Divide or Multiply?
In the place where John the Baptist was continuing to baptise, his disciples had an argument with the Jews over the ceremonial law of washing. They also complained to John about the fact that Jesus was also baptising and people were flocking to Him. Doesn’t this sound like little children and their friendships in the school playground today?
But, if we are honest, it is how Christians in general behave in some Churches today. If we are not looking at other churches and finding things to condemn them for, we are looking within our own church to criticise different leaders or departments for how they are doing things, for many different reasons. We don’t want people to look at our shortcomings so we point the finger at others and sow seeds of discord, discontent, and doubt.
John the Baptist overcame this problem by focusing on his devotion to Jesus Christ. When we talk and share our excitement about all Jesus has done for each of us and live our lives according to the Word, it does not cause division but brings us together and shows the world that Jesus really is alive today, John 17:20-23.
We are all “The called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28-31; 8:34-35; 8:37: Colossians 3:15; Ephesians 4:1,2.
A. Jesus Christ valued people in the same way as God does, John 17:23.
1. He saved, healed, blessed and encouraged people.
2. He called them.
3. He taught them.
4. He prayed for them.
5. He paid for them.
6. He commissioned them.
7. He arose and accompanied them.
B. Jesus Christ emphasised these vital facts:
1. My Father is your Father. John 14:8-11; Matthew 6:9; John 20:17.
2. I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you. John 14:20.
3. Behave as I do. Use My name and you will get greater results. John 14:12.
4. Share the Gospel with everyone. Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:47; Acts 1:8.
5. I will be with you forever. Mark 16:20; Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5.
If we set our minds and speak these vital facts, they will become so much part of us that we will come to really believe them, do them and be transformed by them.
Jesus did and taught these five vital keys to basic living:
- Pardon for our past. Matthew 26:28; Romans 3:21-25.
- Peace for our present. John 14:27; 16:33; Acts 10:35-37.
- Plans for our future. Jeremiah 29:11.
- Restoration of people to God. Matthew 4:19; Mark 1:17.
- Power for our progress. John 14:12-13; Ephesians 1:18-20; Zechariah 4:6.
Other examples to consider:
- Stephen – full of faith and power. Acts 6:8.
- Paul – partaker of Christ, minister of Gospel. Ephesians 3:6-7.
- Power of the Gospel. Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 1:18.
People for our portion:
- The inheritance that is yours if you ask. Psalm 2:8.
- Be people-touchers, people-healers. Mark 16:15-20.
- The world, cities, church, harvest – it’s People!
Know where your security lies
The world is looking for pardon, peace, good plans, and power in so many places like false religions and “New Age” thinking, chemicals, alcohol, psychology, discipline, penance and the occult. But we know who we are in Jesus Christ and to Whom we are connected.
- How can you crawl when you are a King?
- How can you beg when you are Royalty?
- How can you lose when you have His victory?
- How can you cower when you are redeemed?
- How can you moan when you have His song?
- How can you die inside when you have His life?
Only when we live successfully by God’s standard can we live with Jesus becoming greater and greater and ourselves becoming less and less (John 3:30). John the Baptist stated this as the key to his exceptionally successful life (Matthew 11:11) and we must follow his example if we are to herald the coming King and see with our own eyes the greatest revival in the whole of history. When we see, as John did, that there is a price to pay (he lost his head Matthew 14:10); that we certainly are no better than Jesus who was persecuted and killed; then we will choose to be crucified with Christ daily, Galatians 2:20. This means not doing things for our glory, but giving Him control of all things that attract attention to us, ourselves. Instead, with humility, we shall constantly do things that bring glory and praise to the Name of Jesus Christ.
Keep focused on Jesus
We need to examine our hearts in the light of John’s life and make sure that it is Christ and Christ alone (Colossians 1:18-19) who is at the centre of our lives. When we have amazing experiences of God’s power through His Holy Spirit, we must still want Christ more than what He can do for us. We must allow other peoples’ work for God to flourish, even when our own work is not getting any credit, because we want the Name of Jesus to be lifted up more than anything else. When we constantly keep the Cross in the forefront of our thoughts, our lives will be a mirror of the Word, and we will just flow in the love of God without “trying”. This life will be very fruitful for the Kingdom of God.
Home Challenges for Power Up! – No. 6: Heaven born is Heaven bound!
1. Read the section called “Divide or Multiply?” Does anything in these notes speak to you personally?
2. Can you sum up John the Baptist’s testimony about Jesus?
3. Read the notes about “Successful Living“. Which part do you find most exciting? Why?
Read John 4:1-26
4. What was strange about Jesus going through Samaria? Why do you think the woman was at the well at noon? (John 4:4)
5. What is amazing about Jesus’ question to this woman? (John 4:7-9)
6. Do you feel prejudiced in any situation? Have you been at the receiving end of any prejudice? How do you think Jesus would react in your situation?
7. How does Jesus relate her need of a Messiah (Saviour) to her everyday work?
8. How does Jesus describe the effect of the “living water” (John 4:13-14)
9. Why do you think Jesus asked her to call her husband? (John 4:16)
10. When Jesus showed that He knew about her situation, how did she try to avoid the subject?
11. Is there an area of your life that the Holy Spirit is putting His finger on and that you have been avoiding? The answer for peace of mind is to face up to it now and put it right.
12. Describe in your own words Jesus’ reply when the woman talks about worship. (John 4:19-24) Which few words does He repeat in this passage?
13. Do you know this kind of worship in private? Is there any advice you could give to help someone just getting started in praise and worship?
Read John 4:27-42
14. What was the woman’s first reaction when she realised who she was talking to? (John 4:28)
15. How does Jesus describe His motives for living in this passage? (John 4:31-38)
16. When Jesus is talking about the harvest, what is He talking about? What is your part?
17. Is there something that really speaks to you in this passage?
18. What happened when the woman shared her testimony? (John 4:39)
19. What happened to the people when they met Jesus for themselves? (John 4:41-42)
20. Write a short sentence describing what happened to the Samaritan woman in this passage.
21. Choose one verse to memorise from this passage, and write it down.