Tuesday, March 13, 2007

John 14:1 – 14
Sneaking Suspicions – vs – The Power to Do.”

I. Sneaking suspicions divide our hearts.

“The power of temptation is the sneaking suspicion that God is not good all the time.” [Unknown]

A. Symptoms of a troubled heart.

1. Control issues.

a. In an attempt to not get hurt, we do not trust.

b. In an attempt to not get hurt, we attempt to control other people.

1.) Threats are used.

2.) Guilt is used.

3.) Nagging is used.

2. Depression/despair breeds distraction [Paws - n - Tails]

a. [Paws - n - Tails] King Saul’s story. When the Holy Spirit left him, only David’s playing could sooth him.

b. Pilate was charged with keeping law and order. At the critical moment he was distracted by the crowd.

B. Jesus asks us to trust in God.

1. God’s full-time goodness.

2. God’s unconditional love.

3. God’s power.

II. Separation anxiety challenges hearts.

A. Jesus’ promises:

1. He is preparing a place.

a. The song “I’ve got a mansion...”

b. The song “put on my shoes and walk all over heaven.”

2. He will return.

a. This is NOT the “lone ranger syndrom” where one expects to be rescued by someone/something at the last moment.

b. Rescue is NOT the issue, neither is success or failure.

c. The issue is being with Jesus.

B. Why is this so hard to understand?

1. Thomas’ question.

a. Garfield (cartoon), “Without a goal, how would you know when you failed.”

b. Thomas’ question was rational and intellectual.

1.) It was a good one. Without a goal how do we know the direction?

2.) The problem is that it doubts...

a.) Does Thomas doubt God?

b.) Does Thomas doubt himself?

2. Without the discernable presence of God, what else is possible?

a. Jesus was going away... we will be on our own.

b. Jesus’ “I am’s” are meant to give us a picture.

III. Jesus provides three word pictures.

A. What do they mean?

1. Jesus is the way = Jesus is how you get to the Father.

a. When Jesus died the curtain in the temple was torn.

b. The Bible says, “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, [20] by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body.” [Hebrews 10:19 – 20]

2. Jesus is the truth = Jesus is the only reliable map to get to the Father.

a. (ill) A particular on-line mapping service, got us lost... so we switched. If you are not following Jesus, you are following the wrong directions.

b. There are lots of voices that want to be heard.

B. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life...

1. It is guarded: “After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.” [Genesis 3:24]

2. It requires our humbling: “Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.” [Psalm 86:11]

3. It is uncomfortable: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” [Psalm 139:23 – 24]

4. It is step by step listening: “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it.” [Isaiah 30:21]

5. It is hard to find: “But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” [Matthew 7:14]

The way is our direction and course. The truth is how we find it and stay on course. The life is how we do this.

IV. The power to do comes from persistence in direction.

A. Summary of what we know:

1. The target destination is the Father.

2. We are troubled by fear and uncertainty.

3. Jesus asks us to trust Him and trust the Father’s provisions.

4. This translates into a life style.

B. The end result will be power [v 12].

1. We can have power or an empty form of godliness [see 1 Timothy 3:5]

2. Power is grounded and birthed in prayer [v 14].

3. The trouble is this: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” [Proverbs 14:12 AND Proverbs 16:25]

4. The solution is here: [Psalm 139:23 – 24]

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

a. Give God complete and honest access to you.

b. Let God examine even how and why you make your choices and decisions.

c. Take God’s test and honestly own up to anxious thoughts.

d. Allow God’s cleansing and healing power to purge the offensive ways and heal the wounds they have caused.

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