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Red Letters: Leave It All Behind - Pastor Josiah Elias

FC’s mission is to culture like Christ. FC’s vision is Jesus. We are studying the Red Letters-the

words the LORD said to see how He lived. The Red Letters are an invitation to a life style.

In John 4, Jesus went to Samaria, a place most Jews avoided because the Jews hated the

Samaritans. However, “He had to go through Samaria on the way.” John 4:4 (NLT) “If you’re

sensitive enough to the Holy Spirit, He’ll lead you to places that will always bear fruit..”

We just need to be sensitive to the Spirit’s urgings.

Jesus followed the Holy Spirit’s directions and went to a Samaritan well to rest. It was outside

the village of Sychar. “Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to

her, ’Please give me a drink of water.’” John 4:7 (NLT) This conversation was countercultural.

The Samaritan woman came in the heat of the day in contrast to other women who drew water either early in the morning or in the evening when it was cooler. She was avoiding the judging, critical women to draw water in peace and the heat. Then this strange Jewish man broke the cultural norms and spoke to her; she was shocked. “Even in your dysfunction, God will always meet you.” He wants to meet you and bless you. What will you do when He reaches out to you?

Interestingly, Jesus went to Jacob’s well specifically to meet this woman.

“The woman was surprised, for Jews refused to have anything

to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus,’You are a Jew, and I

am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?’”

John 4:9 (NLT)

“Jesus didn’t let His Jewish identity keep Him from His Godly mission.” Jesus wasn’t

interested solely in getting a drink. He was really after something deeper. “Learn to ditch

cultural barriers.” God is shaking those barriers. Follow where the Spirit leads you because

“breakthroughs are often in abnormalities.” Pastor Josiah said,”It is not normal for you to

pray in the parking lot.” It is not normal for you to want to go to the Midnight Hour. It is not

normal for you to….. Is He shaking you from your normal patterns and schedules to bring you to a new place of faith?

The conversation continued.

“Jesus replied, ‘If you only knew the gift God has for you

and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I

would give you living water.’

‘But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,’ she said,

‘and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living

water? And besides, do you think you are greater than our

ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer

better than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?’”

John 4:10-12 (NLT)

“God is the best at capitalizing on our curiosity.”Jesus was breadcrumbing the Samaritan

woman along a little bit at a time. A friend once asked me, “How do you eat an elephant?” I did not know the answer. He answered,”a bite at a time.” That is what the LORD was giving the woman, a bite at a time so she could swallow it and get more.

Jesus told her that Jacob’s well water would only satisfy people for a while, but they would be thirsty again.

“‘But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty

again. It becomes a fresh bubbling spring within them,

giving them eternal life.’

‘Please, sir,’ the woman said,’give me this water….’”

John 4:14-15a (NLT)

Jesus was likening the water to salvation-not a momentary gratification but an eternal

redemption. When we have more of an eternal perspective, we become more intentional about current times.

Jesus then asked her to go get her husband. That was a hot topic that caused the judging eyes and attitudes of the other women because she had had five husbands. Jesus drilled into her greatest area of need just like He does to us. The Samaritan woman’s response was honesty- she did not lie to this Jewish stranger whom she called a prophet.

But then she asked Jesus,”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?” John 4:20

(NLT) Was she just changing the subject or was she actually wondering about worship? Pastor stated,”Worship is on her mind.”

Here come the Red Letters.

“But the time is coming-indeed it is here now-when true

worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. The

Father is looking for those who will worship him that way.

For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship

in spirit and in truth.” John 4:23-24 (NLT)

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth John 14:17, and Jesus is “the way, the truth and the

life…”John 14:6. They work together to honor the LORD. “The Holy Spirit assists us in our

worship of the Father.” Pure worship is of the Spirit, the truth, and a sincere heart. It is not

about religious deeds or religious routines. For the Spirit and the Son come together to help us worship. It is about genuine worship of the Father, our Abba Father.

As the conversation continued, the woman acknowledged that the Messiah was coming.

“Then Jesus told her, ’I AM the Messiah!’” John 4:26 (NLT) At that point she left the water jar

that she came to fill to run back to Sychar because she wanted to tell those she had avoided

about meeting the man who told her everything she ever did. What a huge shift in her priorities- from well water to living water, from avoiding judging people to running to people to share the Messiah, from rejected to beloved. “So the people started streaming from the village to see him.” John 4:30 (NLT)

The Paramount Point is “Let go of anything keeping you from grasping what He’s handing

you.” What is he trying to give you? Are your arms are too full of good things that you cannot receive the great things? Do we have too many good things paralyzing us that we are not able to grab the amazing things? Let go. Let go. Let go. Embrace what He has for you. “What streams of people are hinging on coming to Jesus by your decision to leave the old life behind?”

May we be like Jesus who obeyed His heavenly Father. “His spiritual appetite was being

fulfilled by the secret sauce of obedience.” As we obey the Father, may we be salt and light

in this dark and sad world.

Written by

Larry & Annette Linthicum

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