Summary: This sermon examines the importance of worship through Jesus’ encounter with the Woman at the Well.
Introduction: A young Baptist Minister was preaching a Revival at a small church in Maryland. Following the service the pastor of the church asked him to stand at the back door with him to greet people as they left to go home. He enjoyed talking with several people, all of whom were very nice and complimented him on the message. But then a woman walked up to him and took him off guard by grabbing him by the hand, looking him straight in the eye and saying, "Dr. Streiker that was a sorry sermon.” Then instead of leaving she turned around and walked back inside the auditorium. He didn’t know what to think. Then a few minutes later there she re-appeared. This time she shook his hand, and said, "A sorry sermon and you didn’t even preach it well!" Then just as she had before, she turned around and walked back into the auditorium instead of leaving. A few minutes later she returned, looked him straight in the eye, shook his hand for the third time and said, "A sorry sermon and you didn’t preach it well, and I hope you never come back." Well as you might imagine this young minister was crushed. He turned to the pastor and said, "Carl what’s with this woman?" The pastor quickly said, "Ah don’t pay any attention to her. She’s not very bright, she just goes around repeating what she hears everybody else saying.".....................
Well I certainly hope and pray that isn’t what you think about me after the service today.
Introduction: One Sunday morning, much like today, Henry Jones woke up with his wife standing over him, shaking him, and saying, “You have to get up, we have to get ready for church.” Henry gave her a dirty look and said, “I don’t want to go to church today, I want to go back to sleep.” His wife crossed her arms, gave him one of those looks, and with a stern voice said, “Give me three good reasons why you should stay in bed instead of getting ready for church.”
“Okay” He answered, “First, I don’t get anything out of the service. Secondly, I don’t like the people, and finally, no one there likes me.” He then challenged his wife to give him three good reasons why he should go to church.
She said, “First of all, it will do you some good. Secondly, there are people at the church who really do like you, and will miss you if you aren’t there. And most importantly, you’re the pastor.”
Unfortunately, there are a lot of people today who would agree with this man. People all over Southern Illinois, and around the nation woke up, looked at the clock, and rolled back over and went back to sleep this morning, instead of getting up and getting ready for
Sunday School and Worship. Apathy and indifference have invaded many of our churches and are having a devastating effect on our worship services. Many people come to worship every week even though they really don’t expect to experience God in any way.
Illustration: Someone once asked Angel Fernado, the pastor of a church in Northern California if the people who attend his church ever come expecting anything. He responded by saying, “Yes, they come expecting to be out by 12:00 o’clock…..By the way is that why you have this clock here on the pulpit?
I hope that is not the case with you this morning, because our God is an Awesome God, who truly is worthy of our worship and praise.
Worship is vital to the life and health of any church. Therefore I want to spend a few minutes discussing the importance of worship with you this morning.
If you have your Bibles with you this morning I encourage you to turn with me to the fourth chapter of the gospel of John. In just a few minutes I will begin reading in verse 19. But before I do that let me give you a little background to this passage of scripture.
Jesus and his disciples were traveling from Judea, which was in the Southern part of Israel, to Galilee, which was in the North. Most Jews who made this journey crossed over the Jordan River near Jericho, and traveled up the Eastern shore of the river to the area around the Sea of Galilee before crossing back over the river into the region of Galilee. They did this to avoid the area known as Samaria. You see the Jews hated the Smaritans, so consequently most Jews were willing to take the long way around rather than traveling through Samaria, which was a much shorter route. However, as we see in verse 4 of this chapter that Jesus and His disciples, chose to travel through Samaria, rather than bypassing it. When they came near the Samaritan city of Sychar Jesus sent the disciples into the city to buy food, and he stayed outside the city near Jacob’s well. He was sitting there when a Samaritan woman came to draw water from the well, Jesus asked her for a drink of water, and engaged her in conversation. The woman was shocked that Jesus, being a Jewish man would even talk to her much less ask her for a drink of water. She was even more shocked when He told her that he knew that she had had several husbands and that the man she was presently living with wasn’t her husband. That brings us up to where I want to begin reading in verse 19 and I’ll read through the 26th verse.