VIDEO Don’t Prejudge – Jesus and Samaritan Woman

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.  John 4:9

The word prejudice has two parts: pre (in advance) and judicium (judgment). Therefore, prejudice is to prejudge a person or a matter before getting any of the facts. Nowhere is prejudice more prevalent than in matters of race and ethnicity. Some judge people based on the color of their skin or their ethnicity before they even know them.

Prejudice is not a modern sin; it existed in Jesus’ day. The Jews in Galilee and Judea were prejudiced against the Samaritans because they (the Samaritans) had intermarried with Assyrians following the Assyrian invasion of Israel in the eighth century B.C. Jews refused to even set foot in Samaria—except for Jesus and His disciples. On a journey from Judea to Galilee, Jesus went through Samaria where He encountered a woman to whom He revealed Himself as the Messiah, the Source of living water (John 4). Jesus saw humans in need of God’s love, not races or genders or status.

Pray for the ability to see the world through Jesus’ eyes. Share Him just as He shared Himself—without prejudice and with love.

Water and oil are more compatible than Christianity and prejudice.  William A. Ward


John 4: Jesus and Samaritan Woman

A Unique Job Offer

‘I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So, they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.” John 21: 3

`Hi, what’s up? It’s the middle of the night. Is everything okay?” I asked my friend who was on the other end of the phone call.

`Yes, we are all okay,”, she paused. “It’s just that my heart is heavy and I couldn’t sleep need to talk to someone.”

As the conversation progressed, I understood that my friend, who was head of HR at a leading IT firm was forced into a very uncomfortable situation — she had to let go of /early 350 employees after the lock-down. Financial difficulty due to the COVID-19 pandemic had already started claim in more livelihoods than lives,

Financial experts have already made their forecasts for the impending recession ‘waiting us on the other side of this pandemic. Many experts are providing advice on low to survive in this economic upheaval. Uncertainty seems to be the code word of today. Only tomorrow will tell us if we will even be employed. The loans taken against our salary slips; the commitments made based on our estimation of the future — so many of our plans have come crashing down. This present situation has helped us realize how we have built our expectations of life on such uncertain grounds.

Che disciples of Jesus understood change better than most. Simon Peter, for instance, lad left a substantial career as a fisherman to follow Jesus — so had James, John, and Andrew. All of them had simply responded to Jesus’ call when He said, “Come. Follow Iife, and I will make you fishers of people.” (Mark 1:17). We know that Simon Peter lad a family and commitments — much like you and me -which could have held him back when Jesus called him. But instead of flinching from the uncertainty of following :his ‘New Rabbi’ from Nazareth, he adventurously set out for what he believed was a higher calling.

Fast forward three years and the disciples had witnessed numerous miracles. They were there when the crowd of over 5000 were fed. They were there when scores of people were healed. They even saw Lazarus being raised from the dead. People from war and far came to see this would be ‘Messiah’, and these once obscure fishermen were now operating as the front office for the most happening movement in Israel at :hat time. Simon Peter was so famous that he was identified by a servant girl at Jesus’ rial and crucifixion as being a ‘follower of Christ’ (Mark 14:67).

But overnight, it all changed. Jesus was crucified like a criminal on a cross. These once-popular men were forced into hiding and, even after the resurrection, the disciples did not predict or expect the visitation of the risen Lord. Indeed, life would lever be the same again.

 

The Need for Spiritual Discernment

2 Corinthians 11:13-15

John tells us that the whole world lies in the power of the Evil One (1 John 5:19). For this reason, spiritual discernment is of utmost importance. Thankfully, Hebrews 5:11-14 reminds us of believers “who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong” (NLT). In other words, we can get better at distinguishing between truth and error through practice.

In today’s passage, Paul mentions he was dealing with false apostles disguising themselves as servants of righteousness. The same thing happens today: Such servants are all around, “peddling their wares.” It’s their attempt to carry away those who are always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth (2 Timothy 3:7).

We may find it challenging to match wits with false apostles, but we can subject them to the obedience test found in 1 John 2:4: “The one who says, ‘I have come to know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” However, this test works only if we ourselves know the truth. Dive into Scripture today so that you can “examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). Knowing God’s Word is what will help our quest for godly wisdom.

Tongue of the Learned

“The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.” (Isaiah 50:4)

The prophetic words of our text were spoken by the Lord Jesus in the context of His suffering: “I gave my back to the smiters…I hid not my face from shame and spitting” (v. 6)—and His attentiveness to the will of His Father despite the suffering —“The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back” (v. 5). The amazing love of Christ is seen in the fact that, in the midst of His intense personal pain, He could still continue, even on the cross, “to speak a word in season to him that is weary,” as He comforted His mother, spoke salvation to the dying thief, and even sought forgiveness for His executioners.

In all this, He was “leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps” (1 Peter 2:21). How easy and natural it is to complain and rebel when we are suffering. We seek comfort and counsel from others, when we (like our Exemplar) should be comforting others with “the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God” (2 Corinthians 1:4).

Though we cannot comprehend it fully, we must simply believe the mystery of the incarnation. God became man in Jesus Christ, and the omnipotent One “learned…obedience” (Hebrews 5:8). He was omniscient, yet somehow He “increased in wisdom” (Luke 2:52), as well as stature, and as He studied God’s Word, wakening “morning by morning,” He learned to hear the voice of the Father, thus receiving “the tongue of the learned,” that “gracious words” might proceed out of His mouth (Luke 4:22).

May the Lord grant each of His younger sons and daughters this gracious “tongue of the learned,” as we, like His Firstborn, awaken each morning to hear His voice. HMM

The Authority of Our God

I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith me Lord GOD. And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear… yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them.

—Ezekiel 2:4-5

 

I don’t want to be unkind, but I am sure there ought to be a lot more authority in the pulpit than there is now. A preacher should reign from his pulpit as a king from his throne. He should not reign by law nor by regulations and not by board meetings or man’s authority. He ought to reign by moral ascendancy.

When a man of God stands to speak, he ought to have the authority of God on him so that he makes the people responsible to listen to him. When they will not listen to him, they are accountable to God for turning away from the divine Word. In place of that needed authority, we have tabby cats with their claws carefully trimmed in the seminary, so they can paw over the congregations and never scratch them at all. They have had their claws trimmed and are just as soft and sweet as can be….

I believe in the authority of God, and I believe if a man doesn’t have it, he should go away and pray and wait until he gets the authority and then stand up to speak even if he has to begin on a soapbox on a street corner. Go to a rescue mission and preach with authority! They had it in those days—when they stood up, there was authority!   COU150-151

Lord, may I always preach boldly like the apostle Paul, like Ezekiel, like Jeremiah and the prophets. Amen.

 

Too Busy to Be Gloomy

Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation….Wherein ye greatly rejoice.

—1 Peter 1:5-6

 

The life of the normal, believing child of God can never become a life of gloom and pessimism. In every age we will have some people whose concept of Christianity is a kind of gloomy resignation to the inevitable. But it is the Holy Spirit who has promised the ability for the Christian to rejoice in God’s promises day by day….

Peter states it as a paradox: the obedient Christian greatly rejoices even in the midst of great heaviness, trials and suffering. God’s people know that things here are not all they ought to be, but they are not spending any time in worrying about it. They are too busy rejoicing in the gracious prospect of all that will take place when God fulfills all of His promises to His redeemed children! ICH158-159

Whatever else trouble is in the world for, it is here for this good purpose: to develop strength….Every day we are blessed with new opportunities for the development of strength of soul. JAS071

What harm can happen to him who knows that God does everything and who loves beforehand everything that God does? JAS070

 

What’s On Your Mind?

Philippians 4:8

Jesus said, “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Mark 12:30). Paul, writing to the Philippians, urged that we should use our minds to meditate and reflect on whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, gracious, virtuous and praiseworthy. Said Paul,

“Think about these things” (Philippians 4:8).

A great preacher of the nineteenth century, Thomas Chalmers, preached a memorable sermon on the topic, “The Expulsive Power of a New Affection.” In this discourse he sought to prove that the best way to cast out a wrong affection is to invite a right one. In the same way, we can drive out a low thought by putting a high one in its place. Banish the unclean by entertaining the pure.

We should think on these higher, nobler things, too, because thinking is the manipulation of memories. The brain is a memory machine. We cannot think of things that we do not have some memory of. Even so-called new thoughts, or insights are, at best, rearrangements of patterns of ideas or experiences stored in our memories.

How important it is, therefore, that we store up the proper memories. We turn to the storehouse of memory and find that our stock of the true, the honest, the just and the pure is low because we failed to build up our resources.

Reading the Bible and other good books, attending church, seeking the company of good people are some of the ways we can go about storing up worthy memories. If you want to bring forth good things, see that your treasured memories are of the best.

Thoughts are the basis for action. Solomon wrote in his proverbs, “For as [a man] thinks in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 23:7 NKJV).

Let us face the truth, then, that we cannot think low thoughts and expect to perform high actions. Paul admonished: “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).

We all have recollections of moral failures and wrong choices. But such memories can lose their guilt-ridden, peace-destroying power if we will confess them to God and believe in His loving willingness to forgive. Then, with Paul, we can say, “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13).

Bramwell Tripp, To the Point