First, thank you to Pastor Matt at Brandywine Community Church for yesterday’s teaching on taking a risk to initiate new relationships from John 4 (Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well). First, we need to move out of our comfortable pew in order to meet people in need of the gospel.  One way you can do that is to interact with our neighbors through one of the ministries of Love INC. (#loveincghc). After overcoming the barriers, we must ask, listen and care. Or as Lois Tupyi puts it in Redemptive Compassion we must help those we serve see that they have value as a child of God and that they have potential and the ability to participate in the solution.

One of the interesting side conversations that occurred between Jesus and the Samaritan woman was the exchange following Jesus’ recognition of her sinful state. “19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”” Jesus response spoke of a time of unity in His church. “21 Jesus declared,“Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”

 In his book, Uncommon, Tony Dungy states ” The church is Christ’s bride, and in that role collectively represents Jesus Christ to the world. … In order for our faith to grow further in a relationship with Christ, we need the fellowship and encouragement of others of like faith to edify and sustain us and our faith. God’s plan is that we have a private, personal relationship and time with Him, alongside the collective worship, study and fellowship with others in unity with Christ and His purpose for the church. And in addition, we need to follow Paul’s admonition that we be unified on the essentials of our faith and not worry so much about the nonessentials and our different points of view on them – dress, work hours, color of our hair, the list goes on. But regarding the core elements of our faith in Jesus Christ, we need unity, clarity and commitment.When httat occurs, unity occurs within the body of believers – Christ’s church. As a result, Christ is lifted up to draw all people to Himself, and He is glorified.”

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