Sunday, September 5, 2010

When Ministry Becomes a Joyless Burden

I love the story of the Samaritan woman who encounters Jesus at the well. She encounters the living Christ and the experience is so radical that she immediately goes back to her town to tell others about Jesus. Ultimately, her testimony prompts others to believe: "Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony...So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. And because of his words many more became believers" (John 4:39,40-41).

I believe the story of the Samaritan woman holds several implications for the body of Christ:

First, the Samaritan woman shares the message of Christ not out of duty but joy. Where is our joy? Where is my joy? Ministry so often becomes a burden. It becomes a joyless task. Why? We are no longer pursuing Jesus. Yes that is blunt, but I believe it is truth.

When we ardently seek after Jesus Christ we inevitably encounter His surpassing greatness and supreme goodness. Jesus is the true treasure, and all is rubbish compared to Him! We simply cannot keep Jesus to ourselves after experiencing Him and His love.

Second, the Samaritan woman meets Jesus and through her testimony of Christ many more become believers. She does not share an abstract and intangible Jesus. Rather she shares a Jesus she personally knows. She shares a Jesus who is living and active in her life. Her testimony holds merit because she speaks of something she actually has experienced.

And so, may we seek Jesus! May we abide in Him and His love. May we keep our eyes ever fixed on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter.

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