Summary: The Journey of the Heart requires worshiping in spirit and in truth.
“The Journey of the Heart, Part 2”
June 11, 2006
Introduction: Last week we began a series looking at what we are to be about as a church and what it is that Christ has called us to. Last week and this week really focus on the first part of our church mission statement: “To passionately pursue God and express his love to others.” It comes out of Matthew 22 when Jesus is asked what the greatest commandment for us to follow is.
Today we want to look at going deeper in the journey of the heart. We want to see what Jesus meant in our lives for us to pursue God.
We concluded our time together last week in discussing worship. We discussed how worship is intense love or admiration for God. Worship is not music and worship is focusing on the heart of God instead of the wicked heart of man.
Worship is much deeper than simply a religious ritual. It is experience with God that transforms us at a heart level.
This week my family and I spent a few days camping in Disneyworld. We also went to the Magic Kingdom one day. All of this was the pursuit of relaxation. As you go into the Magic Kingdom, you can either take a monorail, a bus or a boat. One day, just for fun we jumped on the monorail and simply rode around the outskirts of the park. On the day we were actually going to the park we took the boat across and went in. As we were approaching the entrance gates, I was thinking to myself how this was very similar to how we worship.
One of the whole deals to getting to the Magic Kingdom is that you have to do something you don’t normally do: and, if you so choose you can actually just ride around the outside of the park without ever going in. You see, you could ride the boat, ride the monorail or ride the bus and never get inside to the action. But then you would never experience the thrill of Space Mountain, the adventure of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, or the expression on your children’s faces the first time they ride Splash Mountain.
Worship is the same way. You can observe, participate or even lead without it costing you anything. But true worship, deep, personal and intimate worship has a price to pay.
Today, I want to help you to get off the monorail and into the park when it comes to worship. I want to help you see a little more of what Jesus had in mind when he gave us some guidance on how to worship God. I want to release you on your Life’s Quest so that you can experience the adventure and the ride that is following Jesus.
One day Jesus is traveling with his disciples. He sends them on an errand, and while they are gone, Jesus breaks a ton of religious and social rules. He is in a village of Samaria sitting by the well at about noon. Jesus is tired and thirsty and a Samaritan woman comes to the well to draw water. Jesus asks her for a drink. This is a very common custom in the Middle East and for the most part, there doesn’t seem to be too much here to talk about. But, as is usual, there is more here than meets the eye.
Jesus is talking with a Samaritan woman. Jews hate Samaritans. The Jews view the Samaritans as half breeds and a lesser class of citizen. Jewish people would walk miles out of their way to avoid even going into Samaria.
Plus, this woman, as we find out has a past. She has been married five times and now is living with a man who is not her husband. She is at the well drawing water at noon because she is not welcome there when good and decent women come to the well early in the day. As Jesus talks with her a discussion breaks out about true worship and what that means.
“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?" Jesus replied, "Believe me, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father here or in Jerusalem. You Samaritans know so little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. But the time is coming and is already here when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for anyone who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth." John 4:20-24 (NLT)