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God of This City: Where it all Begins...

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God of This City: Where it all Begins

Text: John 4:1-41

ETS: Jesus offers a better life to the Sameritan woman and the residents of her home town.

ESS: If Jesus is to be God of this city (Warren), it must begin with an authentic, life-transforming relationship with Christ.

OSS: People will choose to enter into an authentic relationaship with Christ and then offer the same to their friends and neighbors.

PQ: How does God begin to transform our city?

UW: facts

INTRODUCTION:

A- Introduction of vision, mission and core values of BLCC

Vision Statement:

“Better Life Community Church exists to be a unified and fully functioning body of believers in Jesus Christ, actively following the leadership of the Holy Spirit, obedient to God's Word, and on mission with Christ for the transformation of lives, communities, and the world by telling and living out the Gospel."

*

Core Values for Better Life Community Church*

• We value AUTHENTIC RELATIONSHIPS with God, within our church, and with our community.

• We value HONEST, PURPOSEFUL PRAYER which connects us to God and has great power and wonderful results.

• We value the BIBLE as God’s infallible Word as the only perfect standard for knowing and following God.

• We value REAL-TO-LIFE TEACHING – God’s Word taught in a direct and clear manner that is directly transferrable to life.

• We value POWERFUL GOD-CENTERED WORSHIP in free and authentic expression – in Spirit and in Truth.

• We value KINGDOM EXPANSION through bold, unashamed evangelism, intentional church planting, and sacrificial participation in missions.

• We value REAL-LIFE FAITH as sold out disciples growing to maturity through intentional discipleship and the exercise of spiritual gifts.

Mission Statement:

“Better Life Community Church is living the better and fulfilled life as we worship Jesus Christ and experience his power, growing us in faith and unity together while we love others and share the life-giving good news with everyone we can.”

  • Introduction of pastors and planting team members.

B- Story of Chippy the Parakeet

TS- John 4 contains the story of a woman who must have felt much like chippy…and perhaps at least some of you in this room.

John 4:1-42 (NLT)

1 Jesus knew the Pharisees had heard that he was baptizing and making more disciples than John 2 (though Jesus himself didn’t baptize them—his disciples did). 3 So he left Judea and returned to Galilee. 4 He had to go through Samaria on the way. 5 Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. 7 Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” 8 He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food. 9 The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?” 10 Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.” 11 “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? 12 And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?” 13 Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. 14 But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” 15 “Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.” 16 “Go and get your husband,” Jesus told her. 17 “I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied. Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband— 18 for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!” 19 “Sir,” the woman said, “you must be a prophet. 20 So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim, where our ancestors worshiped?” 21 Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. 23 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. 24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” 25 The woman said, “I know the Messiah is coming—the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” 26 Then Jesus told her, “I AM the Messiah!” 27 Just then his disciples came back. They were shocked to find him talking to a woman, but none of them had the nerve to ask, “What do you want with her?” or “Why are you talking to her?” 28 The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, 29 “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?” 30 So the people came streaming from the village to see him. 31 Meanwhile, the disciples were urging Jesus, “Rabbi, eat something.” 32 But Jesus replied, “I have a kind of food you know nothing about.” 33 “Did someone bring him food while we were gone?” the disciples asked each other. 34 Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work. 35 You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest. 36 The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike! 37 You know the saying, ‘One plants and another harvests.’ And it’s true. 38 I sent you to harvest where you didn’t plant; others had already done the work, and now you will get to gather the harvest.” 39 Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, “He told me everything I ever did!” 40 When they came out to see him, they begged him to stay in their village. So he stayed for two days, 41 long enough for many more to hear his message and believe. 42 Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not just because of what you told us, but because we have heard him ourselves. Now we know that he is indeed the Savior of the world.”

TS: For Christ to become recognized as God of this City, Where does it all begin? How does it start?

I. IT ALL BEGINS WITH THE DELIBERATE MOVEMENT OF CHRIST (VS. 1-6)..

A. Jesus made a deliberate choice to move his activity from Judea to Galilee.

“1 Jesus knew the Pharisees had heard that he was baptizing and making more disciples than John 2 (though Jesus himself didn’t baptize them—his disciples did). 3 So he left Judea and returned to Galilee.

1. Jesus went where he knew his father was working…and began working

there, too.

John 5:17 (NLT)

17 But Jesus replied, “My Father is always working, and so am I.”

John 5:19 (NLT)

19 So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.

B. Jesus made a deliberate choice to take his activity down an unexpected route and through an unexpected place.

4 He had to go through Samaria on the way. 5 Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime.”

1. Jesus took a route that took him through areas avoided by the traditional crowd. Through Samaria, to the City of Sychar in the heart of Samaritan territory.

a. Since the Samaritans were hated by the Jews, many of the strict Jews traveling from Judea to Galilee took a route around Samaria (through Perea, east of the Jordan River), even though that route took more time.

2. Jesus makes the choice to move down new paths to unexpected places—his

church must be ready to follow. The priority is people!

Luke 19:10 (NLT)

10 For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”

II. IT ALL BEGINS AS CHRIST WORKS WITH IMPERFECT PEOPLE (VS. 7-12, 16-18, 27, 31-38).

A. Christ worked with an imperfect woman to bring transformation to her life.

John 4:7-12 (NLT)

7 Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” 8 He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food. 9 The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?” 10 Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.” 11 “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? 12 And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?”

John 4:16-18 (NLT)

16 “Go and get your husband,” Jesus told her. 17 “I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied. Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband— 18 for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!”

1. The woman was imperfect—an outcast among outcasts.

a. Two facts are unusual about the woman’s actions:

(1) she could have gone to a closer well (scholars have identified wells that were closer to Sychar);

(2) women generally drew water later in the day, when the temperature was cooler.

This woman, whose reputation seems to have been well known in the small town (4:18), probably chose the well farther away from home and came to that well at an unusual hour in order to avoid contact with other women.

2. The woman had experienced rejection by people who should have been

loved and accepted by.

a. She had been divorced by five men—the sixth man did not seem

interested in an authentic, permanent relationship with her.

*By the Way: Solomon had a thousand women—yet found it empty (Ecclesiastes).

B. Christ worked with imperfect disciples to transform their attitudes

and outlooks on life.

1. The disciples were imperfect—unqualified in the world’s eyes.

a. Fishermen, zealots, and tax collectors—not the brightest people.

2. In spite of following and hearing Jesus teach constantly, they had a

problem “getting it.”

John 4:27 (NLT)

27 Just then his disciples came back. They were shocked to find him talking to a woman, but none of them had the nerve to ask, “What do you want with her?” or “Why are you talking to her?”

John 4:31-38 (NLT)

31 Meanwhile, the disciples were urging Jesus, “Rabbi, eat something.” 32 But Jesus replied, “I have a kind of food you know nothing about.” 33 “Did someone bring him food while we were gone?” the disciples asked each other. 34 Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work. 35 You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest. 36 The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike! 37 You know the saying, ‘One plants and another harvests.’ And it’s true. 38 I sent you to harvest where you didn’t plant; others had already done the work, and now you will get to gather the harvest.”

3. Jesus works with imperfect people:

a. People who have had issues that have led to failures.

b. People who are outcasts or who are from the “wrong side of the

tracks.”

c. People who don’t catch on quickly—those who others ridicule as “not having what it takes.”

They key: a willingness to learn from Jesus and allow Him to transform your life!

III. IT ALL BEGINS WITH THE TRANSFORMATION OF ONE LIFE … THEN TRANSFORMATION SPREADS TO OTHERS (VS. 13-15, 19-26, 28-30, 39-42).

A. Jesus will transform the life of the person who is willing to believe Him and ask to be changed.

1. When Jesus offered her the life-transforming, authentic relationship

with himself—she believed and asked for it!

John 4:13-15 (NLT)

13 Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. 14 But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” 15 “Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.”

John 4:19-26 (NLT)

19 “Sir,” the woman said, “you must be a prophet. 20 So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim, where our ancestors worshiped?” 21 Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. 23 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. 24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” 25 The woman said, “I know the Messiah is coming—the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” 26 Then Jesus told her, “I AM the Messiah!”

  • She did not need to understand everything, just needed to believe and ask.

B. Jesus will work through transformed people to bring transformation to a

city.

1. The woman lost her concern about her waterpot and about her desire to

avoid contact with people

John 4:28-30 (NLT)

28 The woman left her water jar beside the well

2. The woman’s overwhelming desire was to introduce people in her city

to Jesus!

John 4:28-30 (NLT)

and ran back to the village, telling everyone, 29 “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?” 30 So the people came streaming from the village to see him.

3. The woman became the means by which many in her city believed in

Christ.

John 4:39-42 (NLT)

39 Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, “He told me everything I ever did!” 40 When they came out to see him, they begged him to stay in their village. So he stayed for two days, 41 long enough for many more to hear his message and believe. 42 Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not just because of what you told us, but because we have heard him ourselves. Now we know that he is indeed the Savior of the world.”

You might ask…”What does this mean to me?”

1. Your presence here is no accident: Jesus has moved in such a way as to encounter you today.

2. You are not required to be perfect in order to follow Christ—you do need to recognize that you are imperfect—that you are a sinner.

3. You must be willing to ask Jesus to transform you into who he created you to become—and choose the path of trust and yieldedness to his word and its teachings.

4. Jesus can use you to help others to experience the same—and make Jesus the recognized God of this city—one person at a time.

That’s where it all begins.

CONCLUSION:

A- *Personal Testimony

B- Invitation to follow Jesus. (salvation and Baptism)

C- Invitation to help fulfill the vision of BLCC through involvement

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