Thursday, February 5, 2015

There is a ministry for us in Samaria.

Therefore the Samaritan woman said to Him, "How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am 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." She said to Him, "Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water? You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?" Jesus answered and said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life." The woman said to Him, "Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty nor come all the way here to draw." (John 4:9-15)

In all likelihood, each of us will have to pass through some Samaria in our lives, but keep your eyes and ears open, be alert -- there is a ministry for you in Samaria.

Jesus discovered it there at the well in His encounter with the woman.  Why she came to the well is something of a mystery, and Bible students have long reflected upon that.  The well must have been a half-mile from Sychar, and there must have been a water well in the village itself.  We may well conclude from what we know about the story that this woman was so much a moral outcast that she could have no relationship with the village women -- their scorn and condemnation drove her from the village well, and she came out there to this well to draw water.

There she met Jesus.  For one time in her life, this woman with a tangled, tinged and tired history, found someone who could care enough to reach out to her, to respect her, to love her with an unconditional love.  Jesus found a ministry in Samaria and so can we.

You see, it doesn’t matter where your Samaria is there is an opportunity for ministry there.  If you will stay open to His voice Christ will call you to it.  

The question may rise. “Why not let the people who are living with these who are overcome, weak or desperate help them?  Why does God bring someone else in from the outside?”  People who live in a given situation, neighborhood or even country can become blinded to the needs and opportunities around them.  Some may have even been hurt by their weaknesses and are still angry or bitter.  Living everyday in a situation may cause some to become callous to the calls of those who are along their daily path.  One who comes in sees the need from a different perspective and has no history to overcome. 

This woman immediately returned to the village and sought out others who needed this message of hope, understanding and acceptance.  They would listen to her because they knew they could trust her.  People who have been in difficult situations are many times best at helping people who are presently there in ways the rest of us can’t.  

It is very important that we discipline ourselves and plan our lives and manage our time.  But most of the ministry God calls us to will be unplanned.  It will come like it did for Jesus -- from some interruption, some unexpected encounter.

We can perform your jobs and live our lives without responding to those unexpected encounters and those interruptions that constantly come. But we may miss what could be our most profound contribution to the Kingdom.  So pay attention.  Ministry, more often than not, is what takes place when you are preparing to serve, or on your way to a place of service. There is a ministry in Samaria.

Scripture to Claim: But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing;  2 Corinthians 2:14-15

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