But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,…
I Peter 3:15 NIV
So I took the challenge to be ready, to prepare. I gave you My Story, talked about meeting You, and asked about Who He Is. Me. You. God…You. It’s You who are next. I wondered what You would do and say…
Sitting in my recliner with my Bible and study in hand I looked over yesterday’s lesson. “What is God asking you to do?” I had prayed about that for a day. All I could hear was two words – “Don’t Delay!” So, as I sat staring at those words I put down my Bible and picked up my phone and dialed. She answered in her new happy tone. She is excited about marrying…again. And my mind goes to her…
4 Now he had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.
7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.[a])
10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”
13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”
17 “I have no husband,” she replied.
Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
John 4:4-17 NIV
I chit and chat and then finally ask the harder question. She returns with the question that opened the door. But this wasn’t the first time…
After two or three years of becoming Christian I walked past her bedroom. It was evening, on my way to bed or homework, and she sat on her bed reading her Bible…trying to understand. (30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked. 31 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. Acts 8:30-31 NIV) “Can you explain this to me?” she asked. I remember what my self felt then…I was irritated, self-righteous, proud, impatient. I went in, listened to what she read and explained in whatever infant wisdom I had…hurried through it…uncomfortable.
My actions in years to follow only mirrored what had been in my proud heart then. I had all the answers; she just kept failing. Never once did I stoop to pick her up, just berated her over and over for her foolishness. How could anyone with sense keep living that way?! I came standing over her in pride, but pride is no place to stand.
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18 NIV
Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor. Proverbs 29:23 NIV
14So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,
“Cursed are you above all livestock
and all wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
and you will eat dust
all the days of your life.
15 And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crushyour head,
and you will strike his heel.” Genesis 3:14-15
I guess I hadn’t noticed that through all the humbling, the needing Him, the reading of books, and hard conversations that God was undressing and redressing me.
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14 NIV
So, I walk through the open door, but not the same way. This time, I come kneeling.
1It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.
12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. John 13:1-17 NIV
Should I dare come standing over her when He, Creator of all, came kneeling?
I come with a heart bowed down to Him and ask that He come and meet her here. I tell her the Truth, but in a way I never shared before. (15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. Ephesians 4:15 NIV) I tell her I long for her to know the One Who can totally and truly fill. The One who stays the same when happiness doesn’t show up on Tuesday morning. I share that I long for her to live in relationship with the Lover of her soul. I pray that she will thirst no more over a world that parches the soul. And then I ask, “What do you think?”
I wish I could write of her happily ever after here, but I cannot. Here it is autumn and I’ve just now sown while all is being harvested. But there are a few things lying hidden beneath the soil. We plant them now and let them die in the cold and dark places. We wonder how it happens…life. They say wait until spring…wait.
So, You, you have chosen to wait for now, but I know what’s going on beneath the surface. I know how His Word works into the soil of the heart. You don’t always realize It’s there, actually working, ALIVE, but I know. I know not because I stand knowing. I know because I come from kneeling in the garden of my own soul.
At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. John 19:41 NIV
The LORD will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the LORD. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing. Isaiah 51:3 NIV
The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Isaiah 58:11
They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion; they will rejoice in the bounty of the LORD— the grain, the new wine and the olive oil, the young of the flocks and herds. They will be like a well-watered garden, and they will sorrow no more. Jeremiah 31:12
They will say, “This land that was laid waste has become like the garden of Eden; the cities that were lying in ruins, desolate and destroyed, are now fortified and inhabited.” Ezekiel 36:35
**I have been doing I Peter 3:15 along with others in my Church Family. We are making a plan to be ready to share at any time God calls us to do so. We are starting with the “formula” Me, You, God, You. I encourage everyone to be ready, always, with the Good News! Will you join us in preparing to be used by God? If you want more information or background to this, go to http://www.meridianpointchurch.com/sermons.php
*** Above is a very personal story. I hope to have shared it with honesty while guarding Her honor. She is important to me, and I pray for her to know Him day in and day out. Will you join me in prayer for Her? Do you have anyone I could be praying for with you?