Message: Best Frenemies
Preacher: Japhet De Oliveira
Reflection: Japhet De Oliveira
Live Wonder: Zan Long
Live Adventure: Zan Long
Live Purpose: Jessyka Albert
Editor: Becky De Oliveira
Refresh: Begin today in prayer. Ask God for understanding through the Holy Spirit and for God’s character to be revealed.
Read: Acts 8:1-25 in the New Living Translation (NLT). Note 1–3 insights or questions.
Reflect: Have you ever refused help? Someone sincerely offered you help, and you really needed it, but you refused. What stopped you from accepting the help? It was mid-December late on a Friday night, and we were feeding the homeless in downtown London, when a fellow came to the bus. He asked us what food we had. When we explained that we were offering hot soup and vegetarian sandwiches, he declined the food. He was not interested. Maybe he had enough. Maybe he was lactose intolerant. I'll confess; the refusal surprised me. I thought most people in his situation would be happy to accept help—and yet not everyone is. And while accepting help is one thing, directly asking for help is on a whole other level. The Samaritans did not want any help from the Jews. The Jews did not want any help from the Samaritans. This animosity was centuries old, from the days when the Babylonians had destroyed Jerusalem. Some Jews had stayed behind (and eventually were called Samaritans). When the other Jews returned to rebuild Jerusalem and the temple, they refused help from the Samaritans, their cousins. This meant that the Samaritans built their own temple and both groups developed even greater animosity towards each other. This was the question that the woman at the well raised in conversation with Jesus when she wanted to avoid the subject that Jesus was trying to discuss with her. She tried to get Jesus to focus on which temple should be used in worship and Jesus moved the story way into the future instead:
Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship Him. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” —John 4:21-24 (ESV)
That future is now, just as much as it was back then. Yet somehow it seems that we too want to avoid the subject with Jesus. We would like to skip over worshiping in spirit and truth. We think it is easier to focus on what makes us unique than on what Jesus has called us to be. When your mission and vision are focused on following Jesus wherever He takes you, the borders disappear entirely.
Recalibrate: What uncomfortable call has Jesus laid on your life?
Respond: Pray for more time to worship in spirit and truth.
Research: Read the full story of the woman at the well (John 4). What stands out?
Falling over is a constant for a toddler, and even though these tumbles hurt, the drive to move towards a goal is relentless. Let the Good News of a life occupied by love live in you today.
Going on an adventure is always fun, but often someone gets hurt either in terms of scraped knees or turned ankles—or hurt feelings. Help each other keep going today. Be ready with a Band-Aid or kind words. You can do it.
What do you think the purpose of following Jesus is? Sometimes we fall into the belief that the purpose of following Jesus is to make our lives better. Is that always the case? Do you find yourself growing closer to Jesus during the rough times in your life or during the good times? Why?