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Current study: Spiritual Warfare

02 November 2012

Week 44 Review - November 2

November 2
     John 14-17

Jesus knows He will be arrested in a matter of hours and that He will be put to death not long afterwards. He doesn’t bemoan His fate, but He takes a few precious moments to comfort His disciples and remind them why He is going to die.

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.”  John 14:1-4 (ESV)

Jesus, a carpenter on earth is in heaven today preparing our rooms in heaven!

Jesus’ church is referred to as the Bride. In Jesus’ time, a groom would go to the place that he planned to live with his wife and prepare a home for her. When he had completed the structure (and no one knew how long that would take), he would come back for her. Jesus had already told His disciples that only God knew when He would return. Here, He tells them that before He returns, He is preparing their eternal abode.

Of course, with hindsight we can understand what Jesus was saying, but in the moment, the disciples didn’t get it. Thomas asked how they could know the way to wherever it was that Jesus was going, and Jesus plainly tells them that there is only one way to those heavenly rooms.

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7  If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” John 14:6-7 (ESV)

There is not more than one path to heaven. Jesus is the only way. The door is narrow. Have you truly received Him as Savior, and does your life fruit prove it? Or, like Judas, are you t-h-i-s—c-l-o-s-e to salvation, even doing things in God’s name, but not truly saved? Do you have faith in Jesus? Do you know that He is the only way? Don’t take chances. If you’re not absolutely sure, talk to a pastor or send me an email. It’s the most important decision of your life.

Jesus also told the disciples that they could ask for anything in His Name and he  would grant it.

Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. John 14:13-14 (ESV)

The “name it and claim it” crowd would have you believe that you can therefore demand healings, or money, or a job, or … but is that what Jesus meant? Does “in my name” mean that He is a heavenly ATM? I don’t think so. When we ask in His name, we need to make sure that:

·         The thing we ask for has kingdom ramifications and it’s not for selfish gain.  Those who demand that Jesus heal them forget that Paul had “a thorn in the flesh” that God left there to keep him humble. Those who believe in the prosperity gospel forget that Jesus had no earthly wealth.
·         Based on the faith and obedience. The more we obey, the more we experience His love. The more we experience His love, the deeper our faith and understanding as to what we can ask for in His name. God answers prayer in order to honor His name, not to respond to our merits.
·         In pursuit of God’s glory alone. When we demand that God get us a new job (rather than asking God’s will in finding the job that He has for us), or demand that God heal our physical ailments (rather that praying that if it’s His will, may it be done), even though we may plan to testify to His goodness, it’s not in pursuit of God’s glory alone. When God brings the right set of circumstances about for us to have the offer of a perfect job, or when we are made well sooner than expected, God’s glory can shine through.

Before Jesus left the room for the fateful meeting in the Garden, He took the time to promise that He would send the Holy Spirit to guide, comfort and assist us. The spirit is essential for us to live the life that God wants us to.

The Holy Spirit is a Comforter. His task is to assist us – to work in and through us. He’s our advocate and the Spirit of Truth, available to us as we seek to glorify Christ. When we are “filled with the Spirit”, we are controlled by God’s word – joyfully, thankfully and submissively. The Spirit also helps us to pray when we don’t know how to do so.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. Romans 8:26 (ESV)

When you read our Lord’s Prayer in Chapter 17, did you stop to think of the privilege you have to overhear the Son converse with the Father? This is often called The High Priestly Prayer. 

His work on earth was finished (17:4) – He was walking toward the cross, and He prayed for Himself and rejoices that the Father will be glorified through His actions.

He prayed for the disciples, asking God to give them knowledge, joy, perseverance, sanctification and mission. And then…

He prayed for YOU!

“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one,  I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” John 17:20-26 (ESV)

Jesus prayed for our unity. He looks to the time that we are with Him. But most of all, He prays that  we share in His love.

This is a great way to end the week – watching Christ voluntarily step out of the security of that upper room and begin His walk to Gethsemane. I pray that you will take the opportunity to reread the prayer that He prayed and find strength and courage through your days as you realize that, as the old song says,

When He was on the cross, I was on His mind.

May your weekend be restful and blessed and may you enter into worship on Sunday with wholeheartedness. See you next week.

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