and savior. I surrender my life unto you from this moment. Please take control of my entire being and help me to be obedient to your Word, going forward. Thank you, Lord, for hearing me. I have prayed in Jesus’ name. Amen. If you prayed the foregoing prayer, you have just been born again. Please find a Bible believing church in your area and ask to see the pastor. Let him or her know that you have just given your life to Christ and s/he will guide you on next steps in your journey as a child of God. The Lord bless you!