|John 17 (NKJV™)|
|1||Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: "Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You,|
New King James Version®, Copyright © 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved.
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:
"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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Pondering the Principles:
Greek Terms: Δοξάζω; doxazo - honor, bestow glory on, make someone renown; θεòς; theos - god; ἄνθρωπος; anthropos - man
Figures Referenced: Franklin Graham; Billy Graham; Francis of Assisi
Publications Referenced: God Came Near, by Max Lucado
Cross References: Genesis 18:22; 2 Kings 8:22; 2 Chronicles 20:18; Ezra 9:5; Psalm 123:1; Daniel 6:10; Matthew 6:9-13; Matthew 26:39; Luke 6:12; John 2:4; John 7:30; John 11:41-42; John 13:1; John 17:2-3; John 17:4; John 17:6; John 17:10; John 17:11; John 17:15; John 17:17; John 17:20; John 17:21; John 17:24; Romans 8:26-27; Philippians 2:6; Hebrews 7:25; Revelation 4:11
Keywords: prayer, pray
Let's pray. Father thank you for this great fellowship and Lord demand in particular of our church we just want to lift up, we're so thankful for those that were able to attend the retreat. We pray they would come back strengthened, invigorated with a greater desire for honesty, sincerity and integrity. And Father along those lines we pray for every one of us gathered here today, Lord, we're your people. We have retreated here this morning. We also want to hear from you. We want direction from you. Some of us Lord have read this book for many, many years. You want to show us some fresh things and remind us of some things perhaps that we have walked away from or lost. So Lord would you meet us here, in Jesus' name, Amen.
When I was a kid I was often eavesdropping on my brothers and my parents. I was the youngest of four boys. I wanted to find out what they really talked about. So I would like stop short in the hallway, short of their door and just sort of listening to the conversation is very revealing. And sometimes pick up the phone to hear the conversations going on. Now you're not surprised at that, kids do that, you did that. But when I was first married I would also eavesdrop on my wife's quiet times. And I did that because they're really weren't quiet. She would often sing to the Lord and I would hear this voice across her apartment and there she was and I peek in and her eyes were closed but she was singing a song to the Lord. And it was inspiring to eavesdrop on that kind of intimate communication. By the way you don't have to worry I'm not running around town eavesdropping on all of you all. Though I have been accused to that by some paranoid folks, I don't do that.
But sometimes it is wonderful to eavesdrop especially on the prayers of a child and to read children's prayers. A seven-year-old girl by the name of Debbie prayed, "Dear God, could you send a new baby for mommy?" The new baby is sent last week cries way too much. It's precious, right?
Eight-year-old Angela said, "Dear God, would you give my brother some brains? So far he don't have any." Pure honesty. Seven-year-old David said, "God, I could use a little raise in my allowance. Could you have one of your angels tell my dad?" And then there was the kid who got his prayers and his poetry mixed up. And he started by saying, "Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep and if he hollers, let him go eeny, meeny, miny, moe." You know the kid then said the poem and the prayer are identical, easy to get them mixed up.
Today, we're going to eavesdrop and for the next few weeks on a prayer of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is the greatest prayer ever prayed by the greatest person who ever lived. This is the Mount Everest of all prayers. In John 17, "I feel like we're standing on holy ground." It says, "If the veil is pulled back and we gazed into the very heart of God." I've always been impressed with John 17. I wrote a book on it a few years ago called "When God Prays." So we're sort of treating this as like a miniseries within the greater series of the gospel of John believe 879.
Now I'm not exaggerating when I say to you, "This chapter is so meaningful and so rich, I could spend a year preaching on just John 17." I know what you're thinking, "We know, we know." But I won't do that but we'll all be here for a few weeks. And it is the longest recorded prayer of Jesus in the Bible. I'm sure he prayed longer prayers were told in one occasion he prayed all night with his father, all night in prayer with his father. But this is the longest recorded prayer that we have. 632 words, 26 verses, I'm going to share with you today just one verse, principally verse one.
Let's begin that in John 17 Verse 1 and we'll read just a few verses together for the sake of context.
Jesus spoke these words, lifted up his eyes and said, "Father the hour has come. Glorify your son that your son may glorify you as you have given him authority over all flesh. That he should give eternal life to as many as you have given him. And this is eternal life that they may know you, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I have glorified you on the earth. I have finished the work which you have given me to do and now oh, Father. Glorify me together with your self with the glory that I have with you before the world was. I have manifested your name to the men whom you have given me out of the world. They were yours, you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they have known that all things which you have given me are from you, for I have given to them the words which you have given me and they have received them, and they have known surely that I came forth from you. And they have believed that you sent me. I prayed for them, I do not pray for the world but for those that you have given me for they are yours,"
Now something about this prayer you should know. This is the Lord's Prayer. This is the real Lord's Prayer. Now typically we call our Father who art in heaven, we call that the Lord's Prayer Matthew 6. I never call that the Lord's Prayer to me that's the disciple's prayer, that's what he taught his disciples to pray. This is the Lord's own prayer to his Father. In fact I would say that the other one the disciple's prayer it's so much for us that Jesus himself could never really pray that in all honesty. He couldn't say, "Forgive us our sins, our debts. As we forgive our debtors." It is for disciples, this is the Lord's own personal communication to his father. And here is what's important to note and here is why studying this makes it so important. These are requests, issues, prayers that Jesus makes to his Father just hours before his death.
So what would be most important in Jesus' own mind to pray about before he dies? If you have three hours to live, what would you pray for? Besides, get me out of this. If you knew you were going to die, what kind of things would rise to the surface in your heart as being really essential things to talk to God about? And so we have here the prayer priorities of Jesus. The things he talks to his father about before his own death.
Now I said we're going to cover Verse 1 and we principally want to look at that though a few other verses. I just want to show you why this prayer is so important, why it is so unique and some characteristics of it. What is first and foremost, noteworthy has were eavesdropping. Is the person who spoke this prayer, it's Jesus? Verse 1 Jesus spoke these words. Now I'll explain in a minute these words refer to all the words he just spoke. Jesus spoke these words, lifted his eyes to heaven and said and now the rest of it is in red letters, this is what Jesus said as he spoke to his Father.
So what strikes us is that not only are we hearing a prayer but that Jesus is praying. Why does Jesus need to pray? I mean if everything we know about Jesus from the scriptures is true that he is God, the Son, the second person of the Trinity, co-equal with the Father, co-eternal with the Father. The one who forgave sins while he was on the earth, the one who healed people's diseases. The one who claimed to be omniscient, why does he need to pray? He is equal with God in fact that's even revealed in this prayer.
Notice that Jesus' praise in Verse 1, "Glorify your son that your son may also glorify you". There is an equality that is shared. In Verse 2 as you have given him authority over all flesh, well that's quite a statement. So you and I could never pray this prayer. You have given him authority overall flesh that he should give eternal life to as many as you have given him. Now watch this, and this is eternal life that they may know you the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
See the equality that it's on those verses? Look down at Verse 10. And all mine are yours and yours are mine and I'm glorifying in them. Anyone else who dared to use that language in their prayers would be a nutcase, a megalomaniac, this doesn't work with any other person besides Jesus. And Paul even said Jesus who was in very nature God and very nature God. So why does God need to pray? In fact this is not the only time. No less than 19 times in four gospels we find Jesus praying once all night in prayer to the father on another occasion he got up very early in the morning before the day and prayed. On another occasion when they tried to make him a king by force, he stole away from the crowd, got alone with his father. When he gets to the Garden of Gethsemane he prays, he even said to his apostles, "What? You couldn't even pray with me one hour?" Have you ever tried to pray one hour by yourself?
So Jesus prayed, why? Well let me just give you a spoonful of theology for a moment. Jesus had two natures, he was man but he was God or you could say he was God but he was man. He was theanthropic, that's the term. It comes from two words put together, Theos, God and Anthropos, man he was the theanthropos, he was the God man. He wasn't just a good man, he was the God man. He was fully God but he was also fully man. What that means is that for 33 years Jesus subjugated himself obediently to the Father's will while on the earth humbly obedient to the Father for 33 years, dependent upon the Father for 33 years. That was not the case before the incarnation that was not the case after the incarnation. But for 33 years that was the case.
And so Paul in writing of Jesus said he was in very nature of God but he humbled himself and became -- remember the next word? Obedient, he became obedient. So here is Jesus being obedient humbly dependent upon the father, fully God but fully man and as a man fully dependent upon God.
Did you know that the first heresy in the church was not denying the deity of Christ but the humanity of Christ, it's called Gnosticism. We evangelicals make up huge deal and rightfully so about the deity of Christ that Jesus was God is God. But where were weak perhaps is identifying him fully as a man. I'm going to read something to you that will make you feel a little uncomfortable. It's written by Max Lucado, it was designed by him to make us feel a little uncomfortable. This is what he writes.
Jesus may have had pimples. He may have been tone-deaf. Perhaps a girl down the street had a crush on him. It could be that his knees were bony. One thing's for sure: He was, while completely divine, completely human. For thirty-three years he would feel everything that you and I ever felt. He felt weak. He grew weary. He got purled. He burped. His feelings got hurt. His feet got tired. His head ached.
Now to think of Jesus Christ in such a light is—well, it seems almost irreverent, doesn't it? It's not something we like to do; it's uncomfortable. It is much easier to keep the humanity out of the incarnation. Clean up the manure from around the manger. Wipe the sweat out of his eyes. Pretend he never snored or blew his nose or hit his thumb with a hammer. He's easier to stomach that way. There is something about keeping him just divine that keeps in distant packaged predictable. But don't do it. Let him be as human as he intend it to be. Let him into the mire and the muck of our world. For only when we let him in can he pull us out, I think that's so good.
Only when we let him in as fully God but fully human, knowing what we deal with and struggle with can He lift us up. Now, there's a greater point to be made here. If Jesus Christ, the theanthropic son of God felt the need to depend upon his Father, so regularly and so much. Where does that leave us, we and all of our weaknesses should we depend any less? No, certainly much more. He's theanthropic. You and I are just anthropic. We're just men and women and we totally need God and so what an example. The person who spoke this prayer was Jesus, an example to us.
The second remarkable characteristic is of course the power that resulted from this prayer. Now, knowing what I know about Jesus and knowing what you know about Jesus, we would be very interested to find out what he prayed for because if Jesus prayed it, you can be sure it's going to be what? Answered, it's going to be answered. If Jesus is going to pray a prayer, you know it's going to be the perfect prayer because Jesus was never out of sync with this Father's will. He would always ask for or pray for exactly what was in the mind of the Father. They were always in sync together.
So here's Jesus, a second member of the Trinity, God incarnate, never asking anything apart from the Father's will, its going to be done. Listen to this, you remember this I'll refresh your memory. In Chapter 11, we already read it. Jesus stands before the Tomb of Lazarus. He's about to raise him from the dead. Jesus prayed out loud in front of the crowd and he said, "Father, I thank you that you have heard me." Now listen to this, "And I know that you always hear me." But because of the people standing by, I said this that they may believe that you sent me.
So if the Father always hears the prayers of the Son and it's always the perfect prayer, then what did Jesus pray for? That would be interesting to find out. Well, let me give it to you and here's the outline of Chapter 17. Jesus prays for three things, generally: He prays in verses one through five for himself; He prays in verses six through 19 for his 11 apostles, and then he prays in verse 20 through 26; this is the best part in my view, he prays for you and me. Did you know that you were prayed for in this prayer?
Beginning in that verse, verse 20 it says, "Not only do I pray for all these but for all those who will believe in me through their word." He prays for us who have received the testimony of this apostle. So Jesus prays for himself, he prays for the 11 apostles and he prays for all of those, including us, through history who will believe in Jesus through their testimony. Well, what does he prayed for specifically that's generally? Let me quickly give you five specific things, a preview of coming attractions, if you will.
He prays, number one, for their security. Look at Verse 11, "Now, I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world and I come to you. Holy Father, keep through your name those whom you have given me that they maybe one as we are." What is he praying for? Their spiritual preservation that none of these 11 would fall away. One already has named Judas, right? He jumped shift. He was a defector, a detractor. So he prays now for us 11 that none of them would be lost, that they would all be kept. Did God answer his prayer? Yes, he did. Every single one of those men lived out a faithful testimony for the Lord's glory. We have that by history.
Number two, he prays for their safety in Verse 15. I do not pray that you should take them out of the world, but that you should keep them from the evil one. He's praying against satanic attack, help them overcome temptation.
Third, he prays for their sanctity. Verse 17, sanctify them by your truth, your word is truth. That's a bible word for "clean them up God, make them holy." Let them be cleaned up by the principles in the book, the truth, the word of God, sanctify them by that.
Fourth, he prays for their unity. Verse 21, that they may all be one as You, Father are in me and I in you, that they also maybe one in us, that the world may believe that you sent me.
So he prays for a harmonious love relationship between all members of the body of Christ. In Verse 24, he prays for their eternity. Father, I desire that they also, whom you gave me, may be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory which you have given me for you loved me before the foundation of the world. So now he's praying that the apostles and everybody else, including you and I, all those through history who will believe will one day stand together beholding the glory of the Father and the Son in eternity.
Now I'm going through this little list. Something came to my mind I want to share it with you. Here's a suggestion, if you want your prayers answered and if I want my prayers answered, I would suggest that you pray along these lines of some of the specifics because this forms for us the will of God according to Christ for us who follow him in these five areas. You want to see prayer's answer, pray along these lines. You've heard it before, the purpose of prayer is not to get your will done in heaven but to get God's will done on earth; here's God's will, pray for that.
Francis of Assisi was the one who said, "I always want what God wants and that's why I'm so happy." Great motto to live by. So Jesus was a man of prayer. Oh, by the way, did you know that Jesus still is a man of prayer? In the Bible, it says in Romans 8 and in Hebrews Chapter 7 that he is at the right hand at the throne of God making intersession for us. In fact, one of the writers says, "He always lives to make intersession for us, Jesus is praying for us." This is His Mediatorial Work. This is part of the unfinished work of Christ, the finished work is His death, the atonement, but He is still working, He's still praying.
Now, we would not know what that ministry is like unless we have Chapter 17 of John. We would know and it says, "He's making intersession for his saints." We go, "Huh? What does that mean?" So now we have a little peek into what the means by looking at John Chapter 17 as he makes intersession for us. And by the way, how does that make you feel when you hear that Jesus is praying for you? A couple of years back, people from this fellowship gave me one of the greatest gifts I ever received, it's a Christmas card. Inside the Christmas card was a piece of paper with 52 lines representing 52 weeks of the upcoming year and on each line were several names of people signed and they were saying, "These are the people that are committed to pray for you that week during the next year, so you are a covered pastor in prayer for the next 52 weeks." Okay, wow! I thought I can't go wrong, that made me feel so good.
Jesus is praying for me, how does that make you feel? To meet people, that's cool, Jesus, wow! Maybe here's a better example, a few years back, I was asked to go and he didn't have to pull my leg on this one, Franklin Graham invited me to his parents' home, Dr. Billy and Ruth Graham's house for lunch.
That night, I was to speak at the Billy Graham Training Center and he said, "Come over to daddy's house," he said, "for lunch." His mother had Chinese food prepared we had nice time in fellowship and before the meal, Dr. Billy Graham prayed and he prayed for the meal, and he prayed for me. He was praying that God would give me wisdom, "I pray for Skip that you give him wisdom and insight," and he prayed for the session and this is just happening, I'm going -- I'm like pinching myself going, "Billy Graham is praying for me?" I thought I can't wait to hear what I'm going to say tonight. I mean, God is going to answer that prayer, right? It's Billy praying, he's got like a close intimate connection.
Okay. Now, take that example and hear this again, Jesus Christ ever lives to make intersession for you. Now, if you're thinking "Why does Jesus need to pray for me?" Really? You have to ask that? We need all the help we can get, right? Besides that, the bible says, we have an accuser of the brother and who day and night is accusing us before God saying, "There's a lot of dirt on us." Jesus is our defense attorney, He prays for us.
That's third. Look at the posture that a company did, I think you're going to enjoy this. Verse 1, Jesus spoke these words, lifted up his eyes to heaven and said -- now again, whenever you read the bible, you have to put yourself in the sandals of those who were there and put yourself in the disciples' shoes for a moment. The disciples have had Jesus for four chapters and give them a long message, Chapter 13, 14, 15, and 16 were words Jesus spoke to them. Two of those chapters were in the upper room that passed over to the chapters were walking in route toward the Kidron Valley.
But they were words spoken to them and Jesus made eye contact with them and spoke to them then suddenly, his last thing that He said was, "Be a good cheer!" I've overcome the world and then he did this, "Father, the hour has come, glorify your Son and your Son your may glorify you." It says Jesus lifted His eyes; that was His posture when he prayed, He lifted His eyes, it didn't say He folded His hands and He closed his eyes, lifted His eyes; that's a Jewish posture of prayer acknowledging God's throne is in heaven. Psalm 123, "I lift my eyes to you, to you whose throne is in heaven."
But it brings up an issue I wanted to touch on. What is the right posture for prayer? Is there a correct posture for prayer? Well, I was taught in the church I was raised in, the correct posture for prayer was kneeling and we had in our church these hardwood kneelers that I swore were invented by medieval torture artist. So I thought, yeah, God when we pray he wants us to hurt, so you got to be on your knees, ouch! Oh, ouch! What's the right posture for prayer?
It reminds me of the three pastors that we're talking about the right posture for prayer and one of them said, "The secret is in the hands, it's all in the fingers; you want them pointed upward like this, together in front of you, fingers pointed upward because that's where God is." The second pastor said, "No, that's too easy, God wants you on your knees; that's the sign of humility." The third pastor not to be outdone by the other two said, "No, the correct posture for prayer is flat on your face before the Lord. That's true humility."
Well in the background, while they were having a conversation, was a telephone repairman who couldn't hold any longer and he said, "Gentlemen, I discovered the most powerful prayer I ever prayed is when I was dangling 40 feet off the ground upside down by my heels off a telephone poll." So I supposed the best posture for prayer is whatever it gets you to pray, so what do we find in the bible when it comes to posture? Well listen to this, we find Abraham in Genesis 18, who stood before the Lord in prayer. In II Chronicles 20, we find King Jehoshaphat who bowed with his face toward the ground, II Chronicles Chapter 20.
In Daniel Chapter 6, we find Daniel who knelt on his knees toward Jerusalem with his windows open toward that city. We find in I Kings Chapter 8, Solomon standing with his arms, it says hand spread outward toward the Lord when he dedicated the Temple. In Ezra Chapter 9, we find Ezra who knelt on his knees with his hands spreading toward the Lord. Here's what's interesting, never once do we find in the bible a description of someone praying where it says, "And they closed their eyes and folded their hands." Isn't that interesting? I'm not saying it's not okay to do it, I'm just saying did it make God's top five.
So the bible never says they did that, so what do we do? Fold our hands and close our eyes, it's like we're really good at what the bible doesn't say to do. Now I know, I know we teach our kids that because we don't want them to poke each other and fidget and look around and get destructed and say, "Johnny, close your eyes and fold your hands." But can I just advocate and can I just maybe plead, that we incorporate some biblical postures that we raise our horizons a little bit and incorporate some biblical postures when we pray? Jesus lifted His eyes toward heaven and spoke to the Father. Not only did He lift His eyes, He lifted his voice, He prayed out loud.
He prayed out loud. "Skip, how do you know that?" Because it's written down that's why. Somebody had to hear it, John recorded what was said. It was prayed out loud, He lifted His eyes, He lifted His voice and He prayed it out loud. I think it's good to pray out loud. Now, you might be thinking, well that's just here Jesus was giving an example to his disciples, but surely when he was alone with Father, he never prayed out loud. How do you know? How do you know that?
In fact, in the garden of Gethsemane, when Jesus will lead His disciples walk away from them, He'll pray to His Father and the disciples will over hear it even though He's not talking to them or for them, He's alone with his Father and He says, "Father, if it's possible, let this cup pass from me nevertheless not my will but Yours be done." They heard that because they wrote that down. I do think when you pray it's best to pray out loud. Of course, you can pray in wordly in your heart, you can always do that.
But here's why I like to pray out loud, I get destructed so easily. When I just like start thinking my prayers and I'm telling you it happens every time, I just -- to stay on focus is hard, I'm like how do I get there, I'm not even praying, I'm thinking about something or doing something or planning something. So, just like when I talk to you and I use my voice, I don't just think my communication to you, I wouldn't go. I will use my words; I would advocate to praying out loud, use your words to the Lord, lift up your eyes and lift up your voice. Let's close this out and look at the last, the final, characteristic of this prayer and that is the purpose that directed it.
Okay. Here we are eavesdropping on Jesus praying, we're listening to His words, we're watching what He does and as we're eavesdropping, something amazing strikes us; that in his prayer, he prays for himself the least of all. 26 verses, only five of them He's talking about Himself, He's praying about Himself and it's all in the relationship to His Father, the rest of the prayer is about other people. Now He's facing death, He's facing torture; He knows it and He predicted it. He's praying for others but the underlying and under girding theme of the entire prayer is what I want to drive at and close with.
He's praying for the glory of God, His goal is the glory of God, He's aiming at the glory of God; eight times in this prayer, glory or glorify is mentioned. Doxa is the Greek word; it means to have a good opinion of something or someone else, it means to make someone renowned. Make someone renowned; make others have a good opinion of somebody else, so look at Verse 4, "I have glorified you." That's His goal while on the Earth, I have glorified you. Look at Verse 6, "I have manifested your name to these men that were chosen out of the world."
In other words, Father, my whole life, my whole existence has been the point to and focus on you. I've made you and pleasing you my aim and I pass that on as a goal for them to please you. So look what He says, look at what He begins with; Verse 1, Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you." What hour? The Hour, the hour planned and thought about from eternity passed. We finally arrived, Father at this hour. Have you noticed how in the Gospel of John, He always talks about the hour, right? Remember in Chapter 2, the wedding feast of Khana when His mom said, "Hey, there's an opportunity right here to do something." He said, "Woman, my hour has not yet come."
When He was in Jerusalem, they tried to arrest Him and they said they could not because his hour had not yet come. When He finally arrives in Jerusalem publicly, in John Chapter 12, He announces the hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified. Now, He stands there, lifts up his eyes and He goes, "Father, here we are. That hour is now."
He's speaking about the cross. He's speaking about the culmination, the pinnacle of all history, when Satan's power could be destroyed, when salvation could be dispersed to all who would believe, the glory hour. The hour has come, I've glorified you on the earth, I've manifested your name on the earth and now the hour has come. I want to glorify you. We'll look more of that next time, but what we've discovered today is that, if you want to get a good idea of how to talk to God, just eavesdrop on Jesus talking to God and you'll discover that Jesus has an aim, a goal that he wants us to have and that is to please God, to please and glorify the Father.
I would say this is my opinion, that many, if not most, Christians live their whole lives without that being their aim, their goal. I don't know if it's just who we are, if it's just the sinful nature of our flesh, but it's almost as if we're saved now, You owe me something God, I'm your child now, I want health and prosperity and blessing all the time, rather than the other way around; I exist to please God. I live and breathe and move for His glory. Do you know what the anthem of heaven will be? It's recorded for you in Revelation 4:11, heaven says, "For you, who created everything and it is for your pleasure that they exist and were created." That's why I'm here, to please God.
Well, Jesus prayed that your life would be secure and that you would be in heaven with him. Is your life secure, this morning? If you died today or this week, would you be in heaven? Are you in Christ? If God were to ask you, "Why should I let you into you my heaven?" I wonder what you'd say; I wonder if you would say, "Well, you should let me in heaven because I tried to be a really good guy. I worked hard, I was sincere and I went to church every now and then." I wonder if you'd point to your own works, your own goodness and your own righteousness or I wonder if you'd be like the college student.
Let me tell you his story. He was in a class in college, a logic course. I don't know if you've ever taken a logic class in college but it can be daunting. This professor was known for having extremely difficult tests. So the day before the test, the professor said, "Class tomorrow is our big test and that you are allowed to bring as much information into the classroom as it can fit on a single sheet of notebook paper." So most of the students you can guess what they did, they tore out an 8.5x11 and at home, they wrote tiny little sentences of facts on both sides of the page, so they'd have that cheat sheet because that was the instruction, as much information as you can put on a single sheet of paper, except for one student.
One student walked in the next day for the test, he sat down on his desk, placed an 8.5x11 sheet of paper in front of his desk, gave a signal; he had hired an advance logic student to come in and stand on that sheet of paper in front of his desk because he said, "As much information as you can put on a single sheet of paper." So he put an advanced logic student on the single sheet of paper and he told him all the answers. He's the only student who got a straight A in the class; that's logic, that's brilliant.
So I hope your answer wouldn't be, "That's because I was a good person, I tried really hard and I worked hard and I was religious as much as", because someone stood in my place and took the test for me and his name was Jesus and by letting Him, take my sin and me, believing in Him, it brings you glory. I hope you are letting God be glorified in your life by entering into a relationship with His Son.
Let's pray, Father in Heaven, we thank you -- let's stand and pray, in fact, you don't have to close your eyes, you can raise your hands or you can open them up. Father in Heaven, we thank you for your goodness to us and Father we just simply ask that your goal for our lives would be our goal for our lives, in Jesus name, Amen.