Sermon Starters

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Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor

Second Sunday In Lent

Option #1: "Don't Change The Subject!"
John 4:5-26

Rev. Wayne Dobratz, B.A., M.Div.

Introduction: I never talk about religion or politics. It’s difficult these days to avoid them. You talk about both subjects on the life issue. You can’t avoid them when speaking about sexuality or gay marriage. Jesus wasn’t overly concerned about political correctness, and we shouldn’t be either. Listen and learn as Jesus tells the woman at the well: "Don't change the subject!"

I. About sin

A. Note this was real guilt before God, not the guilt "feelings" of some modern therapists--cf Ps 51 heading and vv1-4

B. Contrary to modern inclinations "not to get involved," Jesus confronts her--text, vv15-18--see also 2 Samuel 12, passim

II. About Jesus as our only Savior

A. It is politically incorrect these days to believe in Jesus as the only way to eternal life.

B. But Jesus is "that prophet" Moses promised would come to God’s people--cf Deut 19:15-16

C. Jesus says we must "listen to Him" to hear the Father--John 14:23-24, Lk 10:16 (Note: We can change the subject all we want about where to worship or how to worship, but we cannot change the subject about the life/death importance of listening to Jesus--see text, vv20, 23-24)

III. About forsaking sin

A. Parents are reluctant to speak to their children who are cohabiting. Grandparents are uneasy speaking to their children when grandchildren aren't being raised in the Christian faith. Yet Jesus doesn’t allow us to change the subject--text, vv10, 13-14, 17-18

B. Repentance means to "change your mind" about sin and to forsake it. The Handbook of Bible Application reminds us: "Repentance opens the way for relationship with God. Repentance has two sides--turning away from sins and turning toward God. To be truly repentant, we must do both."

IV. About your responsibility for the lost: she goes from "madam" to missionary in the space of minutes--text, vv28-30, 39-42b

A. We cannot deny our responsibility for those with whom we have a God-given "bridge" of relationships--cf Ps 51:12-13, Matt 28:8, Lk 24:9, John 1:45-49, Isa 45:22, Lk 2:17-18, Acts 4:12, 17:11-12, 2 Cor 5:19-21, 1 John 4:14-18

B. The people of Jesus’ day thought holy men were unapproachable, but Jesus’ work was in the marketplace. He made people feel welcome and that they had a place. His life was a constant demonstration that there were only two things that really mattered in this life--God and people. They were the only things that lasted forever. (Rebecca Manley Pippert)

Winning the world to Christ means winning individuals. (Erwin Lutzer)

Witnessing is not a spare-time occupation or a once-a-week activity. It must be a quality of life. You don’t go witnessing; you are a witness. (Dan Greene)

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There is a movie about a young Amish boy who witnessed a murder in a train station. A policeman is assigned to the case and goes to their farm in Pennyslvania to protect the boy who witnessed the crime. He risks his life to protect the boy and his family. The movie I just told you about has this title: WITNESS.

Jesus told us that we are His witnesses. A witness in court tells what he has seen and heard. We didn’t see Jesus with our own eyes, but we have seen Him in His Word. We have seen how much He loves us all. We have witnessed His great love in that He has taught us to love one another as He has loved us. Most important of all, we have witnessed love so great that He went to the cross to die for our sins.

The woman in the Gospel story received Jesus’ love and then she shared His love with her neighbors. Jesus wants us to share His love with people in our families, with our friends and with our neighbors. You may think you don’t know what to say, but I think you do; you’ve been singing it in a song for a long time:

Jesus loves me, He who died,
heaven’s gates to open wide.
He will wash away my sin;
let His little child come in.
Yes, Jesus loves me, yes, Jesus loves me,
yes, Jesus loves me; the Bible tells me so.


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 Option #2: "Water Works!"
John 4:5-26 [27-30, 39-42]
Rev. Kelly Bedard, B.A., M.Div.
The Point: God chooses and uses outsiders and outcasts like us!

The Problem: We by nature refuse to believe and receive such a gift, fleeing from Jesus' intimacy, perceived intrusion and inevitable exclusion.

The Promise: God doesn't let us retreat--bleat, bleat!--countering our hiding by deriding and sacrificing His own Son and, by His Spirit, abiding with us always.
1.zao {dzah'-o}, v10: to live, breathe, be among the living (not lifeless, not dead); to enjoy real life; to have true life and worthy of the name; active, blessed, endless in the kingdom of God; to live, i.e., pass life, in the manner of the living and acting; of mortals or character; living water, having vital power in itself and exerting the same upon the soul; metaphorically, to be in full vigour; to be fresh, strong, efficient; as adjective, active, powerful, efficacious. (Blue Letter Bible)
2.dipsao {dip-sah'-o}, v13: to suffer thirst, suffer from thirst; figuratively, those who are said to thirst who painfully feel their want of, and eagerly long for, those things by which the soul is refreshed, supported, strengthened. (Ibid)
3. A must-see article:


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