An Unlikely Conversation About Genuine Worship

Is Your Worship Stale? Reignite Genuine Worship Today.

Ross Sawyers
Jan 21, 2024    43m
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Are you longing for a deeper, more authentic experience of genuine worship? This powerful message explores what true worship looks like according to Jesus and how to connect with God in spirit and truth. Video recorded at Grapevine, Texas.

Transcription
messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Ross Sawyers: [00:00:00] Thank you so much, it's such a gift for us for you to be with us today. So thank you. These guys will be around after the service as well. I asked if they were able to do that. We'll be divided all over the building, so you'll be able to if you'd like to visit with any of these guys on your way out. Some will stay in here, others will be in the hallway, so we'd love for you to have that opportunity. to get to know them. And then there's an opportunity, when we do things like this, it's an opportunity for you to see the kind of ministry that's happening out there that you might not be aware of, and I hope that this will stir the hearts of people to be involved in Men of Nehemiah. Not everybody will do that, but it will stir some, to do that, so we look forward to how God works in your own heart.

Ross Sawyers: [00:00:44] And then I was reminded, this morning at 8:00, as we listened to Travis's story, Denver Moore is a friend of 121 from years ago. He was a homeless man in Fort Worth, he was incarcerated over the years in Louisiana in one of the worst prisons in Louisiana. and God just did a remarkable work in his life and his story. But there's a book about him called The Same Kind of Different as Me, and as I was listening to Travis this morning and these guys, that is what came to mind. These guys are no different than anybody else in this room, we are the same, and there are just there's different things that get us in our sin and our brokenness. All of us have the opportunity this morning to experience the Jesus that they just led us in worship about, so I hope this morning, that your hearts are stirred for Him. I'm grateful today, too, so we have a ministry to different ones in prison, through our services. So right now live. we've been in multiple prisons, and so what a gift today for all of us to be worshiping together with those in prison, those who are online, and just to hear the hope. And I hope that that is deeply ingrained in us.

Ross Sawyers: [00:02:18] If you'll turn your Bibles to John chapter 4, I want to anchor our experience this morning in the musical worship, in our testimonies, and in God's Word, in John chapter 4. And so much of what we just observed and heard, will flow through this part of God's Word. Depending on where you are in a faith perspective, for many of you, you know, Jesus, for some of you, you don't. some are trying to figure it out. For many, you're kind of on the road well down the way in your maturity in Christ.

Ross Sawyers: [00:02:49] And so there are a number of ways for us to think about John chapter 4. and the way I've framed it is around an unlikely conversation about genuine worship. And we see an encounter in John chapter 4 that's not one that we would have expected, and I want us to anchor into that encounter. but the encounter becomes about the main idea of worship. And this actually is the most substantive thing that we could be talking about in any conversation. is genuine worship of Jesus. And so what I want us to see, for a lot of us, is just how the conversation unfolds and how we might get into conversations like this with other people about what genuine worship is.

Ross Sawyers: [00:03:40] And then when we get to the piece, that's the main part about genuine worship, my prayer today is that all of us, that our hearts would be all the more in love with Jesus and that we'd understand what true worshipers are in the way that Jesus described what true worshipers are, not what our traditional experience was growing up, not what our adult experience is, but what does Jesus say about what genuine worship is and will be amazed at the person that he's revealing this to.

Ross Sawyers: [00:04:16] So if you have in your Bibles, John chapter 4, I think this is critical in a number of ways today, anytime we're in God's Word, it's important, but we live in a day, that has shifted over the last few years in a number of ways. Things are always chaotic; Satan's always trying to distort and twist in a number of different ways. But one of the ways that he's taken our culture captive today is around the idea of truth. and the idea that runs out there, and I'm afraid it's seeping more and more into Christians is that this is your truth, and this is my truth, this is your truth and my truth. There's not a your truth and there's not a my truth, what I want us to look at in John chapter 4 is God's truth, and that God is the one who is truth and has truth, and it's a truth that is these guys just sang, will actually set our hearts free.

Ross Sawyers: [00:05:15] So let's take a look at this conversation that Jesus has. I'll skip around on some of the verses and summarize, but if we're going to have these kinds of unlikely conversations, the first thing I'd say in verses 1 through 6 of John 4 is to follow God's lead. In chapter 4, verse 4, it says, "Therefore when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John." that's verse 1, then Jesus removes himself from Judea and heads to Galilee. In verse 4, "And he had to pass through Samaria." That word, had, is a divine necessity, it's like Jesus had no choice. This was the route that God had for him was to go through Samaria. This is a big deal because in Judea it was a southern part of Israel. Samaria was in the Middle, and Galilee was at the top. In order to go from Judea at the bottom to Galilee, the shortest route was to go through Samaria. But there was such a hatred between the Samaritans and the Jews that oftentimes Jews would take the long way around to avoid encountering any of the Samaritans whom they hated. But in this particular moment, Jesus, it says, had to pass through Samaria.

Ross Sawyers: [00:06:36] And I would just say to us today if we're going to get into conversations that are unlikely kinds of conversations that move to something of substance, then we follow God's lead. And if we follow God's lead, that means we're hanging out with him so that we know what his lead is. In Psalm 5 verse 3, says, "In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice; in the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch." So in the morning, I'm asking God, what do you want today? What's the path of people you want me in today? Will you give me eyes for who you want me to see today? And who do you want me in conversations with today? And it might be some really unlikely people that you have me in dialog with today about something that is incredibly substantive about yourself. So, God, let me follow your lead, that's the first thing I would say, if we're going to see what Jesus does and how we would walk into this kind of conversation.

Ross Sawyers: [00:07:33] The second thing we see in verses 7 through 9 as this story unfolds, is to admit needs. One of the ways. And one of the best ways that we can engage in conversation with someone else is to admit our own needs. This is what Jesus does in verse 7, "There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” 8For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. 9Therefore the Samaritan woman said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)"Now we already saw at the beginning of this that Jesus was weary and he was thirsty, so there was a physical need that he had. He's going on the path that God has for him on this day, and he's arrived at this well, he sees a woman who comes to the well to draw water, and he asks her for a drink. He admits his need to her. So why is this such a big deal? Because in that day, a man and a woman did not socially talk to each other in public. Jesus is breaking down all kinds of barriers here. Not only that, she was a Samaritan, and he was a Jew, Samaritans and Jews hated each other. Samaritans were a mixed race of Jews and of others that the Assyrians had brought in, they mixed over time, and then they started to chase after other gods, and they changed up the version of the scriptures they had at the time. And so the Jews saw them as unclean, they saw them as idol worshipers, and they saw them as people that they hated, and the Samaritans hated the Jews back. Every barrier you can think of is being busted in this moment from Jesus, and he is giving a worth and a value to this woman that she has not experienced before. And we'll see that worth elevated, as the story unfolds simply by being with Jesus.

Ross Sawyers: [00:09:35] Years ago, I was in Baltimore, Maryland, and someone had paid for me to go on a solitude retreat that was led by PhD psychologist/nun. So I spent a weekend with this lady guiding me in time alone with God, and then time that she would debrief what was going on in that time. I remember very little about it, except for this one thing. She said this, she said people admire your strengths, but they identify with your weaknesses. Yesterday in Baltimore, the Baltimore Ravens played in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs. Lamar Jackson's quarterback for Baltimore, he is likely to be the MVP this year from the NFL, and he had a historic game yesterday. I, and you, cannot even begin to relate to Lamar Jackson, he's too good. Now, I know some of you guys are thinking, oh yeah, I can. No, you can't, I'm sorry. That guy is elite, he is above, he would walk in the hallway, and you would see a man who was completely different than everybody else in this room, with his physical and athletic prowess. But do you know what? He goes to the sideline every once in a while, and he's thirsty and he's tired. I can connect there; I know what it's like to be tired and thirsty. And if we're willing to admit our needs to other people, that actually endears and connects us to them rather than distances us from them. But somehow, we have to be willing to lay down our stoic pride and think, you know what, I've got it together, my family's good, I've got money, I've got the right job, I'm in the right neighborhood, I don't need anything else. No, you do, we all do. Every one of us are broken on the inside, we have physical needs, we have brokenness within us, and if anybody this morning was looking up here at these guys and thinking, man, I'm glad that wasn't me, then you don't understand you, because you're exactly the same as them, we are the same kind of different as me. And when we admit our needs to them and mutually, then we have a conversation when we go on a global mission or we go on a local mission, each time we serve, the best way to serve is to figure out not just how I can go and meet that need, but how are they going to meet a need for me when I admit to them, hey, I need some advice about this, what would you say about it? That is dignifying, it's respectful, and it's the best way to serve. And Jesus starts this conversation with this woman by breaking barriers, and in the midst of that, he admits he has a need, and he needs her help in order to satisfy his thirst. We admit a need that gets us endeared in a conversation.

Ross Sawyers: [00:12:51] The third thing that we see Jesus do here in this conversation, it's unlikely one, but he stirs interest. In verses 10 through 15, Jesus is the most interesting person ever, he is an amazing storyteller, and he was a master at taking things that were physical objects and turning those into spiritual kinds of opportunities in ways to teach. And that's exactly what he does here as he continues to dialog with her, he's admitted his need, and now he shifts the conversation. It's an interesting thing, he says in verse 10, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”.

Ross Sawyers: [00:13:32] So he goes from saying, hey, I need a drink. Now he's talking to her about something, and she's like, what? He's talking about living water, and that's what his next conversation is. "She said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water?" In verse 13, "Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; 14but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” He is about to come back and offer her something that will just cause her life to spring into action. What did one of our friends say? Just one day, in a shifted mind, and everything changes.

Ross Sawyers: [00:14:22] That's what's happening with this woman right now, everything's about to change. She's being offered something; she's been empty her whole life. We'll find in a minute; she's chasing after all kinds of things. But what she's not seeing is who God is and how he's making himself known in Christ. And he's offering her something, that will give her life, it will cause her life to spring up again. Not only that, but everybody who comes in contact with this woman in the future, their lives will be better because there's fresh water springing up out of her, and people want to be around her, they want to know what's changed from the inside out, and they want the same life that she has. That's what happens when Jesus comes into the life of a person through his Holy Spirit.

Ross Sawyers: [00:15:10] Later in John in chapter 7, we see in verses 37 through 39, what this living water is. So he doesn't tell her at this moment, but we see a little bit later that "On the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.” So the way to have this living water is to believe in Jesus Christ. And we'll see later that that belief will be that his life was an absolutely perfect life, and that on the cross he took on the sins of the world, and then God raised him from the dead, and every person who believes that then will no longer be parched and thirsty on the inside, but instead, they'll be given the Holy Spirit of God. In verse 39, "But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified." Since the time of Christ, the Holy Spirit's available to every person that believes in Jesus, that's the living water of which he speaks, it's from the inside out, the Spirit of God.

Ross Sawyers: [00:16:25] But Jesus doesn't stop there. He doesn't just pique her curiosity and leave her sitting in that curiosity. Now he gets to the root of the problem for her. Jesus was not afraid to create a little bit of discomfort in the conversations he had with people. So often we're trying to tiptoe around, and we just want people to be comfortable and we don't want to offend them. And Jesus piqued her curiosity, and then from there, he was able to get inside a deeper part of the person to get to the root of the problem.

Ross Sawyers: [00:17:05] The woman says to me in verse 15, "Give me this water so I won't be thirsty." so of course you wanted it. He says to her in verse 16, He said to her, “Go, call your husband and come here.” 17The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have correctly said, ‘I have no husband’; 18for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.” You're right, you've spoken the truth about your situation. She's currently living in immorality, and here Jesus is in public, so it's not only a man and a woman, it's not only a Jew and a Samaritan, it's a man and an immoral woman. Which, by the way, is why she's by herself out at the well, because all the other women would group up together and come out either in the morning or in the evening, in the cool of the day, but the immoral woman had to come out by themselves in the heat of the day. And here's Jesus meeting this immoral woman in the heat of the day.

Ross Sawyers: [00:18:14] He's not going to leave her in her problem, and he's going to get to the root of it. Why would Jesus do this? It could come off as mean. No, you're right, you don't have a husband, you've had five, and you're living with a guy right now. Jesus's not being mean, he's getting to the root of her problem, and the root of the problem is she is finding her value and the thing that's most significant to her in men, and it's not working. And what Jesus is laying bare here is what you're trying to find satisfaction in is not working. What you're treasuring, what you're valuing, it doesn't work.

Ross Sawyers: [00:19:06] And so we want to be careful to do in Scripture is to look at what's happening at the moment and then launch it forward to us. So what would be that thing today, that if Jesus were talking to us out in the country somewhere, we were one-on-one with him in one of the most unlikely conversations of all that he would be having this dialog with me, and we're having this conversation and he piques my curiosity, then he starts getting to the root of what's going on inside of me, what is it that he would be saying to me? And what would he be saying to you? Is your greatest value today men, like this woman or is it women? Is the greatest value or treasure we have today our academic prowess, or is it our athletic ability? Is our greatest value in treasure today our body image, or our health? Is the greatest value we have today our money or our position?

Ross Sawyers: [00:20:19] And we don't want to skip by that one very fast, we live in an affluent area, and it's easy to look at that and say, no, I've got a grip on the money, that's kind of second or third down the line. But is it? See, when Jesus encountered a rich young ruler that was a religious guy. But Jesus said to him, give everything away that you have. He's not telling everybody to do that, but he told this man that. Why did he tell him that? Because he knew that the greatest treasure and value for that man was his money. And are you willing to let that go to find genuine and true satisfaction, which is actually found in Jesus himself? You see, really, all that is, is a hole in our hearts and we're trying to fill it. And so it might be some of those things, or it might be drugs, it might be alcohol, it might be pornography, it might be some kind of sexual addiction, or some other sexual variety that we might choose today to fill that. But the way that you and I can best answer that question is to do a little fill-in-the-blank. So if blank, then I will be satisfied. So Jesus is going to the deepest longing of this woman. What is your deepest longing today? If I have this, then I'll be satisfied. What is that for you?

Ross Sawyers: [00:22:05] The reason we get thrown in this is Jeremiah 17:9, we get a good explanation because Jeremiah says, “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it? And Satan uses the deception of our hearts to twist us and to say, if I have this, then I'll be satisfied. If I have this, then my deepest longing will be met. He gets to the root of her problem. Could you and I have the courage with each other and with others to help people get to the root of what's underneath, of where they're seeking satisfaction, so they might have the opportunity to see there's actually a place where there's living water that'll spring up within and life will spring up? It's the very life you're looking for.

Ross Sawyers: [00:23:10] Well Jesus, in 19-26, he kind of getting to the root here. But you know what? When we start getting into the personal lives of people, it gets a little uncomfortable. And when that gets uncomfortable, oftentimes, rather than taking that head-on in the conversation, we start to deflect. And so we see this conversation now, and the woman is going to deflect off of what Jesus just did. She's not interested in talking about her previous husbands, her current immorality, she switches it to a more academic subject, something that's not as personal. And that happens in dialogs for us all the time, if we start to get into something and it's a little more personal, let's shift it to a more academic conversation. Let's talk about sports for a while. I'm even willing to talk about politics rather than talking about my own personal life. But let's just shift this conversation. But oftentimes we shift the conversation because we're unwilling to talk about the hurt or the pain that's really the issue. And that actually would do us good. So what does Jesus do? He rolls with the shift. He just keeps rolling with what's happening in the dialog. And he sticks to what's important.

Ross Sawyers: [00:24:35] "The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet." Okay, so you've made the note that I've had five husbands and I'm living with somebody, you must be a prophet. You're talking in ways that are different than other people talk, nobody talks about living water. Who does that? So you must be a prophet. And then she says, here's her academic shift, “Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” Now that's a good sign there is still some ethnic tension, isn't it? You people, this is what you people do, and this is what we do. And what they've done, they've set up their worship in Mount Gerizim, and that's where in Samaria they would worship, and then the Jews would worship in Jerusalem. And so said, this is where you people worship, and this is where we worship. and that's her comment about worship. And she's trying to root the argument in place, worship is about place. And Jesus is about to totally turn this upside down and say, no, it's not about a place, it's not about the place where you are.

Ross Sawyers: [00:25:48] And a lot of us think that quite frankly, we think that it's the place that matters where we worship. Now, it matters that we gather in a place. In Hebrews 10, we're told not to forsake the assembling together, as is the habit of some. God has invited us to come together to worship him. Moments like this morning tell us why we need to come together in a place. But it's not like this is the only place people start chasing God in places, and they will say, I've got to go to that place because God's working there. No, God works everywhere, it's not about a place, and he's about to undo that in her thinking.

Ross Sawyers: [00:25:48] So he's going with her, he's answering her question. Actually, the answer to his question is a bit of a bizarre answer, but he's actually going to solve her problem with the way he answers the question, but not like you and I more than likely would try to be a help, but this is how Jesus does it. Verse 21, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22“You worship what you do not know."

Ross Sawyers: [00:27:02] Now that is what creates a problem oftentimes about genuine worship, is people are worshiping what they do not know, they don't know what true worship is. So they might have in their background a mechanical, ritualistic kind of thing, and so that must be what worship is. Or I've been in this charismatic, wild, out-of-control thing, that must be what worship is. Or it's a house church, maybe that's what worship is. We have all these ideas of what worship is, and some of the time it's just simply we don't know. And so Jesus is letting her know this is what it is, "We worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews." So he's saying we worship what we know, salvation is from the Jews. She'll see in this story that Jesus Christ himself is that way to salvation. Salvation is from the Jews, that's where it comes from. The whole story of the Bible from beginning to end, is about Jesus. God chooses a man, Abraham, at the outset. And Abraham, he says, will be a great nation. He will be the father of the Jewish nation. And then out of that nation will emerge the Savior, Jesus Christ.

Ross Sawyers: [00:28:25] Now there are a lot of bumps along the way, the nation itself was to be the light to the world. But as someone shared with me the other day when they were reading in Scripture a different version of the Bible, it says that they often were madly in love with their idols. Too often we can get madly in love with something else other than God. But salvation is from the Jews, in the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Verse 23, “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers." So the hour is coming, and now it is, Jesus has arrived. So the hour is coming, and it's now because Jesus is here. And the true worshipers, which implies there are false worshipers because there are true worshipers. And Jesus says the true worshipers are those who will worship the Father in spirit and truth, For such people, the Father seeks to be his worshipers. God is a seeker of worshipers. He seeks it, he's actively seeking people who will worship him. He's a seeker of worshipers.

Ross Sawyers: [00:29:51] In Luke 19:10 it says Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost. Jesus came to seek people who were lost. We sang Amazing Grace, I was lost, now I'm found, I was blind, now I can see. Jesus came actively seeking the lost, he wasn't passive about it, he didn't lay back about it, he was on the lookout for people who would be lost and now found. Why? So that they would be worshippers. The Father is seeking worshipers, and whenever a person becomes a follower of Jesus, then they become a worshiper of God through Jesus. So he's a seeker of people to be worshipers. He is after our worship. Why is that? God is the only one that could do that and not be arrogant. For any of the rest of us, if we sought out people to worship us, it would be arrogance and pride. But only God can seek that out and it not be arrogance or pride. Why is that? Because only in God alone do we find true satisfaction, and for him to seek anything else, he would not be seeking our good. He's a seeker of our good.

Ross Sawyers: [00:31:10] Psalm 16:11 says, "You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever." C.S. Lewis, in the 20th century, he talked about some f the greatest Christian minds. He basically said, we're too easily pleased, God has designed us to be pleasure seekers, but the pleasure that we're seeking is actually found in him, not in anything else. So he's seeking that.

Ross Sawyers: [00:31:39] I gave a definition a while back over the last couple of weeks about worship. And I'll just say it again, when we talk about worship, we're talking about gladly responding to the worth of God. We're saying that God is worth it, and he's worth responding to, and he's worth responding to gladly. What a beautiful picture of how to respond to God up here. Not just in the song, there's a gladness and a joy in the song, but there's a gladness and a joy in the story of what God's done. It's responding to what God has done gladly in receiving that salvation from him, and that rescue from being in the darkness and being brought into the light. So he's seeking worshipers, but he doesn't say it's about a place, he says it's about a how and a whom, this is what worship is about.

Ross Sawyers: [00:32:31] And this is the part for us to catch, it's in spirit that we worship in spirit. Our spirit is the inner core of who we are, it includes our emotions, it's inward, and it drives out all the external things that happen to us. It's in our spirit that we connect with God. In verse 24 it says, “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship..." How? "...in spirit and truth." And what we know is that Jesus Christ is the truth, our worship of God ought to include the full range of emotions within us. It's not for the more emotional ones, they're the ones that worship like, more outwardly and demonstrably. No, Jesus says God is seeking worshipers who worship in spirit and truth. There's a full range of emotions, there are times where we are absolutely broken before God, and the only thing we can do is weep before him. There are times when it's nothing but despair before God, and we can do nothing but lay prostrate before him, and we don't even know what to say we're in such a bad spot. And there are times when we're so blown away that God just did this that we can't do anything but lift our hands in praise and celebrate him, and we overflow with gratitude. There are tears. There are longings. There are confessions. God loves our brokenness. In Psalm 51:17, "A broken and contrite heart, God will not despise it." So we can gladly respond to God with a broken and contrite heart. That's what he seeks, is that our hearts are broken before him so that he can come in and fill them with himself.

Ross Sawyers: [00:34:20] Now, oftentimes, we're afraid of the emotional part. When I have vacation Sundays, oftentimes, if Lisa's not with me, I'll go look for some whacked-out place to worship. I've done this my whole life; I'm always interested in what goes on. But what we're afraid of often, one, sometimes just pure pride, and the last thing I'm going to do is express myself in a group of people. But it could be that we're afraid, because we've seen these places that look like a mad frenzy and people are running around the room, and what are they doing? It just makes no sense. That's why Jesus said God is seeking worshipers in spirit and truth. Spirit and truth. If our worship of God is not tied to truth, then it becomes a frenzy, and then it's just emotionalism, and then it's just the music that got me all fired up, but it is spirit and truth.

Ross Sawyers: [00:35:18] And Jesus would reveal himself as the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me. People like to say there are multiple ways to God, that there are all kinds of ways to God and Jesus is just one of those ways. The problem with any kind of conversation about that is no world religion would say that, but everybody else says that about them. And Jesus himself said, there's not another way, that he's the truth. So we worship in spirit and truth, that's why we worship Jesus, because he's the truth and he is the way, and he is the life. And the Gospel, and the good news is what Jesus did for us on that old rugged cross in bearing our sin. And there wasn't a worse death on a cross than Jesus's death, it was absolutely gruesome way to die, but more so for Jesus than anybody else. Why? Not only did he physically die on the cross, but he took on God's full wrath on himself for our sin so that we could be set free from it. Jesus is the truth. We worship in truth.

Ross Sawyers: [00:36:30] Now, if we just have truth and knowledge, then our worship is dead, and who gets fired up when you walk into a room full of people that look like they have no joy and are singing songs about the joy of the Lord? You'd think I would rather be at the football game yesterday where they expressed the full range of emotions, or the TCU basketball game where I was, and I watched the full range of emotions, I watched a place erupt. I watched a place like, I can't believe this, I watched every emotion erupt yesterday afternoon. Why wouldn't you think God is worth every bit of who we are inside and out, and then we'd be free in him? Spirit and truth. Spirit and truth, God is the object. That's who Jesus tells us that God is seeking in his worshipers, and what a privilege that he would make this known to the most unlikely of immoral people in the hottest part of the day in the Middle East. The most important teaching on worship in the New Testament, Jesus has with the most unlikely of people.

Ross Sawyers: [00:38:03] There are several responses to this. The disciples come back, and they say they can't believe he's talking to a woman. They don't ask what he talked about; they just can't believe he did it. The woman, she leaves her water pot behind, and she goes sprinting off to the city. And here's this immoral woman going and talking to the men in the city and saying, hey, you need to come back and see this, you need to see this man, she just couldn't even help it. And that's really when worship is at its finest, it's just spontaneous, that's just her reaction. She wasn't trying to do something, she was so blown away by Jesus, who also revealed himself as the I Am, as the Messiah, that she just couldn't help but go find some people to tell. She didn't do a training course for it. She didn't do a ten-week course. Her life was changed, she just told her story. These men are just telling their story. All you have to know is that God somehow intersects my life with his story, and I believed it, I've got a story to tell, I'm just looking for somebody to listen. And not everybody will listen, but that's okay, I at least gave it a shot to give him something substantive. So some of the people in the city actually believed her, and they believed Jesus because of her story. I hope today you're either encouraged or you believe Jesus today because you just heard a story of how he miraculously changes a life.

Ross Sawyers: [00:39:39] But then they came back, and they hung out with Jesus, and it wasn't because of her testimony anymore, it was because they were with Jesus, and as they were with Jesus, they believed Him, and see today we do that in His word. You might not be somebody's story, but it's the word of God. Just hanging out with Jesus in His word and you're set free. And you say, well. I've never had a conversation like that with Jesus, an unlikely conversation, I don't think God would ever have one with me. I want you to know today, you just had one with him. If you think it's unlikely that he'll ever have a conversation with you, he just had it with you through these men and through His word. Jesus talks to us, the most unlikely of people, and he invites us in to be true worshipers of him.

Ross Sawyers: [00:40:43] Father, thank you for our time this morning, it's been rich. And words probably aren't even any good. So, God, thank you. And I pray, God, that all of us will be free in our worship of you, not just when we gather up, but day in, day out. And that we not be afraid of dialogs and move those dialogs to places where we talk about the most substantive thing, Jesus, so will you help us? Today, Father, I pray any that are far from you, would you bring them to salvation? I pray, God, where hearts have been stagnant towards you or cold towards you, I pray God, you'd warm them up and draw them back to yourself. I pray, Father, that all of us, that our love for you would deepen and increase today as we think about the work that you've done in these men, the work you've done in our own lives, and God, I pray that together, we would be faithfully praying for one another to be unwavering, to be bold, and to live our lives, God, following you full on. And so we thank you for that invitation and privilege that you've given us to do so. And I pray in Jesus' name.

Ross Sawyers: [00:41:55] If we could, let's just be quiet before the Lord, just absolutely quiet. And maybe it's thinking about that blank, if I had blank, then I would be satisfied. What's the real answer to that question today? And then would it be okay if I challenge you just to ask God to change that desire if it's not Jesus, to change it for Jesus? And then, God, I pray whatever work you want to do in each person, will you meet us in very personal ways today? And I pray in Christ's name.



Recorded in Grapevine, Texas.
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121 Community Church
2701 Ira E Woods Ave.
Grapevine, Texas 76051
817.488.1213