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Service Archives > 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009 > A Theology for Messy Lives

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A Theology for Messy Lives - John 14:1-6

Taught on | Topic: Upper Room Discourse | Keywords: trials, faith, troubles, tribulation, heaven

Life can be pretty messy sometimes: plans fail, people leave, money diminishes, and taxes rise. There are plenty of reasons to be troubled these days but there are better reasons not to be! Life was about to get real messy for those disciples around that Jerusalem dinner table. At times like that, there are some basic instructions we need to fall back on so our hearts inside us won't be swallowed up by the mess around us.

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5/1/2011
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A Theology for Messy Lives
John 14:1-6
Skip Heitzig
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Life can be pretty messy sometimes: plans fail, people leave, money diminishes, and taxes rise. There are plenty of reasons to be troubled these days but there are better reasons not to be! Life was about to get real messy for those disciples around that Jerusalem dinner table. At times like that, there are some basic instructions we need to fall back on so our hearts inside us won't be swallowed up by the mess around us.
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43 John - Believe:879 - 2009

43 John - Believe:879 - 2009

"But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name" John 20:31.

Believe:879 is an epic journey through the book of John led by Pastor Skip Heitzig of Calvary of Albuquerque. As we explore each of the 879 verses of this gospel, we'll grow in grace and in our knowledge of Jesus Christ. From His pre-incarnate existence, to His public ministry, through His death and His resurrection we'll traverse familiar territory and embark on new adventures of faith.

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Outline

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  1. Messy Lives Should be Controlled (v. 1.a)

  2. Messy Lives Must Have a Cure (vv. 1.b-4)

    1. Think of Who You Know

    2. Think of Where You'll Go

    3. Think of What's Ahead

  3. Messy Lives Can be Confused (vv. 5-6)

Pondering the Principles:

  1. What is your greatest fear? How do you face it? What do you tell yourself when those fears assail you? Do you face it alone? Why? How can Jesus' words change your relationship to fear?

  2. What does “trusting God” mean to you in practical terms? Take out a dollar bill or a quarter and read it. How many people can really say, “In God We Trust”?

Detailed Notes

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  1. Introduction
    1. Life can be a mess; challenge our theology
    2. "Life isn't like a book. Life isn't logical or sensible or orderly. Life is a mess most of the time. And theology must be lived in the midst of that mess." —Charles Colson in his book, Loving God.
    3. For the disciples
      1. Hopes had risen
        1. Jesus' coming to Jerusalem
        2. Raised Lazarus from the dead
        3. Riding the donkey into Jerusalem; crowds shouting, "Hosanna!"
        4. Positions of authority in the kingdom
      2. Hopes fell
        1. "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain." (John 12:24)
        2. Jesus spoke of betrayal by one of them
        3. Jesus spoke of his impending death
        4. What if…
          1. Jesus does die?
          2. This is the end of all we have come to know and believe these last 3.5 years?
          3. This is it?
    4. For us
      1. "Last night, while I lay thinking here,
        Some Whatifs crawled inside my ear
        And pranced and partied all night long
        And sang their same old Whatif song:
        Whatif I'm dumb in school?
        Whatif they've closed the swimming pool?
        Whatif I get beat up?
        Whatif there's poison in my cup?
        Whatif I start to cry?
        Whatif I get sick and die?
        Whatif I flunk that test?
        Whatif green hair grows on my chest?
        Whatif nobody likes me?
        Whatif a bolt of lightning strikes me?
        Whatif I don't grow tall?
        Whatif my head starts getting smaller?
        Whatif the fish won't bite?
        Whatif the wind tears up my kite?
        Whatif they start a war?
        Whatif my parents get divorced?
        Whatif the bus is late?
        Whatif my teeth don't grow in straight?
        Whatif I tear my pants?
        Whatif I never learn to dance?
        Everything seems swell, and then
        The nighttime Whatifs strike again!"—Shel Silverstein
      2. What if…
        1. I lose my job?
        2. I lose my home?
        3. I get sick?
        4. The economy gets worse?
      3. We need truth
        1. That will haul us out of the mess and place us in the capable arms of a powerful and loving God
        2. That when we feel like stopping, gives us the courage to keep going
        3. We have it!
  2. Messy Lives Should be Controlled (v. 1a)
    1. "Let not your heart be troubled" is a commandment
      1. Present passive imperative
      2. Not: don't ever start worrying or being troubled, but stop something already going on.
        1. "I know you're already troubled; I know your know life is messy. Stop being troubled! Get a grip!"
        2. "Let not your heart continue to be agitated" (Wuest translation)
    2. Ταράσσω, tarassó: stirred up; agitated
      1. "For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water;" (John 5:4)
      2. "Now My soul is troubled" (John 12:27)
    3. Since it is a command, our response can be controlled
      1. Whenever God gives a command, He gives the built-in capability to keep the command
      2. He would never give you a command you can't keep (i.e., jump over the moon)
      3. If Jesus says, "Get a grip!" a grip can be gotten
    4. As a Christian, you have the power to control your thought life
      1. "Bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ," (2 Corinthians 10:5)
      2. "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind," (Romans 12:2)
      3. "Therefore gird up the loins of your mind," (1 Peter 1:13)
      4. "So think clearly and exercise self-control." (1 Peter 1:13 NLT)
    5. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the most commonly reported mental health issue in America is anxiety:
      1. 13 million Americans spend the better part of their day feeling anxious
      2. They are not managing the mess; the mess is managing them
    6. Christians should be realists (not idealists or pessimists)
      1. Idealist
        1. Sees life as ideal; through "rose-colored glasses"
        2. Dangerous, because when life doesn't go according to plan, they crumble
      2. Pessimist
        1. Always negative; always bad
        2. Sees Satan everywhere
      3. Realist (believer)
        1. Sees a fallen, skin-scarred world
        2. Knows there is a God who has the answers and resources to deal with that world
        3. Jesus knows there are many reasons to be troubled in this world, but there are many more reasons not to be
  3. Messy Lives Must Have a Cure (vv. 1b-4)
    1. Jesus doesn't tell us just to stop worrying; He gives concrete reasons
      1. Not,  "Don't Worry be Happy" (Bobby McFerrin)
      2. Consider:
        1. How does what you believe affect your life in the mess?
        2. Does your faith really matter?
        3. What you really believe comes to the surface when times are bad
        4. Your faith is tested
      3. "The difference between a great Christian life and any other kind lies in the quality of our religious concepts . . . i.e., what we think of God, what we believe about Him." —A.W. Tozer
    2. Think of Who You Know
      1. "You believe in God, believe also in me": You trust God; trust also in me
      2. Jesus knew His disciples were in for the trial of their lives (watching the One they loved betrayed, crucified, and put in the tomb)
      3. Disciples have no reason not to trust Jesus
        1. Jesus multiplied the bread and fish
        2. Jesus calmed the storm on the Sea of Galilee
        3. Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead
      4. In the Upper Room, the disciples didn't have the big picture
      5. We today have more reason to trust Him than the disciples had
        1. They didn't understand the crucifixion would mean salvation
        2. They didn't understand the cross would be followed by a resurrection
        3. They didn't understand Jesus would conquer death and offer that hope to millions of others
      6. In our own lives, sometimes we don't have the big picture
        1. "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." (Romans 8:28)
        2. Trust stops tension; faith stops fear; worship abates worry
    3. Think of Where You’ll Go
      1. The Father's house: heaven
      2. The Bible speaks of heaven 532 times
        1. Country; heavenly country: speaking of its vastness (See Hebrews 11:16)
        2. City: speaking of the innumerable people (See Hebrews 11:16; Hebrews 12:22)
        3. Kingdom: God is King, reigning over all
        4. Paradise: indescribable beauty
        5. Place of rest: end of toil, tribulation, temptation
      3. Heaven is a real place:
        1. Variety: many mansions
          1. Greek: Μονή -moné  lodging, dwelling-place, room, abode,
          2. Latin: mansio- a stopping place, resting place; a room
          3. In the Middle East, families grew by adding rooms to their house: there's plenty of room for everyone
          4. We will die and go to heaven, eventually we come back to a renewed earth called the Millennial Kingdom for 1000 years
          5. After that : a new heaven, a new earth, a New Jerusalem (See Revelation 21:10-17)
          6. The New Jerusalem will be 15 thousand times the size of London; According to Henry Morris, 20 billion could easily inhabit it with only 35% used for dwelling places. Each person with a cubicle block with 75 acres on each face
        2. Personalized
          1. Jesus was a carpenter on earth; He is a custom builder now
          2. He has been preparing it for 2000 years
          3. He prepared it by dying on the cross: the sacrifice is the preparation that gets us to heaven
          4. If Jesus can do what it takes to get you to heaven, don't you think He can help you in the mess now?
        3. Relationship
          1. My Father's house
          2. Home in the truest sense of the word
          3. Not what you have; who you have
          4. The Father, the Savior, and believers who have died before will be there
          5. Jesus will bring with Him all those who sleep in Jesus (See 1 Thessalonians 4:14)
    4. Think of What’s Ahead
      1. Some will die; "Valley of the shadow of death" (Psalm 23:4)
      2. Rapture of the church; "Twinkling of an eye" (1 Corinthians 15:52)
  4. Messy Lives Can be Confused (vv. 5-6)
    1. Where I go you know and the way you know
      1. Jesus had shared incredible truths in the Upper Room
      2. He had told them plainly, and they should have known it
    2. Thomas:
      1. Honest: We do not know, how can we know the way
      2. When you are in a mess, you get preoccupied with how you are feeling
        1. Distracted thoughts keep you off track
        2. Be honest and clarify what you believe:
          1. Do I believe that God is good?
          2. Do I believe there is life after death?
    3. "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." (v. 6)
      1. Narrow, exclusive dogmatic
      2. "I alone, in contradistinction to all others, am the road and the truth and the life. No one goes to the Father except through me." (Wuest translation)
      3. "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." (Matthew 7:13-14)
      4. Peter: "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)
      5. There is no other way (no works, ceremony or religion)
      6. Truth by nature is dogmatic
      7. Heaven is an exclusive place: Do you know the One who prepared it for His own?
        1. If you know Him, and you know where you are going, that helps you manage life in the mess
        2. If you refuse to know him, it's going to get a lot messier for you

Greek terms: Ταράσσω, tarassó: stirred up, agitated; Μονή, moné: lodging, dwelling-place, room, abode;
Publication referenced: Loving God, by Charles Colson; Whatif? By Shel Silverstein; Don't Worry Be Happy, by Bobby McFerrin;
Figures Referenced: A.W. Tozer; Henry Morris;
Cross References: Psalm 23:4; Matthew 7:13-14; John 5:4; John 12:24; John 12:27; Acts 4:12; Romans 8:28; Romans 12:2; 1 Corinthians 15:52; 2 Corinthians 10:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:14; Hebrews 11:16; Hebrews 12:22; 1 Peter 1:13; Revelation 21:10-17

Topic: Upper Room Discourse

Keywords: trials, faith, troubles, tribulation, heaven

Transcript

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Before we begin, let's just pause and we'll pray together.  Father, we thank you first of all that you care enough about us to reveal who you are to us, what you want to do for us.  Lord, you never left us alone in this world.  As Jesus said, you came to comfort us.

Lord, I pray that as we read this passage of scripture which is familiar to most everyone, everyone has probably come in contact with this passage.  It's so familiar to us, therein lies its danger.  I pray that its familiarity, Lord, would not lose the impact it's to have as we read it this morning.  I pray we would fall upon fresh ears, fresh hearts, open to receive the truths, eager to see these truths at work in our lives because you are a living Christ, a living savior.  It's in His name we pray, Amen.

The name of this message this morning is simple.  It's "A Theology for Messy Lives".  And if you're thinking, "Oh no, he's going to get down on slobs, slobby people, disorganized people," or if you're thinking, "Rats, I should have brought my teenage son for this service today.  His closet looks like a war zone.  That's probably what this message is about."  None of the above are true.

Here's the deal.  Life can be a mess and it can mess us up and it can challenge our theology.  I really got the title from something I read in a book by Charles Colson called "Loving God", an excellent book.  He writes, "Life is not a book.  Life isn't logical or sensible or orderly.  Life is a mess most of the time and theology must be lived in the midst of that mess."

I want to talk about that mess today, a little bit about the mess that we find ourselves in, in life, for the disciples in that upper room listening to Jesus that night that we're reading.  Life was starting to become a mess to them.  Understand that to them, they were so excited about this event in Jerusalem, Jesus coming up to Jerusalem, their hopes had risen.  Now they had fallen.

When Jesus came up to Jerusalem and raised Lazarus from the dead, they were on an all-time high.  And then a few days later when he rode that donkey into Jerusalem and the crowd was shouting in great acclamation, "Hosanna!  Hosanna!"  Their hopes shot to the very highest pinnacle.  They thought this is it.  He's going to establish the kingdom.  We're going to get positions of authority in the kingdom.

But then their hopes fell when as he entered Jerusalem, he started talking death talk.  He said, "Unless a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone."  He started talking about his own death, predicting his own death.  Then they got to the Passover itself, the upper room.  He started talking more about being betrayed by one of them and his soon impending death.  And all of those thoughts are filling their minds.  They're distracting these disciples.  Life is a mess.  Thoughts like what if Jesus does die?  What if this is the end of all that we have come to know and believe these last three and half years?  What if this is it?

If you're a parent, you recognize the name Shel Silverstein.  He was a child's author, poet.  He wrote a little work called "What If", about addressing children's fears, it goes like this.  Last night while I lay thinking here, some what "ifs" crawled inside my ear and pranced and partied all night long and sang their same old "What If" song.  What if they've closed the swimming pool?  What if I'm dumb in school?  What if I get beat up?  What if there's poison in my cup?  What if I start to cry?  What if I just get sick and die?  What if I flunk that test?  What if green hair grows on my chest?

What if nobody likes me?  What if a bolt of lightning strikes me?  What if I don't grow taller?  What if my head starts getting smaller?  What if the fish won't bite?  What if the wind tears up my kite?  What if they start a war?  What if my parents get divorced?  What if the bus is late?  What if my teeth don't grow in straight?  What if I tear my pants?  What if I never learn to dance?  Everything seems well, and then the night time "What ifs" strike again.

I bet you've all had a case of "what ifs".  What if I lose my job?  What if I lose my home?  What if I get sick?  What if this economy gets worse?  What if the gas prices go higher and I can't put gas in my Hummer?  What a bummer.

We can't afford to make theology a mere discussion.  You see, for people in a mess, for people in a crisis, for people suffering.  Theology is much more than a sermon or a class or a chapter in a book or a discussion topic.  It's a lifeline.  We need the kind of truth that will haul us out of the mess and place us into the capable arms of a powerful and loving God.  We need the kind of truth that when we feel like stopping gives us the courage to keep going and we have it.

Chapter 14, Verses 1-6, "Let not your heart be troubled.  You believe in God, believe also in me.  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.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself that where I am, there you may be also and where I go you know and the way you know."  Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going and how can we know the way?"  Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me."

You might say this is Jesus' cure for heart trouble, "Let not your hearts be troubled."  There are a few principles about this I want to talk about, a few principles about a messy life.  Number one, messy lives should be controlled.  Messy lives should be controlled.  I want to explain that.

You'll notice something as the chapter begins, it's a commandment.  It's in the imperative.  Notice, "Let not your heart be troubled."  In the original language, it's a present passive imperative or a commandment and here's the idea.  The idea isn't, don't ever start worrying or don't ever start being troubled, the idea is that they should stop something already going on.  I know you're already troubled.  I know you know life is messy.  Stop being troubled, get a grip.  That's the idea.  It's an imperative.  It's a commandment.  The Wuest Translation puts it this way and I think it's the best of all, "Let not your heart continue to be agitated."

Now, there's a word I want you to be aware of and I hope by now you'll recognize it.  We've already covered it twice.  It's the word "troubled" and it's the Greek word "teraso(ph)."  I hope you recognize that because we've covered it twice so far in John.

Do you remember when Jesus was there at the Pool of Bethesda and there was that man lame from birth waiting for the moving of the water, the troubling of the water, the agitation of the water?  The word is "teraso", it means to be stirred up or agitated.  Do you also remember when Jesus said to his disciples a couple of chapters back?  He said, "Now my soul is troubled." agitated, stirred up, teraso.  Same word here, "Let not your heart be teraso." agitated, stirred up, troubled, that's a command.  Now, follow me.

Since it's a command, trouble, worry, being overwhelmed, our response to the mess can be controlled.  Here's the principle I never want you to forget it.  Whenever God gives a command, he gives the built-in capability to keep the command.  God would never give you a command you can't keep.  He would never say for instance, "Jump over the moon."  You can't do that.

If God ever gives a command, there's a built-in capability to follow through and do it.  So if Jesus says, "Get a grip." it's because a grip can be gotten and the point is simple.  As a Christian, you have the power to control your thought(ph) life, here described as your heart and not allow your mind and heart to become overwhelmed by the mess.  There's a lot of scripture about that and here's just a few, a sampling.

Paul writes in II Corinthians 10, "Bring every thought into the captivity to the obedience of Christ."  Here's another one, Romans 12, "Don't be conformed to this world but be transformed by the --" what?  Renewing of your mind, another one, I Peter Chapter 1 Verse 13, "Gird up the loins of your mind."  Have you ever read that and said, "What on earth does that mean? Gird up the loins of your mind."  It's an old way of saying this.  The new living translation renders it.  Think clearly and exercise self-control.

See, Jesus knew what these guys were thinking.  They were all confused and all bent out of shape and life was getting really messy for them, but he also knew that within a few hours when he would be arrested and then crucified, life was about to get a whole lot messier for them.

So what he's telling them is you don't have to let this ruin you guys.  You don't have to become swallowed up by it and overwhelmed by it.  Let not your heart be troubled.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, they report that the most commonly reported mental health issue in our country is anxiety.  According to their stats, 13 million Americans spend the better part of their day feeling anxious, 13 million Americans.  In other words, they're not managing the mess.  The mess is managing them.  "Let not your heart be troubled."

I think that Christians should be the most realistic people around.  We're to be realists.  We're not to be idealist.  We're not to be pessimist, we're to be realist.  Now, an idealist sees life in an ideal situation through rose-colored glasses.  Everything is supposed to be perfect.  They live in a make-believe world and they're very dangerous people by the way.  Because when life doesn't go according to their plan, they quickly fold, they cave, they short circuit.

On the other extreme is the pessimist, always negative, always bad.  The world is really, really, really bad and Satan's everywhere, behind that bush, behind this pulpit, under the piano.   Bind it, bind him. Do everything.  Everything's negative and bad.

Most people go into a donut shop and they see donuts.  Pessimists go into a donut shop and see holes.  You know the type.  We're supposed to be realistic and realist looks at the world and says, "I get it.  I get it.  It's a fallen world.  It's a sin-scarred world.  This is a mess, but there's a God who has answers and resources.  So I'm going to deal with the mess that way through that lens."  And the realist will learn to move on from that.

I heard about a woman whose husband died and she called the newspaper to place an obituary.  It was a very simple lady in a very simple town.  The editor said, "What should I write?"  And she said, "Just write these three words.  Bernie is dead."  The editor didn't know what to say.  He said, "Well, ma'am for $25.00 you can write six words.  You've only used half the allotment."  She said, "Okay.  Write, "Bernie is dead, Toyota for sale."  It's pretty pragmatic, isn't it?  I can't do anything about Bernie.  He's dead.  I can do something, however, about the Toyota that's left and that's for sale.

It might sound a little crude, but that woman is very realistic.  Jesus is saying, "Look, I know you guys are already troubled.  Stop that, get a grip, and move on."  That's realistic.  Though there are many reasons to be troubled in this world, there are many more reasons not to be.  Let's consider those reasons.  It brings us to the second principle.  The first principle is messy lives should be controlled.  The second one is that messy lives must have a cure.  And here's what I love about Jesus.  He doesn't just say, "Stop that."  He tells us why.  He gives us reasons for it.

You may remember back in the '80s that song by Bobby McFerrin that was very popular, "In every life there is some trouble.  When you worry, you make it double.  So, don't worry, be happy."  It was such a catchy tune.  We loved that.  I loved the song, but it frustrated me because he never told why.

To somebody suffering, they just slap him on the back and go, "Don't worry, be happy."  It doesn't really help the person.  If however you give the person concrete reasons why not, then it makes sense.  Here's a question I have for you.  How does what you believe affect your life in the mess?  Does your faith really matter?  And you can always tell what a person's faith is whenever they're in a mess.

What they really believe comes to the surface when things are bad.  When things are good, it's one thing.  When things are bad, what they really believe is tested.  A.W. Tozer said, "The difference between a great Christian life and any other kind lies in the quality of our spiritual concepts.  What we think about God, what we believe about God."  But what are we to think when we're in a mess?  What are we to believe?

Well, first of all, we're to think about who we know and we're to think about where we'll go.  Let's learn to frame the mess by those two concepts: who we know, where we'll go.  Notice what Jesus says also in Verse 1, "Let not your heart be troubled," first reason, "You believe in God.  Believe also in me."  It would be better to state it this way, "You trust God, trust also in me."

Jesus knew these God-followers, these disciples of his were about to enter into the trial of their lives as they were to watch the one they loved, Christ himself be betrayed, be crucified and be put in the tomb.

And he says to them, "At such a time as this, think back to who you know.  You believe God, you trust God.  Trust also in me."  Now think about it.  These disciples had no reason not to trust Jesus.  They have been with him for three and a half years.  Who was it in Galilee when thousands of people needed food and there was no food?  Who was is that multiplied the bread and the fish?  It wasn't them, it was Jesus.

Who was it when the storm came up on the Sea of Galilee that calmed the sea and saved the day?  It wasn't them, it was Jesus.  Who was it, at a funeral, raised the dead guy Lazarus from the dead and brought hope to that family and that city?  It was Jesus.  They have seen him.  They have been with him.  You trust God, trust also in me.  They have every reason to trust him.

But, at that point in that upper room, they didn't have the big picture.  Think about that.  You and I today have more reason to trust God, to trust Christ than those disciples had on the other side of the cross, in that upper room that night.  Do you ever think about that?  In that upper room that night, the disciples didn't understand that the crucifixion would mean salvation for people.  We do.  That night, the disciples didn't understand that the cross would be followed by a resurrection where Jesus would conquer death itself and offer that hope to millions of people afterwards.  They didn't get that, we do.

So, here we are after the cross.  We get the big picture.  They didn't get the big picture.  It's easy for us if we could step into that upper room and go, "John, Peter, you guys, get a grip.  Don't let your hearts be troubled, man."  But now, think about your life right now and whatever mess you find yourself in.  You too don't have the big picture.  He does, you don't.

So your natural instinct would be not to -- I say, "I know God.  I know Christ.  He's trustworthy.  I know him.  It's going to be okay." Our instinct is to be like the guy who was walking near the edge of the Grand Canyon a little too close and he fell off into that huge chasm.  His body hit a bush hanging off the side, he grabbed it and he called out, "Is anybody up there?  Is anybody up there?"  A voice came out of heaven.  It's a powerful, strong voice.  "Yes.  I'm here."  "Could you save me?"  "Yes.  I can."  "Well Lord, save me."  "Do you believe?" said the voice.  "Oh yes, Lord.  I believe.  I believe"  "Do you have faith?"  "I have great faith, strong faith."

And then the voice said, "Then just let go and it will be okay."  And after one tense moment the man said, "Is there anybody else up there?"

There comes a point in our mess when we have to let go and really believe that Romans 8:28 thing that says we know that all things work together for good to those who love the Lord and are the called according to his purpose.  Let go.  Is there anybody else up there?

Trust is what stops tension.  Faith is what stops fear.  Worship is what abates worry.  So, what's the cure?  First of all, think about who you know.  Do you believe God?  Trust him.  Trust Christ.  Second thing, think of where you'll go, Verse 2, "In my Father's house --" interesting that he immediately segues them to thoughts of heaven, "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."

Now the term "The Father's House," what is Jesus speaking about?  Heaven, it's his metaphor for heaven.  The bible speaks about heaven 532 times, but it speaks of it with different names.  Heaven and sometimes it's called a country, a heavenly country, Hebrews 12 because of the vastness of it, sometimes it's referred to as "The City," also the book of Hebrews because of the innumerable amount of people that will be in it.  Sometimes it's referred to as "A Kingdom" because God is the King reigning overall.  Sometimes heaven is referred to as "Paradise" because of the indescribable beauty of it, and sometime it's called "The Place of Rest" because there we will end all of our toil, all of our tribulation, all of our temptation.  But here, Jesus calls it "My Father's House."

According to Jesus, heaven is not imaginary.  It's real, a real place.  It's not a metaphor.  "Father's House" is a metaphor for heaven, but heaven is a real place.  It has locality.  It has physicality.  It has dimensionality.  The bible speaks of it as such.  But let's take Verse 2, if you don't mind, and let's just probe a little bit deeper into it.  Let's unpack its truths, if you will.

Notice, first of all, that heaven will be a place of variety.  In my Father's house, he says there are many mansions, many mansions.  Now I have to tell you that the translation "mansions" is an unfortunate translation, because when we hear it in western ears and you think of a mansion, you think of like a cattle ranch and an imposing structure on that huge estate, a castle so to speak, this huge humungous square footage mansion.  And songs have been written about mansions in heaven.  I say it's an unfortunate translation because the word Greek "Mone" means an abiding place, a resting place, a stopping place, an abiding place.

Now, when the bible was translated from Greek into Latin, the Latin Vulgate, the word in Latin is "mansions".  But that means in Latin, not mansion like we know it, it means a stopping place, a resting place, a room.  And a better way to look at it is in my Father's house there are many rooms, there are many abiding places.  You go, "That doesn't help me.  I like the whole mansion thing better.  Not a flat, not an apartment, I like the mansion."

But here's the point Jesus is making, put yourself in a Middle Eastern way of thinking.  In those days, families would grow by adding rooms to their house.  So when a child would get married and have kids, the mom and dad would simply add another and then another room.  As the family grew, another room and another room.

So, the point Jesus is making is there's plenty of room for everybody.  There are many rooms.  There are many apartments.

Now I'm going to fast forward you for a moment, throw another thought in your mind.  We know something that when we die and we go to heaven, eventually we're going to come back to a renewed earth called the "Millennial Kingdom" for a thousand years.  After that, there's going to be a new heaven and a new earth and a capital city called the new -- what?  Jerusalem, all brand new, and John writes about that in Revelation 21 and he says as he describes the heavenly city, the New Jerusalem, "It was in the form of a cube."

Listen to this, this is wild.  "For its length and its width and its height were 1,400 miles."  He looks and sees this huge cube roughly the size of our moon coming out of heaven hovering toward the earth, 2,225,000 square miles, 15,000 times the size of the City of London.  I say London because all eyes of the world have been focused on London this week.  Fifteen thousand times bigger, a cube, multilevel, multi-storey, multidimensional.

One scientist who's a believer, Henry Morris, guessed 20 billion people could easily inhabit it, many more of course.  But assuming that only 25% of that city would be used for dwelling places for people and the rest for whatever, streets, parks, public building etcetera, he calculates that each person could have a cubicle block with 75 acres on each phase to call their own.

I don't have time to delve into it, but it would seem that in your new resurrected body, you will be able to travel not just vertically, not just horizontally, but vertically as well in a multidimensional place and setting.  It makes this fun to think about.  In my Father's house are many rooms, many abiding places, places to hangout.  So it's a place of variety.

Notice also in Verse 2, it's a place that is personalized.  I go and prepare a place for you.  Jesus was a carpenter while he was on earth.  It seems he's a custom builder now.  Imagine, with that place, he's been up there preparing it for 2,000 years.  What must that place look like by now?  It's like one little girl who looked up at the stars at night with her daddy and said, "Daddy, if heaven looks this good on the wrong side, how does it look on the right side?"  A lot better.  But let's not necessarily confine it to thinking that God's up in heaven arranging the furniture depending on your taste and putting up the pictures you like.

Think of it when Jesus said, "I'm going to prepare a place for you."  What would he be doing in the next couple of days?  Dying on a cross, that's how he would be preparing heaven for them.  They couldn't get there otherwise.  I'm going to go to the cross and the cross, my sacrifice, is the preparation to get you to heaven.  He could be referring to that.  Either way, the point is the same.  If Jesus Christ can do what it takes to get you to heaven, don't you think he can help you in the mess now?  That's the greater point.  If Jesus can do what it takes to get you to heaven, he can take care of your life in the mess.

Think about who you know.  Think about where you'll go.  Something else about heaven also in Verse 2, it's a place of relationship.  I do find it interesting that Jesus doesn't call it "Heaven" or "Paradise" here or "The Heavenly City" or "The Heavenly Country" or "The Place of Rest" or "The Kingdom".  He calls it "My Father's House."

In other words, to Jesus, it's not just about location.  It's about relation, a relationship.  That's why heaven in the truest sense of the word is your home.

Like your home here on earth, what makes your home your home?  It's not what you have there.  It's who you have there.  It's what makes it home, its relationships.  And in heaven there'll be the father and they'll be your savior and there will be all those who have died before who trusted in Christ.

Paul said, "Jesus will bring with him all those who sleep in Jesus."  What a great reunion.  What a great relationship.  Think about who you know.  Think about where you'll go, verse three puts our focus on what's ahead when he says, "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself that were I am there you may be also."  I could preach a whole message just on that verse.

This has been the blessed hope of the church ever since Jesus said it.  Now, some people will die.  That's how they'll get to heaven.  Other people, the Lord will return before they die at the rapture of the church.

So whether it's by the valley of the shadow of death, or in a moment in a twinkling of an eye when you are taken up into his presence, you'll get there.

Now, let's turn to the last two verses and the final principle as we close.  Here it is.  Messy lives can be confused.  Just think about the incredible truth that our Lord Jesus has shared with his disciples in that upper room.  Just so some sublime, so profound, and he says to them, "Where I'm going, you know and the way you know."  You know why I said that?  Because he told them that we would be returning to his father, that we would be returning to glory.  He made it very plain to them where he was going.  They should have known it.

But there's an honest disciple named Thomas.  I love this man.  I love him because I believe of all of them he was the most honest, maybe ill-timed, but honest.  Notice what he says.  Thomas said, "Lord, we do not know where you're going and how can we know the way?"  You got to love that because I think Jesus is saying and the disciples are probably nodding.  "Where I'm going you know and the way you know."  Thomas goes, "I don't know.  I don't get it.  This whole cryptic talk I don't get.  Where are you going?"

Now, he told them where he was going.  How can we know where you're going if we don't know where you're going?  How can we know how to get there?

You see, when you're in a mess, you get pre-occupied with how you feel about the mess.  It's all about your feeling and I don't understand and I am distracted.  And so it's distracted thoughts that keep you off track.  He told them plainly where he was going.  Thomas still doesn't get it.

When you're in a mess, it's time to be honest and clarify what you believe.  Do I really believe this stuff?  Do I really believe God is good?  Do I really believe in life after death?  All of those questions are forged and clarified in times like this.  Messy lives can be confused.

Now, I for one am so glad Thomas was in that room and interrupted because had he not, we wouldn't have this great answer that Jesus gives in verse six.  Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the father except through me."  Bam!  How powerful is that?  How potent and unmistakably clear is that?  I am the way.  I am the truth.  I am the light.

I wonder how many people truly believe this.  I wonder how many people who claim to follow Christ truly believe this.  This sounds very narrow, very exclusive, very dogmatic.  Notice Jesus doesn't say, "I am a way."  He doesn't say, "I'll show you the way."  He doesn't say, "I can teach you the path."  He says, "I'm it.  I am the road, the way.  I am the truth.  I am the life."  Just so you don't misunderstand, again, the wuest(ph) translation from the Greek into English expanded puts it this way, "I alone in contra-distinction to all others and the road and the truth and the life."  No one, no man, no woman, no child, no sincere person know, religious person know, well meaning person, no boy, no girl goes to the father except through Christ.

Well, that's your interpretation.  I just read that.  How else do you read it so you won't be misunderstanding it, listen to a couple of other things and see if it's right or not.  Jesus, again, speaking on The Sermon on Mount, Mathew 7, "Enter in by the narrow gate for why does the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction and many go in there by.  But narrow is the gate and difficult is the way that leads to life and few there be who find it."

You know who's there listening that day?  Peter.  You know who's in the upper room that night listening?  Peter.  And Peter would be confused as he saw Jesus die.  He denied Jesus.  But then Christ would be risen from the dead, it all would be lined up in his mind and Peter would say these words a few weeks later, Acts Chapter 4, "Nor is there salvation in any other for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."

Add those three verses up alone, there are many more, just add those up alone.  It pretty much eliminates any other way to heaven, whether it's by works or by ceremony or by religion.  That's so dogmatic.  You're right.  You're right.  And I noticed that Jesus makes no apology for its dogmatism nor will I.

Something about the truth, have you noticed the truth by its very nature is dogmatic?  I had a math teacher who was so dogmatic when I was a kid.  She would always insist that two plus two always had to be 4, always.  Why couldn't it be five and a half every now and then?

Well, if you want to get an F on the test, it could be.  But she was so narrow-minded about the truth of math.  I've also noticed my bank is dogmatic about such matters.  The mortgagee company is very dogmatic about such matters.  Truth is truth.  Heaven is a real place.  Heaven is a loving place.  Heaven is a relational place, but heaven is an exclusive place.

Do you know the one who prepared it for his own?  If you know him, if you know him and you know where you're going, then that helps you manage life in the mess.  If you don't know him, if you refuse to know him, then I can only say it's going to get a lot messier for you.

Heavenly Father, you send Jesus so that would never have to happen.  He did the heavy lifting for us.  He went to the cross.  He paid for sin.  He took the punishment.  He did the heavy lifting so that we could receive everlasting life.

Lord, I pray that if some are not secure in that that they would enter into life this morning.  And I pray for my brothers and sisters who know you, who trust you, and who trust your promises and the promises of your son.  And in thinking of who they know and where they'll go, who they presently have a relationship with and where eventually this road is going to take them.  I pray that there eyes would be lifted from off of the mess on to the horizon of where the road leads.  The road leads home at the end of this valley of the shadow of death is our Father's house.

Help us Lord with these truths to not let the mess manage us, but to stop being troubled, stop being agitated, to gird up the loins of our mind, to think clearly with self-control by your grace in Jesus name.  Amen.

Additional Messages in this Series

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10/25/2009
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Believe:879
John 20:30-31
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Is your faith in need of bolstering? Do you find yourself saying "Help my unbelief?" The book of John presents a unique, up close and personal look at the life of Christ, focusing on Jesus as God Incarnate. As we dive into a thorough study of each of John's 879 verses, we'll walk with disciples who were eyewitnesses of His ministry, His death, and His resurrection, and we'll experience abundant life in His name.
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11/1/2009
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The World's Most Important Word
John 1:1-5
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It may be difficult to say what the most important word is in any language, but not for the Apostle John. He begins his gospel with the identification of Jesus as, "The Word." Starting with the very beginning of beginnings, John shows us the fundamental truths about the Jesus that he writes about in the rest of this book. The language is simple and unmistakable and yet the truths presented are deep and extremely profound. Let's see how John presents Jesus and Who Jesus is according to one who was closest to Him.
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11/15/2009
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Step Into Son-Light
John 1:6-13
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I love early mornings when sunlight first comes up over the eastern sky. But if you’ve ever had the experience of the sun suddenly shining into your eyes (like when you turn westward while the sun is going down), it's not so pleasant. Most people wince when light is shined in their eyes. Jesus is presented here as being "the light of men" and "shining in darkness". But the world cries out, "Turn off that light!" How can Jesus enlighten your life and how will you respond to Him?
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11/22/2009
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One of a Kind!
John 1:14-18
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It is a mistake to think of Jesus as "one among many" options in the pantheon of deities. He is unique, matchless, unrivaled, singular, and incomparable. From His birth to His Resurrection, there is no one who even comes close to the majestic Christ. Jesus was One-Of-A-Kind! Let’s consider four distinct ways that Jesus was unique and what these mean to us today.
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12/6/2009
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The Greatest Man Meets the Greatest Lamb
John 1:19-34
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Everyone is good at something, maybe even great at something. Maybe you're a great artist or a great mom or even a great leader. Jesus said that John the Baptizer was the greatest man who had ever lived (Matt. 11:11). But John knew Jesus to be the greatest One ever—past, present and future - the Sacrificial Lamb sent to remove sin. Today we discover from John the Baptist how to witness for Christ and we look at the identity and the activity of this most unusual man.
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12/13/2009
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Are You a Follower-Really?
John 1:35-42
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You can't make it through much of the Bible without coming to the word Disciple. Just the four Gospels alone use this term 228 times. Basically a disciple is the follower of a teacher: one who observes, learns, and practices what the teacher shares. We now come to the first time John uses this term in his book. So today we assess ourselves by asking, "Are YOU a follower?" Lets look at five characteristics of the first disciples of Jesus and see if they’re reflected in our lives.
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1/3/2010
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Finding the God Who Found You
John 1:43-51
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When the first disciples encountered Jesus, they chose to follow Him--only to discover that they had already been chosen by Him! Without getting drowned in that theological tide pool, let's consider and marvel at how both of these realities work together. The Bible teaches that God sovereignly elects people for salvation while at the same time teaches our responsibility to believe in Christ. Let’s see how both Philip and Nathanael encountered Jesus for the first time.
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1/10/2010
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The Wedding Guest
John 2:1-12
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How cool (and also potentially scary) would it be to have Jesus as a guest at your own wedding! The unnamed couple at the village wedding of Cana had that privilege. Jesus was the wedding guest who brought the best gift. His first miraculous sign was performed while celebrating that marriage. But far more than just attending a nuptial party, Jesus demonstrated who He was in relation to four entities: His mother, the moment, a miracle, and His men.
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1/17/2010
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Trouble in the Temple
John 2:13-22
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A hymn by Charles Wesley begins, "Gentle Jesus, meek and mild, look upon a little child..." It’s a beautiful song with a beautiful thought. However, Jesus is anything but gentle and mild in John chapter two. Here in the temple at Jerusalem, He displays His righteous anger as He overturns tables and beats the religious businesspeople with whips! But Jesus was using this trouble in the temple to predict a greater sign—the triumph of His own physical temple—His bodily resurrection!
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1/24/2010
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Uncommitted!
John 2:23-25
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These three verses are some of the most unusual in the New Testament. They describe a scene in the life of Jesus that explains His popularity and fame. The response of people to the miracles of Jesus is understandable. What is not readily understandable is Jesus' response to the interested and excited crowd. Though they believed in Him, He was not too energized over their kind of faith. Understanding this will help us to understand Jesus and His mission.
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1/31/2010
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Nick at Nite!
John 3:1-8
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The meeting of Jesus and Nicodemus at night is one of the most famous and compelling stories in Scripture. This man's inner curiosity and spiritual thirst drove him to want to know more. What he heard puzzled and astonished him, but he heard from Jesus' own lips the only way to be saved. Jesus' words here divide all of humanity into two groups: those who are born again and those who are not.
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2/7/2010
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Extreme Makeover: Soul Edition!
John 3:9-21
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For years ABC has aired two different versions of a show called Extreme Makeover. One is a total body makeover designed to enhance the physical beauty of a selected individual. The other is a Home Edition that rebuilds or adds to a struggling family's residence. But only Jesus can give the soul a makeover; only Jesus can ready a person for eternity. Here Jesus answers Nicodemus' question of how a person can have the New Life that comes from the New Birth.
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2/14/2010
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God's Valentine
John 3:16
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Today we take a look at the Bible's most famous verse and probe its depth while preparing to take the Lord's Supper together. Though most everyone knows this verse, John 3:16 is much more than just a slogan; it is a summary statement of God's love through Jesus Christ. This single verse of scripture gives us the salient truths of God's plan of salvation in abridged form. Let's consider God's great plan for us as we unpack it phrase by phrase.
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2/21/2010
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To Grow Up, You Must Grow Down!
John 3:22-30
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"They that know God will be humble, and they that know themselves cannot be proud!" That's what British Puritan John Flavel once said. And that’s how John the Baptist once lived! John the Baptist and his followers provide some great applicational fodder for how Christians should get along and humble themselves before one another and God. For any Christian believer who wants to spiritually grow up and grow strong, he must first grow down.
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2/28/2010
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The Nail Everything Hangs On
John 3:31-36
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Imagine if everything you valued was in a sack, hanging on the wall from one nail. It surely must be a strong nail, or you're lost! If life could all be boiled down to one thing or one word or one most important principle, what would it be? What is the irreducible minimum for everything and everyone? John answers that here, saying that Jesus Christ is the nail that everything hangs on. He determined what has been and what will be. Thus our knowledge of Him and relationship to Him is paramount above everything else.
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3/7/2010
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Refreshment!
John 4:1-14
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You know the feeling of swallowing ice-cold water on a hot day or after a savory meal—it's refreshing! That cool, invigorating sip revitalizes you from the inside out and makes you say, "Ahh!" Well, that experience is not limited to the physical realm, but is even more satisfying in the spiritual realm when dealing with Living Water. Jesus came to give thirst-quenching spiritual life to every parched soul on the planet. When was the last time you drank deeply?
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3/14/2010
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How to Lead People to Water
John 4:10-30
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The world is thirsty and doesn't even know it, or won't admit it, or will look to be satisfied by everything else but Jesus Christ. So your job and mine is to lead them to water (living water, that is). Jesus' encounter with the Samaritan woman illustrates perhaps the best approach for personal evangelism to be found anywhere. Leading someone to the place of spiritual satisfaction is a process that rests upon two pillars—the pillar of attitude and the pillar of approach:
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3/21/2010
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What God Really Wants
John 4:20-24
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Worship conferences, worship seminars and worship experiences abound within the landscape of the American church, but in all these there's something that seems to be always lacking—worship is confined to the activity of singing songs. When the subject is brought up in this chapter, Jesus talks plainly and openly about true worship: what it is and what it isn't. Let's explore these few verses to discover what God is seeking after and how to be part of fulfilling that.
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3/28/2010
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Spiritual Farming 101
John 4:28-42
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Farmers live for the harvest season--a time when their crops are taken in and profits are made. But crops don’t grow on their own. Seeds must be sown and plants must be garnered by a whole group of active farm workers. God is the head Farmer and we are His farmhands, all working together to produce a bumper-crop of people who believe that Jesus is the Savior--Are you in?
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4/18/2010
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Everyone Needs a Faith-Lift!
John 4:43-54
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Like any muscle in our physical body, our faith too must be exercised in order for it to develop. Faith is developed in virtually every circumstance in life, but especially in hard times. Peter put it best, "These trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold--and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold" (1 Peter 1:7). Let's look at a real-life story of one who came to Jesus in his trial and had his faith lifted to a higher dimension.
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4/25/2010
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Healing Misery with Mercy
John 5:1-16
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One of Jesus' most distinguishing characteristics in His earthly ministry was His mercy toward people who were hurting. This is not astonishing, for the prophet Micah announced that "God delights in mercy" (Micah 7:18). Jesus standing among the squalid misery of sickness and hopelessness while at a feast in Jerusalem is a perfect setting to show how Christians can show mercy to a world in misery. But be warned: not everyone will be sympathetic to your cause!
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5/23/2010
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Like Father, Like Son
John 5:16-24
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The most important question you could ever ask is not, "Who am I?" but rather, "Who is Christ?" That was the supreme question Jesus presented to His disciples when He said, "Who do you say that I am?" (Matthew 16:15). Jesus made the most astonishing claim ever when He confronted the Jewish leaders of Jerusalem here in John 5. What do these claims have to do with us today? Absolutely everything!
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5/30/2010
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Everyone Lives Forever
John 5:25-29
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My mom used to wake me up early every morning with her sweet voice saying, "Rise and Shine!" It took a few times but I eventually got up out of bed. As Jesus declares that He will be in charge of the future judgment, He too will usher the call to everyone who has died to "Rise up!" But not everyone will rise up to shine; some will rise up to suffer. Let’s consider three inevitable and unalterable truths about the future for all of us: We will all die, we will all be judged, and we will all rise again to live forever... but where?
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6/6/2010
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Why Should You Believe?
John 5:30-47
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The theme of John's gospel is "believe." The whole reason he wrote this book is so that people who read it will believe in Jesus (see John 20:31). But why should they believe? And even more applicable, why should we believe? After all, the events of the New Testament are over 2,000 years removed from us today. Jesus' confrontation with the religious leaders in John 5 tells us why we should believe. Like a skilled lawyer, Jesus calls upon four witnesses to testify to His claims and these four give the reasons for our believing in Jesus Christ.
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6/13/2010
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Lessons From a Picnic
John 6:1-14
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This story ranks in the "top ten" of the most famous miracles of Jesus Christ. In fact this is the most famous of all His miracles as it alone is recorded by all four gospel accounts. But this is far more than a Sunday school tale. This extraordinary picnic was not just a free meal for five thousand folks; it provided lessons for both ancient and modern disciples. Here are four profound truths that emerge from this lakeside lunch.
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6/20/2010
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What Storm Goers Need to Know
John 6:15-21
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Have you ever been on the ocean in a raging storm? If so, you know that a well-trained crew follows an immediate protocol until the storm is over. Their knowledge and experience about violent weather are invaluable for those who want to survive. Using the story of Jesus walking on the waves to His disciples, let’s discover a few things about the stormy trials of life.
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7/4/2010
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The Right Thing, The Wrong Way
John 6:22-29
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Our text reads that crowds of people came "seeking Jesus." That sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? And yet Jesus challenges them as to their motive because they were seeking Him (the right thing) in order to satisfy themselves only (the wrong motive). Let’s consider three monumental truths about how people interact with spiritual things in general and Jesus Christ in particular. Let’s also reconsider the starting point for anyone who wants anything to do with Christ.
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7/11/2010
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Wonder Bread!
John 6:30-50
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The Hostess Company has for years advertised that its Wonder bread "helps build strong bodies 12 ways" and that just two slices has the calcium of eight ounces of milk and the fiber of 100% whole wheat. Wow! The crowd that Jesus was speaking to would have loved that! But our Lord presents something to them far greater than what they were wanting. He knew what they needed.
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7/18/2010
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Plain Truths About the Bread of Life
John 6:51-71
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Mark Twain once remarked that "A lie can travel halfway around the world while truth is still lacing up its boots!" This section of John's Gospel has generated much confusion and misunderstanding. Even Jesus' original audience had trouble understanding His meaning, and when they did, they found the truth was difficult to bear. These "hard truths," however, are "the words of eternal life" (v. 68). Let's look at these four realities today.
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8/1/2010
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Seeing Jesus Through the Fog
John 7:1-13
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There was always a fog surrounding Jesus! It was a fog of uncertainty, of unbelief, and of conflicting opinion. He was misunderstood about both His mission and His message. His friends, His family, and His foes were often bewildered about who He was and what He was doing. That remains true even today. But in this passage our view becomes clearer. Jesus had clearly defined objectives that He reveals here and they are extremely practical for us today.
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8/8/2010
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Follow Jesus But Don't Be Religious
John 7:14-24
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Jesus clashed with religious leaders more than any other group of people. He went against their spiritual grain and challenged their legalistic ideas. Christ made it clear that He hadn’t come to establish a new religion but rather to show the way to God His Father. He didn’t give people another “system of beliefs and practices”; instead He said that He Himself was the way, truth, and life. In this public confrontation, we learn how to follow Christ in truth and not be religious.
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8/15/2010
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Standing by a Waterfall (Dying of Thirst)
John 7:25-53
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All the diverse and assorted experiences offered by this world can never satisfy the deepest longing of the human soul. What we really want isn't what we really need. The rest of John chapter 7 illustrates this truth. In the midst of a crowd of people clamoring for deep spiritual satisfaction stands the only One who can provide it. He offers them the drink that really satisfies and all but a few refuse it, preferring rather to die of thirst. How painfully ironic!
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8/22/2010
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Scribbling on the Ground
John 8:1-11
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Can you imagine what a surviving copy of Jesus' autograph would be worth today? Or what about a letter to His disciples? The fact is, there is no existing document or copy of anything Jesus ever wrote. We only have this story of Him scribbling something in transient dust on the Temple stones. Though John doesn't tell what Jesus wrote that day, his account does reveal a lot about Jesus Himself and how He interacted with three different kinds of folks.
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8/29/2010
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Blinded by the Light
John 8:12-20
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When the sun shines right in your eyes, your immediate inclination is to squint, turn away, or put sunglasses on. Light can be blinding! Though light penetrates our world, providing illumination and energy for our very existence, big doses of it can be difficult to handle. That's true spiritually as well. Jesus, by His teaching and work, illuminated this world darkened by sin. Some rejoiced in that light, able to see where they were going. But others, who'd been so accustomed to spiritual darkness, could only wince when Jesus was around.
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9/5/2010
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The Worst Way & Best Way to Die
John 8:21-30
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One person put it this way, "Death is the big flaw. Sometimes we can postpone it, lessen its physical pains, deny its existence—but we can't escape it!" Since that is universally true, why don't people take death seriously enough to plan for it? While we are alive in this world, everyone should be thinking more about the next. But what's the best (and worst) way to die?
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9/19/2010
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The Best Way & Worst Way to Live
John 8:31-36
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Everyone has an opinion on what "The Good Life" is. For some, it's financial independence. For others, it’s autonomy from government control. For still others, it’s the ability to do whatever you want whenever you feel like it. Jesus offers a different kind of freedom and a better brand of life. Here Jesus tells us what the best way to live really is: It’s the freedom to be a genuine disciple. And He tells us what the worst way to live really is: It’s the slavery of a sinful lifestyle. Today consider how free you really are and what areas of life you may still be in bondage to.
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9/26/2010
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The Devil's DNA
John 8:37-47
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Your body has 100 trillion cells. Inside each one is a nucleus and in each nucleus are DNA molecules. DNA is like an instruction manual for life with densely coded information telling each cell what to do. A simple paternity test would prove that my father was really my father. Here Jesus gives His audience a spiritual paternity test that reveals their spiritual father to be the devil himself. No matter what your physical ancestry, you can always tell one's spiritual heritage.
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10/3/2010
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Who IS This Guy?
John 8:48-59
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Jesus had friends and He had enemies. But besides those, He also had some "frenemies" (enemies who pretended to be friends). To this crowd who at first pretended to believe (v. 31) Jesus is both confrontational and controversial. This paragraph highlights three possible identities of Jesus: two of them were his enemies' accusations and one was Jesus' own claim.
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10/10/2010
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Life Hurts! Where's God?
John 9:1-12
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"Why is there so much pain in the world?" is the most frequently asked question ever! We hate it when we, or those we love, are in pain. Today we see Jesus confront a hurting world. As we do, consider these words by Elizabeth Elliot (whose husband was murdered): "If God is in charge and loves us, then whatever is given is subject to His control and is meant ultimately for our joy."
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10/17/2010
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The Truth About Your Neighbors
John 9:13-34
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Those of us who are Christians live in a sea of unbelievers who work with us, live next to us, shop where we shop, and send their kids to the same schools. Some have a mild case of unbelief disguised by religious practices. Others are more demonstrable in their agnosticism or atheism. Let's watch a local Jerusalem neighborhood struggle against faith in spite of clear evidence.
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10/24/2010
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Got Any Blind Spots?
John 9:35-41
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When you drive, you encounter "blind spots"—it could be part of your own car or it could be a tree that hides traffic on the other side. Those blind spots hinder both progress and ultimately, safety. When Jesus healed a blind man in Jerusalem, the same man was also healed of his spiritual blindness. But others who thought their spiritual perception was keen were as blind as a bat! As we consider this story, can you think of any blind spots in your spiritual journey?
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10/31/2010
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The Good Shepherd (and a bunch of happy sheep!)
John 10:1-10
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This is one of the most beloved passages to be found anywhere in Scripture. But it's not a stand-alone passage: The healing of the blind man in chapter 9 was more than a miracle. It was part of the process of Jesus forming His flock. The leadership had cast the healed man out of the synagogue. Jesus found him, accepted him, saved him, and placed him in His own fold.
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11/21/2010
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What's So Great About the Good Shepherd?
John 10:11-21
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"What's so great about being a Christian?" some people ask. The answer lies in the kind of care, provision, and protection we get from Jesus Christ, our Shepherd. Have you ever stopped to make a list of the benefits that are yours as a follower of Christ? Consider this short list of advantages that you, as a child of God, have. When was the last time you thanked Him for being your Shepherd? This would be a great week to do that!
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12/5/2010
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To BElieve or Not to BElieve...
John 10:22-42
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"In all unbelief there are two things: a good opinion of one's self and a bad opinion about God."— Horatius Bonar. It's true, isn't it? Humanism is man-centered and rejects God's existence or His relevance. But Jesus appealed to two things: the plain evidence of His supernatural works and the testimony of those who witnessed them. Jesus here asserts His deity, and the reaction is predictable—some believed while others did not believe. Which camp do you fall into?
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1/9/2011
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The Great Physician's Patient Dies
John 11:1-16
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When a doctor loses a patient on the operating table, there is a deep sense of remorse and sadness in the surgical theater. Doctors are trained to save lives but sometimes even the best trained physicians are unable to control complications that lead to death. But here we discover that Christ, the Great Physician, not only knows that His patient is sick--He allows him to die! Here are three principles about Divine Medicine that we can all learn.
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1/16/2011
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A Tale of Two Sisters
John 11:17-32
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In 1859 Charles Dickens wrote his famous work, A Tale of Two Cities, set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution. The story before us is set in Bethany near Jerusalem and highlights the personal relationship that two sisters had with Jesus Christ. Their broken hearts provide an excellent platform to consider how Christ deals with people in grief and loss. Let's actively probe not only their responses but ours to the incredible promise Jesus makes.
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1/23/2011
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The Strangest Funeral Ever
John 11:33-44
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According to one source, there are approximately 2 million funerals in America per year, which means that about 5,479 funerals take place every single day! Most of those funerals are pretty typical: a formal service followed by an interment. But the funeral service we're looking at was really different--and not just because of a resurrection. Here Jesus does three things that are pretty normal for most people at a funeral, but strikingly odd for Jesus.
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1/30/2011
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What to Do with Jesus?
John 11:45-57
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Any lawyer can tell you that whenever the star witness is a resurrected corpse, you have a pretty good case! But Lazarus being alive from the dead doesn’t seem to persuade everyone. And so the big issue becomes what shall we do with Jesus? The decisions made here set the clock in motion for an impending hate crime—the crucifixion of Christ. But from heaven’s vantage point, this is all part of God’s plan for redemption. Let’s see the responses and how we can make a difference.
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2/6/2011
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A Meal to Reveal the Heart
John 12:1-11
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If you were to step into the home of Simon at Bethany (Mark 14:3) on that night, you would've seen Jesus and His disciples along with Lazarus and His two sisters reclining at a low table for a meal in honor of Christ. But if you were to step into the hearts of those people, you would discover they were all very different from each other. Those inside the house and outside represent the gamut of feelings about Jesus—from adoring love to intense hatred. What a complicated meal!
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2/13/2011
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A Day, a Donkey, a Deliverer, and a Decision
John 12:12-19
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2000 years ago, on the final Sunday of Jesus’ earthly life before His crucifixion, He did the most unusual thing—He sat on a donkey and was carried into the city of Jerusalem in parade fashion. This formal presentation of Him as Deliverer was both profound and predicted. What’s the significance of such an act as this? What overarching principles emerge for us today? We’ll dig in and discover them, but today you’ve got to write them down yourself:
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2/20/2011
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Living the Right Life
John 12:20-26
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If this sermon was a book and I wanted to sell lots of copies, the title would cause it to fail. Now if it were entitled "Living the High Life" or "Living the Successful Life," then I may have a winner. But many have lived with both success and riches who didn't live right! So what is the right life? Or to frame it with a better question: What kind of life is most pleasing to God? Through a series of paradoxes, John gives us the answer—it wasn't the answer most people are looking for!
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2/27/2011
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Cross-Culture
John 12:27-36
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The term cross-culture emerges from the social sciences and typically refers to interaction of one culture or language with another. But that's not how I'm using it today. I'm thinking of it in the biblical sense, the salvation sense. Jesus' whole life was immersed in the culture of the cross and He referred to His impending death on the cross as "His hour." Let's consider today the culture of the cross of Christ: what it meant to Jesus personally and the world ultimately.
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3/6/2011
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Believe It or Not!
John 12:37-50
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Most of you reading this are believers. Some are not. Both are dangerous positions to take but for different reasons—vastly different reasons! This paragraph in John's Gospel is the summary of all that has been written, from chapters 1 through 13. It reviews the two different responses people have to Jesus and then gives us Jesus' own synopsis on faith and unbelief. Today you will be able to understand the real differences and consequences of faith and unbelief.
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3/13/2011
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A Night Unforgettable
John 13:1-5
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Some days are frozen in time because of the magnitude of an event. You will always remember September 11, 2001 and where you were when the towers fell. The night America bombed Baghdad or the night John Lennon was murdered may be permanent memories captured in your mind. This was the final night Jesus spent with His own disciples and it would be unforgettable. Let’s discover how what seem like ordinary moments can be extraordinary appointments.
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3/20/2011
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Basin Theology 101
John 13:6-17
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At the final Passover meal that Jesus shared with His closest friends, He gave new meaning to the bread and wine, using them to point to His upcoming sacrificial death on the cross. Today we share Communion as a church family and reflect on that meal, as well as the lessons Jesus was teaching His first followers. After dinner Jesus took a basin of water and began to wash the feet of his students and taught them life principles about stooping, cleansing and serving.
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3/27/2011
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Betrayed!
John 13:18-30
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Relationships can withstand an enormous amount of pressure, but betrayal is sure to end most. The old English word means to hand over or to deliver. Think of it: while Jesus was about to deliver the world from sin and its destruction, Judas was about to deliver the Savior over to His enemies. If you've ever felt betrayed by someone, this study will have special application to you.
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4/10/2011
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A Brand New Way of Life!
John 13:31-35
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To follow Jesus is to have a brand new way of life. When these twelve men sitting around the dinner table started hanging around Jesus, they had no idea just how new and different their lives would become. At this final meal on that last night, they were still learning just how new their lives should be. (Jesus can still teach old dogs new tricks!) As present-day followers of Christ, let’s consider three aspects of life that become new once we become His disciples.
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4/17/2011
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F.A.Q.
John 13:36-38
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An old Persian Proverb reads, "It's harder to ask a sensible question than to supply a sensible answer." Many times our questions to God are reactive—based on a sort of knee-jerk reaction to painful circumstances. Peter asked Jesus two questions of this sort. But whenever we ask God questions we must hang around to get the supplied answers. The questions Peter asked are similar to ones we frequently ask. Let's consider and apply Jesus' outstanding answer
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5/8/2011
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How Can I Know God?
John 14:7-11
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What a thought—that a mere human can know God! The agnostic asserts this is impossible. The atheist insists that the very idea is an arrogant and purely metaphysical pursuit. But one of the reasons Jesus came was to reveal God's character and nature clearly and perfectly! Let's consider two roadblocks to knowing God and four resources that help us know Him better.
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5/29/2011
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Privileges of God's Employees
John 14:12-14
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Most companies have benefits for employees: things like overtime pay, health insurance, and sick pay. In 2 Corinthians 6:1, Paul calls us "workers together with Him" (NLT renders it "God's partners"). We have been called to a high and lofty task—to be His representatives here on earth. You might say we're part of the "family business." So what has God called us to do? And how has He provided for us in terms of resources? In short, what are the benefits of being God's employees?
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6/5/2011
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Four Part Harmony
John 14:15-18
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Some of the best moments on American Idol aren't the solo performances, but when all the singers join together and blend their voices in harmony. There's nothing sweeter than well-trained voices blended together in first, thirds, and fifths. Spiritual harmony is much the same—when believers blend with the triune Godhead there is an alignment that results in a deep sense of fulfillment. And what is the note we are to sing in this spiritual song? It is the note of loving obedience!
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6/12/2011
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Promises, Promises!
John 14:19-26
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Someone once mused, "Promises may get friends, but it's performance that keeps them." No wonder God has so many friends! He makes promises and keeps them. On this final night that Jesus spent with His friends, as both sorrow and confusion assailed them, Jesus made several promises that would sustain them in the days, months, and years ahead. What about you? Will you dare to trust the promises of God? It's the only way to see if they really work.
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6/26/2011
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Peace Where You Least Expect It
John 14:27-31
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On countless American gravestones this epitaph could be written: Hurried, Worried, Buried. What a sad way to live! Fear, anxiety, and distress have literally become part of our national culture. Odd, isn't it? Though we have such abundance in this country, most don't experience abundant life—especially as Jesus described it. Sure, everyone has his or her share of trouble and anxieties, but let's consider one of the greatest gifts Jesus gives to followers—the gift of peace!
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7/3/2011
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Life-Lessons from Grape-Growers - Part 1
John 15:1-7
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My parents grew grapes on their little plot of land in Southern California. There weren't many, but enough for me to know that getting fruit at harvest depended on three things: the solid connection of branch to vine, the vigilant care of the workers, and the consistency of those things over time. Jesus, walking with the disciples toward the Garden of Gethsemane, gives life lessons to His men using the familiar example of growing grapes. With that analogy in mind, let's consider the three ways our relationship to God is described by Jesus.
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7/10/2011
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Life-Lessons From Grape-Growers - Part 2
John 15:8-11
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As we grow older, we mature. In our spiritual lives we should become spiritually mature. The Bible calls it being fruitful. Spiritual fruit is the indication that we're truly connected to Christ. But there are others, as we'll see today. Last week we examined how the relationship with Christ is described (Connected to Christ, Cared for by the Father, and Consistent Over Time). Today let's consider how this relationship is demonstrated. When we're rightly connected to God we'll be:
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7/17/2011
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What a Friend We Have in Jesus
John 15:12-17
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We can get through almost anything in life with friends to share our sorrow and divide our grief. A Chinese word for friend is peng-yu and it has a much fuller meaning than in English. It means "one who brings completion and sums up beauty." The ancient Hebrews saw true friendship as an ideal to pursue and a blessing to enjoy. In these final moments with His followers, Jesus uses a most tender term for their relationship—they were friends! What does that friendship look like?
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7/24/2011
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Why Does Everyone Hate Me?
John 15:18-25
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There is a flipside to being a friend of Jesus. That's true of any friendship. Whenever you ally yourself and make friends with someone, you will incur some enemies because of it. Likewise, some who don't like Jesus won't like us either—and we discover there are quite a few who don't! Let's find out why, and how we can raise our heads high and prevail.
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7/31/2011
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Two Thirds Is Not Enough
John 15:26-16:15
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We love God the Father who created us and God the Son who redeemed us, but what about the Holy Spirit? We hear His name a lot, but who is He? What exactly does He do? What does He want from us? The Holy Spirit is the "quiet One," active in the life of believers but sometimes not acknowledged as being vital. Oswald Chambers noted, "The Holy Spirit cannot be located as a guest in a house. He invades everything!" Today, we consider Him and His role in our lives.
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8/7/2011
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The Holy Hound of Heaven
John 16:5-11
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Having understood Who the Holy Spirit is (Person not just power; Deity not just dignitary) we now find out what He does in the world of unbelieving people. Since the greatest gift God ever gave to the world was His only Son (John 3:16) it stands to reason that the greatest sin one can commit is to reject the Son (John 16:9). How does the Holy Spirit both sentence the world as prosecutor and lead people away from judgment? And what role do we play in all of this?
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8/14/2011
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When Sorrow Turns to Joy
John 16:16-22
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The flamboyant baseball-legend-turned-preacher Billy Sunday stated, "If you have no joy in your religion, there's a leak in your Christianity somewhere!" That's not to say that life is all laughs. Hardly! Jesus anticipated His followers' deep sorrow. He predicted it. But He also assured them that their experience of sadness would be eclipsed by a greater experience of lasting joy.
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8/21/2011
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How to Send Knee-Mail
John 16:23-28
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Today you can be anywhere in the world and send or receive messages digitally via email. Sending email has eclipsed traditional mail for years now. Sending knee-mail is similar (you can be anywhere)—but with better results! You don't need wifi or a modem; you don't need an electronic device or a computer. Before Jesus left His disciples, He wanted them to get "online" with the Father and stay connected through the simple yet powerful means of prayer.
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9/4/2011
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I've Fallen, but I CAN Get Up!
John 16:29-33
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I would rather fail in a cause that will ultimately succeed than to succeed in a cause that will ultimately fail! So said President Woodrow Wilson. Our Lord knows us better than we know ourselves and is not surprised by our weaknesses. We all fall and fail, even though we may commit to standing strong. What can we learn about ourselves and our God in such valleys? Even more, what kind of restoration can we hope for after our bout with failure?
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9/18/2011
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Holy Eavesdropping
John 17:1
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Imagine if you could sit and listen to Jesus talking to His Father—what would Jesus say to Him? In this prayer (which comprises all of John 17) we step onto holy ground. His instruction to His followers is now over. His preparation of them is done. He now turns His attention heavenward to talk directly to His Father about Himself, about His disciples, and about His future church. This prayer is unique for four reasons:
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9/25/2011
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The Gifts That Keep On Giving
John 17:1-5
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It's possible to give without loving but it's impossible to love without giving— Richard Braunstein. Part of God's nature is that He shows His love by His generous gifts. "For God so loved the world that He gave..." (John 3: 16). Here, in the opening lines of Jesus' prayer to His Father, He requests a gift from His Father and acknowledges three other gifts—two given to the Son by the Father, and one given by the Son to us. These are the gifts that keep on giving!
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10/2/2011
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How Followers Are Formed
John 17:6-10
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Okay, so which is it? Did I choose God or did God choose me? Perspective is everything! If you look at it from the divine viewpoint, you'll say God chose. If you're looking at it from a human viewpoint, you'll say we do the choosing. But why can't both be true? I suppose you can sit around, scratch your head, and try to ponder such imponderables, or you can sigh happily and say with a grateful heart, "I'm elated that He chose me!" But you should also ask yourself another question while you're at it—What am I going to do about it now?
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10/9/2011
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Missionaries or Monasteries?
John 17:11-19
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How can you leave your mark on the world? Most everyone wants to be remembered for some contribution made to society. Well, Jesus wants us to do that, too. In fact, He prays for that. God wants you to make an imprint on life's road so people will say, "Hey look! God's kids were here!" We can't do that by isolating ourselves. We have marching orders!
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10/23/2011
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Listen Up! Jesus is Praying—for YOU!
John 17:20-26
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What's God's general will for you? Look no further than this text! Now as we listen to Jesus pray for us, we also find what our priorities in life are to be. These words are the "Last Will and Testament" of Jesus Christ. So pay close attention and you'll get it right from the heart of Jesus Himself.
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10/30/2011
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I've Got It Under Control
John 18:1-11
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Sometimes life appears to be spinning out of control. Events happen we didn't plan for, people do things we didn't expect, we find ourselves in places we never thought we'd be in. But though you can't always control what happens to you, you are responsible for what happens in you (attitudes and responses). What do we really believe about God's authority and power in our lives? Is there ever a time when God can't say, "I've got it under control"?
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11/20/2011
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The Darkest Night!
John 18:12-27
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On a dark spring night in Jerusalem, it seemed everyone was against Jesus Christ. The religious system had long been opposed to and jealous of His burgeoning ministry. The mock trial designed to get rid of Jesus was only going through the technical motions to achieve their end. And Peter, Jesus' closest friend, was in a downward process of disassociating himself from Him. But in the midst of the darkest night, the sunrise of God's grace was beginning to shine!
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1/8/2012
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A King, a Kingdom, and a Courtroom
John 18:28-40
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What kind of a King is Jesus, and what is the nature of His Kingdom? And what does it mean to pray, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done"? These are the questions faced in the text before us. As Jesus nears the cross, a nation denies His reign over them, while a Roman ruler questions Him and then cynically admits his own confusion and despair.
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1/22/2012
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How Do You Handle Jesus?
John 19:1-16
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Pontius Pilate was like every other person who has ever lived. The fundamental question of his life was, "What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?" (Matthew 27:22). Everyone has to deal with Jesus, to decide about Him and His claims. In one setting, we can see how one man (Pilate) was influenced to deal with Jesus in three different ways. These three ways are how many people today still choose to deal with Jesus Christ.
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1/29/2012
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Execution of a King
John 19:17-22
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Regicide is the official word used for the execution of a king. Most countries reserve the stiffest of punishments for subjects or assassins who would kill their royalty. John records the execution of the King of kings on a Roman cross outside the city of Jerusalem. But the rest of Scripture reveals that it was more than an execution; it was sacrifice that brought salvation. The next few weeks, we will consider the cross in depth and what it means for the world and for us.
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2/5/2012
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The Cross on the Billboard of Eternity
John 19:23-24
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Did you know that the cross of Christ was always God's plan from the very beginning? It wasn't a reaction to mankind's rejection of His Son, nor was it an accommodation to a Roman and Jewish miscarriage of justice. It was according to "the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God" (Acts 2:23). Today we will take a journey back and connect the dots of God's unfolding plan of the cross throughout the ages.
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2/12/2012
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How to Love Your Mother
John 19:25-27
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A mother's love for her children is distinctive and irreplaceable. To watch a child suffer is crushing and almost intolerable for any mom. In this touching scene revealed in three verses, we not only see Mary, the mother of Jesus, at the foot of her Son's cross, we also learn how Jesus cared for His mother. Even from His place of extreme suffering, Jesus was thinking of others and His love for Mary is noteworthy for us.
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2/19/2012
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iThirst
John 19:28-29
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The world is filled with Apple's i-technology, which delivers on its promise to make connectivity and information readily accessible. But there is a deeper need within everyone, a thirst to be right with God, that no app or gadget can fulfill. How ironic that Jesus, the great Thirst-Quencher, would Himself be thirsty. It was part of the great exchange—His temporary thirst enabled yours to be quenched eternally!
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2/26/2012
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It's Done!
John 19:30
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While Jesus was doing His greatest work, He uttered His greatest words! Through the excruciating pain of a tormenting death, Jesus gave the most meaningful statements worthy of careful consideration. John records three of Jesus' seven statements uttered while on the cross. The sixth—and perhaps the most hopeful—is the one we consider today.
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3/4/2012
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Death Under Control
John 19:31-37
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Watching someone you love die is always a heart-wrenching experience, especially when the victim experiences great suffering. For the apostle John, the death of Jesus was likewise difficult-but he saw a glimmer of hope, a silver lining in the dark clouds of death. This death was long ago anticipated and was being carefully monitored from the control center of heaven. Today we see why that's important.
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3/11/2012
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Disciples on the Graveyard Shift
John 19:38-42
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You can find an unending supply of books, pamphlets, and articles on discipleship in Christian churches and bookstores. Many of them will be predictably regimented and conventional, giving solid biblical references and calling Christians to ardently follow Christ—all great stuff. But not everyone's spiritual journey is identical. Some disciples are unexpected, and so is their story. Here are two disciples of Jesus who've been in the background and now step forward to care for the body of Christ after His death. Let's allow their story to inspire us.
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3/18/2012
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A Not-Quite-Empty Tomb
John 20:1-10
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There was a lot of confusion happening on the first Easter morning. The resurrection had happened but it was neither expected nor accepted by all at first. Mary Magdalene ran to tell the disciples what she saw, and they ran to check out her report. What they saw was compelling evidence of a resurrection, but only one of them really connected all the dots. Let's see why.
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3/25/2012
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Hope Rekindled
John 20:11-18
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When people grieve, they usually run the gamut of the emotional spectrum, from denial to bargaining to despair to anger to eventually hope. Mary Magdalene was in hopeless despair as she stood weeping by the grave of Jesus. The resurrected Christ deals tenderly with this woman as he reveals Himself to her and conveys hope for her future. Let's glean some principles for dealing with brokenhearted people.
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4/1/2012
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From Closed Doors to the Open Road
John 20:19-23
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Our relationship with Jesus isn't a secret to be hoarded; it is a story to be heralded! The disciples were seated behind closed doors (sounds like a lot of churches). Jesus wanted them out, giving away what they had been given. Let's see how these early followers went from panic to peace, from perplexity to purpose, and from protection to power. It's a great journey. Are you up for it?
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4/8/2012
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Rise Up!
John 20:24-31
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The apostle Thomas has been noted for his skeptical attitude. In fact, we refer to a skeptic as a "doubting Thomas." In this message from John 20, we consider four ways Thomas was able to rise up from doubt and become a joyful follower of Jesus.
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4/15/2012
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Gone Fishing! (Relating to a Risen & Returning Lord)
John 21:1-14
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I am not a great fisherman. I don't do it often and when I catch something, it's pure luck! My dad was the opposite—he loved it and was great at it. At least seven of Jesus' disciples were fishermen and here we see them plying their trade after the resurrection. Some beautiful lessons can be discovered about how to live while we wait for Jesus to come back for us.
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4/22/2012
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I Failed! Now What?
John 21:15-19
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One of life's harshest realities is failure. The very sound of the word seems harsh to our sensibilities. We even harbor the age-old axiom, "Failure is not an option!" But failure is an option; in fact, it's a certainty. But discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping-stones to victory. In a post-resurrection interview, Jesus restores Peter with a fresh commission. If you have failed in your spiritual experience (and who hasn't), these principles will inspire.
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4/29/2012
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Final Instructions
John 21:20-25
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
As John closes off his singular testimony of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, he features some closing words of Jesus and Peter about himself (John). These final sentences provide some instructions for us as we await Christ's return. How should we live in light of who Jesus is, what Jesus did, and when Jesus will return?
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There are 95 additional messages in this series.