Summary: If we fail to recognize what God is doing in our midst, then His blessings may depart from us. Instead of looking at what we "don't" have, we need to look at what we "do" have, and then tell others what God is doing in our church.
I’ve heard it said, “You should appreciate what you have, before it becomes what you had.”(1) This is an important observation that can be applied to retaining God’s favor and blessings on this church.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:18, Paul addressed the church in Thessalonica, saying, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Paul emphasized how we need to appreciate what we have, and lift up thanksgiving unto God for His numerous blessings; and then in the very next verse, Paul admonished, “Do not quench the Spirit” (5:19), revealing what happens if we fail to give thanks for what the Lord has done. If we fail to recognize what God is doing in our midst, and forget to acknowledge and praise Him for it and forget to declare His gracious works to others, then His blessings may depart from us.
In our message today, we are going to view a small portion of the account of “The Woman at the Well.” I have noticed that we often gravitate toward the first part of the story; where Jesus offered the Samaritan woman “living water.” The first part of the account has tremendous merit in explaining salvation; however, the second half teaches us about appreciating and promoting what God has done in our life.
Step One: Realizing What We Have (vv. 25-27)
25 The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.” 27 And at this point His disciples came, and they marveled that He talked with a woman; yet no one said, “What do You seek?” or, “Why are You talking with her?”
This morning I’m not going to be focusing on verse 27, which deals with prejudice towards the Samaritans and women; but instead, I will have us hone in on the spiritual application found in verses 25-26. Jesus had been speaking with the Samaritan woman at the well while “His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food” (John 4:8); and we see how they were still talking as the disciples returned. In that lengthy amount of time the woman had not yet realized with whom she was speaking.
In verse 26, we see that Jesus finally made the Samaritan woman aware of who was in her midst. The reason why she had not yet recognized Him as the Messiah is simply because she was not expecting Him. The lesson here is that Jesus can be right in our midst, blessing us with His presence; but if we are not expecting Him, then we won’t recognize Him when He is among us.
We must realize what God has done for us; recognize who is in our midst; and be certain to acknowledge the power and presence of Jesus, the Messiah. We have to be looking for Him, expecting Him, and anticipating Him at all times. In application, if we will look around us and be intentional in pointing out the blessings that we have received, then we will be able to realize that God is truly at work – and being able to recognize His goodness starts with having a grateful heart.
In Philippians 4:6, Paul said to pray with thanksgiving; and in Philippians 4:8, he told us how. He said, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.” So let me ask you this morning, “Are we, as a body of believers, meditating on the good things of God, and are we focusing on His numerous blessings on this church?” “Are we thankful for what we do have, or are we down in the dumps about what we don’t have?”
Step Two: Advertising What We Have (vv. 28-30)
28 The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, 29 “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” 30 Then they went out of the city and came to Him.
The Samaritan woman’s priority changed the very moment she realized that she was beholding the Messiah. We read here that she left her waterpot behind, and went her way into the city (v. 28). Work is very important, but work was no longer her top priority. Christ became her main focus; and this woman’s newfound passion led her to tell others about what Jesus had done in her life. The truth that we need to grasp is this: If Jesus is not our passion; then we simply won’t talk about Him.