Net Questions:

1. Have you ever asked the question, “I wonder if God enjoyed my worship today?” or “Did God receive anything from my worship of Him today?” Discuss your thoughts.

2. Although worship is supposed to be directed to God for God’s glory, the one worshiping will certainly receive a blessing. How have you personally experienced this?
Psa 107:13  Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.
Psa 107:14  He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom and broke away their chains.
Psa 107:15  Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men,
Psa 107:16  for he breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron.

3. The woman at the well was hesitant to open up to Jesus about her past or her present life, but Jesus already knew everything. Why is it so important that we get honest with God about our struggles, questions, fears, etc.?
Psa 32:1  Of David. A maskil. Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.
Psa 32:2  Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit.
Psa 32:3  When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.
Psa 32:4  For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Selah
Psa 32:5  Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD"-- and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah

4. We want people to love us because they choose to love us, not because they are coerced. Why is motive so important and vital in worship?
Psa 139:23  Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Psa 139:24  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.


Sermon Notes

Engage in Worshiping
John 4:21-24

What is worship?
Why do we worship, or why do we not?
Why should be worship?
Who should worship?
How do we worship?
Who do we worship?


Many times we are more concerned with what we get out of worship than what God gets out of worship.
The question usually goes something like this...
"Hey honey, did you enjoy worship today?"

Wait a minute!
Shouldn't the question be,
"I wonder if God enjoyed our worship today?"



Oh, make no mistake about it, there's no way you can engage in true worship and walk away with nothing, or walk away unchanged!

True worship will always touch the One being worshipped as well as the one doing the worship!

King David said this...

Psa 122:1  ... I rejoiced with those who said to me, "Let us go to the house of the LORD."


I think David rejoiced because he was given the privilege of worshipping Almighty God, but I also think David was tremendously blessed by the experience of worship!

A true worshipper will always receive a blessing from having worshipped, but, I must add...if you go to a worship service, but do not really worship, you will walk away disappointed every time, I don't care how amazing the program, the concert, the message, or whatever was done in the name of worship.

This morning we're going to start off reading a Bible Story. It has become one of my favorite stories in all of God's Word, because it just teaches us so much about worship.
We're going to read the whole story and then go back and discover some really amazing worship concepts!

Let's pray and then we'll jump right in.

PRAY!

The Pharisees heard that Jesus was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John,
John 4:1 (NIV)

although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples.
John 4:2 (NIV)

When the Lord learned of this, he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.
John 4:3 (NIV)

Now he had to go through Samaria.
John 4:4 (NIV)

So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph.
John 4:5 (NIV)

Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
John 4:6 (NIV)

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?”
John 4:7 (NIV)

(His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
John 4:8 (NIV)

The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans. )
John 4:9 (NIV)

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
John 4:10 (NIV)

“Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?
John 4:11 (NIV)

Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?”
John 4:12 (NIV)

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,
John 4:13 (NIV)

but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
John 4:14 (NIV)

The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
John 4:15 (NIV)

He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”
John 4:16 (NIV)

“I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband.
John 4:17 (NIV)

The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
John 4:18 (NIV)

“Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet.
John 4:19 (NIV)

Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
John 4:20 (NIV)

Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.
John 4:21 (NIV)

You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.
John 4:22 (NIV)

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.
John 4:23 (NIV)

God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”
John 4:24 (NIV)

The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
John 4:25 (NIV)

Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.”
John 4:26 (NIV)

Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?”
John 4:27 (NIV)

Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people,
John 4:28 (NIV)

“Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ ?”
John 4:29 (NIV)

They came out of the town and made their way toward him.
John 4:30 (NIV)

Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.”
John 4:31 (NIV)

But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”
John 4:32 (NIV)

Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?”
John 4:33 (NIV)

“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.
John 4:34 (NIV)

Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.
John 4:35 (NIV)

Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together.
John 4:36 (NIV)

Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true.
John 4:37 (NIV)

I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”
John 4:38 (NIV)

Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.”
John 4:39 (NIV)

So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days.
John 4:40 (NIV)

And because of his words many more became believers.
John 4:41 (NIV)

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 Savior of the world.”
John 4:42 (NIV)

There are so many things to learn from this story! However, we're going to concentrate on worship concepts which are found in this passage. They are truly amazing! There are at least 10 concepts.
We'll cover half of them this week and the other half next week!

Concept 1

With genuine worship, it doesn't matter who you are!

God accepts any worshipper who truly desires to worship!

Let's look again at our story...

Now he had to go through Samaria.
John 4:4 (NIV)

He could have went another way, but it was the Father's will that He go through Samaria.

Jewish people despised the Samaritans. They had intermarried with pagan races and were no longer considered pure.

In fact, Jewish people would travel out of their way to avoid going through Samaria.

So now you know why it says Jesus had
to go through Samaria. He had lessons to teach to the disciples, the woman at the well, and her entire village.

So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph.
John 4:5 (NIV)

Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
John 4:6 (NIV)

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?”
John 4:7 (NIV)

(His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
John 4:8 (NIV)

The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans. )
John 4:9 (NIV)

This woman knew she was despised and considered unclean because of her race.
But Jesus wanted her and all Samaritans to know God didn't despise them!

She also knew that it was against the law for a man to speak to a woman in public even if it were his own wife.

But Jesus was changing everything!

Rom 3:29  Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too,

Rom 3:30  since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith.

Worship Concept 2

God asks for something from us in worship, but what He offers in return is more than we could ever give!

We worship God because He gives us something we could never get on our own. We can't dig a well deep enough to find the real living water, because it's not found in the earth.
Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
John 4:10 (NIV)

“Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?
John 4:11 (NIV)

Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?”
John 4:12 (NIV)

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,
John 4:13 (NIV)

but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
John 4:14 (NIV)

William Hull put it this way in the Broadman Commentary...

"The 'new Jacob' did not dig his wells into the earth but deep into the human heart. Moreover...this spiritual reality at the center of life does not accumulate there like still water in a cistern but leaps with power like a spring...welling up to eternal life."

John 7:37  On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.

John 7:38  Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him."

John 7:39  By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

Concept 3

God wants us to be completely honest in our worship!

The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
John 4:15 (NIV)

He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”
John 4:16 (NIV)

“I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband.
John 4:17 (NIV)

The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
John 4:18 (NIV)

Jesus wasn't holding her mistakes over her head, but He needed her to be honest about where she was in life! Jesus wanted to forgive her and challenge her to a new way of living!

This woman had come to the well at noon. The hottest part of the day. Most of the other women had come to the well earlier that morning. This woman was probably an object of ridicule and scorn.
Jesus wanted to change all of that!

I don't know what your situation is today, but I know Jesus wants to give you the same living water He offered to the woman at the well!

He knows your struggles. He knows your pain. He knows your greatest need.
Get honest with God today in worship and see what He will do in your life.
Jesus said this...

Mat 11:28  "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Mat 11:29  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Mat 11:30  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Worship Concept 4

Place and style of worship are not the important things!

“Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet.
John 4:19 (NIV)

Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
John 4:20 (NIV)

Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.
John 4:21 (NIV)

Sometimes people get hung up on things that just don't matter. Some think the old style is too old fashioned and some think the new style is too worldly.

It's not the style, it's the spirit behind the style.

You see, some people worship in a more liturgical way, some in a more old fashioned way, and some in more charismatic ways, but please don't judge others. God looks at the heart, not the outward appearance.
Jesus then made an interesting statement to the lady...

You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.
John 4:22 (NIV)

Jesus wasn't being mean here! It's just that their worship had become more of a statement against the Jews, than true worship. He confronted her prejudice against the Jews.

He had shown His heart toward her and the Samaritans by His willingness to drink from the same cup of water. He was asking her to accept the fact her Savior was Jewish!

And this leads us to a most important concept of worship...


Worship Concept 5

The big issue in worship is your motive!

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.
John 4:23 (NIV)

God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”
John 4:24 (NIV)

The main portion of our text today says that God seeks true worshippers who worship in spirit and in truth!

What does it mean "in spirit and in truth"?

First of all, Jesus was letting the woman know that true worship was not based on your racial background, or where you worship, but based on God's Spirit, who transcends race and place. God is bigger than the human boxes we try to put Him in.

Secondly, true worship is not based on man's wisdom or tradition, but rather on God's divine truth!

Jesus had a run-in with the religious leaders on this very point...

Mark 7:5  So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, "Why don't your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with 'unclean' hands?"

Mark 7:6  He replied, "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: "'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.

Mark 7:7  They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.'

Mark 7:8  You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men."

Mark 7:9  And he said to them: "You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!

We don't want to be guilty of such a travesty!

How do we avoid such things? How can we guard against falling into the trap of just going to church because it's what we've always done? How can we keep our worship alive, and real and true?

We must be willing to let God examine our heart!

Psa 139:23  Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.

Psa 139:24  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Our text makes it clear, God is looking for a people who have chosen with their whole hearts to worship Him.

You and I wouldn't want someone to tell us they love us because they were forced. We wouldn't want someone to tell us they love us just so they could get something from us.

Why do we think God is so different?

God wants us to have an attitude like the Psalmist...

Psa 62:5  Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.

Psa 62:6  He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.

Psa 62:7  My salvation and my honor depend on God ; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.

Psa 62:8  Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Selah

I love the lyrics to an old song written by Wanda Jackson...

Like the woman at the well I was seeking
For things that could not satisfy;
But then I heard my Savior speaking:
"Draw from the well that never shall run dry".

(Chorus)
Fill my cup Lord, I lift it up, Lord!
Come and quench this thirsting of my soul;
Bread of heaven, Feed me till I want no more--
Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole!

(Verse 2)
There are millions in this world who are craving
The pleasures earthly things afford;
But none can match the wondrous treasure
That I find in Jesus Christ my Lord.

(Verse 3)
So, my children, if the things this world gave you
Leave hungers that won't pass away,
My blessed Lord will come and save you,
If you kneel to Him and humbly pray: 

(Chorus)
Fill my cup Lord, I lift it up, Lord!
Come and quench this thirsting of my soul;
Bread of heaven, Feed me till I want no more--
Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole!

Let's pray!!