Topic: Influencing Cities [Tuesday 28, March 2017]
Memorise: Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. – Acts 8:5
Read: John 4:5-39 (KJV)
5 Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.
6 Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.
7 There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.
8 (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.)
9 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.
10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?
12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?
13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.
16 Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither.
17 The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband:
18 For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.
19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.
20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.
21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.
26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.
27 And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her?
28 The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men,
29 Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?
30 Then they went out of the city, and came unto him.
31 In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat.
32 But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of.
33 Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat?
34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.
36 And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.
37 And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth.
38 I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.
39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did.
Bible in One Year: Exodus 33-34, Jeremiah 3:11-4:2
Jesus is the greatest change agent that ever lived. A genuine encounter with Him always brings about positive change in the life of a person. Not only does this encounter bring about change, it also transforms the changed individual into a change agent. In other words, after changing you, the Lord Jesus Christ can use you to change your city. In our Bible reading, we see a woman who had been married and divorced five times, who was then living with a sixth man. At that point, she did not even bother with marriage. After she encountered Jesus, He changed the course of her life, and He used her to change her city. This is quite remarkable! How can you claim to have been born again 10 years or more, and you have not introduced any level of change into your town or village? No matter how tiny the light may be, it will shine in the midst of darkness and overcome it. What impact have you made on your village, community, town or city? How many of your folks know you to be a Christian? A pastor died some time ago, and when his extended family members gathered to plan his burial, some of them thought of burying him the traditional way. His close relatives protested this and had to inform the other family members that he was a pastor. In your village, do people know you to be a born-again Christian? How many of them can say their lives have changed for the better since they encountered Jesus through you?
Moreover, if your encounter with Jesus is taken seriously, He can even use you to change your nation. Never underestimate the power of transformation that starts from just one fellow. Most of us are not pulling our weight spiritually in our nations. If you look at the Acts of the Apostles, you will find some change agents that God used to win whole cities and to turn around nations for Christ. Acts 13:43-44 says,
“43 Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. 44 And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.”
However, the extent to which God can use you will be determined by the degree of change you have allowed Him to perform in you. It will also depend on your mindset, love for God, level of alignment of God’s desire with yours, and the level of sacrifice you are ready to make. While some people are only leading a few souls to Christ, some others are leading whole cities or nations to Him. How impactful do you want to be?
Key Point: Your heavenly rewards will be determined by you here on earth.
Open Heavens Daily Devotional guide was written by Pastor E.A. Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, one of the largest evangelical church in the world and also the President of Christ the Redeemer’s Ministries.