Gavin Calver is the Director of Mission at the Evangelical Alliance and has a burning passion to see the Gospel reach every person in the UK. This week at New Horizon, he is speaking at the Evening Celebrations on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Here the NH Media Team brings you a summary of what he had to say on Sunday 7 August.
Reading from John 4: 4 – 26
There are a few things in this story that are really important to us.
The Bible says that Jesus “had” to go through Samaria. There are two roads from Jericho to Galilee and in fact most Jews would take the alternate route. Jesus didn’t “have” to go through Samaria except that God had a plan.
Jesus’ ambition was to achieve the will of the Father. Is your ambition to achieve the will of God or to achieve your own ambition? Are we ambitious for God or ambitious for ourselves? When you are ambitious for God, you have to get off your own agenda.
Jesus was tired, hungry and thirsty. That is why the disciples left Him there. All He asked for was a drink and she was rude to Him. Jesus doesn’t say, “I have living water for you.” Jesus doesn’t get His drink. His motivation to quench her spiritual thirst was greater than His physical thirst. What is your motivation?
A woman who lost everything in a hurricane was still going to church. She said: “This is an opportunity to show for those of us who have Jesus to demonstrate what it means to lose everything but still have everything.”
This was a woman but Jesus treated her with dignity and respect. They were in public but Jesus was willing to risk condemnation from others. She was a Samaritan but Jesus overcame prejudice and sectarianism.
Sometimes we lose the determination to see people come to faith. Right now we are doing more good stuff than we have ever done but we are not seeing more fruit. Our determination has got to hope us to keep going.
I’m not satisfied. I want so much more for the UK. I am so convinced that in my lifetime, we are going to see a mighty move of God.
Jesus makes it personal. As she fights, Jesus keeps pushing. The deeper He goes, the shallower she becomes. Jesus knows how to apply truth to her context. Jesus treats people as individuals. He does not compare.
One of the sins in the church is comparison. It either makes you feel better or worse. It is not good. Jesus doesn’t do comparison.
Where is Jesus when all the rubbish is happening? When bad stuff happens, God is with us. Some people say when you come to God you will be healthy and wealthy and all will be well. That is a fairy story… or heaven! Christianity is not easy but God promises to be with us!
Where is her life going? When the woman at the well realises who Jesus is, that truth transforms her in a moment. There is something so incredible about the message this woman brings. She goes back transformed and they run towards Jesus. Up until this point Jesus was the Messiah of the Jews but at this point, He becomes the Saviour of the world.
Sadly, some Christians have got bored of the empty tomb!
I tell people – “Jesus loves us so much that He came from highest heaven to deepest earth. He lived and died so that we might know life in all its fullness today and life in all its fullness for all eternity. Three days later, He rose from the dead.” When you preach the Gospel, you are in a “rejection” ministry. For every person who says, 10 say “no”!
If you get the Samaritan woman, you get the village. Who is the prodigal you have given up on? Who is the unreachable person in the street? The Samaritan woman got everyone!
My grandmother had Alzheimer’s. For the last eight years of her life she sat in the corner of a nursing home, unable to speak and unable to recognise any of us. Where is Jesus when you have left everything. One her birthday, my mum visited her and asked to pray with her. My mum opened her eyes and saw that my grandmother’s eyes were shut. For the only time in those eight years, she spoke out loud and prayed, “I don’t know who I am and I don’t know where I am but Lord Jesus please love me.”
You can lose everything, even your mind and yet still have Jesus.