Summary: Jesus met the woman at the well in Sychar he not only reached out to her with a love that was great enough to reach over all the barriers in her life and lead her to faith in Him as her personal Savior, He revealed to her some important truths about worsh

A Study of the Book of John

“That You May Believe”

Sermon # 11

“What Is Worship?”

John 4:19-23

George Barna the church statistician in his research has found some very interesting things concerning worship. He found that

•“half of all church going adults say that they did not experience God’s presence in the last year.


•Two-thirds of the all church going adults cannot describe what worship is.

•Most Christians consider worship a secondary priority.

•A large majority think of worship as a Sunday morning event.” [George Barna. Seminar: Inward, Outward and Upward; Ministry that Transforms Lives. April 1999. p. 31]

What did you expect when you came here today? Many people come to church on Sunday for a time of spiritual refreshment. A time when the worries and concerns of the world, the struggle of the other six days of the week can be put aside and sense of peace can be regained. You have come to re-energize yourself, to gain strength from being in the presence of God with other believers and ready to go out into the world for another week.

Some of you came out of sense of duty. Coming to church is a part of your life and you just don’t feel right if you don’t do it. For some it is the one place in your life where everything does not seem to be in turmoil.

Some of you came because you like the feeling of community, of being a part of something bigger and better than yourself. You appreciate being a part of something where you know you will be accepted, warts and all.

Some of you have come for less noble reasons. Some of you are here because your life is in a mess and you think maybe being here will score points with God. Some of you are here solely due to the insistence of your parents, your spouse or your children.

Although some of those reasons have merit, none of them should be our reason to be in a worship service. There is a huge difference between attending church and coming to worship. We should have come here today quite simply to worship. Because you are a worshipper. “Everyday, all day long, in every place you worship. It is what you do. It’s who you are…. Should you for some reason choose not to give God what he desires, you’ll worship anyway – simply exchanging the Creator for something he created…. Worship is our response to what we value the most…. Whatever is worth the most to you is …. - what you worship…. So how do you know where and what you worship? It’s easy. You simply follow the trail of your time, your affection, your energy, your money and your allegiance. At the end of that trail you’ll find a throne; and whatever, or whomever is on that throne is what’s of highest value to you. On that throne is what you worship.” [Louie Giglio. The Air I Breathe. (Sisters, Oregon: Multnomah, 2003) pp. 9-11]

In countless Churches in our country today congregations struggle with the question of what constitutes appropriate worship. Younger people want something contemporary while the older folks defend the traditional forms. So who is right?

This morning we are returning to the story of the Samaritan Woman at the well. Last time we looked at “Love That Knows No Barriers.” Jesus met the woman at the well in Sychar and reached out to her with a love that was great enough to reach over all the barriers in her life and lead her to faith in Him as her personal Savior. This morning we want to revisit this story to see what Jesus reveals to her as important truths about worship.

First, Worship Begins As A Response To Contact With The Living God (4:19-20)

"Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. (20) "Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.”

First this Samaritan woman by the way she reacted to Jesus helps us to realize that worship has to do with real life. It is not some mystical interlude in an otherwise ordinary week of reality. As Jesus talked with the woman she has come under deep conviction of her sinful lifestyle. It is possible that her questions concerning worship are just an attempt to redirect the conversation to something that is not so uncomfortable. But it is also possible that her conviction has led her to realize that she has a need to get right with God. Since she perceives that Jesus is a prophet, it would only be natural to assume that he would be able to help her understand when, where and how she should approach God.

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