Making Heaven Rejoice: 5 Important Lessons from Jesus and the Samaritan Woman

Episode #28: Making Heaven Rejoice The LKN Faith Podcast

  1. Episode #28: Making Heaven Rejoice
  2. Episode #27: Let It Go
  3. Episode #26: Know Your Enemy
  4. Episode #25: Sacrificial Living
  5. Episode #24: Easter

In the same way, I tell you, there is more rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” – Luke 15:10

The goal of making disciples of Jesus requires demanding and persistent effort.

Disciple-making is time-consuming. We must move out of our comfort zone. Bringing people to faith in Christ can be a lonesome task. Some folks consider our teaching others about Christ to be improper or politically incorrect. Our efforts may result in little or no recognition.
Effective evangelism depends, to a great degree, on how much we are in contact with non-Christians, i.e., the world. Our tendency is to “hang” with family and the brothers and sisters in Christ rather than reach out to the lost.

Let me share an example: One high school disciple received criticism from church teen leaders for playing football for his high school on Friday nights rather than attend the teen group meeting. And, at school lunch, this boy chose to sit with the non-Christians while the Christian teens huddled together in a corner by themselves. By graduation, over 100 classmates of the football player had visited our worship services. In addition, four captains of different high school teams, a head football coach, and other friends and family, had been baptized into Christ.

This young man, who was following the example of Jesus by eating with the sinners (Matthew 11:19), had brought numerous people to faith in Christ. The youths who sat in the corner at lunch time brought no friends to Christ during the same time period. This story illustrates the challenge faced by disciples in reaching out to the lost.

This football-playing disciple also graduated near the top of his class and went to study at a leading university where he continued to make disciples. For evangelism to take place, no substitute exists for our daily, godly walking in the world and sharing our faith as we have opportunity, which was a key factor in the life of the football player’s outreach.

Evangelism is very difficult, if not impossible, if we are holed up together talking to ourselves, or even studying the Bible, without interaction with the lost. Some of us spend time studying our Bibles, talking about evangelism, but we are not interacting with the lost. We are like those people who get their sport urges out by playing games on the computer: with no lumps or bumps. Likewise: with no pain, there is no gain for the Lord.

For guidance in evangelism, it came to my attention that John chapter 4 demonstrates how Jesus went about reaching out. We must remember that Jesus “knew the mind of man” (Matthew 9:4, 12:25, & Luke 6:8). We must assume that he knew what he was doing. Should we not learn from his example? In Matthew 28:18-20, we read that Jesus’ last command was “to go….make disciples …baptize…and teach.” Let us look at how Jesus approached a lost woman.

1. Jesus establishes contact with the Samaritan woman at the Sychar well (John 4:1-8): Jesus demonstrates his command “to go” as He teaches in Matthew 28:18-20. Jesus “goes” to the well where he encounters a Samaritan woman.

Normally, Jews would not have interacted this woman. Why? Because women were considered inferior by Jews. Even worse, she was an unclean, mixed-race Samaritan with whom all contact was prohibited. A Jew would never drink from the same cup of such a person. None-the-less, our Jesus establishes contact with the woman by making a request of her in verse 7: “will you give me a drink?”

Notice that drawing water from the well was an everyday event. Asking for a drink was a common request, such as when we are shopping at Food Lion and ask an employee for the location of the catsup. Or, while pumping gas, we seek out the attendant regarding how to turn on the pump. Or, when we converse with a parent as we wait together for our children to come out of the school. In some way, we must establish the contact with people just as Jesus did with this woman. We must “break the ice”.

We need to keep two basic principles in mind: First, we must realize that there are always people about us, if we wish to reach out to them (John 4:35-38). Second, most people, if not all, at some time in their lives, have a desire to know God even if they do not show signs of being interested.

Therefore, we must be praying and looking for the harvest which is about us. Yes, we may be rebuffed or ridiculed. But what does it really matter if we are rejected or made fun of? We must remember that such treatment for helping others find salvation is minimal compared to the pain, suffering, ridicule, and rejection suffered by Jesus for us.

2. Jesus aroused the Samaritan woman’s curiosity: With his kindness and a request, Jesus draws out a response from the woman. Note that he uses no Biblical texts, religious jargon or an invite to his synagogue. He is gentle and makes an interesting statement, which hints at something satisfying and fascinating she had never experienced when Jesus said: “if you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water” (verse 10).

From her reply, the woman is confused, but interested. Using the topic of water, Jesus goes on, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (verses 13-14).

Jesus’ words were RELEVANT to this woman. Drawing water from the well to meet the needs of thirsty people was an everyday, monotonous task. As well, his comments were a snapshot of her moral and spiritual condition. She was always thirsty, always missing something, never satisfied, empty, dry, disillusioned, and often depressed. Jesus’ words touched a cord, as the woman responds, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw” (verse 15). Though perplexed, she is interested in hearing what Jesus had to say.

Turning to ourselves, how can we create interest or bring people to a point where they are asking us questions or seeking our help? Unless our friends get to this stage, it is unlikely that they will listen to us when we attempt to share the Gospel with them. Our goal is to make them curious about Christ! Three words: REALITY, INTEGRITY, and TESTIMONY motivate people to engage us in conversation.

In today’s world, many people are looking for that which is “real.” Our own lives show the truth or falseness of what we are saying. We are all witnesses to Christ one way or another. We cannot help proclaiming (or denying) Jesus by who we are as well as what we say. Our lives are louder than our words. One fellow said of an elder, “He lives what he says; I can tell that he follows Jesus.” On the other hand, one famous atheist wrote: “His [Jesus’] disciples have to look more saved if I am to believe in the Savior.”

Do we act “saved”?

 Someone observed that “…it is the body of Christ, when deeply united in love, and not the individual Christian, that can most of all make people hungry for God. An infectious happiness is found among Christians who really love one another as well as loving the Savior. The love within the church is crucial as for effective discipleship to take place.” One scholar noted: “People are no longer converted to doctrine.”

Today, the real “draw” is our way of life where friends and neighbors see that we stand out in a good way, that we live differently from the world. We have a special ‘aroma’ (2 Corinthians 4:17-19). Perhaps, part of the reason we fail in our evangelism is that “we have presented Christianity (the system) and not Christ (the person). We have to present to the world a living Christ, fresh, always life-giving and nourishing… it can only be experienced in a loving, forgiving, sharing, and liberating fellowship.”

Many folks are seeking INTEGRITY. People can be suspicious of authority and leadership. In 2 Corinthians 4:2, Paul speaks to integrity when he wrote, “Therefore, we have renounced secret and shameful ways …we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.”

When we do not walk the talk, we create problems for evangelism, especially for thinking people. Therefore, it is essential that we pursue wisdom, discernment, faith and initiative as we go about evangelizing and making disciples.

The third key is TESTIMONY. Our personal experience in Christ plays a key role in our outreach to the Lost. If we have a consistent life in Christ and present the Gospel, people can have an interest in knowing our personal experience with Jesus. Paul spoke of his experiences several times (Acts 22:4-16; 26:9-18), as did the Apostle Peter in 2 Peter 1:16-18. Not to mention John: “we have heard…we have seen… we have looked…” (1 John 1:1-3).

Such testimony carries its own authority and conviction. Most folk will be motivated to learn about Jesus by our lives along with a simple telling of what the Gospel means to us. Our story will go a long way in bringing faith to people. Some of us stumble in our evangelism as we continue to raise questions that people may not ask, such as ‘the correct version of the Bible.’ These concerns can be pursued later. We may face questions and issues which have seemed irrelevant in the past, but are of fundamental importance today such as: Is there a God? Was Jesus born of God? Can I trust the Bible? Can a gay person get to heaven?

3. Jesus touches a sore spot in the Samaritan woman’s life: When Jesus notices that this woman, though confused, was curious enough to ask for ‘this water.’ Jesus, with gentleness and sensitivity, directed the conversation toward the crucial area of the woman’s life. “Go, call your husband, and come here” (verse 16). Jesus spoke to her greatest need. She responded with a deceptive answer: “I have no husband” (verse 17). To this, Jesus responds directly: “You are right…this you said truly” (verse 18).

Why was it important for Jesus to speak to her marital status? Her marital status was the critical; her marital history mattered. Remember the Savior’s response to the rich young ruler’s question? The ruler’s central issue was his possessions. His wealth mattered the most to him. We might compare Jesus’ approach to the Samaritan to his interaction with the rich young ruler (Matthew 19:16-22). Because Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman’s marital history, she said to her community, “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did” (verse 29).

In our personal evangelism, we may not have complete insight into people’s lives like Jesus. So, we need to pray for guidance and insight as we interact. And the cost of following Jesus must be put forward as he never allowed compromise. Jesus discouraged those followers who were not serious about being his disciples. Remember that Jesus said, “Unless a man is willing to deny himself and take up his cross daily…” (Matthew 10:38). Obviously, we must be sensitive to those with whom we are speaking, but Christ is to be first in our lives or not at all, which is a very difficult teaching in today’s world.

4. Jesus sidesteps the Samaritan woman’s diversion: Faced with a topic which was a little too personal and particular for her comfort, the woman tried to change the conversation with an impersonal, general question: “Sir, I perceive that you…where men ought to worship” (verses 19-20). In a way, the woman was questioning Jesus’ authority to challenge her.

During the first century, as today, different ideas existed about worship and religion, especially as where to worship. Jesus gently, and in a few words, answered her confusion regarding where to worship and returned this Samaritan to a spiritual topic. “God is spirit and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth” (verse 23). For our Savior, it was not the time to delve into interesting biblical topics unrelated to her urgent personal need.

5. Jesus brought the Samaritan woman to faith: Jesus had answered the woman concerns, but she comments, “I know that the Messiah is coming…when he comes, he will show us all things” (verse 25). This remark seems to be indicating that she has found Jesus interesting, but has no need to act now. One day in the future, when the Messiah arrives, the Messiah will tell her what she needs to know. It seems that the woman was looking for an excuse.

How often do we hear reasons for not following Jesus such as: ‘when I have passed my exams…when I retire…when I have checked out some other churches…when the vacation season is over…when the children are older…’?

At that moment, Jesus told her, “I who speak to you am he” (verse 26). Immediately, the woman’s attitude changed as she realized that Jesus was the Messiah. She was face-to-face with the promised Messiah! No more questions from her.

With that realization that Jesus was the awaited Messiah, this Samaritan was off and running to tell others and to bring her friends and neighbors to meet Jesus. Because Jesus requested a drink at the well that day, this Samaritan started a new life filled with joy, forgiveness and love. This was a life that she had not enjoyed previously. Within hours “…many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony” (verse 39). From one woman’s faith, many people came to have faith. Can the same be said of us? What has been the impact of our coming to faith in Christ?

This woman’s response to learning that Jesus is the Messiah should challenge us. We must not overlook that she immediately ran off to tell her friends and family about her experience, just as Philip ran to tell Nathaniel when he had found the Messiah (John 1:43-51). And the Samaritan woman, as with Peter and Andrew upon meeting Jesus, immediately chose to follow the Lord (Matthew 4:20-22). Amazingly, this woman’s initial group of Samaritan contacts found faith, and their faith led to a larger response to Jesus. The woman’s response to Jesus in a word, “snowballed,” (verses 39-42).

This Samaritan response brings to my mind a Colombian family whom I’ve known for several years. When the Silva Garcia’s heard the Gospel, they repented, believed and were baptized into Christ. Then, they were taught about what it means to follow the Savior on a daily basis. Today, most of the couple’s two extended families have come to faith in Christ. This couple, despite having to work at their jobs and raise their children, have continued to share their faith.

Now along with many relatives, two congregations have been established. This present-day couple demonstrates that, in the 21st century, Jesus can cause events similar to the one that happened at the Sychar well in Samaria some 2000 years ago.

In REVIEW, we learned how Jesus reached out to a lady in an everyday circumstance. After which, the Savior aroused her curiosity with a simple request. This one request led Jesus to speaking to an important concern in the woman’s life. When she tried to change the subject of the conversation, the Lord brought her back to the point of concern. Finally, Jesus’ efforts resulted in her making a commitment that changed her life.

I have found that an urgency is needed when we are helping folks to find Christ. “People are to seek the Lord while He may be found and call upon him when he is near” (Isaiah 55:6). Each opportunity to speak with someone is important. People can be open, or are willing to learn about Jesus, but we can choose not to give them the time, or we may feel that we are too busy to help. Maybe we choose to ignore them, thinking that they are not interested.

When visitors present themselves at our worship services, we should reach to them and determine their spiritual needs as best as we can. The fact that they came to worship with us should alert us that they have a need.

Once I worked with two young men who seemed open and interested in studying the Bible. Bible studies were not started with them, and I was not able to “work them into ‘the fellowship’.” Likewise, a lady visited services on a number of occasions; she established no relationships with sisters in the church, and she did not study the scriptures. She became disinterested.

This tract describes just one way of interacting with folks with the goal of encouraging them to study the Bible and to learn about Jesus. The studies should lead to faith in Jesus Christ, followed by baptism and further teaching. Each person is different and approached based on their particular background and circumstance. Hundreds of men, women, and youth have become disciples of the Savior with a similar approach as herein described.

Let us work together to give the angels lots for which to rejoice! In addition, we show our gratefulness for our salvation and love for God and our fellowmen. AMEN!

Let It Go

Episode #28: Making Heaven Rejoice The LKN Faith Podcast

  1. Episode #28: Making Heaven Rejoice
  2. Episode #27: Let It Go
  3. Episode #26: Know Your Enemy
  4. Episode #25: Sacrificial Living
  5. Episode #24: Easter

Est. Reading Time: 3 minutes

If you are parent of a child over 8-years old, you might know what movie was released on November 27th, 2013. That movie was the hit kid’s film, “Frozen”. Even today the movie still charms the hearts of children all around the world. Both of my kids enjoy watching Frozen, and to some extent, Frozen 2… (Hint: it’s not quite as good as the first Frozen).

         In the original Frozen film, there is a song that also became a hit. If you aren’t sure what it is, does “Let It Go” sound familiar to you? I want to look at some the lyrics from that song for just a moment. Some of the lyrics go like this:

Let it go, Let it go

Cant hold it back anymore

Let it go, let it go

Turn away and slam the door

I dont care what theyre going to say

Let the storm rage on

The cold never bothered me anyway.

         There are a couple of things I think we can reflect on from the ideas of these lyrics.

Let it go, Let it go, Cant hold it back any more. I know right now a lot of relationships, marriages, and even some friendships, are feeling the strain right now. Life is different than what we are used to, and some of us are spending a lot more time together than we normally do. Some of us are experiencing a new stress level that we didn’t think was possible. Some of us find ourselves arguing more than we ever have before. But this verse of the song offers us some advice… Let it Go. Let go of the differences, let go of the stresses, and let go of the arguments. And as we let them go, let us give them to King Jesus.

Matthew 11:28-30 reminds us, “Then Jesus said, Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I an humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” 

The yoke that he is referring to is a harness that is used for oxen to get them to pull a cart or farming equipment. Typically, one yoke is for two oxen. But Jesus is willing to help carry our burdens. A spiritual yoke can be anything that has influence or a hold over us negatively. Let go of what is holding you back, of what is burdening you, and what you are struggling with. Give it to Jesus.

The second thing I want us to think about it turning away and slamming the door shut…. on our temptations. This time of being more isolated than we normally are, having more downtime in some cases, and just being by ourselves, can be a time where our temptations are stronger than we are used to. When we have less to do, there can be less things to keep us from thinking about temptations. We aren’t always on guard as much as we should be. When we are facing more of our temptations, we need to push away our evil desires. James 1:13-18 tells us about how when each person is tempted, we are at risk of giving in to our own evil desires. We need to change our outlook and look at the good things that are from Jesus. We need to slam the door shut on our temptations and evil desires so that they don’t grow into sin and eventually into death.

Turn your thoughts to Jesus.

My last point today is to not care what they are going to say, “they” being the world. When we are Christ’s followers, there are times when the world isn’t going to agree with us. There is a reason that in Matthew 7:13-14, it reminds us that the wide gate leads to destruction and many enter through it, but the narrow path leads to life. Choose to live your life on that narrow path that leads to life. Ignore the insults and the disapproval of the world. What really matters is the approval of our God and of our Savior. We want to hear, “Well done,” from God when we are done on this earth. The world will say all sorts of different things to try to throw you off your game. They will try every trick possible. But what matters is that Jesus came and he has claimed the victory. Slam the door shut on the negative aspects of the world. Turn around and ignore the things that they say in order for you to introduce others to the door that leads to Christ Jesus. Slam shut the door on the world, and open the door to Jesus for someone else.

This week, I encourage you to let it go. Let go of our desires, or stresses, or whatever baggage you are carrying around. Slam the door shut on those things. Ignore what the world thinks about your baggage because Christ has taken care of it. It isn’t yours anymore. Say that out loud… Christ Jesus has taken away my baggage! And open the door this week for someone to hear the words of our Lord and Savior.

Maybe you have already taken on Christ and given Him your baggage. Don’t forget that. Keep giving that to Jesus. But maybe you haven’t given your baggage to Jesus yet. What are you waiting for? We can still help you get to the waters of baptism, to be buried with Jesus Christ and to walk in newness of life.

If we can help you with that, please let us know! Be blessed today.

Know Your Enemy

Episode #26: Know Your Enemy The LKN Faith Podcast

Est. Reading Time: 4 minutes

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

– Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”

People are at war.

And no, this isn’t a war in Ukraine or even the sparks of a new World War, yet this is the greatest war of our lifetime.

Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

We are at war, even if it’s not a war that’s easily seen or noticed. And we have an enemy: Satan, which literally means “the adversary” in Hebrew. He is also known as “the obstructor” and “the accuser”.

Many people are aware of the idea of Satan, but do we really know our enemy? In 1st Peter 5:8, he is described, by divine inspiration, as a roaring lion. This sounds like someone who is bold, strong, ferocious, or terrifying.

Satan Described as a Roaring Lion

In line with this thinking, do you also know yourself? Psalm 100:3, along with many other passages in Scripture, describe people and followers of God as mere sheep. What does that sound like from the perspective of a lion? It sounds like breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert!

People Described as Sheep

Alone, we simply don’t stand a chance against such a powerful and deadly enemy.

In 1st Chronicles 21:1, we read how Satan successfully snared David, a man who was considered to be after God’s own heart.

In the book of Job, the Adversary also attacks Job, a man who was considered a blameless and upright servant of God. According to the Lord Himself, there was none like Job on the earth.  

And finally in Matthew 4, Satan even targets Jesus, the Christ and the Son of God.

No one is excused from his attacks. He is a very real threat and enemy to everyone.

So how are we, mere sheep, to beat such a ruthless and powerful enemy?

Well, like every lion has a pride, so does Satan. If we look in Ezekiel 28:1-10, God judges the prince of Tyre for his pride. This prince is clearly a man but claims to be a god. However, in verses 11-19, God then laments the king of Tyre, who is clearly not a man. While not mentioned by name, I believe that this passage clearly depicts the fall of Satan, the real power behind the evil that exists in our world.

Ezekiel 28:12b-19 says, “You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: carnelian, chrysolite and emerald, topaz, onyx and jasper, lapis lazuli, turquoise and beryl. Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared. You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you. Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones. Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings. By your many sins and dishonest trade you have desecrated your sanctuaries. So I made a fire come out from you, and it consumed you, and I reduced you to ashes on the ground in the sight of all who were watching. All the nations who knew you are appalled at you; you have come to a horrible end and will be no more.”

The downfall of Satan was (and still is) his pride. It has been a similar downfall for every king and kingdom listed throughout Ezekiel, all ensnared and undone by this lion.

So if the bane of Satan is his pride, then it makes more sense when we read on how to defend against him.

1st Peter 5:5-9 says, “…Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.

Our humility is a prime defense against the Adversary. It is humility that leads to our submission to the One God who can guard the flock and deliver us all.

Psalm 149:4 confirms this: “For the LORD takes delight in his people: he crowns the humble with victory.

If you have questions on how to do this, you can ask us here.

The lion that is Satan is a dangerous enemy, and we are but helpless sheep. We need to show humility and submit to the Great Shepherd who will defend us.

As James 4:10 says, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the LORD, and He will lift you up.

Sacrificial Living

Episode #25: Sacrificial Living The LKN Faith Podcast

Est. Reading Time: 4 minutes

2 Samuel 24:24 – But the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will buy it from you for a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God that cost me nothing.’ So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.

During this time of the year, Christendom’s focus shifts towards the greatest sacrifice ever made in the history of mankind – the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Certainly, innocent people have been put to death for crimes they have not committed.  While tragic, and a great injustice, this part of Jesus’ sacrifice is not unique.

Jesus is also not the only martyr for His faith.  Many throughout history have given their physical lives for the advancement of their Faith.

History is also filled with many examples of individuals sacrificing themselves to save others. Whether it is a parent dying to save their child, or a military serviceman dying to save their brothers-at-arms, or a civil servant dying to protect someone in their community – there are many examples of someone dying to save someone else. 

What makes Jesus’ sacrifice so extraordinary is that it is God in the flesh who dies to save mankind. 

God, who is Holy, requires us to be Holy (1 Peter 1:6). But God desires us to choose to be Holy (1 Peter 2:9). He gives us the choice to make, and we make that choice multiple times every day (John 3:36; 1 John 1:7).

Knowing that with our freewill, we would make the wrong choices, He knew he needed to plan for our redemption and salvation (Ephesians 1:4).

God could have chosen to destroy all mankind – and it would have been just for Him to do so.

But God loves us (John 3:16; Romans 5:8).  He wants us to spend eternity with Him in Heaven (1 Timothy 2:4). 

But with choice comes consequence.

So, God put on flesh (John 1:14) in order that He could serve us and be the ultimate payment for our bad choices (Matthew 20:28).

He knew death was required for sin (Romans 6:23).  And He did not want that death to be ours.

He knew the only way to save us from ourselves was to die in our place.

Jesus knew what He needed to do.  He also had a choice to make.  He could have chosen to avoid suffering, pain, death, and humiliation – but it would have meant ours.

Because of that, Jesus gave His life for ours (John 10:18).   

He made the ultimate sacrifice because he loved us (John 15:13)!

While I think it is important for us to remember what Jesus has done for us, I don’t think we go far enough.

Yes, anytime someone gives a gift, they want the recipient to acknowledge the gift.

But Jesus’ death is meant to generate more than gratitude in us.  It is meant to create Disciples of Jesus – people who emulate and imitate Jesus.  And that includes our willingness to make sacrifices for Him and for others.

To be like Jesus means that we also must be willing to lay down our lives for others.  We must be willing to make sacrifices for others (Matthew 5:38-48).

Yes, be appreciative of what Jesus has done for you.  Celebrate his act of love and sacrifice.

But go beyond gratitude.  Emulate Jesus in your life.  Be willing to sacrifice for the benefit of others. We must be willing to lay down your life for others.

If we are honest, Christians often confuse inconvenienced with sacrifice.  We tell ourselves that we live sacrificially when really, we were just inconvenienced. 

I like the story of David found in 2 Samuel 24. David had sinned, and the people of Israel were suffering from David’s sin.  David pleaded that God would show the people mercy.  God tells David to go to the threshing floor of Araunah and make a sacrifice to God.  Araunah sees the King trying to buy the threshing floor, Araunah offers it to David for free.  David’s response that is captured in 2 Sam 24:24 is one of the reasons why the Bible says that David had a heart like God’s.  David states, “No, but I will buy it from you for a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God that cost me nothing.”

This is sacrificial living.  It should cost you something.

As the world reflects on Jesus’ sacrifice, let’s challenge ourselves to be like Jesus. 

If our walk with Christ is not costing us anything – is it really a sacrifice?

What we believe is sacrificial, is it really an inconvenience?

We are grateful that Jesus did not come to be inconvenienced.  Instead, He came to sacrifice Himself for us!


Episode #28: Making Heaven Rejoice The LKN Faith Podcast

  1. Episode #28: Making Heaven Rejoice
  2. Episode #27: Let It Go
  3. Episode #26: Know Your Enemy
  4. Episode #25: Sacrificial Living
  5. Episode #24: Easter

Est. Reading Time: 1 minute

I remember growing up and celebrating Easter every year. On Friday, we would have hot cross buns and tea without milk at home. The significance of these items was as follows: each bun was decorated with a cross made from flour paste, which represented the cross on which Jesus was crucified. The spices that are used in these buns represented the spices used to embalm Christ after His death. The tea without milk was supposed to represent His blood.  

Then on Sunday we had Easter eggs. What did the Easter eggs have to do with Easter? Eggs represented new life or rebirth. Easter eggs are said to represent Jesus’ emergence from the tomb and resurrection.

In my childhood years, I sincerely believed this. But it was not until I began to search for God and learn His ways, according to the Bible, that I was able to see the truth behind the crucifixion. What I used to do was simply paganistic in nature and I shudder to imagine doing that again.

The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the heart of the Christian faith and message. It is Christ’s victory over sin and death, and it is never intended to be celebrated simply with hot cross buns and tea without milk.

This weekend will be hailed as “Easter,” and for most people in the Christian world it will be remembered as the weekend in which Christ was crucified. Some churches will gather together in celebration of this event, and it may be the only other time of the year when they partake of the Holy Communion (Eucharist or Lord’s Supper), besides Christmas.

How did Easter become so popularized? It was erroneously translated by the King James Bible translators. They translated the Greek word “pascha” in Acts 12:4 to “Easter” instead of Passover. Through their influences, it became a once-a-year celebration. Perhaps it will be the only time that some will remember the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Perhaps it will be the only time that they take the Lord’s Supper.

However, the ordinances of Scripture do not support a once-a-year observation of the Lord’s Supper. In fact, the Apostle Paul clearly laid the example for us, by changing his travel plans so that he could meet with the disciples on the first day of the week and celebrate the Lord’s Supper (Acts 20:7).

May this always be our practice until our last breath.