SanLo Community, an update for May 5, 2019…
Thank you Pastor Scott for the message from John 14:1-7, “Don’t Be a Golden State Worrier.” I’ve been a Warriors fan my whole life. Being a fan, one is always worried for the worst to come for the team. But worry is not limited to just the basketball court. Worry takes over our lives. Worry debilitates us. Worry can stall us, hurt us. It can even break us. The dictionary defines worry as: “to give way to anxiety or unease; allow one's mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles.” When we worry, we open the door for anxiety which can lead to both physical and psychological problems. Worry is a lack of faith. What can we do when we worry?
1 – We need to trust God. We need to put our whole trust in Him. (v.1) If worry is a lack of faith, then trusting means to not worry. And trusting Jesus is such a crucial thing in our walk with Him. Jesus knows His disciples are worried about what’s about to happen. They don’t fully understand what Jesus is doing. Jesus tells them He is going. Peter makes the statement – “Why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you!” But Jesus says – before the rooster crows, you will have disowned me three times? Peter lacks faith. His fear of being identified as a follower of Jesus causes him to deny Jesus. Peter knows his leader, mentor and Lord is leaving and he is worried. But he should know that as he’s spent three years getting to know Jesus seeing Him do miracles. Jesus has always taken care of him so why would He stop now?
We have seen Jesus do amazing things in our own lives over the years, haven’t we? Why would He stop taking care of us?
We may have our own worries in our own lives. We don’t fully understand God’s plan for our lives but in Him alone can we be worry free. We forget that we have the greatest ally, the wisest leader, the Creator of the world, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the One and only God on our side. Yet we still try to do things ourselves and we worry. Worry is a lack of faith in Jesus. There is no one better to trust than Jesus. God knows your heart and He will guide you. Let Him lead the way. Sometimes we forget how God has taken care of us over the years. But when we look back on our lives we can remember all the times He took what looked like a bad situation and He made it good.
God has your best intentions in mind and He will help you. I know we get impatient and we worry that maybe God isn’t going to deliver the way we want Him to. So we try to do things on our own. When we do that we may be missing out on the amazing things God wants for us. When we trust God, we worry less, and we are open to what He has planned. What could be better than that?
2 – To know this is not our home. There is more in store for us. (vv.2-3) The disciples were concerned they wouldn’t see Jesus again. They worried for their future and Jesus lets them know that He is going but not forgetting them. He is in fact preparing a place for them! And Jesus says He is preparing a place for us! “rooms” – dwelling places. Implies a permanent place to live. We are only living on Earth for a short period of time. We have a home that is nothing like what we see here. And yet we tend to put so much time, effort and worry into what goes on while we are here on Earth. Jesus says there are rooms for us in His Father’s house! We are invited to His place – His mansion! We have an invitation to the coolest place ever! Jesus is preparing us for the ultimate invitation. This place is an amazing and wonderful paradise!
The Bible says that heaven is a place where the streets are paved with gold, the gates are made of pearl, and the walls made of precious jewels. There is no sin in Heaven. No sadness, no pain, no suffering. As awesome as that sounds, Heaven is still way better than our wildest dreams. Yet we still tend to put more emphasis on the 20, 50, 100 years we spend on this Earth than we do on our eternal home. Philippians 3:20, “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” We need to keep the eternal perspective. We forget the big picture. Many of us are wired to look at the small picture. We have to remind ourselves that there’s something bigger. Instead, we rush to get something now instead of waiting for something better. We make compromises thinking we know what’s best. We worry about money, about health, about relationships, activities, school, etc. It’s ok to give attention to these things, but before you waste a lot of time and energy worrying about these things… remember - God has a bigger picture. He knows all and He has our best interest in mind. Trust God, knowing He will take care of you. This world is not our true home! We are just here for a short time and there is more, better things to come! We fix our eyes not on what is seen but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal. We are just passing through. When you know that, you don’t worry so much because this is not forever. When we remember our eternal perspective, it takes away our worry.
3 – We need to know God personally. We need to have a personal relationship with Him. (vv.4-7) God says over and over in Scripture “I am.” He said it to Moses “I am who I am.” He said it to His disciples – here and throughout the Gospels. He says it to you and me. He is powerful and mighty and can do anything He wants. And yet He cares enough about you and your life. Jesus told the disciples they knew the way. (v.4) Know = to perceive with outward senses. To experience, to understand. (v.5) Thomas is honest and admits he doesn’t understand what is being said. And Jesus shares: The early church was often called the “Way.” “A road one travels on.” No one can come to God the Father except through Jesus. Acts 4:12, “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Jesus is not one of many ways. He is the Only Way to the Father! To God! The Truth – The unveiled reality that agrees with what appears and is manifested. It is the reality that is right before our eyes in plain sight. The absolute truth. The Life – Not just life as in existing here on Earth. It’s the life that we were meant to live. The life that God created us to live. The life that God wants us to live. Do you want to exist or live a Spirit filled life with Jesus as your guide? (v.7) “known” – more personal than “know” from verse 4. This “known” describes knowing something intuitively. Very personal. Like how mothers know their children intuitively. They have the ability to understand or know something without any direct evidence or reasoning process. And when He says “From now on you do know Him” – that know is the same know. It’s personal. How? Because of Jesus. Jesus allows us to know God the Father personally.
He is the way, the truth and the life. He is the answer we all need to deal with our sin issue. By ourselves, we cannot get to Heaven. We all have sinned. No one is perfect. But because Jesus was perfect and He was the perfect sacrifice for us, we can have a relationship with God. It’s not about doing the right things. Religions – doing good things and reaching up to gods. But Jesus came down to us so we could have a relationship with God. Do you know Him personally? Now is your chance to personally know God and give Him a chance to lead you on an amazing journey. To give Him the steering wheel of your life. To recognize that there is a whole eternity you can focus on. To know personally the God who created you, who died on the cross for you, who rose from the dead for you. And He wants to have a relationship with you. Not a distant cold relationship. A personal, intimate relationship that you can only have with your God. Not only is He the One who can provide for you a whole eternity full of peace, He can take away all your worries here on Earth.