Summary: Since God is a personal God, He wants to get personal with you. The power of a personal testimony, a personal encounter with Jesus, and a personal confession of who He is!
Making It Personal!
John 4:39-42 39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, "He told me everything I ever did." 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And because of his words many more became believers. 42 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."
Intro: Have you ever taken something personal that someone said, even though they did not mean to insult you with their words? If not, maybe you aren’t overly sensitive, or maybe you have thick skin. Sometimes, people lash out at those closest to them when they are angry, and they personally offend someone close to them. These are negative examples of getting personal. What about the positive side? Close friends like to get personal, sharing things with each other that they would never share with anyone else. If someone else tried to butt into one of these conversations, the response (whether verbal or nonverbal) would be, “Mind you own business. This is personal!”
-Since God is a personal God, He wants to get personal with you. He wants to get past the invisible barriers you may have built up and get close to you. The main thought of the sermon today has to do with getting personal.
Prop: The Christian life is most effective when we get personal with God and man.
Interrogative: What do I mean by that?
TS: As we will see from this passage, Christianity is all about relationships – having a close relationship with God and having close relationships with man. Let’s look first at the effect the woman at the well had when she ventured to relate with other fellow human beings, after meeting Jesus.
I. The Power of a Personal Testimony (39)
(My words about Jesus.)
-The Samaritan woman at the well had an encounter with Jesus that changed her life. Jesus offered her living water, forgiveness and a new beginning. She accepted that offer and left her water pot. She was so full of the living water she had to run back to town to share it with whoever would listen. In what may have been less than an hour, she went from being a woman who lived in shame and humiliation to an individual who had something to offer those around her. As she shared her words about Jesus and who He was, the result was that many people believed.
-It is amazing how the power of the gospel can change you. Sin and shame may compel us to avoid people – just like this woman did for so long. However, when Christ takes away our sin and guilt and shame, we can look people in the eye with nothing to hide. Our hang-ups are hung up on the cross where Jesus died. We are free to love other people and interact with them, because we know we have been forgiven.
-Many of you have experienced a life change as a result of what Jesus has done for you. Whatever your life was like B.C., you entered a completely new realm after receiving the Lord’s forgiveness and starting a personal relationship with Him.
-If that is even remotely your story, then you have something to say. You are what the book of Acts calls a witness of Christ (1:8). You have a story to tell other people. One small difference is that you cannot run into town and say, “Hey, come meet the Savior of the world, the Messiah. He is out at the old well on the edge of town.” What you can do is invite people to meet the Jesus who lives in you. You can introduce Jesus to them by the way you live, and by telling your story.
-There is power in your life AND in your personal testimony of what Christ has done in your life. You may not have all of your theology or doctrine down perfect (I don’t know anyone who does, but I’ve met a lot of people who thought they did). However, you know that your life has never been the same since you met Jesus. Your personal testimony is simply the story of the difference Jesus has made in your life. Are you a new person? Is that load of guilt and shame gone? Are you free from being a slave to sin? That does not mean that you are perfect, but you are growing and becoming who you were meant to be in Christ.
-Well, as a result of this woman’s testimony, the Bible says that many believed. However, they did not just take her word for it, nor will people simply take your word for it. There is something in us that makes us want to see for ourselves. In Missouri, they would say, “Show me.” It is known as the “Show Me” state. People need to find out for themselves who Jesus really is. That leads us to the next point.