Summary: Discover the importance of sharing Christ in the community where you live.
The next four weeks I am going to be doing a series on about missions. The title of this series is “Becoming A World Class Christian.” What does it mean to be a world class Christian? Look at Acts 1:8.
"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.’’
This verse states “you shall be witnesses to Me." After stating the call to witness Jesus identifies the geographical areas in which we are to witness. He said we are to witness in Jerusalem (our community), in all Judea (our state) and Samaria (our nation), and to the end of the earth (other countries). Some people do not understand this verse. They think we are to take care of Jerusalem first and then take care of Judea, Samaria and the rest of the world. The little word “and” tells the story. We are to be involved in sharing Christ in all four places simultaneously. Another way of translating this verse is to say “while you are witnessing in Jerusalem, you are to witness in Judea, Samaria and the rest of the world.” It is not an either or proposition. It is a both/and proposition.
In becoming a world class Christian the place to begin is at home. (our Jerusalem) That is what I want to consider today. In John 4 we find a lady who served as a missionary, beginning at home. Let me acknowledge something up front. This lady does not appear to be a confirmed follower of Jesus Christ. Her faith is in the developing stages. As you follow the chapter you see her faith developing.
In verse 11 she addresses Him as “Sir.”
In verse 19 her faith moves a little closer. She addresses Him as a “prophet.”
In verse 25 she discusses her understanding of the coming Messiah. Jesus identifies himself as the Messiah.
In verse 29 she calls Jesus a man but raises a question, is He the Messiah? Her feeble faith is beginning to take root. However, the Bible never tells us the outcome of her faith story. Was she converted to faith in Christ? We never find out! There is one fact we cannot overlook. God used her as a missionary in her home town. God used her to share the story of Jesus. God wants to use you to minister and share the story of Jesus in your city or town. How do you fulfill this task? I am glad you asked this question. Notice some lessons we learn from this Samaritan woman.
1. Lesson one is that we serve a GREAT GOD. The fact that God used her is not a credit to her but a credit to the greatness of God. God can use anyone. Consider the lady in our text. She had four strikes against her in terms of being used of God.
• The faith of the Samaritan woman was in the developmental stage. She was disturbed by doubts.
• She was a woman. That put cultural limits on her. Women in their society were not allowed to speak in public and especially to men. However, the first group to whom she spoke was men.
• She was a Samaritan. Samaritans were considered to be half breeds by people of their day.
• She had a reputation. She had had five husbands and was spending time with a man who was not her husband. (vs. 18)
God can use anyone. Jesus once said "I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.’’ Lk. 19:40 On another occasion he said “I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.” Mt. 3:19
In the Bible we find it recorded that God used unusual events and unusual circumstances to spread His message. He once used a donkey to communicate with Balaam. He used a burning bush to communicate with Moses. He used a dream to communicate with Joseph. He used angels to communicate, on many occasions. The issue is not, how great is our faith? The issue is, how great is our God?
Illustration: I read a story written by a fellow believer that may help us with this point. This man said a lady named Barbara Kerby has written a humorous reflection about her first experience of driving. Barbara’s father took her to the high school parking lot for driving lessons. For this particular lesson, Barbara’s three-year-old sister rode along in the backseat. While trying to negotiate a turn, Barbara hit the curb. From the backseat she heard a small voice say, “God is great, God is good, let us thank him for our food.” Barbara slammed on the brakes, turned around to the backseat and yelled, “What are you talking about?” Her little sister replied, “Your driving is scaring me, and that’s the only prayer I know.” (Contributed to Sermon Central by Bryan Dill) God (even) honors prayers that are less than perfect. He also uses people who are less than perfect. This is due to the fact that we serve a Great God!