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If Only You Knew

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
April 13, 2022 8:00 am

If Only You Knew

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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April 13, 2022 8:00 am

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If only you knew who he was and what he offered. He says to you today, you'd ask me for what I have and I'd give it to you. I will give you forgiveness for your past. I will give you strength for your present. I will give you hope for your eternal future. There goes Jesus right behind that person trying to get his attention, trying to gently lead her home. Hello and thanks for being here for today's Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor at Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California.

When God is at work, there's no such thing as a lost cause. God stands ready to give everyone on earth a chance at redemption. Today, Pastor Paul Shepherd introduces you to just such a person, a woman who had no idea that Jesus is what she'd been searching for all along. Stay with us now or visit pastorpaul.net where you can listen to any recent Destined for Victory message on demand.

That's pastorpaul.net. Here now is Pastor Paul with today's message, If You Only Knew. John chapter 4. If you have a Bible with you, go with me to the Gospel according to Saint John chapter 4.

I want to quickly read the first 10 verses. John chapter 4 verses 1 through 10. The Pharisees heard that Jesus was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John.

Although, in fact, it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. When the Lord learned of this, he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee. Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son, Joseph. Jacob's well was there and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well.

It was about the sixth hour. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, Will you give me a drink? His disciples had gone into town to buy food. The Samaritan woman said to him, You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?

For Jews do not associate with Samaritans. Jesus answered her, If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water. I decided to call this talk If Only You Knew.

If Only You Knew. The text tells us about a day in the life of Jesus when he changed a woman's life forever. And I want to just spend a few moments looking at this text with you because I'm convinced that he is still changing lives.

I'm talking to some folk who have had their lives changed by Jesus forever. Direction set forever. Hope given forever. Strength for today given forever.

Freedom from the guilt of the past forever. He has changed our lives. He is present and still changing our lives as we walk with him.

And we don't want to be in the change process alone. We want to tell as many people as we can about a living Savior. And so I want to spend a few minutes just walking you through this passage and sharing a few thoughts. Five things in particular I want to say about this passage. The first is that Jesus made the trip through Samaria just for this woman. When the text says Jesus decided that he was going to go back to Galilee from Judea, it then says he had to go through Samaria.

Now I need you to understand that is not to be taken literally. The Bible is not saying that the only way to get to Galilee from Judea was through Samaria. In fact, the Jews who many of whom customarily wanted nothing to do with the Samaritans intentionally took a route around Samaria so that they wouldn't even have to as much as go through the city.

You know you hate folk when you don't even want to drive down their street. And the Jews didn't want to have anything to do with the Samaritans. So many of them throughout history would go around Samaria in route to Galilee. But Jesus, it says, had to go through Samaria.

Why? Since he could have taken another route, why in the world would the Bible say he had to do it? He had to do it because he had an appointment. He had to do it because he had set up a divine appointment with a woman who at that moment had no clue that this is the day of life change for her. He had to go through Samaria because he had to meet her.

And more importantly, she had to meet him. That's Jesus for you. He is still setting up divine appointments. I dare say that if you're listening to this message here live in the auditorium or if you're listening on a CD or listening on a broadcast and you don't yet know the Lord, I am absolutely convinced that you're not listening by accident. You're listening because Jesus said, I have to meet you today.

He's still setting up divine appointments. Some of us who are already saved, we remember the day of our divine appointment. We remember the time in our lives when whatever was going on, we came to realize, you know what?

You are not going to get out of this madness until you get your soul business straight. And that can only happen when you say yes to the Lord. How many remember the day that you said yes to the Lord? That's because he had set up a divine appointment. He had predetermined in eternity past that that day was the day he was going to introduce himself to you. For some it was on a Monday, it was on a Tuesday, on a Wednesday, on a Thursday, on a Friday, on a Saturday and a whole bunch of us on a Sunday that he introduced himself to you.

He's still doing it. He does it through the prayers of people. He does it because people have called your name to the Lord and ask God to get your attention, especially if you have praying relatives or praying friends, praying coworkers, you're not listening to this message by accident. You're listening cause somebody prayed for you.

I love that old gospel course. Somebody prayed for me, had me on their mind, took the time and prayed for me. And I'm so glad they prayed. You might not know it, but you needed prayer. And somebody was praying. That's why you're here now.

That's why you're not in your grave. There was a bullet with your name on it, but somebody prayed. There was an accident with your name on it, but somebody prayed. There was trouble that would have taken you out of this world, but somebody prayed for you. And that's why you are here to receive the word of God or listening to this message by some medium. And God is saying today is a day that I have ordained to introduce myself to you. Jesus had to go through Samaria because he had ordained that this is the day to meet this woman.

Second thing I note about the passage is Jesus engaged her when others ignored her. In verse seven, we're told that Jesus was sitting on the well cause he was tired. He had been journeying. He was tired and he's sitting on Jacob's well resting. He knew that was the divine appointment place.

Sure enough, she comes down the road with her bucket, ready to dip into the well and provide the water for herself and perhaps some others as well. And Jesus asked her, would you give me something to drink? When Jesus asked you a question, he's always setting you up. You got to understand, Jesus doesn't ask questions cause he doesn't know the answer.

When he asked a question, when you look throughout the Bible, whenever God asked a question, it's not cause he lacks information is cause he's setting something up. And Jesus asked this woman for a drink and she is shocked. She, she cannot believe it. She is used to being ignored by Jews. She is used to being minimized, ostracized, criticized, or just plain old ignored by the people of God. But not by Jesus cause Jesus intentionally is sitting there on that day to meet her. I am often struck when I read the Bible at how different Jesus is than church folk.

The people who claim to be the people of God wanted nothing to do with a creature God loved, but Jesus who was a Jew came and said, I'm a show y'all how to do this right. I suggest if you want to become a real Christian, don't spend as much time looking at Christians as you do looking at Christ. Cause if you take all your cues from church folk, you're gonna learn some bad behaviors. Pastor Paul Sheppard, we'll be right back with a second half of today's Destined for Victory message if you only knew. Listen to this broadcast on demand at pastorpaul.net. That's pastorpaul.net where you'll find a host of great resources at our online store.

You can also listen on your mobile device by downloading our free Destined for Victory mobile app. Search Destined for Victory in the app store and listen to Pastor Paul wherever you go. Now stay with us after today's message when Pastor joins me from his studio in California.

But right now, let's get back to the rest of the message if you only knew. Once again, here's Pastor Paul Sheppard. Jesus was unlike any Jew she had ever met. All the other Jews had ignored her. Especially a Jewish male in public would have nothing to do with a Samaritan female. But Jesus didn't like everybody. He doesn't care what ethnicity you are. He doesn't care what gender you are. For that matter, he doesn't care what your lifestyle is. He knew and he's going to prove it in a few verses that he knew exactly who he was talking to. That this was not a woman who was going to get the moral award. And Jesus knew it and didn't care.

Because he understands that it is just this type of person that he came to seek out and to save. One day I hope some of us some more of us get it that the people you tend to turn your nose up at are the very people Jesus is after. When you look at these buck wild crazy living crazy looking strange folk.

Come on, you see them now. People have gone to another level of strangeness. You see some people going down the street, and you say, Really? Really, you thought it was okay to go out in public, looking like that. Not only do they think it's okay to look like that they think it's okay to act like that. They think it's okay to talk like that, whatever it is, there's some outrageous stuff around us. But here's what you need to know, you might look at it and in your flesh, you are displeased with them and want nothing to do with them. But when God looks at him, he says, I want to introduce myself. Because the only way they'll get out of that trick bag they're in is if somebody loves them enough to tell them you don't have to live this way.

There is a better way. And Jesus loves folk that some church folk hate. And that's what was happening here. He speaks up, he engages her when others ignore her. He looked beyond her ethnicity, he looked beyond her lifestyle. He saw that she was thirsty.

She needed living water. Third thing that strikes me about the text is Jesus made some intriguing statements to her. He was setting her up when he asked her for a drink and she said, Well, you don't have anything to drink with.

Fascinating because she understood that Jews felt so superior to and so alienated from Samaritans, they would customarily not drink out of anything that a Samaritan had. So she knew not to even think about offering him something from her because she's thinking you all think all of our stuff is contaminated. So she's looking at his hand. She said, Well, he's asked me for something to drink. And even if I were inclined to say okay, he doesn't have anything for me to pour water into. So she brings it up. She said, Well, you have nothing to draw with.

What's up? And Jesus said to her, If you knew who you were talking to, and you knew the gift God wanted to give you, instead of me asking you for a drink, you'd ask me for a drink. And I would give it to you.

I would give it to you. I love that that messes with the theology of the people of Jesus day who thought he only wanted to deal with Jewish folk. No one non Jewish and here is this Samaritan woman and Jesus is saying, If you knew the gift that was available to you, you'd ask for it and I give it to you. I know who you are, but I still got a gift for you. So that piques her curiosity and she says, Well, that sounds good.

Sounds really, really good to me. They began to talk. She starts talking about the history. Well, our father, Jacob, created this well, and this is this is special. And she started talking about the pride she had and where they were standing and, and what this well was about.

She said, but Jesus said, Well, here's the problem. If you drink from this well, you'll get thirsty again. Just a matter of hours matter of just put in some more time in the hot sun, whatever. And before you know it, you're gonna need to drink again. He said, But the water I have to offer. If you drink this, you'll never thirst again because it will be a well that I will put inside of you.

And it'll spring up into everlasting life. He made some intriguing statements. That's why you can't put Jesus in the category with everybody else. When people they're always trying to set believers up and especially pastors like myself and others, and they always want to set you up to Well, okay, now, do you believe that you serve a God different from the Muslims and different from the this and different and they're trying to set you up as though you're gonna be put on the spot.

But they don't fool with me much. Because when you asked me that I got a ready answer. Peter said, Be prepared to give an answer for the hope that lies within you. And I got a ready answer. And my ready answer is, well, you got to ask the Muslim that because let me tell you about the God I serve. And if he agrees with what I say about him, then he must serve my God. You're not gonna get a sound bite out of me.

Without the context. Here's what I'm gonna tell you. Well, ask the Muslim instead of me and tell him I serve a God who wrapped himself up in flesh, came through 40 and two generations, entered the womb of a virgin named Mary lived a sinless life at 12 years old said I must be about my father's business at 30 was baptized into Jordan by john the baptist. Holy Spirit left heaven in the form of a dove came lit on his shoulder. God spoke out of heaven. The Father said this is my beloved son in whom I'm well pleased. The Father was in heaven. Jesus was in the water. Holy Ghost was on his shoulder. He got anointed lived in Galilee moved about healing the sick, raising the dead, casting out devils lived a sinless life, then he died a substitutionary death.

Three days later, he rose bodily. And now he sits at the right hand of the Father ever making intercession for us. Now if the Muslim serves him, then we serve the same God. With that the interview will be over. We have to go to commercial break.

Not gonna jam me up. We serve a God who wrapped himself up in Jesus. You can't just grab any old deity and say that we all serve the same God. If you don't acknowledge Jesus, you don't acknowledge the Father. For Jesus came from the Father.

And in fact is one with the Father. And so the living water is something only Jesus can give. And it's exactly what all of us need.

Because all of us need the same three things that are wrapped up in this thing that Jesus describes as living water. All of us need freedom from the sins of our past. Thanks so much for being here for today's Destin for Victory message if you only knew. Look for any of Pastor Paul Shepherd's recent messages online on demand at pastorpaul.net. That's pastorpaul.net. And Pastor joins me now from his studio. Well, Pastor, we are excited for the opportunities the Lord is giving us to expand our ministry this year. But let's make some news here.

Let's talk about this new digital platform we'll be launching later this year. Share with us your heart as you look toward the future of Destin for Victory. I thought way back to the 80s when I was an associate pastor in my dad's church in Philadelphia. During those years the Lord gave me a vision. He sort of downloaded a vision into my heart and mind about the pastorate I would have when he would send me away from my home church somewhere else in the country I didn't know where. That ended up being Northern California and I went there with a vision to reach thousands and I knew that reaching them by means of media would be extremely important.

I knew that then but then that translated into I got to get on the radio. And so when I came to California I had a real small church but a real big vision and I said well let's get on radio. Eventually the Lord blessed us to do that and it went from a local broadcast to eventually a national broadcast and I was so excited to see God fulfilling the vision in that way.

Well these days that vision still lives. I still want to see thousands more discipled and come to Christ but I realize that it can't just be radio. I'm grateful for radio. I don't plan to leave radio but I want to reach people by all means possible and today that means we've got to get involved with new digital platforms. I'm excited about what's being developed, the infrastructure we're creating. We're going to have a fresh new attractive presence online. We're going to use many social media platforms, everything at our disposal so I can keep doing what God sent me to California to do back in the late 80s which was to make sure people understand how to know God's son, how to apply God's word and how to fulfill God's purpose. And I know we're going to do that even bigger and better because of the support we're receiving from our listeners and donors. I look forward to reaching far more people for Christ. That sounds so great. What if God gave us all this technology for the express purpose of his gospel message?

What do you think? That's an exciting thought. I truly believe that the church has got to become all things to all men that by all means we may win some and in today's world of technology instead of cursing it we need to use it for the kingdom of God and I'm excited about those possibilities. Well that is what it all comes down to, reaching as many people as we can with the gospel of Jesus Christ by any means necessary.

Our new digital platform is set to launch later this year so stay tuned. Your faithful support of this ministry is making this happen and we are grateful. In fact, when you make a generous donation to Destined for Victory, today we'll send you by request the booklet, He's Alive. Did you know that there is some rather compelling evidence in support of the resurrection of Jesus Christ? Pastor Paul Shepherd shares that evidence with you in his booklet, He's Alive, and it's our gift to you by request for your generous donation to Destined for Victory this month. So please call 855-339-5500 or visit pastorpaul.net to make a safe and secure donation online.

You can also mail your gift to Destined for Victory, Post Office Box 1767, Fremont, CA 94538. The single most important day was the day Christ rose because let's be honest about it, if Christ did not rise then even Jesus' birth and Jesus' death would be insignificant. That's tomorrow when Pastor Paul Shepherd shares his message, Good News from the Graveyard. Until then remember, He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. In Christ, you are Destined for Victory.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-02 12:51:56 / 2023-05-02 13:00:26 / 9

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