Words of Faith 10-3-16
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2016
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, "He told me everything I ever did."  So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days.  And because of his words many more became believers.
 They said to the woman, "We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world."
Jesus stayed for two days among the Samaritan people. Jesus’ mission to the Samaritans was anything but accidental. He had every intention to reach the woman at the well and then reach her village. The saving vision of the Lord is always both personal and corporate. He always has his eye on the individual but also on the world. He saves the villager but also seeks the village. Jesus wants very much a personal saving relationship with you but He also desires to reach your web of influence-- your village-- through you.
Here we see two levels of faith. First there is faith that is based upon the testimony of another. Then there is faith based upon a personal encounter with Jesus.
The villagers were drawn first by the testimony of the woman at the well. When she gave her testimony "Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did” they had some idea about what that entailed. There was a lot to tell and they knew it! She was a woman of bad reputation who changed men like some change clothes.
But now she was visibly shaken and transformed. Having been confronted with her sin and introduced to the way of the Spirit she was probably bubbling with tearful joy. There was no mistaking the transformation or the invitation; “Could this be the Christ?" This brought the villagers to Jesus.
But the testimony of others only draws us near. It is still the testimony of others. It is not our own. For the Samaritan villagers, hearing about Jesus was only introductory. They had to come and see for themselves. We know nothing of the encounters Jesus had with the various Samaritans or his preaching over these two days except that it was equally transforming.
The villagers said to the woman, "We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world." This is the nature of personal faith. Personal faith is rooted in a personal encounter with Jesus.
Personal faith goes beyond being happy for others or believing that they have been transformed. Personal faith goes beyond telling what a great thing Jesus did for someone else. Personal faith is expressed in a personal testimony of how Jesus transformed you.
Some people in church never get beyond the introductory faith of coming to see Jesus. There are many that hold Jesus in high esteem and are happy about what He has done for others, but keep Jesus at arm’s length. Some will hear the testimony of others in amazement yet avoid confronting the sin in their own lives.
Have you moved from introductory faith to personal faith? Have you encountered the living Christ personally? Have you allowed Him to set you free from your sin? Are you holding Him at arm’s length? Today would be a great day to know Him personally. And how about your village? Have you invited others to come and see this One?
Lord, I desire a personal saving encounter with You. Reveal to me the things that do not please You. Transform me by the work of Your Holy Spirit. Make me a witness to my village. In Jesus’ name.
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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2002, 2016
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)
2820 Business Center Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200
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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.