Jesus had just had the encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well. If we back up to the beginning of chapter 4 in John’s gospel, we find the Pharisees had heard that Jesus and his disciples were making and baptizing more disciples than John so He left Judea to go to Galilee, but he had to go through Samaria on His way for His destined meeting with the woman at the well. In verse five we find that Jesus was weary from His journey, so He sat by the well, positioning Himself in the exact location for His destined meeting. The disciples don’t arrive on the scene until verse 27, marveling that He is talking with a Samaritan woman. In verse 31, they demonstrate their concern for Jesus and encourage Him to eat something. His response was, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.” The disciples totally miss what Jesus is talking about and wonder amongst themselves who could have brought Him something to eat. So Jesus explains – “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.” What was the work that Jesus was sent to do? Luke 19:10 tells us, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost.” Ultimately, for Jesus, that meant dying on a cross and rising again, but for this day, it meant talking to an outcast Samaritan woman who would bring her entire village to Jesus.
As Christians, each one of us has been given the same task: to seek and to save that which is lost and to make disciples. Jesus’ last words to the church before He ascended into heaven were, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20, HCSB). We all might do that in a different way. Some preach, some write books, some teach a small group, some tell coworkers, friends, and family about Jesus, some leave a gospel tract along with a tip at a restaurant, and some sing praise and worship songs. None of us are saved to sit in a pew. As long as we are still on earth, we have a task, an assignment to do. What assignment have you been given?
Jesus was committed to His task all the way to the cross. How committed are you? Jesus set His priorities by what His Father wanted Him to do. What do your priorities look like? Jesus was willing to go to Samaria, even though the devout, strict Jews avoided it due to fear of being defiled if they went through it. Instead, they would bypass Samaria and take much longer route around it just to avoid it. But God gave Jesus an assignment in Samaria – and He obediently went and won an entire village to belief in Him. Are you willing to go the places no one else will go?
Jesus was committed all the way to the cross. He set His priorities and went where others wouldn’t go – even for the sake of one outcast woman. How committed are you? What do your priorities look like? Will you go where no one else will? –click to tweet
For some who work in ministry, the question of commitment has not been about priorities or willingness – it is more about how much ministry takes out of person. Ministry is hard work. Not just because the task is hard, but also because people in ministry often invest themselves emotionally into the lives the people to whom they minister. If people in ministry do not practice self-care, they risk burnout and/or compassion fatigue. If this is you, then God is asking you, “Will you finish the work to which you have been called?” For Jesus it wasn’t enough just to do the work His Father sent Him to do – He also had to finish it. Imagine for a moment if Jesus developed burnout and compassion fatigue. If anyone ever deserved a burnout and compassion fatigue moment, it was Jesus! But if Jesus sat down one day and said, “I’m too tired to go on. I think I’ll quit this business of working out everyone’s salvation.” Where would that leave us today? Dear person in the ministry – pastor, music minister, small group leader, deacon, conference speaker, children’s worker, nursery worker, youth pastor…whatever your ministry field is – what if you sit down and say, “I’m too tired to go on. I think I’ll quit.” How many people would die without Christ as Savior because you quit? Like Jesus, it isn’t enough that we do the will of God – we must finish the task to which we have been called.
God, Love and Marshmallow Wars: This book contains 365 daily challenges for couples to strengthen their relationships to each other and with God. Couples will complete activities such as Scripture memory, conversation starters, relationship builders, learning about Biblical marriage, romance builders, personal reflections, and date ideas. Click here to purchase your copy. (This link will open a new widow and take you to Westbow Press’ bookstore.) It is also available at Christian Book Distributors, Amazon, and Barnes & Nobel
Looking for a speaker for your next ministry event? Julia is now booking for 2019 and 2020 Christian events for women’s and couples’ ministries for both small and large events.
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Julia is CEO of Wellspring Christian Ministries, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people and couples develop a passionate relationship with God. A public speaker, conference trainer, event planner, and blog writer, Julia is a two-time graduate from Grand Canyon University with a bachelor in Psychology and a masters in Professional Counseling. Saved as a child and raised in church and in a Christian home and private Christian School as a Pastor’s kid, Julia has taught Sunday school, led music, played the piano, served as Children’s Director, and engaged her gifts in many other areas of church life. Previously employed with the Florida Baptist Convention, Julia organized events and led conferences for church ministry assistants.
Julia enjoys sharing her journey as a growing Christian with others looking for a deeper connection with God. Through Bible study and her own life experiences, God has given Julia a passion to help couples understand God’s design for marriage while they learn to place God first in their marriage, cultivate meaningful relationships, build intimacy, and address the tougher issues that come in every marriage so that they can experience a marriage that honors and glorifies God. Julia also loves mentoring, teaching, and working with women to help them learn to live as Godly women.
With her history and experience growing up in both small and large churches, Julia enjoys bringing top level quality events to churches of all sizes. Her father largely pastored small churches and therefore she understands that these vital parts of the believing community need to be good stewards of the resources God provides them with. This knowledge inspires her passion for being available with a fresh perspective for those who want to provide their congregations with meaningful spiritual growth opportunities.