Scripture: Acts 20:20 "How I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house, testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ".
When is the last time you sang "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine"?
When society talks about shining, it talks about shining in our talents and abilities. There is certainly value to that but if our light does not point to Christ then we are shining in vain.
In Acts 20, Paul mentions twice that he did not shrink from sharing truth with others. In this passage he references the trials, tears and humility he endured for the sake of truth. Despite his persecution, which included being stoned and beaten, he did not shrink back.
It really puts things in perspective. We tend to shrink back from sharing truth because we care about what others think but believers in other countries are willfully dying for the sake of Christ. They refuse to shrink back. No matter what.
Challenge: Don't shrink back anymore. Stop hiding your light under a bushel. Ask yourself this week if there is any area of your life that you can shine the light of God a little brighter?
A Lesson from Jesus and the Woman at the Well
The story in John 4 of the woman at the well has been on my mind this week. I am intrigued by how Jesus enters a conversation with someone who is considered an enemy. We can learn something from his approach to conversations with people on opposite sides or differences of opinion. Several characteristics were revealed to me in his interaction with the woman at the well. Take time to read the whole passage, I have highlighted some verses below.
v7. "Will you give me a drink"- Jesus starts by acknowledging that this woman has something to offer him. HE IS HUMBLE.
v. 9. "..How can you ask me for a drink?" This act of humility throws her off and she rejects this invitation to draw him water.
v10. “If you knew the gift of God ....he would have given you living water.”-He offers her something of value despite her reaction. HE IS LOVING.
v11. "Sir, you have nothing to draw the well with...Are you greater than our father Jacob,"-She doesn't understand his generous offer and responds with doubt.
v13. "Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again....Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” Jesus takes time to explain and doesn't make her feel bad for not understanding. HE IS GRACEFUL.
v15. "Sir, give me this water..." The woman is now ready to receive.
v16. "Go call your husband". This is where Jesus gives her a chance to be honest before calling her out. HE IS GENTLE
v17. "I have no husband". She responds in denial.
v18. "The fact is, you have had five husbands". HE IS TRUTHFUL but notice that he was loving, graceful and gentle FIRST.
v 19. “I can see that you are a prophet". - Truth is beginning to set her free, but she still can't see fully.
v 21-24 "..believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem"..Jesus explains to her again. HE IS PATIENT.
v 25. “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” The woman responds with her knowledge but still is partially blind to the truth.
v 26. "Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.” Jesus reveals himself to her and he does not debate it. It is up to her now to fully receive this truth. HE HAS CONVICTION.
I love that Jesus leads with HUMILITY, LOVE, GRACE, GENTLENESS, TRUTH and PATIENCE. While he does NOT force her to believe, he does not waver and declares with CONVICTION that He is the Messiah.
Have your conversations been characterized by these attributes?
I created this infographic to show a few ways that you can continue to connect with God this year. Often times we feel that the only way to grow closer to God is to read our Bible and pray. Those are essential things to do but sometimes we get a little stuck and need a bit more guidance. Here