Friday, September 05, 2008

What's God Doing?

I typically devote Friday blog's in the fall to football. However, with a rather bland schedule of games this weekend, I'm renaming today "Cross Country Friday."

This afternoon, Trae has her first Cross Country meet at Woodward Park. The 4th grade varsity run at 3:00 and I am excited about cheering her on. The temperature is supposed to be 102 today and so her first meet will be a hot one.


Fresno's first Chick-fil-A opens in 13 days!


My lessons in Florence at Renewal all centered around the exchange of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4. The more I study and ponder that text, the more my mind is riveted by what Jesus says to his disciples about the work of God.

John concludes a paragraph on the work of God and how his mission was to do the work of God was these words: "I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor" (John 4.38).

Jesus is talking about the pending mass conversion of a Samaritan village, brought to the Messiah by a five-time failure at marriage whose emptiness had been filled by the living water of Jesus. He lets his disciples in on a secret that we in the modern church fail to emphasize -- that God is up to something long before we show up.

In Jesus's day, there were no mission trips to Samaria. Among orthodox Jews, Samaritans weren't candidates for proselytizing but avoiding. But when Jesus arrives and offers the woman at the well living water, she enthusiastically returns to her village and begins to share the story. Amazingly, her neighbors who'd rejected and marginalized in the past don't reject her story of the Messiah. They leave the city and journey to the wall to see and hear for themselves.

Jesus teaches his disciples that their conversion is a testimony to the work of God. God was at work in Samaria long before the Messiah showed up. God was preparing hearts to receive the Savior of the World long before the Savior of the world stopped at a well for a drink.

What is God doing today? Where is God working today? Where are hearts prepared to receive the gospel today? Perhaps our missionary endeavors would find a more fruitful harvest if we'd first consider what God is doing and join God where He is already at work.