PEOPLE HAVE A DRINKING PROBLEM
Jesus tells us the greatest commandment is to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. In this 5-week series, Pastor Tito will explore what it means to follow through on being a follower of Jesus Christ, looking at how our relationship with God should affect each of these aspects of our life. When it comes to being a Christian, believing is just the beginning. There is more to it than just praying a prayer and attending a weekly service.
This week we learn what it means to love the Lord with all of your HEART
Read the Sermon Summary below
PEOPLE HAVE A DRINKING PROBLEM
FINDING A WAY TO BE FULFILLED
“Every man, whatsoever his condition, desires to be happy.” – St. Augustine
Mankind has a drinking problem, and it has nothing to do with sugary drinks or alcohol. It has everything to do with our hearts. Humans were made to find their fulfillment outside of themselves. This is why we spend so much money on hobbies, clothes, entertainment, or in pursuing our careers. We are all looking for something/someone to make us complete and happy. Our problem is that because of sin, our cravings have been distorted. There are times late at night that I may get hungry, especially if I ate an early dinner. That hunger pain quickly turns into a craving for food that I shouldn’t be eating ever, especially late at night right before bed (milk and cereal is usually the repeat offender). Our sinful nature takes our hunger and need for God and leads away from Him in an effort to satisfy our hunger and thirst in everything and anything else. Would a professional athlete ever choose to drink glass of sand in order to stay hydrated? That is why it is important to understand that none of us will ever be truly fulfilled until we are filled with the fulness of God. That can only happen when we choose to follow Christ.
“A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever 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 to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.” John 4:7-18
OUR HEARTS HAVE A HOLE IN IT
In this amazing account, we see Jesus break every social norm in order to reach out to a lost soul. Here we have Jesus sitting next to a well right as a certain woman was approaching. Quickly, the conversation goes from Jesus making a simple request to soon after making an incredible offer to this stranger. And what was that offer? The opportunity to be truly fulfilled and having one’s soul satisfied! That is why I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Jesus is talking about fulfilling the hole inside of her heart while sitting at a well, which happens to be a hole in the ground.
God is consistent through His Word on the condition of the human heart.
“What comes out of a man is what makes him ‘unclean.’ For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean’” (Mark 7:20-23).
“I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do–this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it” (Romans 7:18-20).
“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)
I think it’s fascinating how we can be deceived by our own desires and usually be the last one to realize it. This is why I believe that the phrase that our culture likes to use, “Follow your heart”, is so dangerous.
Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” John 4:7-18
WE TRY AND FILL THAT HOLE FROM THE DIGGING DEEPER
The woman is intrigued by Jesus’ offer of living water that will cause people to never thirst again. After all, whatever water she would draw from that well wouldn’t last long. After a day of cooking, washing, and drinking someone would have to go back and get more. She was tired. She wanted to find rest from the rat race of life. This is when Jesus reveals to the woman that He is very much aware of her past history. This is yet another example of Jesus identifying the true underlying problem, trying to direct her to a solution.
For this woman, relationships with men was the well that she frequented often. She would get with a man, and after the time when the water would run dry she would move on the next one to get her fill. After husband number four, she still hadn’t realized that romantic relationships couldn’t fulfill her. We all do this too with relationships, dreams, aspirations, and many different forms of substances and stuff. None of those things are designed to satisfy our souls. Doing this is like trying to fill a hole in the ground from the same dirt that is already inside of the hole. It’s impossible. God gives us the reason why this doesn’t work through the prophet Jeremiah, when he wrote “For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cistern that can hold no water” (Jeremiah 2:13). Outside of Christ, our hearts are broken, unable to ever find fulfillment. Charles Spurgeon was dead on when we once said, “You say, ‘If I had a little more, I should be very satisfied.’ You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled”.
The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.” John 4:7-18
THE HOLE IN YOUR HEART CAN ONLY BE MADE WHOLE BE JESUS CHRIST
Feeling a bit awkward after Jesus had revealed what He knew about her, she tries to change the subject to a debate that the Jews and Samaritans regularly engaged in. Jesus was not going to let her off that easy. In fact, the topic of conversation that she introduced would help her to find what she was looking for. Jesus’ answer was that the location and activity of worship is secondary to only the object of your worship.
Assuming she worshiped the Lord in Samaria, her lifestyle revealed that a “man” was her god and source of hope, love, significance, and worth. But here was Jesus, telling her that everything she was trying to find in a man could only be found through the Messiah, and He was standing right there.
I know what this woman was going through. I was unable to find what I was looking for in relationships, possessions, or activities. But the moment when Christ entered my life, I realized that I hadn’t lost something. I was lost. But now I am happy to say that I am found in Christ!
At first the woman thought Jesus was talking about a kind of water that would impact her life from the outside in. But Jesus said that the living water He alone can offer comes from the inside out. I live in Florida where there are plenty of natural springs. If you’ve never seen one, it is pretty much a hole in the ground where millions of gallons of pure water is being pumped from below the surface. This water is so clean and refreshing, and it’s exactly what I picture of the kind of living water that springs up from the inside of us, welling up into eternal life. As we read in Jeremiah 2:13, this “water” is the presence of the living God that dwells inside of every believer and saint. Because it is on the inside, we don’t have to go searching for it on the outside. It’s with us. It’s a part of us. We are a part of Him. One. A new creation. This new life flows from the inside out so that others could be blessed, rather than from the outside in where we alone would only benefit.
Our hearts are born with a God-shaped hole that sin can never fill. But Jesus alone can make our hearts whole when we hand it over to Him through love and surrender. That is where we begin to love the Lord our God with all of our hearts. He desires the good and the bad. The healthy and the hurting. Not only does He want to satisfy your soul but every time you experience a new wound on your heart, His loving presence will burst forth from that new wound, like a spring, bringing true healing.
“Does [Jesus] want your heart only for the same end as the devil does, to make you miserable? No, he only wants you to believe on him, that you might be saved. This, this, is all the dear Savior desires, to make you happy, that you may leave your sins, to sit down eternally with him.” —George Whitefield
After all of this time, wasted in search of true meaning, the woman at the well ran back to town to tell everyone, “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” (John 4:7-18). What surprised her the most was not that Jesus was a man or a Jew. But what she couldn’t believe was that the Messiah knew every dirty secret about her yet still offered her a fresh start. What makes the gift of salvation so miraculous today is that God knows everything little and big thing that we’ve ever done, including all that has happened to us, yet still loves us anyways and is willing to offer to us a fresh start too. All who believe in Jesus and follow Him in love will be filled by the fullness of the presence of God. And the reason why men and women are able to love the Lord our God with all of our hearts in this way is because the Lord loves us with all of His. The spear that went through His heart on the cross is proof of this, and by it our hearts can finally be happy.