John 14:1-7 ESV
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
In this world we will have troubles and hardships and suffering, and there will be times when we may feel distraught, hopeless and without resources. Even people strong in their faith in Jesus Christ (in God) can have times when life’s circumstances get them down, and when they momentarily feel despair or hopelessness (examples: King David, Jeremiah, Job and Paul).
And, it is during those times that those of us who believe in Jesus will (or should) call upon God in our distress, and in our despair, and in our confusion, and we will (or should) seek God’s face for answers and for hope and for healing. And, when we do this, in all sincerity, he will answer us from heaven, and he will tell us to not let our hearts be troubled, but to believe in him; to believe that he has everything under his control, and to trust him.
But, it is important that we listen to him and to his counsel, and that we are walking in fellowship with him daily, and that we are following his counsel, too. For, so many times Christians will pray to God for help when things are bad, and they will look to God to rescue them from their troubles. But, then they may ignore him the rest of the time, in good times, and they may not consistently seek his counsel, and they may not be willing to do what the Lord says. So, if this is the case, then they should not expect help from him.
But, when we truly believe in Jesus, not just when it is convenient for us, but all the time, then biblically it means we are listening to him, and we are following him, and we are daily dying to sin and to self. Then, we will truly know Jesus Christ, the Son, and we will know the Father, also. And, then we will have this hope that one day all this pain, misery, and heartache, and all these temptations to sin and persecutions will finally be over. And, we will then have a home for us in heaven, where Jesus has gone ahead of us to prepare a place for us, that where he is, there we may be also.
John 14:8-14 ESV
Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.
There are many people who profess faith in Jesus Christ who really do not know him in an intimate sense. They may truly be in relationship with him, or not, but they have not spent the time with him, in prayer and in his Word, in order to really get to know who he is and what he is really all about.
Some of this may be due to the fact that they are listening to humans to tell them about Jesus, but they may be getting a distorted view of the Christ from other human beings. So, the only way we can really know Jesus is for us to spend lots of time with him, listening to him, reading his word, talking with him (praying), and then obeying him.
And, then we will come to realize Jesus’ relationship to the Father, that he is not just the Son of God, but he is also God (See: John 1), and that he was with God in the beginning, and not just when he was born as a baby. For Jesus always existed, just not always in human form. And, he not only existed always with God, and he is God, but he is also our creator God.
So, it was God who left his throne in heaven and humbled himself and took on human form and became obedient to death on a cross. God, who is holy and perfect and all-powerful, humbled himself to become like us, except he did not sin, because he loved us so much, and because he wanted us to be free from our slavery to sin and to walk in his righteousness and holiness.
John 14:15-21 ESV
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”
So, how do we get to know Jesus and the Father? First of all, we must humble ourselves, and we must repent of our sins and submit to God’s will and purposes for our lives. We must leave our former lives of living for sin and self behind us, and we must now walk in Christ’s holiness and righteousness, all in his power and strength within us (See: Eph. 4:17-24).
For, if we love him, we will keep his commandments. But, this is ongoing. And, it is a process of daily, by the Spirit, putting to death the deeds of the flesh. Yet, this is not saying we will never sin (See: 1 Jn. 2:1-2), but it is saying that sin should no longer be our master. It should no longer be what controls our lives, for now we should be under the control of the Holy Spirit, who is the helper whom Jesus has given to us who are believing in him.
And, let me say this here, too. Many people believe that the Jews believe in the same God as we who are Christians do. They do not. For Jesus made it quite clear here, and in other passages of scripture, too, that if we don’t know Jesus, that we also do not know the Father, for they are ONE God. And, this goes for other religions, as well. For, Jesus is the only Way, Truth, and Life, and NO ONE comes to the Father EXCEPT THROUGH HIM.
If we don’t love Jesus, i.e. if we don’t make it our practice to obey him, then we do not know him, which means we also do not know God, which also means we do not have the hope of eternal life with God (See: Rom. 8:1-17).
And, know this also. Knowing Jesus, thus knowing God, is not a one-time event in our lives, we then live, and then one day we die and we go to heaven. Knowing and loving Jesus must be continuous, ongoing, and must remain in effect until the day he comes to take us home to be with him. And, knowing him and loving him involves daily fellowship with him all throughout the day and night, and walking daily in obedience to him, too.
So, if you want to be assured of God’s love and care and protection over your life, then you need to love Jesus by obeying him and by doing what he says. And, he says we are to put away our former lives of living for sin and self, and all those sins associated with the flesh (Gal. 5:19-21), and then we are to come and follow (obey) him (Lu. 9:23-25). And then, too, we can be assured that we have eternal life with God and heaven as our eternal home.
So, truly trust him with your life today, if you have not already.
A Believer’s Prayer
An Original Work / July 31, 2012
With my whole heart, Lord, I pray
To be Yours, and Yours always.
Lead me in Your truth today.
May I love You, and obey.
Lead me in Your righteousness.
When I sin, may I confess;
Bow before You when I pray;
Live for You and You always.
Love You, Jesus, You’re my friend.
Life with You will never end.
You are with me through each day,
Giving love and peace always.
You will ne’er abandon me.
From my sin You set me free.
You died on that cruel tree,
So I’d live eternally.
Soon You’re coming back for me;
From this world to set me free;
Live with You eternally.
Oh, what joy that brings to me.
I will walk with You in white;
A pure bride, I’ve been made right
By the blood of Jesus Christ;
Pardoned by His sacrifice.
Saturday, December 8, 2018