SERMON SERIES:

Standing firm & loving well: Priorities

03/03/2024

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We hope that you are being filled with the presence and power of Christ as we are making our way toward resurrection morning! This is a wonderful and joyful hope for our lives and our hearts. Resurrection is not just a future hope, but it is a living reality that lifts us from the darkness into the light. We continue with our Lenten series Standing Firm and Loving Well. If you have not started the study The Daniel Dilemma there is still time! You will find books at the front of the church and videos are on our website (sjpcjax.org). This week’s sermon is Priorities. All of us have priorities. They may be simple but generally, they are important. They give a sense of order to our lives and help us to distinguish the important from the unimportant, the critical from the causal, and the serious from the superficial. One of our struggles is keeping the “main thing” the “main thing.”  When this happens, we may find ourselves confused and conflicted. What we thought was critical becomes lost in a fog of distraction and activity. As one writer put it, “If we don’t know where we are going, we will probably end up someplace else!” In our study, Chris Hodges says that “order communicates priority.” For us to stand firm and love well we have to have a clear picture of the priority of worship and how we let the worship of God flow through every part of our lives. Our scripture is John 4:12-24. Although this is a familiar conversation of Jesus with the Samaritan woman, it is filled with the conflict of priorities. Conflicts of nationality, conflicts of faith, and conflicts of lifestyle are all found in this short conversation. Yet, Jesus offers this woman an opportunity to leave her thirst, to leave her hopelessness, and to be filled with a spring of living water! Our prayer for you is that you will encounter the risen Christ in the conflicts and problems that you are enduring so that you will experience the spring of joyful, life-giving, eternal water filling your heart and soul as you read John 4:12-24.

 

John 4:12-24: Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”  Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”  The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”  He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”  “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband.  The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”  “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet.  Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”  “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.  Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.  God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” NIV