[ecko_quote source=" John 4:4"]He must … go through Samaria[/ecko_quote]
In spite of His overwhelming schedule, Jesus walked miles out of His way to speak to a lonely woman at a well. Jesus not only walked to that well, but He also waited until she showed up. Who did He wait for? Some famous personality with all the right connections? Somebody with a big cheque book capable of underwriting His ministry? Many preachers would travel halfway around the world for that assignment. But no, she was a no- name, five times divorced, the promiscuous woman with a bad reputation and a live-in- boyfriend.
Please understand, when others are looking at your past, Jesus has His eyes on your future. People blame, ridicule your past but Jesus would glorify your future. With Him, every weed is a potential rose! Whatever you have done, God is not holding it against you. Jesus did not see this woman as bad- He saw her as lost. Big difference!
Once she was “found” she was the kind of person who’d be as strong for God as she’d been for the devil. This woman was destined to shake up the entire city of Samaria. “Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony (John 4:39).
One of the ways that Satan tries to discourage and defeat us is to keep reminding us of our past mistakes and sins. For years, I allowed him to discourage and defeat me until one day God spoke to my heart and said "When the blood of My Son was applied to your heart, I forgave you for all of your sins. I will never hold them against you again. My dear ones, Do not allow Satan to discourage and defeat you anymore. You have been set free by the blood of My Son, now walk in that freedom."
Are you allowing Satan to discourage and defeat you? If so, stop it! Jesus is more than enough for every situation, every trial, every heartache, every burden and every crisis. Instead of thinking about your past life and all the mistakes you made, turn your eyes upon Jesus. If you will keep your eyes on Him, you will have the peace that only He can give to you. You will also have joy and happiness in your heart. Are your eyes on Jesus?
[ecko_quote source="John 12:21"]"Sir, we would see Jesus"[/ecko_quote]
Yesterday, when I finished my sermon I noticed a gold colour plaque on the pulpit nicely fitted to the pulpit facing towards the preacher. On the plaque, the words “Sir, we would see Jesus (John 12:21)” was beautifully embossed. I shared this verse with my vibrant congregation. They were just amazed and pondered upon it. I too thought of what could have made the person to choose this verse to place it on the pulpit in early 1960’s.
One day some Greeks came to Philip saying" Sir, we would see Jesus". And if you listen - that's what people around you are still saying today. You say, " tell them to go to Church and they will see Jesus". Maybe, maybe not. The churches are not drying up and dying out because of a lack of education and learning. It is not a lack of oratory or attractive programs. Churches and Christians are suffering because there are so much of many things, and so little of Jesus Christ in all that is said and done. Charles H. Spurgeon said that it was his aim and goal in every sermon, to take a text and follow it like a road until it led him to Christ and His cross. If that particular text did not seem to lead in that direction, he would simply jump over to another text that did. Oh, that our preaching today had this same aim and goal.
Paul expressed it well as he wrote, "For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified." (The message of Cross) (I Cor. 2:2) This does not rule out the preaching of the whole Bible with all of its doctrines and precepts. Rather it is the recognition that every doctrine and precept flows from, and leads to, the Lord Jesus Christ.
What a tragedy that many are preaching on geology and the ages of the rocks, when they should be talking about the Rock of Ages. What good are lessons on botany and gardens of prose, when our hearts are hungry for the Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the Valley. What good are all the church kitchens and good food, when people are perishing for lack of knowledge of Him who said, "I am the bread of life."
Why should we waste time in learning about zoology, economics, political science (Donald Trump) and animal life, when we really need to know more about the Lion of the tribe of Judah and the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. Lessons on astronomy and the solar system may satisfy the carnal, but spiritually minded people will be more interested in the Bright and Morning Star. Much can be made of a beautiful sunrise or sunset, but these can never compare with the "Sun of Righteousness" who shall "arise with healing in his wings."(Mal. 4:2)
Political leaders are praised or denounced from many pulpits, but they all pale into insignificance when compared with Him who is coming as King of kings and Lord of lords. Literature with the words of men have their place, but how feeble they are when placed beside the living Word. It is not good men and the son's of men that we need to hear about, but the God-man, the Son of God.
Can sinners tell that you have been with Jesus? When Moses came down off the mount with shining face, he could not hide the fact that he had been with God. If we spend much time with the Lord, we cannot and will not want to hide the fact we have been with Jesus. Sin, selfishness, hatred, enmity, and worldliness in the life of a believer will tend to hide the Lord Jesus Christ from the view of others. Oh, that Christians would throw away their smoking and chewing tobacco, their beer, their indecent clothes, and all of the things that hinder their fellowship with God. Oh, that they would stay away from the theatres, the dance halls, and the places where they sell booze. The lack of separation from the world among the churches is one of the greatest things that is holding back revival.
First, men need to see themselves lost and undone and on the way to an eternal hell. Before they can be saved, they need to see themselves lost. One of the greatest hindrances in winning sinners to Christ is the worldly ways of professing saints.
Second, they need to see Jesus Christ as the only remedy for sin. There is no other way to God but by Him. He is the way, and He is the door. His substitutionary death at Calvary is the ONLY answer to man's sin problem. Without Him as Saviour, all men are lost. With Him as Saviour, there is no way to be lost.
[ecko_quote source="Psalm 94:14"]For the Lord will not reject his people; He will never forsake His inheritance[/ecko_quote]
There were around 150 young preachers who sought entrance to the Wesleyan ministry in 1888 - and Campbell Morgan was one of them. He passed intense doctrinal examinations, but then faced the trial sermon, where he would preach to three ministers who would determine his fitness for ministry.
Morgan stepped into the pulpit, and the pressure was just too much. He came up short on his sermon, and was rejected from the ministry that year. He sent a wire to his father that contained only one word: "Rejected."
His father quickly wired back the words, "Rejected on earth. Accepted in heaven. Dad."
In later years, Morgan said, "God said to me, in the weeks of loneliness and darkness that followed, 'I want you to cease making plans for yourself, and let Me plan your life.'"
Every one of us encounters rejection at some point. Perhaps you were let go from a job. Or maybe you're estranged from a friend or family member. But even in those dark days, remember that God will never reject you if you're in Christ. You are precious in His eyes!
Ask God to remind you that no matter what, He'll never reject you if you're in Christ.
[ecko_quote source="1 Peter 5:7"]casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully][/ecko_quote]
A lecturer, while explaining stress management to the student, raised a glass of water and asked, “How heavy is this glass of water? “Answers called out ranged from 20g to 500g. The lecturer replied, “the absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long you try to hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you’ll have to call an ambulance. In each case, it’s the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes to me”
He continued, ‘‘and that’s the way it is with stress management. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won’t be able to carry on. We need to put them down and be refreshed”.
Jesus gives us the simple solution to all our burdens, cares and problems: come to Him and be refreshed. Jesus said “come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30). Many times we try to hold onto our burdens like that cup of water, but as we do our burdens just get heavier and heavier.
We must learn to put those burdens down and be refreshed in His presence. He will carry us and help us in our time of need.
All we have to do is cast everything upon Him because He cares for us! I am writing this out of my experience and have been experiencing stress through various interaction with people/church groups/fellowships. Follow the Word surely it works because it has been working for me.