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Summary: Jesus is ready and willing to accept all.

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“THE WONDER OF HIS ACCEPTANCE”

JOHN 4:1-26

INTRODUCTION:

You don’t have to travel to Samaria to find those that need cared for & accepted. It’s not necessary to go to an ancient well to find people who need living water. We are surrounded by those who constantly are living “at the end of broken dreams” and are craving belonging and a purpose for living. Part of following in our Lord’s footsteps is to love the unlovely, the lonely, those that might be looked on as outcasts. Jesus did just that. In fact, as you watch His life He seemed to look for those who needed acceptance.. Peter, Andrew, James and John.. Galileans.. looked down upon as uneducated, commoners. Matthew and Zacchaeus, tax collectors.. He was accused by the “religious” of constantly mingling with “sinners.” But Jesus made sure that those who felt unloved, felt His love. And He has told us to do the same. Matt. 5:43-48 - “love your enemies..” The parable of the Good Samaritan in Lk. 10, tells us basically to love those who are hurting no matter their ethnic origin or condition.

We have a daughter in college in Florida. There have been many times in her almost 22 years now that I have been proud of her but maybe none more than the time she was in 3rd grade, and at our Jr. week of Christian camp. There was a girl there named Amanda and it was plain to see from the very 1st day. Amanda was all alone and didn’t have any friends. The counselors would catch her crying, she was from a troubled home. Marlo, unsolicited, took Amanda on as her project. She sat with her at meal times, made sure Amanda was included in her group of friends, she helped her in the cabin and kept encouraging her. It was no coincidence that at the end of the week Marlo was chosen “Camper of the Week,” not because she was really any better than the other kids but because the camp counselors had seen her reach out to this lonely girl. But, over the years I have often wondered..What happened to Amanda when she got home? Was there a Marlo around or did she just go back to her lonely and bleak world where she was not accepted? And as my mind has gone back to that occasion so many years ago, I have also often wondered.. How often have I been like Marlo was that week? Aren’t we all to be looking for the Amanda’s of this world? Paul said- Phil. 2:4, “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

Well, here in John 4 we see Jesus doing just that. Here is a woman who could relate to Amanda and to all who are in need of acceptance. She had been given attention but never a heart; she had been given a bed but never rest; in fact she’d had 5 beds with five different men and her current relationship probably wasn’t all that satisfying. Yet deep in her heart, as in all us, she longed for true care, true acceptance. And then she meets someone who is so genuinely interested in her life and she discovers lasting acceptance - lavish love, living water.

We couldn’t put 42 verses in the bulletin. So, I hope you have your Bibles open and will open them to the fourth book in the New Testament, John 4. My prayer is that you will be encouraged and motivated to do the things that Jesus did for this woman, for the “Amandas” that God puts in your path. And.. if you feel like an “Amanda” that you will see, in Jesus, someone who truly cares for you.


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