In John 4, there was a Samaritan woman who went to a well to draw water. A man began to speak to her, and asked for water. She responded, in verse 9, by saying: “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. They began to have a conversation that would eventually lead her to discover that the man she spoke to was Christ, the Messiah she heard would eventually come. She was so impressed by her experience that she went to spread the good news to other people in the city:
And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.” …Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.”John 4:39 & 42
There are so many interesting points to this story but there is one I’d like to focus on for this devotional. This woman, of a different background…one that was in opposition to Christ’s background, was so inspired by her encounter with the Messiah that she immediately went to spread the word of God. Those in the city that heard her message went to hear Christ for themselves and were converted. Their belief was then strengthened because of their own personal experiences with Christ. We learn from this woman that there is power in spreading God’s light. We are called to help others find their own experiences with Christ. Our role is to pass the flame, but it’s God the creates the fire.
What it takes to pass the flame
Like the woman at the well, it is the Spirit of God that creates a fire within us. We are then inspired to share that joy with others. Romans 8:16 states that “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God”. When God dwells in us, our intentions and actions reflect His Spirit. The advice we give, the causes we stand up for, the way we treat others… they are all testimonies to God’s love, mercy, and fairness.
Yet how we spread the word of God… how each of us decides to witness to those we encounter will be different. It’s important to respect these differences, understanding that our various approaches will lead to the same end-result when God is at the center.
There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.1 Corinthians 12:4-6
When lights grow dim
As we work to spread God’s love, there are times when our own lights go dim. Life is unpredictable, and at times truly heartbreaking. Let us not judge those who are encountering valleys. Even with the deepest of connections to Christ, we can experience sorrow, disappointment, and doubt. I pray that in those moments, we return to the word of God, leaning on His promises to help us get through our trials. I also pray that those of us whose lights are shining brighter, also use that fire to uplift those who already believe. Everyone needs some light from time to time.
Abiding in Christ
In closing, I’d like to remind us of the power in spreading God’s light. We can impart positive change, no matter how impossible the circumstances seem. Yet, we cannot give the fire that we do not have. Jesus told us in John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing”. Don’t let the distractions of this world stop you from keeping the love of God in your heart. With God as our priority, His light will always shine through us. Remember, our job isn’t one of conversion – that is for the Holy Spirit. Instead, as believers, we are to spread the word of God, to show His love in all that we do. Our mission, as Jesus stated, was this:
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”Matthew 5:14-16
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