Two Stages of Belief
Text: John 4:39-42
Theme: There’s hearing about Jesus; then there’s hearing from Jesus.
Key verses: “Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, ‘He told me everything I ever did!'” (v. 39). “So he stayed there for two days, long enough for many more to hear his message and believe. Then they said to the woman, ‘Now we believe, not just because of what you told us, but because we have heard him ourselves. Now we know that he is indeed the Savior of the world” (v. 40b-42).
What God said to me: Dwayne, how good of you to meet with me at this time and in this way. It’s been a while. Be careful that you don’t assume you can skip your quiet times and times of journaling from my Word. That’s called spiritual pride, and pride goes before a fall. These are the moments when I can speak through my Word to instruct you, encourage you and warn you as needed. Keep this habit fresh and prioritized in your daily life. Now, regarding this passage, remember that Paul said, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” My Word is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. It is not ultimately your words that will do that for someone–it is my words that changes a heart and grants them faith to live and to please me. The lady’s testimony in this passage caught her neighbors’ attention and caused them to want to know more about Jesus. That was an important and necessary first stage. Your testimony and your witness of me will cause people who hear you and watch you to wonder why you have such joy and peace. They will be drawn in and captivated by your testimony of my faithfulness and love in your life. However, they won’t be saved and eternally changed until they clearly hear my Word and hear from the Holy Spirit drawing and convicting them. That’s stage two. That’s the life-giving, life-altering, life-changing stage that cuts to the deepest part of a person and sets them on the narrow path of abundant life in me. Dwayne, I have prompted you on several occasions lately to verbally share a word of witness with people you’ve been around, whether at a restaurant, a coffee shop or the cleaners. But you’ve not obeyed me; you’ve kept your mouth shut. I am not pleased with that. I expect you to be my witness, to be my light in dark places. This is no small thing–it’s what you’ve been left on earth to do. See you to it.
What I said to God: Woe is me, for I am undone. I am busted, Lord. Thank You so very much for your convicting and cleansing power to my heart and mind this morning. I will listen and obey your still small voice when You prompt me to witness to someone today. Thank You for showing me these two stages of belief. May I be faithful in stage one, and help people move to stage two where they will be forever changed by Your Word!