We are at the 1/2 way point in this 30 days of opening the Bible with the agenda of finding relevance to our modern-day life in rebuke to the false belief that the Bible isn’t relevant to us today.
I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve discovered that this process of looking for an application is providing exhortation in a whole different way than I am accustomed to.
I find it fascinating that I’m now seeing the actions and attitudes that people took which facilitated certain outcomes instead of just viewing the Bible as historical reference material.
For example, simply reading about Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well and learning that the final outcome was that many in the town of Samaria became followers of Jesus is interesting… but how does that affect me today?
However, when searching the passages for an application, I found that she was surprised by Jesus, called out by Jesus, then moved to a belief in Jesus, and lastly, she obeyed Jesus, shared her testimony with the town, invited others to come to see.
Her being originally ignorant but staying engaged with Jesus and then being convinced and obedient is what saved the town; God used her to save a town!
It made me recognize that God wants to use us the same way. She didn’t need any huge theological teaching or persuasion, she was simply excited and intrigued about her encounter with Him and invited others to come to see.
It challenged me to look at my heart and ask if I am still excited about Jesus and do I invite others to Him to “see for themselves”.
What was originally just historical information became an exhortation by shining a spotlight on my relationship with Jesus and asking me to examine my level of enthusiasm and effectiveness in my own evangelism.
The reason I’m sharing this is that I have noticed that after only 15 days of this endeavor I am developing a new habit.
I’m being rewarded by the SOAP process and am beginning to look forward to it more each day.
One thing I wanted to point out in the Application Section. I post the questions first person and open-ended for a reason. It might be helpful if you were to ask yourselves the same questions that I am extracting for my own walk.
Who knows, might stir something?
I don’t share my answers because these are the kinds of things that are personal between us and God when we ask Him to reveal the condition of our own heart.
Our relationship with God is not anything others can properly judge because they don’t walk in our shoes… we simply just need to be honest with God and ourselves.
So, what do you say, are you still with me?
Ok, let’s do this!
John 4:43-54 (NIV)
Jesus Heals an Official’s Son
43 After the two days he left for Galilee. 44 (Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his own country.) 45 When he arrived in Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him. They had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, for they also had been there.
46 Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine. And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. 47 When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death.
48 “Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.”
49 The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.”
50 “Go,” Jesus replied, “your son will live.”
The man took Jesus at his word and departed. 51 While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living. 52 When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, “Yesterday, at one in the afternoon, the fever left him.”
53 Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he and his whole household believed.
54 This was the second sign Jesus performed after coming from Judea to Galilee.
- v45 – They welcomed Him… They had seen Him before
- v47 – He heard Jesus was in town…
- v47 – He went to Him and begged…
- v50 – Your son will live… the man took Jesus at His word
- v53 – This was the exact time…
v45 – Because they had already seen Jesus and knew of Him, they welcomed Him.
- How do I experience Jesus, as someone whom I’ve seen at work in my life previously and I now welcome?
- Is He familiar or is He a far off historical figure without influence or power who I don’t even give much thought too except on Sunday, “if” I go to church?
v47 – He heard Jesus was in town, which means other people were talking about Him in public places most likely.
- Do I engage in conversations about Jesus with other Christians in the public space or keep those kinds of conversations reserved for private venues?
v47 – He went to Jesus and begged Him for intervention.
- When I pray or go to Church or sing worship music or evangelize… do I have the sensation that I’m “going to Jesus”.
- Do I make my deepest hearts desire known when I do go to Him?
v50 – The man believed Jesus when He said: “your son will live”. I think of so many verses along this line of response… your faith has made you well. Or ye have little faith.
- On a scale of 1-5, how much faith do I have that Jesus is there for me and wants to answer my righteous prayers? (not gumball machine prayers)
- How much faith do I put in God’s Word and the Holy Spirit within me?
- If those aren’t a 5, what can I do to grow in my faith?
v53 – The exact time Jesus said “he will live” the boy was healed.
- How do I view coincidences, random acts or Divine Providence?
Abba Father, Your desire is for all to come to know and rely on You. And Your promises are extravagant if we will do that. I thank You for Your Word that calls me (us) in closer, and that it reveals the only important task in my life, which is to come closer, to lean on You, to love You, to worship You, to forever be increasing my faith in You. I pray now, as I do every time Father, that anyone who might be reading this and who might be questioning their own faith, that they would be filled with a desire to move closer to You now. I know when they do Lord that you don’t hold back and rejoice in revealing more of Yourself in those moments. Thank You, Lord, for your unending love, mercy, kindness, and patience. May you be glorified this day.
Make sure and check out this new post where I share the testimony of a “coincidence” that will likely blow your mind, it does mine over 7 years later!
If it didn’t happen to me I would have never believed it.
Blessings in Christ,