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How to Lead People to Water - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
November 6, 2022 5:00 am

How to Lead People to Water - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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November 6, 2022 5:00 am

The world is thirsty and doesn't even know it, or won't admit it, or will look to be satisfied by everything else but Jesus Christ. So your job and mine is to lead them to water (living water, that is). Jesus' encounter with the Samaritan woman illustrates perhaps the best approach for personal evangelism to be found anywhere. Leading someone to the place of spiritual satisfaction is a process that rests upon two pillars—the pillar of attitude and the pillar of approach.


I was reading a book by G. Campbell Morgan, one of my favorite expositors who's now in heaven. He's commenting on a phrase in Acts chapter two about the people of Jerusalem that says, they were all amazed and marveled. Here's the disciples giving testimony and the people in Jerusalem were all amazed and they marvel.

Here's what Morgan said, commenting on that. The trouble too often is that the world is not at all amazed, not at all perplexed because there's nothing to amaze them and nothing to perplex them. The work of the church is to perplex the city and make the city listen. Welcome to Connect with Skip Weekend Edition. Thanks to things like Facebook and Twitter, people are sharing more about what happens to them than ever before. Some people go as far as to share what they have for breakfast, what they're wearing, and just about any random thought that comes to their head. Social media is especially useful for sharing good news, getting a job, getting a day on a test, finding out someone's having a baby, or even the fact that someone found a quarter on the street. All kinds of good news is shared via social media, but what about the good news?

Whether it's through social media, emails, and instant messaging or in our daily conversations, if we're so eager to share the good news of other sorts, shouldn't we be just as eager to share good news of the eternal sword? And that's what we'll examine today here in Connect with Skip Weekend Edition. But before Skip gets us started, here's what we have for you this month at Skip Heizig left Southern California in 1982 to head for the desert of New Mexico. The goal was starting a Bible study in Albuquerque.

Let's just say it worked out okay. So I'm moving two states away, going back east, going to New Mexico, and I think it was in a place in the Jesus movement where that was not unusual. And I thought, I'm gonna go out here, spend a few months, maybe a year, and see if the Lord's gonna do anything at all. 40 years later, Skip is celebrating the great things God has done to invite you into the celebration. We're offering our radio friends a free copy of Skip's book. You can understand the book of Genesis. No cost, no obligation. Just a way to say, wow, what the Lord has done from Calvary Church.

Order your free book by Skip Heizig by calling 1-800-922-1888 or go to slash free book. Get your free copy of You Can Understand the Book of Genesis by calling 1-800-922-1888 or go to slash free book. Turn in your Bibles to John chapter four and let's join Skip Heizig as he continues with our study.

And here's what I simply want you to notice. Jesus did not seem to have a hang up talking to her, not just a woman, this kind of a woman. And the point is obvious, there's no one who is too awful, too sinful, too low, too marginalized, for Jesus to love, to be concerned with and to be touched by his love and grace. As somebody said, the love of God is like the Amazon River that flows down to water one daysy.

Everybody else thought she was a weed. Jesus sees her as a flower and gives her the attention. Here's, on one hand, the religious leaders who will close their eyes and rather walk into a wall than talk or look at a woman, and here's Jesus with love in his heart, his love that would transcend her gender and culture and character and talk to her. There's a lesson for us. Somebody once said, I forget who, but it's so good, how many prodigals are kept out of the kingdom of God by those unlovely characters who profess to be inside?

We can push people off at arm's length because we forget what it's like to be this lost. So that's the loving attitude. Now let's look at his approach, and I call it a lingering approach, because you'll notice in the conversation that all of this woman's cute little terse smart remarks don't ever give Jesus the occasion to say, I'm done with you.

I'm outta here. He stays with her. In fact, what he does is by three little things, he reels her in beautifully. He appeals to her curiosity first.

Then he appeals to her inner craving, her thirst, and then he appeals finally to her conscience, her guilty conscience. Now you gotta understand something when you deal with unsaved people. Lost people don't know they're lost. You'll rarely enter into a conversation with somebody, and that person will go, yeah, I know that I'm lost and I'm on my way to eternal damnation, and I need a savior. The only time people really get in touch with their lostness is when they're found, and they look back and go, man, was I lost.

I was so bad off, and now I realize that I was lost, but now I'm found, I was blind, but now I see. But by and large, lost people don't know that they're lost. They don't know they're hungry because they've never had a meal. They don't know they're thirsty because their thirst has never been quenched by the living water, Billy Graham said. The most devastating effect of sin is that we're blinded to it. Here's a woman blinded to it. Here's Jesus about to open her eyes to it. First thing he does, go back to verse 10. He appeals to human curiosity.

Now this is what advertisers call a hook. Verse 10, Jesus said, if you knew the gift of God and who it is who says to you, give me a drink, you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water. It's a mysterious statement. To some it's an ambiguous statement.

It's not clear cut in her mind what he's speaking about. He didn't say, do you know who I am? I am the incarnate son of God. Come to refresh you spiritually by forgiving you of your sin.

He didn't say that. He just says, if you only knew the gift of God and who it is who's talking to you, you'd have asked me and I to give you living water. That's a hook. He's producing a curiosity in her. It's the kind of a statement that would make her go, hmm, I wonder what that means. I wonder what it's all about. It's just enough information to what her appetite. We could do this.

We could do this. Let's say you're standing in line at a supermarket. There's a few people in front of you. There's all the newspapers and there's bad news like every day. And somebody looks at the headlines and they just remark out loud, what is this world coming to? You know, you could say something like, well, it seems as though this world is right on schedule.

And they'll go, huh? What did he mean by that? What does she mean in saying that?

I think that would be a better approach in saying, well, actually, I'm glad that you asked. This is what the world is coming to. It's coming to judgment and God's coming back and he's gonna get you. And here's the four spiritual laws.

You could do all that, or you could simply send out a statement that peaks their curiosity. It makes them marvel and gets them interested to say, well, what do you mean by that? Could you tell me more?

What do you believe in? I was reading a book by G. Campbell Morgan, one of my favorite expositors who's now in heaven. He's commenting on a phrase in Acts chapter two about the people of Jerusalem that says, they were all amazed and marveled. Here's the disciples giving testimony and the people in Jerusalem were all amazed and they marveled.

Here's what Morgan said and commenting on that. The trouble too often is that the world is not at all amazed, not at all perplexed because there's nothing to amaze them and nothing to perplex them. The work of the church is to perplex the city and make the city listen.

Awaken their need by curiosity. Here's the second thing Jesus does in his approach is he appeals to her spiritual craving. Now she doesn't know what it is, but he's unearthing that in verse 11.

The woman said to him, sir, you have nothing to draw with. The well is deep. Where then are you gonna get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob?

And we read that so many times last week and this week. Verse 13, Jesus answered and said, whoever drinks of this water will thirst again. That's the hole in the ground. That's the well. But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him, will never thirst.

But the water that I shall give him, will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. Now Jesus knew this woman had a deep longing in her heart. And she's thinking, who does this dude think he is?

Greater than Jacob? I mean, she knows this is a very unusual man that she's talking to. But the statements begin to percolate and touch her deeply and go below the surface. She's coming to grips with, yeah, you know, I've wanted that refreshment all my life. And here's the point, human beings, all human beings have an enormous thirst for spiritual things.

They do. They're thirsty. There's this hope, there's this idea that there must be something more than what I've already experienced on earth right now. It's what one author called a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every human being.

It's a great description, isn't it? Every person has a God-shaped vacuum that cannot be filled by any created thing. Paul the Apostle put it this way. The creation, that's all of us, the creation was subjected to futility, emptiness.

Not willingly, but because of him who subjected it in hope. In other words, and I'll paraphrase it, God put in every human being a hole in their soul. We're born with a hole in the soul. So we walk around going, yeah, that was fun, that was good, that tasted good, that person's nice. There's gotta be more.

There's gotta be more. Here's a woman preoccupied with a hole in the ground, that's the well, Jesus is all about the hole in her soul. Getting her in touch with her spiritual thirst. You can have that thirst quenched, sweetie. You don't ever have to thirst again. Living water.

So try that next time. Start with a statement that makes people wonder, curious. Follow that up by taking the conversation to a deeper level, like are you really honestly fulfilled? Are you really happy?

Deep inside, do you feel like your thirst is quenched? That's where Jesus is taking her. Third and finally, he appeals to a guilty conscience. It's pretty obvious as you go through this. In verse 16, he's doing something fascinating to me.

Of course, he knows all things, so he can pull this off quite easily. He said, go call your husband and come here. So here's Jesus saying, you're like, I'll just wait right here, go back to town, go get your husband and come back.

We'll talk. And she said, the woman said, and she had no clue what was coming next. I have no husband.

I'm not married. Jesus said to her, well, you have said well, I have no husband, for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband in that you spoke truly. And her response, sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Now, do you see what's happening? Up till now, Jesus has been indulging her cynicism and her flippant little cute little remarks because he knows she's speaking from her pain, from her callousness, from her hurt.

But now it's time to go for the juggler. Now it's time to penetrate that thick, crusty defense and go right to the heart. So he's gotten her curious. He's getting her in touch with her spiritual thirst, and now he gets personal. And with one statement, one sentence, go call your husband.

It's like a sharpshooter aiming for the heart, just one arrow. And that one statement, go get your husband, was enough to evoke a flood of memories of past failures, past broken relationship, one after another, till she finally gave up and said, I'm not gonna even go to the judge and get a certificate or a license. We'll just live together.

Go call your husband. Then Jesus said what he said, and she immediately thought, how does this stranger know such intimate details about my life? He must be a prophet.

Now I have a question. Why did Jesus go there? Why did he do this? Why would he dare pull off a scab to such a deep wound, just to make her feel bad? No, to get her to see her great need. See, she's hiding behind her little statements, and she's been around men, and wow, are you gonna get that living water?

Oh, show me where that is. Well, I don't have a husband. You're right, you've had five, and you're living with a man in sin. Whoa, this is called the uh-oh moment. So when you know you're busted, you go, uh-oh. He gets very personal because here's the point. Here's the truth.

She'll never drink from living water unless she says, I'm really thirsty, and everything I've tried in the past, including these men, have not fulfilled my thirst. That's why. That's why.

The same is true today. Before anyone seeks a savior from sin, they have to admit that they're a sinner. They don't admit that they're a sinner. If you just pat them on the back, oh, you're a good person, you're a nice person, you just keep feeling good and fuzzy thoughts, and be sincere, there has to be a point where a person is confronted with their sin to see the need of having their sin dealt with. And so curiosity, thirst, and then very personal, the guilty conscience, the broken law.

Now for this woman, it was her relational baggage. It wouldn't be the same if he was addressing somebody else in the same manner. He might walk up to some, and instead of saying, go call your husband, he might say, go get your income tax returns and come back.

I'd like to review them with you. Or he might say to somebody else, go get your internet activity records this past week. Let's talk. Or he'd say, your phone records, bring them here.

I wanna talk to you about them. See, it sorta depends on what the hang up is, what the sin is, where the failure is. Jesus gets very personal here with this woman's one huge issue. And then finally, she says, could this be the Christ? And many Samaritans, including this woman, will believe. Well, you can lead a Samaritan to water, but you can't make her drink. She will drink, I believe. And it's because Jesus loved and lingered.

His attitude was one of love, his approach was one of sticking with her, staying with her, and taking her through this process. Hey, let's do the same. Go out and engage in holy gossip. Let's call it that, holy gossip. It goes like this, pssst, have you heard what Jesus has done in my life? I wanna tell you about it.

Start there. J.C. Ryle, Bishop Ryle of Liverpool said, the highest form of selfishness is a man content to go to heaven alone. See, this is what happens. Church people were saved, were so happy we're saved, then we get fed and we grow and we get more fed and more studied up and better equipped and this seminar, we have that teaching and we get just so, again, we forget what it's like to be lost. You know how to get in touch with it? Just go hang around with more lost people.

You get in touch with it really quick. And let's not be content to go to heaven alone. Glad I'm going to heaven.

Yeah, but drag a few people with you. I wanna close with a story I read this week. Fritz Kreisler, Fritz Kreisler was a renowned violinist from Germany. Wherever he would go, he attracted large crowds and he made huge sums of money playing the violin. Most of the money, unfortunately, he gave away. So when the time came for him to buy the most exquisite violin he had ever seen in his life, he had no money. Well, he raised the money. He told the person selling it, hold it for me.

I'm gonna raise the funds. He did, went back. The violin was already sold to a collector. So Fritz Kreisler went to the home of the collector and told him who he was. I'd like to buy your violin. The collector didn't need the money and he wanted the violin. He said, I'm sorry, I don't wanna part with it. It's now my prized possession.

I'm not gonna sell it to you. Oh, Kreisler was about to turn and go and leave. And then he had a thought. He said, I'll try this. He said, listen, before you consign that violin to eternal quiet, could I just play it once? He said, sure, have at it.

Gave him the violin, put the bow in his hand and he played so beautifully. Filled the room with such emotional music that the collector said, I have no right to keep that to myself. It's yours, Mr. Kreisler. You can have it. And then he said, take it into the world and let people hear it. I think Jesus would be saying to us today through this message, take it.

It's yours. Take it into the world and let people hear it. People hear my message, how much I love them. Well, hopefully you aren't content to go to heaven alone, but you want as many people as possible to go there with you. You know, it's funny, most people are eager to share good news, but for some reason, when it comes to the good news of the gospel, we're often a bit more hesitant. But don't hesitate, share what you know and seize every opportunity to do so because you never know when you might get another one. That's going to wrap up our time for today.

So as we close, here's Skip and Lenya with a final thought. I have found, and I'm sure you're the same thing, people are thirsty. They're really thirsty for reality, for truth, for something that's gonna satisfy their lives. It's interesting, because Billy Graham said, he knows that in every crowd he has spoken to, there's somebody there who has spiritual thirst, that they're, in his words, lonely, you know, without Christ, and that the things of this world have not quenched that thirst.

And I think we pass them by every day and don't realize how thirsty that person in the checkout line may be, or the person you know you're purchasing something from. So why do so many Christians find evangelism intimidating when there's an overwhelming thirst for it? I think if you just stepped out and mentioned it, there would be, you know, these hungry hearts that would just drink that living water. Yeah, if you can just get a believer to take that first step, everything in his or her life will change pretty quickly. We've been talking a couple of these sessions about doing evangelism when we first dated and we'd go out publicly and share. And you know, it's just awkward to start a spiritual conversation. It's part social protocol, we're just not trained to do that or it's not accepted, you know, religion and politics, you know, you can't share publicly about that stuff. And yet, if we just get out of our shell and we just initiate, you know, my brother lived in Death Valley.

He was a golf pro there. And the thing about Death Valley, you pour water into the ground, it's gone. It evaporates and gets, the ground just soaks it up. And hearts are like that with truth.

They might put on a hard exterior at first, but they're listening and the ground is soaking it up. So I think that if believers could take the first step and then not only that, but if they could study even a little bit to get answers ready, you know, it's what Peter says, study to show yourself approved. And there's just some basic questions that people will have in conversations that if you can arm yourself, it'll serve you well. Or just a question. I mean, the women at the well, Jesus went up and just said, I'm thirsty, can you draw some water? And you can take such an ordinary circumstance, you know, turn to someone, you know, you know, as you're getting your lunch, you could say, you know, I'm really thirsty, but not just physically. Have you ever been really thirsty for, you know, something that's more real? I think you can take almost any ordinary situation and turn it around and probe just a little bit and, you know, not come out with the full, you know, you need Jesus, but just to ask some pertinent questions.

You can be in the line at the grocery store with all those rag magazines. And you look at all the bad news and ask somebody, why would a God of love allow these things to happen? Have you ever asked that question? Of course they have asked that question. And if you're offering an answer to that question, you might have a very interesting conversation on your hands. Opportunities abound.

Well, they sure do. And thanks for sharing that with us, Skip and Lenya. And as we wrap things up today, if you'd like a copy of today's study, it's available on CD for just $4 plus shipping. When you call us at 1-800-922-1888.

Or you can write us at PO Box 95707, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87199. We'll continue through our series Believe 879 with more from the Gospel of John next time. So I hope you can join us right here in Connect with Skip Weekend Edition, a presentation of connection communications. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the crossing. Cast all burdens on His word. Make a connection, connection, connection. Connecting you to God's never changing truth and ever changing times.
Whisper: small.en / 2022-11-06 07:01:15 / 2022-11-06 07:06:58 / 6

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