Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Samaritan Woman Encounter: Lessons from her life

Beloved, by the grace of God, I am a man of confession. Now what is confession? Confession is an intimate moment that doesn’t come easy, where you experience the presence of a holy God through your willingness to be open and honest about where you are at, revealing your hearts condition, your minds troubles, your bodies sinful practices and most importantly your souls need to be forgiven by this holy God who is faithful and just to forgive all sins and remove them as far as east is from the west. Now that confession has been defined, know that through my confession this morning (being February 12, 2014) to this holy God, of being a man who cannot preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ without the grace of God continuously being at work in me and boldly through me to uphold and speak such glorious words, this insight into God’s very heart was revealed to me. With that being said, how I praise God Almighty, to extend this invitation to you into my HEART...

There is an account in God’s Word, that has been preached and taught on many times, however, I praise God that today I was greatly honored by Him to have the privilege of being shown an insight into it, that revealed God’s mercy being extended to me in my weakness.

In John chapter four, we read about a Samaritan woman from the city of Sychar in Samaria, that has an encounter with Jesus at a very famous well. Here is where God’s mercy was revealed to be extended to me in my weakness.

Beloved, here’s the back story to why I was in desperate need of God’s mercy in my weakness and once again I confess my sin before you now in the hope you will pray with holy intentions to a God who answers the prayers of His people. There is a young man in my neighborhood that for over a year now, to my great shame, the Lord has placed heavily upon my heart to speak to him concerning Jesus, and I have yet to do so always coming up with an excuse! I have said to this holy and sovereign God who I have declared to be my Lord, that I don’t know what to say to him. He is always with others and it’s not the right time. I have also given many other excuses in which once again are to my great shame and disgrace. Now, this is where God’s mercy is highlighted in my weakness.

As God through His mercy revealed this insight into His heart to me, I was thankful that my shame has been forgiven and He would give me yet another opportunity to share Him with this young man. Let us get into the encounter between the Samaritan woman and Jesus Himself! Jesus was on His way to another town; His hometown (Galilee) yet He needed to go through the region of Samaria. Around noontime, being tired from His journeys, Jesus sat at a well to rest a bit while His disciples went into the city to buy food to eat. A Samaritan woman came to the well where Jesus was sitting to draw some water and Jesus did something irrational yet highly intentional—He spoke to her and asked her for a drink of water. Here, Mercy revealed to me, wisdom can be used to isolate you from outside and surrounding distractions in order to accomplish what must be accomplished. The Samaritan woman shocked that Jesus being a Jew would speak to her (see here/click here), responds back to Him, equally shocking but interesting, “How is it that you, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” Jesus knowing that His disciples were off into the city to buy food, not having them as a distraction as they would not understand why a Jew; a Jewish Rabbi no less, would be speaking with a Samaritan woman in which Jews looked down upon them, intentionally reached out to this woman who was no doubt in need of being saved from her sins. Once again, Mercy reaches out to me, and the Lord says, “Speak concerning yourself to those who most would see as unapproachable, and I will reveal their hearts intentions that will further reveal their great need of Me.”

Jesus once again doing what His fellow countrymen would see as irrational and absolutely ludicrous, answers the Samaritan woman with, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” The Samaritan woman continues on in this shocking and irrational dialogue with this Jewish Rabbi Man, explaining away her position and her beliefs and so on and so on. Through this dialogue, the woman’s sinful life; troubled life is revealed. She had been married multiple times, and was currently living with a man who was not her husband. Through more dialogue the woman comes to realize and perceive that Jesus is a prophet and He indeed spoke the truth concerning her choices in life. This Samaritan no doubt with many questions circulating in her mind responds to what Jesus revealed to her concerning what is and where is true worship of the One True God to be at with, “I know that Messiah is coming” (in which is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.” Jesus made Himself fully known to her in that moment in that He said to her, “I who speak to you am He.” What Jesus responded to her with is not and should not be seen as mere words but earth shattering and heaven rejoicing revelation! He made himself known to her as God’s Anointed; God Himself! At this point Mercy was extended to me and furthered revealed to me, I will reveal myself to those I Am before. All you need to do is approach them and open your mouth and speak. I Am with you!

Beloved it has been my great privilege to walk with the Lord Jesus for the past four years now, and my life has never been better! Not because I have everything I want. Not because I have all the riches in the world or I am well off financially through divine prosperity as many see it to be, or because I no longer have issues and problems to work through. No, because I have purpose and an identity that is unshakable and Eternal in Christ the Lord who is Jesus. And for that very fact, I experience the perpetual love, grace and mercy of God in my life. However, as I mentioned to you, I am not a man without issues and problems to work through with the Lord and one of those issues; problems, is the fact that I still have fear towards approaching people with the Gospel. I have to God’s glory and praise experience doing this before and writing about it and teaching about it and it has always yielded a glorious peace, joy and sense of satisfaction and accomplishment in me knowing with every time I have done so, I have drawn near to God Himself! Therefore through confession; through asking for forgiveness and through praying and asking for prayer from you, I know this fear will no longer be and I will experience once and for all the spirit that is strong and fearless at work in me and through me preaching the Gospel whether in life or death for God’s glory and praise. Amen.

Now at this moment something amazing took place in this Samaritan’s life. She for the first time had direction in her life instead of merely existing and going through “the motions.” This Samaritan woman was changed forever! She left her water pot and went into her city telling the people of the city ‘come and see a Man who told me all the things I ever did in my life. Could this be the long awaited Messiah (Christ)?’ Once again I experience the Mercy of God, in that He says, What I can accomplish through you can change the lives of many. Be willing to talk to that one person. I Am with you! As a result of all that Jesus spoke to this woman and all that He revealed to her, and her willingness to believe and go and share it with others, caused many of her fellow Samaritans to believe as well. Let us all marvel at the proceeding dialogue that will forever be a part of these peoples history and legacy: “And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.” So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him 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.” 

Beloved, what is the end result? What can we all learn and take away from this? What can fear have over us if we look to Jesus? The end result is quite simple. Jesus is the answer. I have learned one very powerful lesson. My confession and my asking for forgiveness, will result in powerful transformation of a fearful man turned into a fearless witness! In such a confession, in such a just and faithful Savior who speedily forgives those who sincerely ask to be forgiven, fear will no longer have any grip on us, and that is absolutely something to be thankful to God for and most certainly something we should all look to Jesus for. With that said, Mercy has one last thing to say to me, to you, to us.

Do not be afraid. Be very courageous...I Am with you!

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