Today I’d like to teach out of John chapter 14 beginning in verse 1.  Though the world we live in today is much different than the one the early disciples lived in, many things remain the same, like fear and worry and uncertainty, and the Lord Jesus wanted to assure His own that He was not going to ever abandon them.  So what’s the first thing He tells them?

 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

            Is anyone’s heart troubled today?  You don’t have to look very far to find one who is.  Maybe you only need to look in the mirror. In spite of all the bad news in the world today, there actually IS some good news, and here it is!

 2  In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

            One thing mankind has always sought after is a safe place to live, a place of peace and shelter, where one feels secure and home.  The LORD knows we need that, and told us in Matthew 6:33, “Seek ye FIRST the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”  But instead, we tend to get it backwards and seek our own comfort first.  Mankind’s first thoughts are always of himself.

 3  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

 4  And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

 5  Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?

 6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

 7  If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

 8  Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.

 9  Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

 10  Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

 11  Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.

            Jesus is getting ready to tell the disciples something amazing here that no man had ever heard before.  Actually, they were having trouble even believing that God the Father was in Jesus, doing the works, and now Jesus was going to take them even further in a HUGE leap forward.

 12  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

 13  And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

 14  If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

            I’ve had to read that over and over many times through the years, it’s bigger than you can bite off at one time and comprehend.  Imagine, God himself telling us that whatsoever we shall ask in His name, that He will do it.  So why aren’t we seeing people take Him up on it?  Well, a few daring folks do, but for the most part, unbelief stops them cold in their tracks.  How about YOU?  Do you believe whatsoever you ask the Father in Jesus’ name, He will do?  Then why aren’t you acting upon it?  I rest my case.  But yet, He repeated it TWICE to make sure we didn’t miss it.  But yet, we miss it anyway.  Why do we miss it? Is it just too good to be true?  Is God Himself just too good to be true?

 15  If ye love me, keep my commandments.

 16  And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

 17  Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

 18  I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. 

            Ah, so there’s a catch after all: If ye love me, keep my commandments.  I knew it couldn’t be that simple.  WHAT commandments?  The Ten Commandment?  And yet Jesus said they were all summed up in, You shall love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and your neighbor as yourself.  That’s a pretty tall order, and to top it off, many are unable to love their neighbor as themselves, because they don’t even love themselves, feeling like they are unworthy to be loved.  I know, because I was one of them.

Yes, I could work on loving God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength because He is always so very good to me, but that’s as far as I could go, because knowing the person I was before coming to Christ, I was incapable of loving others because I didn’t even know how to love myself.  Now, I was a terribly selfish person, so you’d think I was an expert at loving myself, but that isn’t always the same thing. Even though I wanted things my way, didn’t mean I loved myself.  And I remember one day praying to the LORD saying, I know I should love my neighbor as myself, yet I don’t even know how love myself, let alone anyone else.  And the LORD replied, “Let me go to work on that.”  And He has. It’s been a long process, sometimes easy, sometimes hard. And it is a lifelong process.

And here Jesus was telling His disciples that He was leaving, and they weren’t very happy about it.  I mean, who WOULD be?  He had taken care of everyone’s needs and now He was leaving?  Here it comes, “WHAT AM I GONNA DO NOW?”  And that’s how the whole world thinks, isn’t it?

 19  Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.

 20  At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

Many have asked, “How can I know God loves me?”  And that’s a fair question.  We find the answer in John 14:21-28, where the Lord Jesus says,

21  He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

            That seems to be a pretty simple and straightforward answer, but as always, mankind tries to justify himself instead of just taking God at His Word.

 22  Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?

 23  Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

 24  He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

            You see, Jesus made it abundantly clear that His sayings were not just His, but the Father’s.  He was not pointing them to Himself, but His Father.   And the person that continually hears, know we must DO THEM!  And that’s how the LORD knows those that are truly His.  It’s not the person who one day says “the Sinner’s Prayer”, but the person whose life is changed, who have forsaken their sins and have become a new creature in Christ Jesus.  And that’s where He manifests His power, moving through those who are His to change lives and bring more souls into His Kingdom.

 25  These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.

 26  But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

 27  Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

 28  Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.

            So today I ask, Are you rejoicing because God loves you? Are you confident that no matter what happens in the world that you are safe in Him forever?   And are you sharing His love with those who don’t know Him?  There is truly GOOD NEWS in the world today, that God’s Kingdom has room for AS MANY as will come to Him, and we are the ones called to extend His invitation. Let’s do all we can to fill God’s Kingdom while there is time!  If it takes going to the highways and hedges, then let’s go, there is yet room in His Kingdom for more!