I must first say ‘thank you’ to all of you for the encouragement and prayers for my family over the past week.  Even though there was much heartache and tears (and still are), I have never been as encouraged by anything as I was at my cousin’s husband’s funeral.  Don, my cousin’s husband,  lived a life worthy of his calling in Christ.  I wish you all could have seen his football team, dressed in their jerseys, stand up to sing the song their coach (Don) had taught them…

 “Come and go with me to my Father’s house.  Come and go with me to my Father’s house.  It’s a big, big house, with lots and lots of room.  A big, big table, with lots and lots of food.  A big, big yard, where we can play football.  A big, big house. . . it’s my Father’s house.”  (Big House,  by Audio Adrenaline)

 That was probably one of the most touching moments I have ever experienced in my life.  Hollywood could not have possibly created a more emotion provoking scene as there was in that church that morning.  There was not a dry eye in the place as we all watched these young (yet quite big  🙂 ) men sing ‘Big House.’  My mind kept thinking about the passage in John 4 that we have been studying. 

  John 4:35-38 (NLT)
35 You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest.
36 The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike!
37 You know the saying, ‘One plants and another harvests.’ And it’s true.
38 I sent you to harvest where you didn’t plant; others had already done the work, and now you will get to gather the harvest.”

Don spent over thirty years of his life teaching and coaching in the public school system. He never shied away from telling his students and players about his faith in Jesus Christ.  Don was a harvester of souls, as described in the verses above.  As I looked at those young men singing, I couldn’t help but wonder how many of their eternal destinies were changed because they came into contact with Don. . .how many would leave that service, and never be the same?

I have no doubt that Don had planted a seed in all of  those young men. (and in the lives of the thousands of others he has taught, coached, or worked with over the years).  His integrity, his concern for them as people, his commitment to his family planted a seed in them that someone else will later ‘harvest.’  As I watched them sing, I prayed that God would send workers . . .that their would be plenty of workers ready to harvest the souls that had been touched by Don.  There have been some amazing articles written about my cousin…here’s one the local sports writer wrote

www.cnhi.com/muskogee/sports/local_story_069005438.html

There is so much more in the fourth chapter of John.  I simply don’t have the time to discuss it all.  We need to move on to chapter five.  Grab your journal and answer the questions below and then if you are a part of our Facebook group, join the discussions there.  You never know who might be reading your words and need the encouragement!

Questions for Chapter 4:

1.  On page of Journey into Knowing Jesus, it says, “The woman thought she was going to Jacob’s well because she needed physical water, but in fact she had an appointment with the Son of God.  In the same way, no one is listening to or reading this lesson by accident.  You have an appointment with Jesus!”  In the past four weeks of studying the book of John, have you experienced a moment that you knew was an ‘appointment’ with Jesus (a moment where He clearly spoke to you)?  Describe that moment.

2.  Unlike Jesus, the religious leader of Jesus’s day would not have shown compassion to the Samaritan woman because of her ethnic background and because she was a woman.  Romans 2:11 (NIV) says,  For God does not show favoritism.  What significance does this verse and the story of the Samaritan woman have on our lives as believers today?

3.  Hebrews 4:13 says,  Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.  This verse can both be a comfort and a challenge.  What is the significance of this verse in your own life?

4.  How should John 4:24 impact us every Sunday?  What are some practical ways that help you worship in ‘spirit and truth,’ as described in John 4:24?  From your own personal experience, what are some things that are hindrances to this kind of worship?

5.  Are you currently laboring for the sake of Christ, as described in verses 35-38?  In Matthew 9:37, Jesus says “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.”  Are you currently planting seeds in the lives of others that will point them to Christ?  If so, how?   There are millions who claim to be followers of Christ, yet there are ‘few’ workers.  Why do you think that is true?

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