Jesus is the Saviour of the World
SCRIPTURE READING – JOHN 4:27-42
Just then his disciples arrived, and they were amazed that he was talking with a woman. Yet no one said, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?” Then the woman left her water jar, went into town, and told the people, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah? ”They left the town and made their way to him. In the meantime the disciples kept urging him, “Rabbi, eat something.” But he said, “I have food to eat that you don’t know about.” The disciples said to one another, “Could someone have brought him something to eat?” “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work,” Jesus told them. “Don’t you say, ‘There are still four more months, and then comes the harvest’? Listen to what I’m telling you: Open your eyes and look at the fields, because they are ready for harvest. The reaper is already receiving pay and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that the sower and reaper can rejoice together. For in this case the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap what you didn’t labor for; others have labored, and you have benefited from their labor.” Now many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of what the woman said when she testified, “He told me everything I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. Many more believed because of what he said. And they told the woman, “We no longer believe because of what you said, since we have heard for ourselves and know that this really is the Saviour of the world.”
A very good morning to everybody that has joined us for our online service. This is the best that we can do during this time. We miss having the church full, but it is still a joy to know that so many of our church family are listening in at this moment. Before we get to the teaching of God’s word, let’s just open with a brief word of prayer in order to prepare our hearts for the teaching of God’s word.
Our Heavenly Father, your word is true, and your word is sufficient. Lord, this morning as we approach your word, we want to be receptive to know that, that which you have communicate to us this morning, is what we need to hear. Father help us to have receptive hearts, help us to open our ears not to be forgetful listeners or hearers but Father help us to apply the truth of your word in our lives this morning. Father if your word needs to cut, let it cut. If it needs to comfort, let it comfort Lord. And Father we thank you, that your will bring the increase. In Jesus Name. Amen.
So, our text this morning as you have heard comes from John chapter 4. It really is, I am going to give away a little secret here. It is one of my favourite stories in the Gospels. Few of us I think will be unfamiliar with the story of the Samaritan woman that meets Jesus at the well.
It is so precious to me, the story because it tells of a woman entrenched and entangled in sin that meets the Saviour Jesus Christ and gets deliverance and freedom, goes out in joy. Not only that but brings people to Jesus. It’s a long story and I wish we had the time to go through it all but this morning we won’t focus on the first part of Jesus’ dialog with the woman at the well. Rather we will be focusing on the aftermath, the event that happened after Jesus has spoken to this woman. Everything leads up to this climax and I want you to draw your attention to where this story ends in verse 42 and everything leads up to this pinnacle, this climax where the woman along with the whole town in Samaria declares at the end that Jesus is the Saviour of the world. And this really is the focus and title of this sermon.
That Jesus is the Saviour of the World!
As I mentioned, we will only be focusing on verses from 27 and what we will find is that what I have done just to look that there are, we can almost call it 3 scenes that leads up to this climax.
The first scene, if you want to follow in your Bible is from verse 27-30. It’s Jesus ending His conversation with the Samaritan woman then the woman going back and witnessing or telling the Elders and people of her town what she has encountered. So, we have Jesus, we have the Samaritan woman, we have the Samaritan’s from this town, and we have the disciples.
The next scene is in verse 31-38 where Jesus now talks to His disciples and there is this dialog between Jesus and His disciples.
Finally, in verse 39-42 is the end of this story, the next scene where the Samaritans come, and Jesus stays with them and they make this profound declaration that we haven’t seen up to now in John’s Gospel. There were other statements and declarations made about Jesus but not one of this magnitude that declares that Jesus is the Saviour of the World and He indeed is!
1). The Witness (27-30)
What is significant about the story is as we approached it is, who made this statement. It wasn’t the Chief Priests, it wasn’t the Spiritual Leaders of Israel, it wasn’t those who knew most about Scripture. Indeed, it was the Samaritans that made this profound declaration. Just to enlighten our understanding again, the Samaritans were people that were really outcasted in the eyes of Israel as the chosen nation. In fact, they had a disdain towards the Samaritans to such an extent that they really and this was a saying that they are “lower than a dog to the Israelites”. Reason being that they were of a mixed ethic race, they were previously Jews that went and intermarried with some of the Pagan nations and they established their own place of worship. They had the Torah. They had their own interpretation and application of the Torah and so all of this caused the pure Jews to have a deep disdain for the Samaritans. In fact, they saw them as being lower even in the pagans. So, what is interesting is if we look at the beginning of the story as it begins in chapter 4, it says that Jesus had to go into Sychar this town in Samaria. He had to go through Samaria. What is interesting is, Jesus goes and is at the well and His disciples go off into the town. We understand that the well is outside of the town, the disciples go into the town to go and get food. It is actually noon time; it is lunch time at this time of the day and here is this woman that comes up and she finds Jesus at the well. Jesus approaches her and says, “Can I have some water?” and the woman is taken aback, surprised for a number of reasons:
- Jesus is a man.
- He is also a Jew and she is a Samaritan.
- She is a woman of reputation and He is a rabbi.
The woman is surprised that Him as a Jew would be talking to her. Then this conversation starts happening and the woman keeps seeing this conversation in the natural. Jesus keeps taking the conversation to the spiritual. He says to her, “I will give you living water.” And the woman says, “Where can I find this living water?” Jesus just has a way of connecting the natural with the spiritual. And he looks deep into her heart, looks beyond the physical. He looks into the spiritual and says to her, “Why don’t you go call your husband” and she says, “I don’t have a husband” He says, ”That is correct because you had 5 and the one that you are with is not your husband”. She is living in adultery. She has been through multiple divorces, Jesus looks into her heart and confronts her sinfulness, her depravity, her deplorable state and the woman is surprised and again she goes back to the natural and Jesus keeps taking it to the spiritual. He says, “The time has come, and it is now.” The true worshippers of God will worship Him in spirit and in truth. The woman asks, “I know when the Messiah will come, He will tell us all things” and Jesus end before we get to verse 27. He ends with this statement, “I am He. I am the Messiah that was promised!” and so, the unlikelihood of the witness, the woman goes away. Verse 27 is where we will have our focus, and it says in verse 27, “Just then his disciples arrive, and they were amazed that he was talking with a woman” And so, this is not only their surprised, here the disciples come back but what is interesting is, is verse 27 starts with this phrase “Just then” and directly after Jesus made this declaration to confirm that He is the Messiah, “just then” through Gods providence, the disciples come back and this conversation is ended on this profound statement by Jesus that He is the Messiah. He is the one that was promised. Even the Samaritans had knowledge that there will be a Messiah that would come. So just then, by the providence of God, the disciples come and they found this scene now with Jesus talking to the Samaritan woman and I think John phrases it in such a way that it is not said but it is very well suspected that they were uncomfortable in a certain way with the situation. Here is Jesus talking firstly she is a woman, secondly, He is a Jew and she is a Samaritan and thirdly He is a rabbi and she is of reputation. It is interesting that the text says, “They didn’t say anything, yet no one said, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?” The likelihood of the witness, the woman left her water jar in verse 28 and went into the town and told the people. We don’t know why she left her water jar there; John doesn’t specify. John doesn’t give us a specific explanation of why she left her water jar there but we do want to assume from the text that seems like some have suggested that she left the jar there so Jesus could indeed drink water that he requested. But it seems to me that it is unlikely that there is a sense of urgency, a sense of excitement, a sense of conviction that caused the woman to leave the water jar, leave what she was busy doing and go and tell the people what has just happened. And so, the disciples keep quiet, they don’t say anything and then the woman goes, and she goes into the town and she tells the people. We can assume that the text that says people, but it would be good indication that most probably and most of the ancient town, the Elders sat at the entrance of the city gate. The elders and the seniors of the town are all gathered at the city gate or entrance of the town and there disputes would be settled if there was any matter that needed to be adjudicated, it would happened at the gate, if there was counselled to be sort, it would happen at the city gate with the Elders. And so, we see this woman going and running to her town to tell the people. Just keep in mind once again, who are these people. There’s Samaritans, this woman is the lowliest of the Samaritans in the eyes of the Jews. They are outcasts, they are worse than dogs, there are two ethnic tension between these people groups but yet this message is taken, Jesus specifically gives this message or reveals Himself specially to this Samaritan woman.
I just want to stop there and think for a moment. I cannot help but see a connection between the story of Jonah if you would remember. Jonah was given the task to go to Nineveh and go proclaim judgement on the city of Nineveh. Jonah say no I don’t want anything to do with the Nineveh’s. In fact, I despise the Ninevites so much that I am going to flee, I am going to flee from God, I am going to flee from the task and the story of Jonah ends where God saves the Ninevites. Jonah is hardened and upset by the fact that God saved the Ninevites. Fast-forward a couple of hundred years, we have the nation of Israel and they are still a bunch of Jonah’s, they are still hardened, they still don’t want, God raised them up as His people to be a witness, a light and testimony to the world, to the nations around them. But here we have Jesus coming on the scene and they are a bunch of Jonah’s hardened in their hearts. Not doing their job to be a light to the nation but what we see is Jesus heart is for all nations. From the beginning, we find these traces of old testament and now in the Gospels of yes Jesus came for Israel, but His heart is for all nations. We find these traces in the Roman Centurion and now even in the Samaritan that aren’t included in Gods salvation.
Now I have to ask myself the question, Gods heart even today is for all nations and we need to see this. Yes, Gods heart is for us, we been saved. Gods heart is not only for me, Gods heart is for Benoni, Gods heart is for Johannesburg, Gods heart is that all of South Africa would see who He is. Gods heart is that those in Saudi Arabia and those in China, those in Madagascar, those in Mozambique would see that Jesus is the Saviour of the world. Gods heart is for all nations. Our heart needs to be for all nations.
The woman runs into the town and now makes this known, she comes and says to most probably the leaders of the town, “Come see the man that told me everything that I did. Could this be the Messiah?” First, she runs and says, “come and see”. She is excited, she beckons them to come with her as she has encountered something that is difficult to explain. She has experienced something that she doesn’t know what to do with and she tells these people “come and see” and she says, “Could this be the Messiah?” They obviously had knowledge of the Messiah and she says, “I think this is the Messiah” but she poses this in a question “Come and See” that you might too determine for yourself if this is the Messiah. But, look at what is so profound here is what she says in the middle sentence “Man who told me everything I did” Isn’t this strange? It really is because this woman is most probably a woman of disrepute in her town. She has had five marriages which is even by Samaritan standards quite bad and now she is living in adultery with a man that she is not married to. I am sure the people of the town must have known of her and most probably she wasn’t with good standing with the Elders and the Leaders of this town. Now she goes and what happens here is that she goes, and she makes this statement, “A man that told me everything I ever did”. What is so profound to me here is that the source of her shame, her sinfulness that has now been revealed, now that has been opened up for the world to see. In fact, not only the world to see but if Jesus is the Messiah, her sin is clear and open and exposed before Him. The source of her shame has now become the attraction of her claim. She goes and she is not ashamed of her sin, yes, I am sure she was previously, but she doesn’t use her sin to hide it away now even to the Elders and the people of the town. In fact, the source of her shame now becomes the attraction of her claim. There is a man that showed and told everything I ever did. Her sin has been exposed, “I think this is the Messiah”. He Himself said He is.
My brothers and sisters, this is what witnessing is. She went as a witness. A witness is somebody that saw something, that beheld something, that can testify that that thing did indeed occur. If there was a crash or there was a crime scene, there was a witness, an eyewitness that saw firsthand what had happened and that can give account that this is what happened, they can confirm that this happened. This woman is a witness. What is she a witness of? She is a witness of the fact that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the living God that revealed and exposed her sinfulness. She is a witness and she goes down to the town and acts as a witness saying, “a man that told me everything I ever did. Come and See, is this is the Messiah”
I cannot help when I read this and think of this of my own experience. There was a time when I was only fourteen years old, but I had a conviction that my life isn’t right with God. My Mother took me to her church, I spoke to a pastor. He opened the word of God; my sin was revealed. I remember sitting in that moment, kneeling in that lounge with the pastor and I felt broken. That moment, I knew that God is alive and that I stand sinful before God. I am filthy, I am dirty, and I was broken, I was cut to the heart. I cried out to God, because in that moment I knew that God is alive and that I am in need of a Saviour. I wept for probably an hour because of my sin but you know what, even though in that moment I stood naked, revealed and exposed before a Holy God, the source of my shame, my sinfulness became the attraction of my claim that Jesus has forgiven me. That God has cleansed me from my sin, that I am washed, that I am purified, that I am clean and I can now be a witness and testify to the fact that Jesus Christ has come into my life, that He made me alive, that He cleansed me, that He purified me. That I am made knew and made whole. There is no need to be ashamed anymore because the things I used to do, I do them no more. There is a gospel song that says that, “the things I used to do, I do them no more.” It was a glad day when I was born again. The true mark of repentance is the deliverance of sin and not only a deliverance of sin but an excitement, a zeal to share the testimony and be a witness of what Christ has done in my life. The true mark of repentance is a passion, a zeal to tell others of what Christ has done in my life. May it be so with us. My dear brothers and sisters, everybody that is watching in this morning, we are to be those witnesses.
2). 31-38 The Saviour
I want to continue to the next scene. The next scene in verse 31 starts “in the meantime”. Now there is a scene change, while this is happening, and the woman went. “In the meantime,” the disciples kept urging Him, “Rabbi, eat something.” But He said, “I have food to eat that you don’t know about.” And Jesus often spoke in these strange allegorical ways and the disciples seemed confused. They say amongst each other, “Could someone have brought him food? We went to get, is there some way that He got food that we don’t know of?” And they are confused. Jesus sees they are confused, and He says in verse 34, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work.” Once again, the disciples think in the natural, Jesus thinks in the spiritual. He is hungry, it is 12 at noon and once again shows us the humanity of Jesus. In the story we see the divinity and the humanity of Jesus coming together. Its 12, it is lunch time and most probably when they arrived at the well, yes Jesus was hungry, the disciples were hungry, and they went to get food. They come back and Jesus said, “I have food to eat that you don’t know about” and they are confused. Where is this food and Jesus said, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work.”
What is Jesus saying here?
I think it seems like just as we receive energy and nourishment from food, Jesus is saying that the driving force and the energy that he receives the motivation for His existence despite the physical restraints and the physical difficulties. For the driving force of His very existence is to do the will of the Father and to accomplish it. In this case, it was to proclaim the Kingdom of God has come near, it was to call people to repentance, it was to establish true worship. And notice that Jesus isn’t saying, “My food is to do my work or to accomplish my work.” But He says, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work.” Gods the Fathers work. God sent Jesus to do this, God sent Jesus on a mission to accomplish and to do His work, to fulfil Gods will. Jesus is saying, “When this happens, when we are sowing, we are reaping this is food to me. My food and that which motivates, that is the driving force is to do the will of the Father, do the will of Him who sent me.” The writer of Hebrews says, “Through the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, the joy was indeed to do the will of the Father to accomplish His works.” I cannot help but think of what Jesus prayed in John 20:21 when He prayed to His Father and He said to His disciples, “Just as the Father has sent me, so I send you.” God sends Jesus. Jesus at the end of His ministry sends disciples by extension. This should be our food as well. This should be our food and our excitement, our nourishment, our passion. Our life giving force is to do the will of Him who sent us, Jesus Christ who sent us said go and be a witness to the ends of the earth, be a witness in your environment, be a witness and go make disciples. This is the one who sent us should indeed be our food, our nourishment, our driving force.
John Piper puts it in such a profound way, and he says, “The more you share God, the more you savor God.”
At this point Jesus is not concerned about His physical nourishment, He has received spiritual nourishment, energy and it is with us ought to be. I don’t know if you have ever experienced, I remember when we were in America for the first time, we were very very green, we were novice Lee-Ann and I. We went with someone to do camp ministry and we were scared to death, well I was scared to death, maybe Lee-Ann was very brave, but I was literally scared to death. I was really afraid to go up to people and start sharing the Gospel. I had never done something like this. It was frightening. We spent that whole day from morning to evening sharing with people, talking about the Gospel, striking up conversation with people, sharing who Jesus is and I remember late that evening, I mean late that evening, it was probably 9-10 from early in the morning we came back home and there was our pastor there and we couldn’t stop talking about this. I remember we were so excited, we couldn’t go to sleep because it was welling up inside of you, it was bubbling out excitement of sharing Jesus and talking to people, being a witness for what He has done in my life. “The more we share God, the more we savor God.”
I need to ask a question here:
How can we as individuals, how can we as a church, how can we as Crystal Park Baptist Church say, “Our food is to do the will of Him who sent us and to accomplish His work?”
I think we need to look at ourselves and set certain aspirations/goals for ourselves. I think we need to do that as a church, we need to be cognisant and intentional of how we can intentionally do the will of Him that sent us to accomplish His work. There are many ways that we as a church are doing currently right now. We are preaching the Gospel, we interacting with the communities, we keeping saying Sunday after Sunday we say please share this video/link to people that you know, to family and to your friends, share it on Facebook, share it on YouTube link, send it out to people so people can hear the message of Jesus Christ. We can truly say it is our food to do the will of Him who sent us. How in your person life, what are you doing in your personal life that you can truly say it is my food to do the will of the father of Him that sent me and to accomplish His works.
Let’s reflect on that. Let’s challenge ourselves this morning. Even as I was going through this, I thought Lord in many ways that passion and zeal that I have had in periods of my life, Lord I need you to revive this in me again. I need you to rekindle this that the passion for the Gospel burns bright and strong and conquerable in my life. In the same sense, look what Jesus says now to the disciples. He says in verse 35, “Don’t you say, there are still four months, and then comes the harvest?” Jesus is saying to them, using an agricultural analogy and says,” We plant and then you wait four months, then the harvest comes.” In South Africa, when we plant corn it takes a little bit longer but with the same idea. There is a time for planting and then there is a time for harvesting/reaping. And Jesus says to them, ”Don’t say there is still four months and then comes the harvest” He says this works like this in the natural, it doesn’t work like this in the Kingdom of God, it doesn’t work like this in the spiritual. He says that there isn’t this linear process where you have sown and wait and sit back until the harvest comes, No. Then Jesus says, “Look up or Open your eyes”. Another translation says, “Look up and look at the fields, because they are ready for harvest.” Now what is Jesus saying here? It is interesting that if we just read it in context, it could possibly mean this. This is something that is really beautiful to me. Just in context, Jesus is speaking to His disciples, the woman had now gone back to town, she went and called Elders and people of the town to come and see. It says meanwhile, Jesus is speaking with His disciples, he is telling them, He is challenging them saying, “that His food is to do the will of Him who sent me” and He says, “Don’t think of this linear sense of reaping and waiting.” In fact, He says, “Open your eyes, look up” and it is very possible that as He was saying this, the Samaritans were coming towards them because the conversation goes on from there. It is very possible from the text that as He was saying it, the very literal sense that the Samaritans were approaching them. He says, “Look up”. Someone once said, “That in ancient middle east, they wore these white robes. It was very traditional and maybe it could be that white robes were approaching them. Jesus says, “Look up, look at the fields, they are ready for harvest” and a literal sense, it is very possible that these Samaritans approaching them and the disciples looking up and seeing them in the scene and hearing the Samaritans approaching them wearing these white robes. And Jesus saying, “the field is ripe harvest.” What a profound, magnificent scene that it would have been. How that impact would of made on the disciples seeing these people approaching and Jesus saying, “This is the harvest we have been sowing and this has been reaping already as these Samarians are approaching.”
We can extend that to ourselves here that even with us working/laboring in the Kingdom of God, the same is true that we are not working and sowing and waiting four months or six months for the labourer. As we labour in the Kingdom of God, sowing is happening, reaping is happening at the same time and at the same time we are witnessing/sharing and proclaiming the Gospel. Seeds are being sown and at the same time, people are coming in and the harvest is coming in. People are being saved and people are coming to repentance and I think Jesus words to His disciples are very applicable to us as well this morning. I think the word of God can say to us this morning, “Look up, look up Etienne, Look around you. The field is ripe. The harvest is ready. Look up, you need to Look up. Look at your co-worker, look at your family members that you have been praying for, that you have been look for an opportunity to share the Gospel. Look at the client that you meet. Look at the person that you see at the Grocery store. Look up, look around you, the harvest is ready.” We need to look up and look at our environment through the eyes of Jesus.
3). 39-42 The harvest
The next scene and I want to draw it to a close in verse 39. The Samaritans now come up to Jesus and it says in verse 39, “Now many Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of what the woman said when she testified, “He told me everything I ever did.” And so, when the Samaritans came to Him, they asked him to stay with them and He stayed with them for two days. Verse 40-41 many more believed because of what He said and then it ends in verse 42, this scene, the Samaritans proclaim, “And they told the woman, “we no longer believe because of what you said, since we have heard for ourselves and know this really is the Saviour of the world.”
“We no longer believe because what you said but we now know that Jesus is the Saviour of the world”
This is brothers and sisters, a goal of witness, this is the goal of our mission, our goal of evangelism, the goal of our existence is to point people to Jesus Christ. We use our story, we use the fact that we have been saved, we point people to the faith that look at me, I was a wretch but now I see, I was blind and now I can see. I was a wretch but now I am saved by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Look what happened to me. But, ultimately the goal of witnessing is not to bring people to ourselves, it’s not to bring people to church but it is to point people to Jesus Christ so that they can enter into a relationship with Him, that they for themselves declare: Jesus is the Saviour of the world. And Jesus is the Saviour of my soul.
This is the goal of our existence, but the other side is also true, in this there is a question that I want to pose for anyone watching this morning. The other side of the question is this:
Do you believe for yourself or do you believe on account of what other have said?
This is a question that we need to look at ourselves this morning. If you are watching, I want you to ask this question to yourself:
Do you believe because on account of the faith of your parents, do you believe on the account of your friends or your family or the pastor or friends in the church or do you believe for yourself that Jesus is the Saviour of the world?
Someone else’s faith isn’t enough. You need to come to the realization that you stand in need of a Saviour, that you need to repent, turn from your sins, that you have fallen short of the glory of God, that in the presence of a Holy God, you are wretched and deserving wrath. But there is opportunity where you can cry out to Jesus Christ and say, Father I want to see for myself that you are the Saviour of this world. Will you save me. Do so this morning.
As a final thought, I want to end this with this thought. We need to have a vision of the harvest. The harvest is always a joyful event. I had the privilege of working on a farm for a number of years and there is so much work that goes into the planting, the tilling of the soil, the tending to the crops until eventually it comes to the harvest time and the harvest is always a joyful event because all that you have labored for has now bore its fruit. It was worthwhile, we would tend and hours and early morning and late nights and everything that you have put in working the field and tending to the crop has now proved to be worthwhile because the harvest is here. It is magnificent. It makes everything worthwhile.
Brothers and sisters, we need to have a vision of the harvest. The harvest is always joyful, but it is never easy. It is always joyful, but never easy! There are so many tears that goes into working in God’s field. Even this morning, I am just again reminded of the fact that we are in a pandemic and this Covid situation and things are difficult. It feels like church is not working as it should, even this is difficult in our lives. And it feels like the ground is hard and it feels like the tilling is not easy and we have to work and labour hard. We have to hold for ourselves a vision of the harvest, the final harvest. Even so during this time we see people coming in to Christ but we need to hold up to ourselves a vision of the harvest when that day shall come where Jesus Christ Himself will wipe away every tear and that we shall be in the presence of God, we shall hold the whole of the harvest. We shall see everything that we have labored for and it will be a joyful day. When we stand in the presence of God and then we shall know that every tear that we shed was worthwhile because the harvest has come.
And this morning, may we hold up to ourselves just as Jesus did that was made with the joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross. May in this time, we endure the hardship of life with the vision of the harvest. We know it will be a joyful day. Amen.
Let’s close in a word of prayer.
Our Heavenly Father, you are the Lord of the harvest. You have sent us into your field to be labourers Father. Many days, we experience soil that is hard, that it is difficult. Lord we labour with you but not alone. Lord may we in this life see the joy of the harvest coming in, of people receiving Christ. Father may it cause us to work harder, to labour for you. Lord may we also hold up and look forward to that future when the final harvest shall come and that we know that every tear that has been shed shall be worthwhile for all eternity sake. Lord Jesus help us to be faithful witnesses, help us as a church be a faithful witness of the Gospel enduring this time and in this world. We thank you. In Jesus Name. Amen.
Brothers and sisters, I want to close the service this morning with the benediction that comes from 1 Corinthians 15:58:
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain.