Many years ago a young man who sought supernatural intervention for his problems, walked into a Hindu Temple, hoping to receive the favor of the gods that the temple was dedicated for. While he was there he heard an audible voice, which said: “You have come to the wrong place.” He realized this is indeed the Lord Jesus speaking to him. Talk about an encounter! He immediately left that temple and a few days later joined a church in his neighborhood. Long story short, he dedicated his life to service to God and led many people to Christ.
Today, I want to speak to you about divine encounters. Now in the Bible, there are many examples of encounters. But I want to base this particular sermon on the Samaritan Woman’s encounter with Jesus. I want to share with you five truths about encounters I learned from this passage. By the way, if you are reading this sermon online please feel free to leave your comments at the end. Your feedback is very important to us.
Read John 4:1-42
1. Encounters are Heavenly Appointments
Read John 4:1-6
A. The opening verses of this chapter have the impression that the entire incident was circumstantial. But it wasn’t so.
B. Jesus’ life was always in sync with the Spirit. He traveled across Samaria because he was led by the Spirit into that village.
C. Just because encounters take place when we least expect them, doesn’t mean they are coincidental or circumstantial. They are heavenly appointments.
2. Encounters aren’t Seasonal or Geological
Read John 4:7-8
A. The Samaritan woman didn’t meet Jesus on a Shabbat or in a building dedicated to carrying out religious activities.
B. It was just another ordinary and busy day in which she carried out her routine household duties.
C. Encounters aren’t seasonal or geological. We can experience an encounter regardless of the season or place if we seek the experience earnestly.
3. An Encounter can Convict us of Sin
Read John 4:9-26
A. Confronting her issues with the opposite sex was the turning point of the encounter. This was essential.
B. Understandably she felt very uncomfortable at this point; and so shifted the direction of the conversation from her personal problems to worship.
C. The fact that encounters can get very uncomfortable sometimes because they convict us of our own sinfulness and our need for a savior.
4. An Encounter Reignites the Fire in Us
Read John 4:27-38
A. Her genuine interest in the topic of worship indicates she was very religious. Her lifestyle, however, indicates that she was spiritually dead.
B. Jesus’ words ignited in her a fire more powerful than any religion. She rushed back to tell others about the man she just met.
C. Mere religion can’t empower us for service. Only the fire of the Holy Ghost could. Only an encounter with God can reignite the fire within us.
5. An Encounter can bring Transformation
Read John 4:39-42
A. We are introduced to two types of transformation. The first type is individual transformation. (The transformation of the Samaritan woman.)
B. The second type is the transformation of the community. (The transformation of the village.)
C. An authentic encounter will always be followed by individual transformation as well as a transformation of one’s community.
Closing – The Samaritan Woman Shows:
A. We need to remember that encounters are heavenly appointments, although they look like random supernatural manifestations.
B. Maintain a receptive attitude because God can visit you anytime anywhere. His presence is not limited to seasons or a geographic location.
C. Encounters are ways God deals with the sin among his people (one of the many ways…) Don’t bail yourself out of the experience when the Holy Spirit confronts you during an encounter.
D. An encounter is not an experience you can keep to yourself. If you do the fire it ignited within you will die. Therefore share your experience with others.
E. An encounter is a glorious experience. But it’s useless unless it transforms you within. Work in cooperation with the Holy Spirit to transform your life.
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