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December 24, 2020 7:00 pm
BJU President Steve Pettit brings a message entitled, “Thirsting for Living Water” from John 4.
Welcome to The Daily Platform sponsored by Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina today speaker is the president of Bob Jones University. Dr. Steve Pettit for over 29 years. Steve was an evangelist traveling across the country preaching and teaching in evangelistic services and Ministries, I would ask you to take your Bibles and turn with me to the book of John. John chapter 4.
Today I want to read one verse is our theme verse for the week and then look at this passage of Scripture and I hope that the Lord to use it today this stir your heart vision and a passion for the gospel John chapter 4 verse 35 Jesus says these words say not ye. They are yet four months and then cometh the harvest, behold, I send you lift up your eyes and look on the fields, for they are white already to harvest about a week and half ago I was flying from here in Greenville up to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I was sitting on the window seat and there was an elderly gentleman that was seen sitting on the ILC and really right just before we were to leave a lady came and sat in the center seat and looking at her. I guess she she was in her upper 30s and later found out she was about 40 years old. She seemed to be a little more open to conversation. For as you well know, on a plane.
It's hard to talk with people because oftentimes all have their earbuds and in and not really communicative. I said hello and we exchanged a few statements with each other and then I asked her. I said what what is it that you're caring. It was sitting on the floor and she said it was her yoga mat. Well come to find out she was a yoga instructor, a teacher she had been in Atlanta for a conference where she had been teaching and she was a very transparent very open person. She began to talk about her life and how yoga had been a great help to her.
She opened up with me and share with me that she had gone through some painful experiences including having children at a very young age and having to raise them as a single mother.
She opened up about a current relationship that she had been and where there were lots of struggle she was experiencing and how painfully it difficult it was for her at the time.
I asked her ask a couple questions about yoga and how it relates to Christianity asked her if yoga was a purely physical exercise and she was very quick to tell me that it was actually a very spiritual thing. And through it she definitely believed in a higher being well in the process of our conversation, I wanted to do the best I could to turn it into a gospel opportunity and so I asked the question is, if you read the Bible and she said she had really read it very much. I said you know what I think you all to consider reading the fourth chapter of the book of John. I said in this chapter, Jesus meets a woman and this woman eventually finds in Jesus Christ. Every thing she's looking for in life. Interestingly to me. She said that actually another person had encouraged her to read the exact same chapter in the Bible. So why John four and what is it from the fourth chapter of John we can learn this morning from the master evangelist. Jesus and how it is that he was so effective in reaching into the hearts of people. I hope that this week that you will learn at least one thing out of the course the week something that will make you more effective in reaching into the life of people with gospel conversations. So let's look this morning of the fourth chapter of John because here's the very famous story of Jesus encounter with a woman at the well. The story takes place in an area called Samaria that's north of Jerusalem.
Jesus was going home up to Nazareth in Galilee, where he lived and Samaria was the shortest route from Galilee to Jerusalem, but the problem with that is, it was also the most hostile region is very dangerous and the reason is because the Samaritans were a mixed race, they were half choose and there have Gentiles and they were very despise by pure blooded Jews you could call it racism to the max well on their journey. Jesus and his disciples come to a village called sidecar and in that village. There was a very famous well that was formerly owned by the Old Testament. Father Jacobs was called Jacob's well it's about noon, so the disciples going to the village to get something to eat and Jesus goes to the well to sit down and rest knowing that he had a divine appointment because at the exact noon hour.
A woman comes out to the well a single woman all by herself to draw water now. Immediately, that is a key to understanding the story because women did not draw water in the middle of the day. They did it in the morning and they did it in the evening so every morning. Many of the ladies from the village would be there in the evening the same thing was a time of conversation. She went all by yourself. Why was the story unfolds, you begin to see that she was wanting to avoid the other women in her village because of something in her life. And then Jesus does something that blows the mind of this lady. He speaks to her and asks if she would give him a drink of water and this shocked her and the reason it shocked her first of all because Jews despised Samaritans and they never talk to them and secondly in that culture. Men never spoke to women in public, especially a Jewish rabbi. So in verse nine of chapter 4 this woman ask a question she said to Jesus, how is it that you would you ask a drink from me, a woman of Samaria and then Jesus did something brilliant. The master evangelist.
He turns the conversation around and he does two things that arrests this woman's attention. Some of suggested it always arrests the attention of a woman number one. He aroused her curiosity number two.
He offered her a free gift. He said to her, and I'll paraphrase it in verse 10. If you understood who you are speaking to and why was the gift God wanted to give you, you would actually be asking me for a drink and I would give you something better. I would give you living water. What is Jesus doing when you read the story read between the lines for Jesus is masterfully reaching down into this woman's heart. If you're going to be effective in gospel conversations you have to get into people's lives. And Jesus began to draw all out of this woman what she was really wanting and live but she wasn't getting Jesus and the Bible says in the book of Proverbs chapter 20 verse five counsel in the heart of man is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out. Jesus was trawling out what was inside of this woman's heart because he began to help us understand that this woman was thirsting for something in life, a number of years ago there was a beer company called dose a keys they had an advertising campaign called the most interesting man in the world and everything. The commercial is centered around this older bearded, debonair gentlemen with voiceovers about his life experiences and their intended to be both humorous and outrageous. The company's brand strategy was to create a man who is rich in stories and experiences. Much the way the audience hopes that their life will be in the future and of course at the end of the advertisement. This most interesting man usually sewn shown sitting in some kind of social setting or nightclub is surrounded by a couple of beautiful young women and he says I don't always drink beer but when I do, I prefer dose a keys and then the commercial ends with the most interesting man in the world stating his signature signoff. He says stay thirsty my friends, you know first about all that so that's that's it that's so stupid that's a and then I thought, you know what they're actually really smart because they're drawing out of you something that you want in life. It's not dear, it's the whole experience of this guy.
What is he saying what is Jesus trying to do in the life of this woman he she's trying to draw out what it is that she is thirsting something she's trying to satisfy every body is thirsting every body has desires every body is looking for something and what is Jesus doing, he is saying I am the one who satisfies the thirst of your soul.
I am actually what you really want John 737 if anyone thirst letting come to me and drink. Jesus said whoever believes in me, as the Scripture says, out of his belly out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water. What is Jesus saying I am the one that can satisfy the deepest thirst of your soul.
So what was Jesus's evangelistic method with this woman. He was going after that part of her that was thirsty if you only know who was speaking to you and what he is offering to you. You would be asking me for a drink. Years ago there was an evangelistic campaign called Jesus is the answer billboards and bumper stickers will put everywhere saying Jesus is the answer. Finally someone came back with another bumper sticker asking the next question. What's the question you don't understand the answer if you don't understand the question and this was the case of this woman.
She said the Jesus you have nothing to draw water within the well is deep. Where do you get that living water. She obviously was thinking of the realm of the physical, but Jesus was talking about the spiritual is not talking about the body he was talking about the soul because it's in the human soul where our real first lies. Look at verse 13 everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again but whosoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up and eternal life.
What is Jesus doing Jesus is showing us that effective evangelism takes place at the first level in the hearts of people the desires of people like what like figure forgiveness, satisfaction, meaning, purpose, intimacy, identity, belonging security significance value whole love at the point where people first is where gospel conversations become the most effective. My oldest daughter Rebecca is living in the land of Israel.
She's working on a doctorate degree.
There, she also does guiding for tours and so about a week or so ago she was invited to be the main storyteller and guy for five people who came to Israel to be a part of a writers gathering. These were professional writers for movies and theater and drama summit worked in for Marvel and they work for Disney and so she guided them around the land of Israel and basically went to various sites and told the stories of the sites and one of them was a self-described atheist and the night before they finished their last tour. My daughter was able to talk to her about Jesus. The woman seemed as my daughter said to be searching, but she had a one-dimensional view of Christianity and the lady asked my daughter, do you actually really believe in all the stuff and mild.
My daughter said absolute and then she began to open up her greatest fear of life, which was dying and suddenly she came to the first level what she was looking for. My daughter was able to share with her how that she did not fear death because of the resurrection of Jesus. The Jesus said I am the resurrection and the life he that believe the me that we were dead, yet shall he live in the hope of the believer.
Is this resurrection that we have in Christ.
She was able to reach her at the first level advantage of effective evangelism always goes after soul first. No wonder this woman said in verse 15, Sir, give me this water so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water. She began to want what Jesus offered.
But that's not where evangelism ended because this woman needed to go to another level and that is she had to change the way she was thinking she had to recognize the error in her seeking to satisfy her thirst the wrong way, because what she had done is what what she had gone after to satisfy that first sheet she had made it an idol and what was her idol Jesus in verse 16. Go call your husband and telling to come here and the woman said I have no husband and Jesus answered and said, you are right in saying that I have no husband for you had five husbands and the one you're now with is not even your husband and the woman was honest and she said what you said is true. Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet.
What is an idol.
An idol is what you try to satisfy your thirst apart from God. The Old Testament says it this way to the Jewish people who worship idols you seek water out of broken cisterns and you have forsaken the fountain of living water.
You are trying to satisfy the thirst of your soul with that which cannot satisfy. And Jesus had to expose this woman's idol. She had to see that her way and trying to satisfy her desires was the wrong way. What is sin.
Sin is not the desire to satisfy your own desires what is doing a getting against God's created order for a woman to want to find satisfaction in a man can only be righteous if it is done in God's order and design for marriage. Hebrews 13 five.
Marriage is honorable in all, in the bed undefiled. But for mongers and adulterers God will judge. Obviously this woman by virtue of her five marriages and the man she was living with was seeking something obviously that no one man could give her. She went from one to the next to the next to the next and the next, seeking something out of each man that not one man could give her. She had to be broken over her own idolatry and now we know why she didn't want to draw water. The normal times with other women because she was a Shane. She avoided the crowd and this woman said the Jesus I know, the Messiah is coming he is he who is called the Christ when he comes, he will tell us all things, and Jesus said to her I speak to you am he, Jesus, and Jesus made it clear that what she really wanted.
He was, what is it that we all really want. What do you want as an individual. What is it that can only satisfy the deepest longings of your heart is Jesus Christ. He is a fountain of living water, so one of the woman do the Bible says in verse 28. She left her water jar she went into town to begin to tell all the people.
The people that she had avoided what happens when you meet Jesus you get forgiveness you get satisfaction, and then you want to go tell someone and she said come see a man who told me all that I ever did convince me the cries effective evangelism takes place through gospel conversations that lead people to realize and discover that Jesus is the one who can satisfy them. So what happens the disciples come they returned from the village of the got food there loaded up. They got groceries young guys lunchtime what you want to do nothing spiritual. Lessee and Jesus lets the disciples know that there is something that satisfies him more than food, something they didn't know about. You see, receiving the gospel satisfy the woman soul preaching the gospel satisfied Jesus is, I want you to understand that I personally believe that you will never be satisfied in your Christian experience until you are having gospel conversations. If you are not giving the water of life out as you're taking it in you become like the Dead Sea stagnant. Many of you have never experienced the passion and the joy of your faith because you got to share your faith. There is something that evangelism gives you in your heart that brings one of the deepest satisfactions of life, telling people about Christ. So at the same time. Jesus is talking to his disciples what happens. The Samaritans from town. I believe the woman's testimony. They were coming to Jesus to hear his words and listen to what Jesus said in verse 35 he said to his own disciples do not say there yet four months and then comes the harvest lift up your eyes look on the fields.
They are white already to heart. In the simplest way I can explain it. Jesus is saying you have a saying that there four months between sewing and harvest time and agriculturally.
That is true but spiritually that is not true disciples lift up your eyes look down the road at the approaching Samaritans and you will agree with me that fees that are coming are the whitened harvest field ready to be read law and see broken lives, hungry souls, maybe people people who are thirsty they are everywhere and they are ready.
They are prepared.
Lift up your eyes. The fields arrive they are ready to be read to them.
That's what he saying and you don't have to go very far to find the needy soul and effective evangelism takes place at the first level when I was growing up in Columbia. I had a friend of mine named Jim Harrelson, Jim and I were buddies in high school. He was a year older than I was. He finished high school, one year before May 1973 I finished 70. We actually played on the football team together in high school, public high school in the we actually played the same position he played, tidy and aptly tied when he graduated, he went to college at the Citadel when I graduated with college instead of the following year and we were both in the same company. We are indeed company Delta cup, so to put it mildly. Jim and I were really really good friends and during our high school years. We actually talked about spiritual things together and I remember very clearly having a conversation with him in a car talking about spiritual things, but neither one of us were believers, but I got saved my freshman year and began to grow in the Lord. Jim did not Christian in his senior year he is about to graduate.
My junior year, and I remember taking him out one evening to a restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina, a local Denny's and we sat there for probably I don't know an hour to two hours and I just tried to beg Jim to get say, but Jim wasn't ready because he wasn't thirsty. He graduated his degree was business administration and he went out into the banking industry.
I graduated the next year came here to Bob Jones did two years and then finished that I went up to Michigan to work as a youth pastor and I want to guess I was probably about 28 years old been in the youth ministry ministry about four years somewhere around there. I got a letter in the mail from Jim and open it up and Jim told me a story he shared with me how he had been how he become a believer and how he had solved for satisfaction in the world and he did in the middle 20s what you do use involved in lots of immoral relationships in an alcohol and so forth and so on.
But thank God he got saved and he wanted to write me just to thank me for the testimony of the witness, Jim went on to Bible college exit went down to Columbia Columbia Bible College in those days, he got his masters degree in doing mission work got married. He and his wife joined a mission agency and they began to serve overseas. They began to serve in Sudan Africa and so I would keep up with Jim's updates. Then Jim came back to the United States and he began to continue to work in his agency and today the agency is called Samaritans purse and Jim Harrelson is the vice president of Samaritans purse. He is a fellow that is in charge of operation Christmas child and so he is involved in ministry of getting the gospel to literally thousands upon thousands upon thousands upon thousands of children with the gospel. My friend Jim Harrelson and I remember the conversation as if it was happening right now there are people who are thirsty and folks you have the pure water of life.
Go and have gospel conversations reached down into their heart. Find out what they're hungry for and show them that only Jesus can satisfy the depths of their soul. Father, we thank you for your great grace. Thank you for what you're doing in people's lives.
The power of the gospel. Lord I pray that that the work of this week will translate into thousands upon thousands of gospel conversations over the summer, where many, many people will hear the gospel and be say and we assess in Jesus name, amen. Thank you for joining us today. You know, these daily programs are made possible by the many friends of Bob Jones University and this radio ministry if you appreciate these programs and benefit from the faithful preaching and teaching of God's word would you consider sending us a special financial gift today. You can easily do that through the website. The Daily Platform.com and then click on the give button on the homepage to learn more about Bob Jones University. The sponsor of today's program. You can go to the bottom of the website The Daily Platform.com and click on Bob Jones University.
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