[We begin with a welcome and a prayer.]
Among the hardest attitudes and behaviors for a Christian to learn is the attitude and behavior of humility. Yet, humility is a critical attitude in Christian existence. Our humility is essential for accessing God's strength.
It is hard for American Christians to understand and to accept the fact that they are not in control. It is a part of our culture to emphasize the importance of the individual. The American dream stress opportunity for every person. Our constitution declares that it is a personal right to pursue happiness.
As a culture, for the past few decades we have attacked any cause of low self esteem. We have changed the American vocabulary. We have developed a 'politically correct' language. We stress the importance of being sensitive to other's struggles. While it is true that each of us regard some things as an over reaction to past insensitivity, most of us also agree that some of those changes are good.
However, one undesirable affect of stressing the individual is the encouragement of arrogance. Arrogance often focuses on the importance of the individual. As individuals grow in a sense of personal importance, they grow away from a sense of humility. Arrogance erects barriers between a person and God. Humility destroys barriers between the person and God.
Through Christ God offers us incredible help. Humility allows the person to respond to and accept that help. We desperately need that help. We do not need to arrogantly instruct God. We need to humbly be instructed by God.
Unless we learn to listen to God, we destroy ourselves. Often our personal prayers focus on telling God what we want. Rarely in our personal prayers to we listen. To often in our service to God we see ourselves taking care of Him. God is alive. God is active. God will continue to be alive and active long after we are gone from life on this earth. God will continue to be a presence in this world as long as this world exists. You and I will not!
This evening as we read, may I challenge you to listen. After you listen, I challenge you to respond to what you hear by singing. We will think together by reading and we will respond to what we hear by singing.
[Song about hope: 533--"My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less"]
John 4:27-38 At this point His disciples came, and they were amazed that He had been speaking with a woman, yet no one said, "What do You seek?" or, "Why do You speak with her?" So the woman left her waterpot, and went into the city and said to the men, Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done; this is not the Christ, is it?" They went out of the city, and were coming to Him. Meanwhile the disciples were urging Him, saying, "Rabbi, eat." But He said to them, "I have food to eat that you do not know about." So the disciples were saying to one another, "No one brought Him anything to eat, did he?" Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work. Do you not say, 'There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest. Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal; so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this case 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 labor."
[Song about sharing Jesus: 623--"If the Name of the Savior Is Precious To You"]
John 4:39-42 From that city many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, "He told me all the things that I have done." So when the Samaritans came to Jesus, they were asking Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. Many more believed because of His word; and they were saying to the woman, "It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world."
[Song about personal faith: 539--"Higher Ground"]
John 4:46-54 Therefore He came again to Cana of Galilee where He had made the water wine. And there was a royal official whose son was sick at Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus had come out of Judea into Galilee, he went to Him and was imploring Him to come down and heal his son; for he was at the point of death. So Jesus said to him, "Unless you people see signs and wonders, you simply will not believe." The royal official said to Him, "Sir, come down before my child dies." Jesus said to him, "Go; your son lives." The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and started off. As he was now going down, his slaves met him, saying that his son was living. So he inquired of them the hour when he began to get better. Then they said to him, "Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him." So the father knew that it was at that hour in which Jesus said to him, "Your son lives"; and he himself believed and his whole household. This is again a second sign that Jesus performed when He had come out of Judea into Galilee.
[Song about personal faith: 470--"Victory In Jesus"]
[Prayer for faith (trust)]
I challenge you to realize the fact that though we or any other person is undesirable does not mean Jesus cannot help us or use us. Jesus gives the hopeless hope. Use your life in the joy of having hope from Jesus. This week use what Jesus does for you to give hope to the hopeless.
[Invitation Song: 376--"He Paid A Debt"]
[Song: 222--"There's Something About That Name"]
[Dismiss with Song: 227--"On Zion's Glorious Summit"]
Link to other Writings of David Chadwell