Glorious Surprises

God has plans for you today, beloved. He has a way of leading you into situations which you may not have planned, but which are His glorious plan for you because there's somebody that needs the Lord Jesus Christ.

Scripture: John 20:30-31


Alright thank you very much. And hello again radio friends, how in the world are you? You doing alright? Well I trust so, bless your heart. It’s a new day and a new year and a new opportunity to honor your blessed Lord. I’m glad to be back with you, and we’re looking, you and I, at the gospel of John and kind of a recap of it based upon John 20:30 and 31. “These things are written,” said John “that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God and that believing you might have life through His name.” What did John have in mind when he wrote his gospel? He had in mind to turn you clearly to faith in Christ. Now we talked about chapters 1 and 2. Jesus is the answer to the sin problem. He’s the answer to the emptiness when the wine of life runs out. He’s the answer to the question of leadership, who can give orders? Now Chapter 3 comes Nicodemus. It’s night and he comes to see our Lord Jesus.

The implication is that he didn’t want anybody else to see him. He is lumped together with Joseph of Arimathea who was a believer but secretly for fear. So here he is, and he comes with a very nice speech. He said, “Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God for no man can do these miracles that thou doest except God be with him.” Our Lord Jesus comes right to the point, He says, “You have to be born again.” He said, “You were born once with an earthly nature, now you have to be born with a spiritual nature.” Well Nicodemus said, “How can these things be?” See the question of “how” always gets in the way. You and I need to learn that instead of dwelling on the “how”, we need to focus our attention on the person “whom.” It’s not the “how” that you figure out, it’s the person to whom you yield yourself who saves you by His grace. You follow that? And so the Lord Jesus answered in answer to that question “how,” “Art thou a master of Israel and knowest not these things.” Why he said, “Marvel not that I said unto thee, ‘Ye must be born again.'”

Why did He say that? Well I think one reason was that here the person who was speaking is the creator. John Chapter 1 said, “All things were made by Him. And without Him was not anything made that was made.” He’s the creator. He’s also the sustainer. Paul the apostle says, “By Him, all things were made by Him, and by Him all things hold together.” The Lord Jesus Christ Himself is the power that keeps the atom from blowing up. All that God has to do to blow up the whole world is just to let go. By Him all things hold together. So he’s the sustainer, then he’s the revealer. “We beheld the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory; the glory is of the only begotten of the Father full of grace and truth. The law came by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” He’s the revealer, and then he’s the redeemer. He’s all that you need. And so when Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Don’t be surprised that I said it.” What was He saying? “Hey Nicodemus, you’re balking at the concept of how could a person be born again. You don’t even know how a person is born the first time.” And he said, “You don’t know how creation was accomplished, and you don’t know how the universe functions. You’re talking to somebody that created it and sustains it and knows all about it. Why are you balking at this idea of being born again?”

I say the average human being backs up at the idea of how can this happen. Leave the “how” with God, leave the “whys” with God. Job never got an answer to his why question. Never got an answer to his question, “Why did all this happen to me?” “I lost my riches, my property, my cattle, my servants, and then my family all lost in one day.” He said, “Why did this happen? And why did I ever… Why was I born? And why didn’t I die before I grew up? And so on. He never got an answer to those questions that were asked out of his agony of spirit.

Instead, as you read toward the end of the book of Job, you find Almighty God showing Job something concerning Himself. And finally, Job said, “I’ve heard of thee by the hearing of the ear, but now mine eye seeth thee and I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes.” God said, “Come on now speak up. Give me an answer to these questions.” And Job said in effect, “I’ve said too much already. I’m gonna lay my hand upon my mouth.” So what I’m saying is turn your faith toward a person instead of toward a concept necessarily. How can this be? How can God change my life? How can God deliver me from drugs, or sex, or alcohol, or from fear, or worry, or from the nagging resentment that I’ve carried against some person for years? How can God guide me into a new job? How can God satisfy the longing of my heart? You see instead of asking all the “hows”, just come to the person who does it, and let Him begin to operate in your life.

Jesus said, “Marvel not that I said unto you, you must be born again.” Here’s the creator, and the sustainer, and the revealer, and the redeemer, and Nicodemus is wondering how it can happen. You don’t need to wonder how or why, just turn your life and those crisis areas of it. Every one of us has areas that needs God’s special touch, and you turn those crisis areas of your life by faith over to the Lord Jesus today. You’ll find that He answers the question, and He Himself then becomes the answer to doubts and doubters. It’s a beautiful truth. Well then, we come to Chapter 4, John wrote this book of the Gospel of John to turn people toward the Lord Jesus Christ in faith. And here we have in Chapter 4 the story of a lady who was no lady evidently, she had been sleeping around here and there and Jesus told her that she had had five husbands and was living in common law relationship with the sixth man.

He knew what was going on. Parenthetically, you will not give God any information. And by the time you end a prayer of confession, He knows it all already. It’s says, “He needeth not that any should tell Him testify of man for He knew what was in man.” That’s the last verse of John Chapter 2. Our Lord Jesus knows all about you. He won’t make any discoveries about you, by the time you end a prayer, or by the time this broadcast is over. He knows it all, just as He knew the personal life history of this woman to whom He spoke there at Jacob’s ancient well just outside of the town of Sychar. Incidentally, He didn’t have to go this way. It said, “He must needs go through Samaria.” Verse 4 of Chapter 4 says, “The traditional route was to detour around Samaria.” So He didn’t have to do it that way but divine purpose had an appointment with one solitary woman, a woman who it developed would be the key to the salvation of a whole town and because that was true it said, “He had to go there.”

Have you begun to think clearly about the fact that God’s plans depend upon what He says He wants to do to save people. “God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” “He’s long suffering to us not willing that any should perish,” says Peter, “but that all should come to repentance.” God’s plans, if I may use the term reverently, drive Him in the direction of a meeting with needy souls. You and I can do no better than to fit in with those plans, and that’s then why I ask you to pray before you start a trip or before you interact with anybody, to pray that God will lead you to say and do the things that will bring people to the Lord Jesus Christ. God knows who’s ready for a loving word about the Savior, and He could lead you to that person.

“He must needs go through Samaria.” “Christ liveth in me,” said Paul, “Christ in you the hope of glory,” he said to the Colossians in Chapter 1, “And so the Lord Jesus Christ living in you has as His main business to seek and to save the lost.” He said, “The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” So as you yield to the Lord Jesus who is revealed by the indwelling Holy Spirit, you are led, guided, not to say driven, but that might be a good word, into situations where you can share your Savior and introduce people to Him.

My friend, Ben Weiss, prayed one day as he was closing up his work at a high school in Los Angeles where he was the principal. He was lonely man now, his wife had died and he was alone in the big house on Orange Avenue in Pasadena, and he didn’t wanna go back there just to open a can of pork and beans; he wanted some kind of supper. And so he prayed as he was closing his desk said, “Lord, where do you want me to have dinner tonight?” And he thought of a number of places, there was one that he enjoyed eating at, but it was always crowded and you had to stand in line and so he tossed that aside in his mind, but he never really found any other place about which he thought that was satisfying. And so finally as he prayed he said, “Well, all right Lord if you want me to go there I will, but put me with somebody that I can talk to about Jesus.”

And so when he got to this restaurant, sure enough it was crowded and there was a waiting line, and he began to stand patiently in line and the hostess said, “Is there a gentleman here that wouldn’t mind sharing a table for two, sharing it with someone who has already started his meal? And Ben Weiss lifted his hand and said, “No I don’t mind.” And so he was seated at this table and began to talk with the man who by and by said, “You know, I’ve been walking the streets all day trying to get up courage enough to kill myself.” He said, “I’m just hopeless and I don’t know what to do,” and so on. Well, Ben was then able then to open the Gospel to him and to point him to Christ, and after the meal was over and they had paid the bill the two of them went out and this man bowed his head as he stood beside Ben’s ancient Chrysler and gave his heart to Jesus Christ. “He must needs go through Samaria.”

God has plans for you today, beloved. He has a way of leading you into situations which you may not have planned, but which are His glorious plan for you because there’s somebody, somebody that needs the Lord Jesus Christ. And so this 4th Chapter then is the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ is the answer to a life of sin and dissatisfaction. This lady indicated her own perplexity when she asked questions about her own religious beliefs which differed sharply from those of the Jewish folk around her. And she said, “I know the Messiah’s coming.” Well He said, “I that speak unto thee am He.” That did it, and she in that moment of trust left her water jar there on the stone coping of Jacob’s well and went back into town and began to tell the folk about it. We’ll get at the rest of that story the next time we get together.

Father God, today, oh may we be led by the indwelling Holy Spirit to people who need Jesus. I ask in His name. Amen.

Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!

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