September 18, Sunday

REPOST Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought, provided by Jabez Yeo, now a friend of AMI, was first posted on January 25, 2015.  

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“Why We Praise Others”

Jn. 4:27-8; 39-42

“Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, ‘Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?’ They came out of the town and made their way toward Him. . . . 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.’” 

One movie released in 2014 that I enjoyed enough to watch more than once was Interstellar:  I loved the breathtaking setting of space; the suspenseful narrative which showcased the best and worst of humanity; the deeply moving Hans Zimmer soundtrack, etc. So when a discussion among friends or co-workers about good movies to watch would come up, I would (and still do) enthusiastically recommend Interstellar. Seeing it for the second time with my sisters, and watching them get engrossed in it, made me enjoy the movie even more than before.

Perhaps you are not a movie fan or have a different opinion about Interstellar: The point is that whatever activity you enjoy or person you admire, you will naturally praise it to others—meaning to express admiration or approval.  And praise is so reflexive that we don’t even think about it. Whether it is great food from a restaurant, a person’s lifelong accomplishments, or a highlight from one of our favorite athletes, all of these can be sources of praise. Whatever or whoever is the object of your praise, it will most likely make its way into your conversations or perhaps into your statuses and tweets.   

The Samaritan woman has often been described as one of Jesus’ first evangelists. After meeting Jesus, she enthusiastically praised Him and shared about His impact in her life with others; and as a result, many became believers. As people who have encountered Jesus in our lives, we, too, should praise Him and share about His life-changing effect with others. No doubt we may face barriers, but keep in mind that the Samaritan woman had her own obstacles as well. Her inferior status as a woman in Middle Eastern society and her reputation as an adulterer did not prevent her from sharing about Jesus in wise ways (i.e. using a rhetorical question instead of the declaration, “He is the Messiah,” which others might have scoffed at or ignored). 

But before we begin to praise Jesus with others, we have to ask ourselves, have we encountered Him recently? Have we remembered His goodness during our times of prayer or reading of His Word? Methods and strategies may be good for evangelism, but what’s even more important is a heart alive from meeting with Christ. Let’s reach out our hands and ask Him to meet us where we are this Sunday  so that we will naturally declare as David did: “I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done” (Psalm 9:1).

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I want to share about You with others, but I know that I cannot because of my own limited strength and hesitancy. Help me to encounter You today so that “I will tell of all the marvelous things You have done.” May my praise to You overflow from my lips unto the hearts of many this day and in the future. In Your name, I pray, Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: 2 Kings 25

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