REVIVAL – THE LIVING WATER (7)
Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh preached a sermon titled Revival – The Living water (7). Her main text was taken from the Book of John. “A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered and said to her, “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” … Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.” 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?” The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” Then they went out of the city and came to Him. In the meantime, His disciples urged Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But He said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.” Therefore, the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.” (Jn 4:7-10; 21-38)
We are still studying the wonderful revelation of the Living Water offered by the Lord Jesus Christ. This is a symbol of eternal life, salvation, spiritual maturity, being filled with the Spirit, true worship, and revival. The Living Water is offered by the Lord to the Woman at the well. The Samaritan woman is a sinner. She is also religious. She is seeking for truth, for meaning in her life. Our Lord directs the conversation to the point of the revelation of Himself. Please notice how He gently ‘increases’ the vision of salvation in her heart. Initially she sees him as a man, a needy man, a stranger, and a Jew. Then she sees him as a Prophet. Lastly, she sees Him as Christ, her Savior, and her Lord! He tells her about the true worship and then, He reveals Himself to her. “I who speak to you am He” (Jn 4:26). This is the exact moment when saving faith is born in her heart. She instantly believes that Christ is the Messiah. This is the moment when King Grace saves her soul! This is when she became born again. This is the moment when she became a true worshipper of the only Living God. This is when, for the first time in her life, she drank the Living Water! From this moment in time, she is never the same person again! Halleluiah! As we read these words, we sense the power and the holiness of that moment. There is a wonderful anointing on this encounter. We feel it too as we read the story. Heaven rejoices when a sinner is saved. Our Lord said this: “there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance” (Lk 15:7). We join the hosts of heaven and cry: “Worthy is the Lamb!” (Rev 5:12). In our Christian life and ministry, we all need to come to this holy moment. Eternal life bursts forth when truth is revealed as Love who died for us, that we may live! Glory to God!
TRUE WORSHIP IS ALWAYS CHRIST CENTERED
How do we drink this Living Water? By going straight to Him who offers it! Go to Jesus! Go to the Cross! Meditate on the Person of Jesus, who He is, what He has done, especially His death on the Cross! This long gaze on the Crucified brings you the Living Water and will enable you to worship Him! The source of the Living Water, of eternal life and all satisfaction, is not in a geographical place. It is a Person! In the whole universe, it is only the Son of the Living God that offers men the Living Water. You need to desire an encounter and a deeper relationship with Him. Then you shall find this Living water. All teaching and preaching must glorify the Lord Jesus Christ! True worship is always Christ centered. The worshipper’s deepest cry is “Worthy is the Lamb!” (Rev 5:12). The Holy Spirit main’s work is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ! Before going to the Cross, our Lord said this: “He (The Holy Spirit) will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore, I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you” (Jn 16:14, 15). The Holy Spirit does not glorify (advertise) any man, but Jesus! One of the most dangerous temptations we face is to ignore or marginalize the Lord Jesus Christ; to remove Him from the center of His throne! This is not possible in reality, but it can happen in our minds. The evil spirit of religion can corrupt our understanding of what is true worship. This attitude grieves the Holy Spirit. This is a test for all: Any sermon of song that does not make people to draw closer to Jesus, is a waste of time and energy. It is even worse than a waste. It is idolatry. And God punishes idolatry! Be faithful to proclaim the true Gospel, Christ crucified and resurrected! Be faithful to sing songs that glorify the Lord Jesus Christ! This leads to the salvation of sinners and to true worship. It is the holy approved platform for all true work for God! True worship is genuine ministry approved and blessed by the Father!
JESUS IS THE TIME MASTER
Let us go back to the story of the encounter between the Christ and the Samaritan woman. The Lord is totally in charge of the encounter. He chose to pass thru this Samaritan village because He had this sinner in mind. “He left Judea and departed again to Galilee. But He needed to go through Samaria” (Jn 4:3, 4). At that time, because of racial discrimination, the Jews do not pass thru Samaria. But our Lord ‘needed to go through Samaria’. The word ‘needed to go’ is also translated as ‘it was necessary for Him to go’ thru Samaria. You can see that the Lord knows who are to be saved and goes to them. The Lord sits and waits for the woman to come so that she will be saved. For her, it was an ordinary day. She did not know that it was her destiny day. Observe that it is the Lord who initiates the conversation. At that time, the disciples did not completely understand Christ, but they were learning who He is as they followed him. As a Man, our Lord was tired from the journey and sat at the well. His disciples went to the town to buy food. Between the time they went to buy food and the time they came back a miracle of salvation has taken place. The Lord saved a soul from the bondage of sin and death! Jesus said that His reason for coming to the earth was to finish the work of the Father, to save souls! “The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Lk 19:10).
“Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.” 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?” (Jn 4:26, 27). Our Lord just revealed to the woman that He is the Christ. This is the greatest revelation any one can receive. The disciples were surprised that He was talking with a woman in public because this was against the law of the Pharisees. According to them “a man should not salute a woman in a public place, not even his own wife”. But our Lord was free from these man-made religious laws. At the very moment of the revelation that He is the Christ, the disciples came back. We may feel that they ‘disturbed’ the spiritual conversation, but it is not so. The Lord has finished just talking to the woman. He has opened her eyes. She got saved. Not a second was lost. See how the Lord is the Master of time! Not a word He speaks too early or too late. Not a miracle He does too early or too late. Our Lord is the second Person of the Trinity. In heaven He lives outside time. He lives eternally. But once He became man, to live on earth, He lived ‘in time’. But He mastered time! Men are slaves to time. We are either too fast or too slow. We cannot control or stop time. But even as a Man, our Lord mastered time! That is another reason why we worship Him! “Worthy is the Lamb!”
The Lord Jesus always spoke the right words, at the right place, and at the right time. The following are some examples of our Lord Mastering the time and the circumstances, for His glory!
*Our Lord healed the servant of the Centurion with just a word spoken at the right time. “Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.” And his servant was healed that same hour” (Mt 8:13). Faith believes the Word of God spoken at this particular time! Faith does not postpone believing! “Now, faith is…” (Heb 11:1). Doubt postpones believing! Selah!
*The Lord healed the woman with the issue of Blood. She was sick for twelve years, but she was healed instantly at that very ‘hour’. “Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, “Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And the woman was made well from that hour” (Mt 9:22).
*Our Lord healed the daughter of a Syrophoenician woman who had faith in Him. The healing also happens at ‘that very hour’. Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour” (Mt 15:28).
*Lazarus was sick. His sisters called Jesus to heal him. But Jesus delayed His coming. He told His disciples: “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it” (Jn 11:4). Lazarus died and was buried. Four days later Jesus comes to see Martha and Mary. They both complained that He was too late to heal their brother. Jesus said to Martha: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world” (Jn 11:25-27). Martha believes just like the woman at the well. At the tomb of Lazarus “Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, “See how He loved him!” And some of them said, “Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?” (Jn 11:35-37). Martha, Mary, and the people expected Jesus to prevent death by healing Lazarus. But Jesus performed a greater miracle. He did not prevent death, but He defeated it. Lazarus was called forth and he came out of the tomb alive. The Lord delayed His coming to manifest His power over death. This miracle was truly for the glory of God that the Son of Man may be glorified thru it. We need to trust the Lord and His timing. Delay for a miracle is to increase the glory of God thru it!
MY HOUR – HIS HOUR
Our Lord was always sensitive to time. Every word and every miracle had to happen at a particular time. For example, He gently rebuked His mother for trying to control Him to do a miracle at the wedding at Cana. He told her that each miracle must be done at a particular ‘hour’. Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come” (Jn 2:4). When He addressed His brothers, He made a distinction between them and Himself. This distinction relates to time also. Jesus told them, “Although your time is always at hand, My time has not yet come” (Jn 7:6). Our Lord often said that ‘His hour’ has not yet come to die. “He spoke these words while teaching in the temple courts, near the treasury. Yet no one seized Him, because His hour had not yet come” (Jn 8:20). Our Lord said that He can only be arrested when the hour of darkness has come. He accepted the sins of humanity upon Himself. He now passively goes to the Cross to die, as a Lamb goes to the slaughter. “When I was with you daily in the temple, you did not try to seize Me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness. Now they arrested Him and led Him away and brought Him to the house of the high priest; but Peter was following at a distance” (Lk 22:53, 54). He did not complain during His trial and crucifixion. In the Old Testament the priests were not supposed to torture the animal before it was killed as a sacrifice. But religious leaders tortured our Lord before they crucified Him. This is to prove how much they hated Him!
“He (God) has made everything beautiful and appropriate in its time. He has also planted eternity [a sense of divine purpose] in the human heart [a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God]—yet man cannot find out (comprehend, grasp) what God has done (His overall plan) from the beginning to the end” (Ecc 3:11). God created all things. Sin has damaged man and creation. But Jesus Christ came to redeem sinners and also His creation. This is a lesson for us all: You have a need. You pray and nothing happens. For a long time, things look the same. It seems like God is sleeping. But God works in mysterious ways. Suddenly, there is a movement of the Holy Spirit. What looks ordinary, now becomes beautiful and glorious. God’s time is revelation time. His Grace reveals the beauty hidden beneath. Blessed are those who acknowledge God’s time and wait for the beauty and perfection promised! Because our Lord created even time, He “is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb 13:8). Please note that the same Jesus who talked to the woman at the well, He is right now in our midst, and also in heaven. When we go to heaven, our memories will go with us. We shall have fellowship with the Lord and with one another, remembering things we did on the earth. This is our Living Hope!
PRACTICAL APPLICATION: GOOD TIME MANAGEMENT
We all have 24 hours in a day. Some people use these hours to achieve great things. Others waste their time and opportunities. We should learn to do the same. Time management is defined as the process of planning and organizing your time between different activities. The benefits of good time management are these: you always finish your task, you work with no anxiety and at the end, you will have great joy. You stay focused, you work patiently and with peace of mind. You pray before making plans. You pray as you work. You give thanks to God as you finish your task. There is no greater joy than to finish your work. Because you finish your task, you can help others who need your assistance. The opposite is that you waste your time and squander your opportunities. Without a good ‘time management’, you become impatient, easily distracted, anxious, and overwhelmed by pressure. You become a busybody. You work more and you achieve less. A poverty mentality sets in that increases your level of anxiety. Another demon that confuses you about doing the right thing is called ‘procrastination’. This is defined as a weakness of the will to start something you need or love to do. Procrastination is not laziness. Lazy people simply don’t do anything and are just fine with it. Procrastinators, on the other hand, have the desire to actually do something but can’t force themselves to start. Procrastination is the same as sin of omission. “Whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin” (Jam 4:17). You need self-discipline, strength and courage by the power of the Holy Spirit!
As a Man, Our Lord used His time wisely. There is no greater joy than to say at the end of your life: “God, I have finished your work. I have finished the race’. Our Lord said: “I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do” (Jn 17:4). Apostle Paul said before he died: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim 4:7). You need focus, wisdom, and strength to fulfill destiny on earth. That takes time management. You make plans how long your ‘quiet time’ with the Lord should be in the morning or in the evening. You make plans to study the Word of God and attend church activities. This requires wisdom, faith, and patience. You can do it!
TRUST AND WORSHIP JESUS EVEN WHEN YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND HIM
“Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.” 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?” (Jn 4:26, 27). The disciples were surprised that Jesus was talking to a woman in public. They were even more surprised that He revealed to her deeper things than He revealed to them so far. He was breaking the religious and social etiquette. It is possible that they were embarrassed by that. They wanted to rebuke Him for His freedom to talk, but there was something about Him that humbled them even at that time. They kept silent. That is good. They had to learn to trust Him even when they do not understand Him. This is a lesson for all of us. Jesus is in control of time, events, and circumstances. He leads and we follow. Always! We should learn to keep quiet and pray for spiritual understanding when things seem difficult. Control your tongue like Job! “In spite of everything that had happened, Job did not sin by blaming God” (Job 1:22).
“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb 1:1-3). In the past, most of the time, God spoke thru prophets and priests. Since Jesus Christ came to earth, died, and ascended back to heaven, He is the One who speaks to men. God the Father made the worlds thru Jesus Christ who ‘upholds all things by the word of His power’. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the glorious brightness and the express image of God the Father. He is God!
When Jesus spoke, people were amazed. He spoke like no other man. His words had authority and love that could break the hardness of any heart. “When Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes” (Mt 7:28, 29). “When the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue. And many hearing Him were astonished, saying, “Where did this Man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by His hands!” (Mk 6:2). The soldiers could not arrest Him. They said: “No man ever spoke like this Man!” (Jn 7:46).
We need to learn how to trust Him, His words, and His ways. It is not easy because we are born sinners. But we must accept the truth that He does what He wants because He is God. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts” (Is 55:8,9). King Grace is always in charge of His work. Nothing and nobody can stop His work. He came to Samaria to save this woman. Nobody could stop that! This is a great lesson: Jesus always does surprising things. As the wind cannot be controlled by man, so He is! He told Nicodemus: “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit” (Jn 3:7, 8). We worship the Lord because He is Man and God. If Christ is only Man, then we cannot worship Him. If Christ is only God, then He cannot save sinners like me and you. He is God and Man. That is why we worship Him. When He came to earth, He left the robe of glory behind. He came as a poor man, a carpenter. It was His choice to leave the external signs of glory in heaven. But take note: He did not leave His personal glory, because He is always God. But His glory was hidden by human flesh. Even so, from time to time, men saw His glory, like on the Mountain of Transfiguration. May our eyes open to see the Lamb upon the throne and to worship Him forever! “Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, Who only does wondrous (difficult, unique, great) things!” (Ps 72:18).
We need to come to the place of totally trusting Jesus despite the difficult circumstances. We must say with Job: “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him… Even though He kills me; I will hope in Him” (Job 13:15; NKJ; AMP). When you understand God or not, trust and worship Him to your last breath. Jesus is the Hope of your glory! He is the only Hope you have! Worship the Lord!
PRACTICAL APPLICATION – WALK AS JESUS WALKED – MAKE THE BEST OF EACH SECOND
We need to learn how to walk by faith, and not by sight, and led by the Spirit, and not by our flesh. This walk requires training in spiritual sensitivity. It is a walk of wisdom. We walk ‘circumspectly’. The meaning of this word is to be wise, alert, and watchful in the face of danger or risk; to be careful to consider all circumstances and possible consequences. Watch a cat when she passes thru a dirty wet place. She watches for clean and safe stones and carefully steps on them. She avoids getting dirty as she passes thru. This is what it means to walk circumspectly. Practically, it means to be prudent in all your decisions, how and when to speak and when to keep silent. “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit” (Eph 5:15-18). As we walk led by the Spirit, we do not waste time, and we make no mistakes. We do not speak words or make decisions that we regret later. We learn to control our tongues. We avoid dangers and overcome temptations. We make spiritual progress daily. We become more and more like Jesus! “Whoever says he lives in Christ [that is, whoever says he has accepted Him as God and Savior] ought [as a moral obligation] to walk and conduct himself just as He walked and conducted Himself” (1 Jn 2:6; AMP). We learn to appreciate our Lord and we worship Him with a grateful heart! Speak only led by the Holy Spirit! Then your speech will heal others and bring joy to your heart! “A man has joy in giving an appropriate answer, And how good and delightful is a word spoken at the right moment—how good it is!” (PV 15:23; AMP). Like our Lord, we need to speak only led by the Holy Spirit. Each word should be ‘in season’ and to encourage the weary. “The Lord GOD has given Me The tongue of the learned, That I should know how to speak A word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear To hear as the learned” (Is 50:4). Worship the Lord!