Summary: A decision to follow Jesus allows us to radically disregard our past so that He can partner with us for the healing of the world in Jesus’ name.
Over the course of the last 2 weeks, we have been swimming through our message series we entitled, “Deep.” For those who haven’t been with us, let me bring you up to speed. We are reading through the story of the Samaritan woman at the well. You find the story in John 4. The first week was about being forgiven and allowing God’s grace to dissolve our secrets, sins and prejudices. And then last week, we came together to realize that although we will continue living this life in less than perfect ways, we have been made worthy by God the creator, made right by Jesus the redeemer and will be sustained in this life by the Holy Spirit. This week I will attempt to build on this foundation by discussing why these two ideas make it almost impossible not go into the world and share our experiences with Christ, and his church, with others.
Before I do, I would like for us to read final portion of the story of the woman at the well. I’ll be reading John 4: 28-42.
Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” They came out of the town and made their way toward him. Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?” “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 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. Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.” Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 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.”
It was a few months ago. It was the first Thursday of the month and we were holding our monthly, Recovery worship. The worship team that comes is always amazing because most are not from this church. They are brought together each month to play for those in recovery. I always feel like I am imposing upon them but they always deliver great worship. By the way it’s open to everyone. Anyway, on that particular night there was only 14 people in attendance. We watched a video testimony and I spoke on the step of the month. Afterward, I wondered aloud why Lord he gathered us here. I didn’t have any big revelation but the following Thursday a person came up before the meetings who said, “I am not really a church going guy. In fact, my wife goes most weeks but I stay home and sleep. But last Thursday blew me away. I went out to my car and cried for awhile afterward, something happened. I then called my wife because I now know why she is intensely talking about connecting with God. It was powerful. Thanks.” That was it. He walks away into his meeting. I stand there dumbfounded. What just happened?
I then immediately hear the words from 1 Cor 3:6-9. It’s Paul dealing with the Christians gone wild in Corinth saying, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God is making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes all things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose and they will be rewarded according to their own Labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.” Essentially, Paul is letting us know we are not responsible for the result but only for our effort. You are responsible for your own soul. So why would any of us share our experience? First we are commanded to but just as important for those who call themselves Christians or little Christs’ – Jesus did it.