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2011-07-31 My Father's House

Time: 2011-07-31 Click:

by Stephen Wong
31 Jul 2011 Sunday

 

Worship song: Here I Am To Worship

Verse 1 Light of the world
You stepped down into darkness
Opened my eyes, let me see
Beauty that made this heart adore You
Hope of a life spent with You
Chorus Here I am to worship
Here I am to bow down
Here I am to say that You're my God
You're altogether lovely
Altogether worthy
Altogether wonderful to me
Verse 2 King of all days
Oh so highly exalted
Glorious in Heaven above
Humbly You came to the earth You created
All for love's sake became poor
Bridge I'll never know how much it cost
To see my sin upon that cross


 

 

Scripture Reading: John 14:1-4,6

1 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.
2 In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
4 You know the way to the place where I am going." Jesus the Way to the Father.
6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

  

 

Sermon Outline

 

John 3:16: For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him, shall not perish but have eternal life.

For God

The Greatest Love-Giver

So loved

The Greatest Measure

The world

The Greatest Number

That He gave

The Greatest Act

His One & Only Son

The Greatest Gift

That whoever

The Greatest Invitation

Believes

The Greatest Simplicity

In Him

The Greatest Person

Shall not perish

The Greatest Promise

But

The Greatest Difference

Have

The Greatest Certainty

Eternal life

The Greatest Possession

God is therefore worthy,

worthy of all our trust when we are faced with trouble and pain;

worthy of all our efforts to live for Him but not for ourselves;

worthy of our giving our lives up for Him, for Jesus has died for us first.

 

Sermon in detail:

      Good morning, let us pray:

 Heavenly Father, we are in your house; and we have come to worship the true living God, who is in this place and in our hearts. May our words, our meditations and our prayers today please you, honor you and glorify you. Please set each of our hearts afire by the Spirit of the living God, so that revival, refreshment and renewal will take place in our life and, outside this church, in the nation of China. Because you love every single one here, and it is your desire that we be with you where you are. So be glorified, because we pray in the marvelous and matchless name of Jesus. Amen.

 

I greet you in the precious name of Jesus.

Last week Pastor Jessica started chapter 12 with the theme: Jesus is Worthy. Jesus is worthy, as clearly shown in Martha’s work, Lazarus’ Witness (from death to life) and Mary’s Worship (the poured-out perfume). Jesus is truly, magnificently worthy.

Today we have three parts in our passage:

14:1-6

The Father’s Place

14:7-14

The Father’s Presence

14: 15-31

The Father’s Power

 

 

 

 

We have three subdivisions for the first part, The Father’s Place:

14:1

Heart

14:2-3

Heaven

14:4,6

Highway

They all begin with an H so it can be an easy way for you to remember. So next time when you are on a bus, trying to remember what this passage is about, you’ll know it explains Heart, Heaven and Highway.

 

I.          Troubles

 

A.        The Troubles of My Friends

Is there anyone out there with troubles? Some of you will say: “Oh no, I’m fine; I don’t have any troubles.” Meanwhile someone will say: “I have so many troubles that it will take me a year to tell you all of them in detail.”

I have a friend who has a lot of troubles. Her phone rang in the morning; it was from her son. He said: “Mum, I just want to let you know that I am in the hospital. I overdosed some drugs, because I wanted to take my life. But I don’t want you to come here; I want to handle this by myself. Bye. ” and then he hang up the phone. I have another friend. His professor is giving him a lot of pressure because the professor wants him to change his PhD subject. The professor doesn’t understand why he wants to talk about the law of God, which has, in the professor’s opinion, nothing to do with his law degree. The professor wants him to forget about God, finish his PhD and get out. This friend of mine also has financial problems; it has been really hard for him to find a job, because he is so compassionate. There are many people who need legal help, and he offers it for free. So he has no money. He also has a war at home. His wife is hostile to Christianity. He thought he had found the love of his life when they got married, but when he became a Christian, the war broke out. There has been war daily for a few years: she will have nothing to do with him and his God. He has troubles.

There are lots of troubles in this world, isn’t there?

 

B.        The Troubles of the World

I looked up the website of the World Health Organization, and found some results of their researches:

○By 2020, depression will become a leading health problem worldwide.

○Currently depression is the No.3 cause of death for 10-24 yr olds.

○It is estimated that in the European Union depression costs 170 billion US dollars; in the US 70 billion; in Japan 32 billion.

We know in Japan every year for the last twelve years, over 30,000 people have committed suicide. 

There are a lot of troubles out there.

 

C.       The Troubles of the Disciples

The disciples of Jesus had lots of problems too.

Remember what Jesus was telling them? He told them: “I am going to be betrayed by one of you; one who is close to me and shares his bread with me. He is going to kick me and betray me.” 

Jesus also said that Peter was going to deny Him for three times (not just once, not even twice).

Then He spoke about His death: it was not going to be a peaceful death, but a death on the cross.

He spoke about His departure; He said: “We have been together for the last three years. It has been fun and precious, but now I have to go.” “Where are you going?”His disciples asked. Jesus replied: “I am going to my Father.” “Can we come?” “You cannot follow me right now.” “Why? We have followed you this far; we have forsaken everything! We want to follow you! I want to lay down my life for you.” said Peter. “I am sorry; you cannot follow me right now.”

The disciples had troubles. And they were going to face the three darkest days in history: not only in their personal history—they had to see their loved one hanging on a cross and then buried; but there also was the silence of God upon the land.

That was trouble.

 

 

 

II.          Jesus’ Three Commands

 

But Jesus did not leave them in their troubles. He had three commands for them:

A.      Heart (John 14: 1)

John 14:1 Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me.

There is a tide wave of trouble in my life, but Jesus said: “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” No matter how big, how severe or how dark the situation is, do not let your heart be troubled.

Okay, if I do not let my heart be troubled, what must I do? “Trust in God; trust also in Me.” This is what Jesus is saying: “I am God; trust My Father, as I do; as I face the cross, trust in Me, because I am God; I am able to do more than you can ask or imagine.”

Trust, trust, trust. Trust! Trust! Trust!

 

Application Question No.1:

Having heard what Jesus has said, how will you change when responding to your troubles?

 

Principle No.1: Trust in Jesus who is God

The Bible always has the answers for every essential question.

When we read Isaiah 26:3-4, we see the principle:

Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.

Isaiah 26:4 Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD himself, is the Rock eternal.

Apart from Trust, there is something else that I would like to highlight: Perfect Peace.

Those who want perfect peace please raise your hands. A few of you do; maybe because the rest of you have no troubles.

Perfect peace is not a change of circumstances; it is not things arranged the way I would like them to be; it is not about getting my way. Perfect peace is a question of authority and focus.

Authority? Focus? Maybe you don’t understand me. Maybe you think it is too hard.

What’s authority? Let me put it in an easy way: Who reigns in your heart? Is it the Prince of Peace? Or is it the father of lies? If it is the Prince of Peace, you will have perfect peace. If it is the father of lies, you will have great great trouble. So it is the question of authority; and you alone can answer that question.

What’s focus? If you focus on trouble, guess what you will see? Trouble. If you focus on Jesus, guess what you will see? Jesus.

How do we apply this principle to the troubles we are facing? When trouble comes, Trust Focuses On:

Faith, but not our feelings

 

I am going to focus on faith, but not on my feelings.

It is not what I feel, or what I think. It is what the Bible says.

That’s what faith says: I trust in God, because He exists and everything He says is true, while my feelings may mislead me. In fact for a lot of times my feelings do mislead me. We know God is calling us not to trust our feelings but trust faith.

Promises, but not our possessions

 

God is calling us not to trust in how many possessions we have, but to trust in His promises. All the wealth and the possession that I have cannot solve anything; but God’s promises can solve everything. So in what am I going to trust next time? I am going to trust His promises.

Position, but not our situation

 

I am not going to say: “Oh only if my situation is just better! Please change my situation! Please change my professor! Please change my boss! Please please please change everything else!”

No. Trust in who God says you are: “You are My child. You are my son. You are my daughter. I am your Heavenly Father. And I will take care of you from the start to the finish. I brought you into this world and I will work with you until the end.” You can trust in your position with the Father.

Prayer, but not our power

 

Say to God: “I am so weak. I have no wisdom. I just need You and You alone. And I know that You love to glorify Yourself when I am weak.”

Those are the tips that you need to remember. Next time you will have perfect peace in the midst of your trouble.

 

B.      Heaven

John 14:2 In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.
John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

Now there is a place that has perfect peace, and it is called “Heaven”.

Jesus said in the next 2 verses: “The reason that I have to leave you is that I am going to prepare a place for you. In my Father’s house there are many rooms. I am going to prepare a place for you. So that where I am, you may be also.”

So we learn 3 things about this place:

*         It is a Populated Place (14:2)

*         It is a Prepared Place (14:2)

*         It is a Personal Place (14:3)

What does “a populated place” mean? Jesus said “many rooms.” Do you know how big the city is going to be? It is said it is approximately 2,300 kilometers long on each side. How long will it take you to walk 2,300 kilometers? It’s a big city. It has a lot of rooms. And God is inviting everyone who would believe. Come. Come into this beautiful city. Jesus’ Father has enough room for everyone who would like to respond and come. This invitation is for every nation, every town and every tribe; there are no exclusions. God invites each and every one of you. You can never be too sinful. You can never be too far away. If it is your desire to know God, then He extends this invitation to you so that you can have a room in His house. It’s Daddy’s house.

Secondly we know it is “a prepared place”. You’ve got to have this picture of Jesus being the bridegroom, and He says to His bride: “I am going to prepare the best place for you. I am so in love with you. I’m going to prepare the best place for you. So close your eyes for a little while and let Me prepare the house for you. You are going to be so amazed at what I have for you. ” What has He prepared for us?

a Happy place, with no more sorrows and no more sufferings.

a Holy place, with no more sins and no more Satan.

a Huge place, a place that accommodates every town and every nation.

a Precious place. What are the walls made of? Precious gems. What are the streets made of? Pure gold. What are the gates made of? Pearls. Jesus goes to every expense, and He says: “You are worthy; you are my bride; you are precious to me. So our home will be really precious.

It is also a personal place, because Jesus said: “I am coming back. You don’t know when I am coming, but I am coming back. So that where I am, you may be also. I am not only sending out an invitation. I am going to come back, give you the invitation, take you by the hand and we will go together.” In fact, He tells us that we are going to fly. We are going to rise into the sky to meet our Savior in the air. Isn’t that going to be spectacular? Fly and meet Him— to see Him as He is.

I want to be there! Because it is a populated place, a prepared place and a personal place; because God is there. Where God is, that is Heaven. And we will have a place where He will be the Light and His Son the Lamb will be the Lamp. For the children, there will be no more sleeping and no more nights. You can play all day long, because Jesus is the Light. And God’s glory will shine and shine and shine.

What are we going to do when we are awake all day? We are going to worship: “HOLY, HOLY, HOLY! Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” With whom are we going to worship? All the believers from the past, the present and the future. We are going to sing together.

Isn’t that a beautiful place? Don’t you want to go there?

 

Application Question No.2:

When you are going to travel aboard, some preparations are required. Similarly, how will you prepare for Heaven, the wonderful place?

 

Principle No.2: Be Heavenly-Minded

The principle for this question is to be Heavenly-minded. The more Heavenly- minded we are, the more earthly-good we are to be.

It is said in Colossians: Set your heart, set your mind on things above where Christ is seated. That’s what Heavenly-minded means. Everything that God treasures; everything that God values; everything about God; everything that God is doing is your delight.

So what does being Heavenly-minded look like? I have written down a few thoughts for you to see:

*         Jesus is 1st in everything

*         Live for Eternal Treasure, not for earthly pleasures

*         Joy in suffering

I am not saying you should want lots of sufferings. I am saying that your relationship with God is so intimate that you see Jesus holding you in the midst of your severest suffering. You read Isaiah and Jesus says to you: “Everything is going to be OK, my son. Everything is going to be OK, my daughter. The storm is really rough, but everything is going to be really OK, because I love solving impossibilities.”

*         Love for the lost

You have the love for the lost. Because you want to fill Heaven with all your old friends and all your new friends and all the people that you don’t know but God has put into your life. You want to fill Heaven with people. Because Jesus says He has lots of rooms—Dad says He has lots of rooms in Heaven for you. Come, come!

*         Holiness is supreme

Without holiness, no one can see Lord.

*         Desire & strength to overcome sin

Sin no more, sin no more, sin no more! Separate yourself from sin!

So that is what a Heavenly-minded person looks like, and I pray that this will be a gift that the Holy Spirit will bless you with.

 

 
 

 

A.        Highway

John 14:4 “You know the way to the place where I am going."

John 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. The only way to the Father is through me.

John 14:7 If you really knew me, you would know my Father, too. But now you do know him, and you have seen him."

Now, Heaven seems kind of far away, how do I get there? By Highway. God says: “I’ve got a Highway for you. You are a pilgrim; you are journeying and I’ve got a Highway for you.”

And Jesus declares in a loud voice: “I am the way, the truth and the life. I am the way, the truth and the life.”

Then what do you mean, Jesus, you are the way, the truth and the life?

 

1.      Jesus is the Way

Well, let us recall what happened in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve, they sinned. And as the result of their sin, all of us, like our fathers and our mothers, have been sin-stained. And so we were born lost. We were born separated from God. We were born not knowing how to get back to the Father. He had kicked out Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve are no longer perfect and no longer holy. And we too have broken the communion with God.

How can we get back to God? How can we get back to God?

God says: “I have a solution. My Son Jesus is the way back to Me. My son Jesus, by His death on your behalf, opens the way of Heaven, so that you can come back to Me. And My Son, He stands at the right-hand side of the throne interceding for you, so that you are always present before me. My Son is the way back to me.

Jesus is the only way to the Father. We have offended the Father and He says the only solution is His Son. The only way to run this race is to run in the right direction and cross the finish line. That’s the only way. You can’t go the opposite way. You can’t go off the track. You have to stay on the course. And the course, the way, is our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

2.      Jesus is the Truth

When Adam and Eve sinned, they also lost their knowledge of God. They became darkened in their understanding. And they didn’t know God any more. Jesus came as the truth about God. He came to review who God is, to review God’s character and to review His words and His work, so that we can know this God again. And so He gives us the true knowledge of who God is.

 

3.      Jesus is the Life

And then finally Jesus is the life. Remember that when Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden, they were destined to die. Death had entered the world and every single person was destined to die.

But Jesus says: “You don’t have to die.”

What?

Jesus: “I have conquered death. I have raised many people and I raised myself from death. I have conquered death, so that you no longer have to die.”

Jesus came to set us free form sin, Satan and death. And so you are free!

That’s why Jesus is the way, the truth and life.

 

Application Question No.3:

How will the truth about Jesus, that He is the way, the truth and the life, deepen your relationship with God?

 

Principle No.3: Value Jesus above Everything Else

I believe that it’s about value. I believe that if we are going to deepen our relationship with God, then God, our Lord Jesus Christ, has to become the highest value in our lives.

I remember St. Augustine once said: “Jesus Christ is not valued at all until He is valued above all.” Jesus has to be your highest value. He has to be your highest value. If you cannot value Him above everything else in your whole life, then you are not valuing Jesus worthily. You have to value Him above everything, even life itself. Jesus Christ is not valued at all until He is valued above everything.

 

In conclusion, I want you to look at:

John 3:16: For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him, shall not perish but have eternal life.

For God

The Greatest Love-Giver

So loved

The Greatest Measure

The world

The Greatest Number

That He gave

The Greatest Act

His One & Only Son

The Greatest Gift

That whoever

The Greatest Invitation

Believes

The Greatest Simplicity

In Him

The Greatest Person

Shall not perish

The Greatest Promise

But

The Greatest Difference

Have

The Greatest Certainty

Eternal life

The Greatest Possession

 

God is great. And God is worthy, worthy to be worshiped, worthy to be lived for and worthy to die for, because He offers you the greatest love: He loves at the greatest measure, in the greatest number with the greatest act, with the greatest gift, with the greatest invitation, with the greatest simplicity, with the greatest person, with the greatest promise, the greatest difference, the greatest certainty and the greatest possession. Is there anybody greater than God? Certainly not. Absolutely not.

As we sing today, it’s our hearts’ desire that each and every one of us will live for Him and Him alone, because He alone is worthy.

 

Praise God to the highest.

 

With love and strength in Jesus Christ, summarized by Katherine, Jane and Chong.

 

Baptism Service :

167 brothers & sisters baptised on 31 Jul, 2011. Click here -- Chinese report.

 Praise the Lord!

 

 

 

 

Media Resources:

Sermon: My Father's House video mp3 doc
Worship song: Shine Jesus Shine video mp3 lyric
Worship song: Here I Am To Worship video mp3 lyric
Worship song: Here We Are video mp3 lyric
Worship song: I Give You My Heart video mp3 lyric
Welcome song   mp3 lyric

 



 

 

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