Convictions (Everybody should have some)
Ken Walker writes in Christian Reader that in the 1995 college football season 6 foot 2 inch, 280-pound Clay Shiver, who played center for the Florida State Seminoles, was regarded as one of the best in the nation.
In fact, one magazine wanted to name him to their preseason All-America football team.
But that was a problem, because the magazine was Playboy, and Clay Shiver is a dedicated Christian.
Shiver and the team chaplain suspected that Playboy would select him, and so he had time to prepare his response.
Shiver knew well what a boon this could be for his career.
Being chosen for this All-America team meant that sportswriters regarded him as the best in the nation at his position.
Such publicity never hurts athletes who aspire to the pros and to multimillion-dollar contracts.
But Shiver had higher values and priorities.
When informed that Playboy had made him their selection, Clay Shiver simply said, “No thanks.”
That’s right, he flatly turned down the honor.
“Clay didn’t want to embarrass his mother and grandmother by appearing in the magazine or give old high school friends an excuse to buy that issue,” writes Walker.
Shiver further explained by quoting Luke 12:48: “To whom much is given, of him much is required.”
“I don’t want to let anyone down,” said Shiver, “and number one on that list is God.”
it is the contention of this biblical text before us that what the world is in need of now is revival.
The truth is that there are just too many people who claim to be children of God and citizens of the kingdom who are devoid of any true commitment to the Master.
What I mean is that they lack genuine conviction that comes from a personal relationship with him.
By conviction, I mean, a strong persuasion or belief in him.
In fact, the overwhelming majority of people who populate the place we call Church are there on “borrowed convictions”.
I believe I’m right about it because the Lord Jesus was careful to leave this warning on record: Reference Matt 7:21-23
I have often wondered why it is so difficult for the people of God to be about the Father’s business; the answer is right here…they are living on borrowed convictions.
It has correctly been said that:
A FAITH THAT IS NOT WORTH DYING FOR IS HARDLY WORTH LIVING FOR
Look at this text with me today and meet a woman who has nothing to lose, but everything to gain.
She does not know it, but this is the first day of the rest of her life.
Up to this point in her life, she has had no real convictions at all; it is evidenced by her lifestyle of ill-repute.
The text tell us that Jesus is en-route to Jerusalem and makes it a point to go through Samaria.
This is significant, because as a rule, Jews didn’t go through Samaria.
Even though it was a shorter route, to avoid contact with Samaritans, Jews took the long way around.
It’s a long story, but to make a long story short, Jesus had some business with some lost people there.
Open Bibles to John 4:1-6
A CONFUSED WOMAN
The first thing that we notice about this woman is that she comes to the well at a strange hour.
At verse 6 of the text, we discover that she arrived at somewhere around the sixth hour.
The Faithlife Study Bible tells us that “The Greek text identifies the time as “about the sixth hour.”
The hours were counted from sunrise to sunset (roughly 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.), so the “sixth hour” was around noon.”
When you look at this picture, its not hard to see that she was trying to avoid running into anyone at the well.
But, on this day, she was confronted by Jesus with 3 issues that challenged the convictions that she held.
The first issue was that of “Living Water” or “Eternal life”.
Then he challenged her concerning her personal lifestyle, finally he challenged her convictions about worship.
The woman, having not made a full commitment to what she had experienced, tried to back out the conversation by saying in essence “We’ll understand it better by and by” - When Messiah comes.
See John 4:25-26
When she heard those words, she left her waterpot, and went into the city and said to the men: John 4:29
She was convinced, at least, to an extent that Jesus was the Christ.
Her conviction showed by her witnessing to the men of the city.
Her testimony ignited interest in others and they believed based on what she said.
In other words they had borrowed her convictions.
A CURIOUS CROWD
The witness of others is essential to bringing people to Christ.
How many of us must confess that it was the prayers of Mother that caused us to stop and ponder the reality of God.
To some it was the words of wisdom that came from the lips of Father or Grandfather.
Still others were profoundly affected by the zeal exhibited by those courageous souls that stood up for the right in Jesus name.
It moved you and inspired you, and you wanted to be like them.
So you begin to practice being like them: singing like them, prayer like them, preaching like them, going to church like them…but, you never got what they had....you just borrowed from them.
The text says that “from the city many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, He told me all the things that I had done.
Here it is: You will never develop your own convictions as long as you just take the word of other people.
Watch this curious crowd…they came to Jesus.
That’s what he wants us to do: See Isa 1:18; Matt 11:28
Next, they realized that it takes time to get to know someone, so they asked him to stay with them.
I like that today, because that’s what we really need to learn how to do: Ask Him to stay with us.
The first words the disciples heard from Jesus were, What do you want?
In one sense Jesus was asking a simple question and the disciples responded with a request for information as to where He lived.
But the author seemed to imply more.
Perhaps Jesus was also asking, “What are you seeking in life?”
The word translated staying (menō) is a favorite word of John’s.
Sometimes, as here, it means “to stay or dwell” in a place; a few times it means “to last or continue”; but more often it has a theological connotation: “to remain, continue, abide” (e.g., John 15:4–7).
I know that He does not abide with us in bodily presence as He did with the Samaritans but we can ask him to stay with us in the person of the Holy Spirit.
Sweet Holy Spirit, Sweet Heavenly Dove
stay right here with us, filling us with your love.
The text says that he stayed there for two days.
‘Then we are told that Many more believed because of His word.
Check out the progression: “from that city many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the word of the woman” to “Many more believed because of His Word.
The crowd’s curiosity had been transformed into something more than mere borrowed conviction.
A CONFIDENT PROFESSION OF FAITH
The narrative helps us in our walk with the Lord today.
It says to us that we can not afford to stand on the profession of faith of others.
While it is a blessing to have been exposed to the Lord through those who have gone before us, at some point in our Christian journey we must give back the convictions we have borrowed.
Lest we forget: borrowed means that it does not belong to you.
Look at the text and see the Samaritans saying to the woman “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world.”
New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995), Jn 4:42.
There is no better joy than to be confident that you know Jesus for yourself.
They said “we have heard him for ourselves”.
Have your heard him lately?
Have you asked him to stay with you; to walk with you and talk with you?
Is your Profession of faith based on a valid personal experience or are you still clinging on to borrowed conviction.
Might I encourage you to give them back today.
Well, i don’t know what else to tell you today, but any thing borrowed ought to given back.
Because at the end of the day...
Mama may have, and Papa may have
but God bless the Bless the child that’s got its own
Is there anybody here today that can say
“I’m glad I’ve got my own”
Blessed assurance Jesus is mine; Oh what a foretaste of glory divine.
Heir of salvation, purchased of God.
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.