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22nd March: We have heard for ourselves

They said to the woman, `We no longer believe just because of what you said: now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Saviour of the world'. John 4:42 (NIV)

This verse comes at the end of the account of the encounter of Jesus Christ with the Samaritan woman. Because of her faith she had told many in her town about Jesus which is the Christ. As a result many believed (Jn 4:39).

I also came to the Lord Jesus Christ because someone told me about him. I believed and was joyful. I trusted the testimony of someone else because it appeared true. I had no reason to doubt its sincerity. I read about it in the Bible and know that it is true. The Holy Spirit also witnessed to my spirit that Christ is Lord. That was the beginning of my faith.

However, we cannot go on in our Christian life sustained by the testimonies of others. We need to come to the One who is the very fountain of life. We need to be sustained by the One who has given us the gift of faith.

The Samaritan men were good examples. At first they had believed because of the testimony of a woman, but now they had come to know Jesus Christ personally. It was a direct encounter with him. It was a first hand experience, and they no longer relied on the word of another.

We need to know the Lord Jesus Christ in a real and personal way. We need to be able to experience his presence in every facet of our living -- in our work, in our home, in our recreation and holiday.

There is a growing dependence today on professional people in every walk of life. Many depend heavily on their doctor. Christians tend to rely on their pastor or minister, who are indeed very godly people and have been a great gift to the churches. But many Christians have grown so used to having them to sustain their Christian lives that they have forgotten the very One who is the Giver of life, Jesus Christ himself. We need to relearn how to come to him and to be able to have a personal relationship with him.

Jesus, our only joy be thou
As thou our prize wilt be;
In thee be all our glory now,
And through eternity.
Bernard of Clairvaux

Further reading: Jn 4:1-30, 39-42.


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