Monday, May 16, 2011
Today’s Topic: Whose Thirst Matters?
Today’s Text: Isaiah 43:10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior.”
I want to continue with some thoughts on the subject of God’s call on our lives to be His witnesses. It just so happens that in my current chronological study of the life of Jesus that I am doing for our Sunday worship services, we came yesterday to the story of Jesus meeting a Samaritan woman at a well. (John 4:1-30) Let me share with you the first three points that the Lord taught me about the model witness Jesus was.
First, as you may remember from the story, Jesus was on a trip from Judea to Galilee. Instead of going the traditional Jewish route which avoided any contact with the region of Samaria and/or Samaritan people, He intentionally went into the “forbidden” territory. Jesus was travelling, but His itinerary was scary.
It’s scary to intentionally go out witnessing. It’s scary just answering spiritual questions people ask us. But early in His ministry on earth and in the training of His disciples, Jesus modeled the priority of doing the Father’s will, which is to be a witness. It is what we have been called to do. It is our divine purpose. We are the ambassadors of Christ, bringing the message of reconciliation through the cross to the unsaved people of the world.
Jesus intentionally went to where the unsaved were. Not only did He choose to go into dangerous territory, but He put His own reputation at risk by communicating with a Samaritan woman – and an adulterous Samaritan woman at that. That was totally contrary to anything that a respectable Jewish man would do, let alone one who was proclaiming Himself to be the Jewish Messiah. But risk meant nothing to the Savior of the world when compared to the mission He had been assigned by the Father. Obedience to the Father and trust in His Sovereign grace was the priority of His life.
Are we willing to accept the call the go wherever God leads us to bring the Gospel to the lost? What does your itinerary look like today? Is it comfortable and controllable, or does it include something scary like sharing Jesus with an unsaved person?
Second, Jesus went to the well at a time of the day when He would meet someone who was rejected by the rest of society. The traditional time for the women of the city to go out to the well and draw water was early in the morning. They might also return in the evening. They never came at noon because it was too hot. Only the people who weren’t a part of the “in” crowd went to the well at other times. So it was with the woman Jesus met. Because of her marital and sexual immorality she had most likely been excluded from the circle of fellowship with the other women. Jesus went to a place where He would meet the worst that society has to offer.
How about us? Are we only comfortable sharing our faith with our peers, or will we intentionally go out of our way to meet the spiritual needs of the people commonly rejected by those in our social strata?
Third, Jesus asks the woman for a drink, fully intending to steer the conversation to the living water He had to offer her. I was blown away by something so simple yet so profound in this section of the story – Jesus NEVER got His drink of water. He was thirsty, but her thirst came first! He completely set aside any and all of His fleshly desires for the sake of fulfilling His purpose to be a witness to the woman of God’s salvation.
So again the questions pop into my mind. What desires do I have for my life that I have made a higher priority than being a witness? What am I thirsty for, and how many opportunities to be a witness have I missed because I am pursuing my physical or emotional thirsts rather than seeing the spiritual thirst of others?
CONVICTION…followed by repentance…followed by forgiveness…followed by a renewed commitment. That’s the plan for today.