So good to be here with you all. Good morning, Church. So, hold on for a second, let me just take a moment. This is where Kevin White stands. Okay, that’s enough. I told him that I would honor him, and I did. So now if he asks you, ‘Did Lance honor me?’ you can say, ‘Well, yeah, he did. He took a moment of silence and just did what he does every week. God, it’s so good to be with you all. What a glorious thing. This is a glorious time. I love your pastor. He and I have been friends for, I think, 35 years. Which really, when you think about it, makes him really old. It doesn’t make me old, but it makes him really old, right? It’s perfect. I think the first time I met him, I was working at a frame shop, meaning a picture frame shop, and I was part-time. Well, I wasn’t even part-time. I was a volunteer youth minister, youth director, youth… I’m not even sure if you could call me any of those things. I just worked with the youth at a small church, and I just happened to be at work on this particular day when he and Deidra walked in. Deandrea was pregnant with Sarah at the time, and they came wandering in looking for a frame for an oil painting she had just finished. So I helped them find that, and I was wearing a coat that identified me as part of a church. Kevin asked me about the coat and what was going on, and he and I got to talking. Ever since then, we grew a friendship and a relationship, and it just grew from there. He has been such an encouragement to me. He’s only two years older than I am, and yet, in so many ways, he is so much wiser and more mature than I am. Which is hard to believe, right? I mean, you know him, he gets up here every Sunday, and you’re going, ‘Really? Kevin’s mature?’ But yet, he is. So it’s amazing to think about that. So, a little bit about me. My name, if you don’t know me, is Lance Caddell. I work with the Northwest Baptist Convention in the area of evangelism and church health. What that means is that I have the opportunity to walk with pastors. We have some 500 churches in the convention, and I have the opportunity to walk with pastors and churches to help them take responsibility for their calling and their community.
So, what has God called us to do? And where has God called us to do it? That’s kind of what I had the opportunity to walk with pastors, encourage them, and help them with training and such. Prior to that, I had been in that position for five years. Before that, I pastored a church in Longview, WA for 22 years. And then before that, I planted a church in Reno, NV for, I think, three or four years. So I’ve got a history here of sort of following Kevin. I mean, we were both in Reno, and then he went to Longview, and then I went to Longview, and he did convention work, and I did convention work. So I don’t know, maybe I’ve got a problem with Kevin. Maybe I need to talk to someone about this, someone who might be able to share. Anyway, it is a blessing to be here. And today, what I’d love for you to do is to jump into John, Chapter 14. John, Chapter 14. Hey, before I get there, I do want to say something. Because if I don’t say this, my wife may be watching, and I need to make sure that she knows. Listen, my wife usually attends with me when we go places. When I got up this morning and was getting prepared, she came out and said, ‘Lance, I’m just not feeling well.’ And we didn’t want to share that with you, which was pretty nice of us, right? So, yeah. So I wanted you to know that the best thing about me is my wife. We’ve been married for 30 years. We have five adult children. So that’s pretty cool. And there’s a connection there with Kevin as well because Kevin’s a little bit responsible for that. I told the story in the first service. I may have told this story before. I got to thinking about it afterward. See, when I was in my mid-20s, I was planning a church in Reno, and I heard that if I went to university and took some classes and took three classes in elementary education, if I took those three classes in elementary education.
I could get a certificate that would allow me to be a substitute teacher in the local schools, which is really good because as a substitute teacher, you can say yes to certain things and no to certain days, you know, things like that which would really work for planning a church. At that time, you got paid $75 a day, which was amazing in the early ’90s, late ’80s, and things like that. So that was pretty good money. It wouldn’t be too much today, but anyway, so I started attending our university, and I met this girl there, this young lady who was going to school to learn to be a school teacher. And she and I, we began to talk with one another, and I kind of positioned myself in places where I knew she was going to be, like when I knew that the teacher was going to have groups and stuff like that, I made sure that I was sitting in her area. So they’d say, ‘Okay, all you guys over there, and you guys form a group,’ and things like that. So I just made sure that I was in the right place. And then outside of class, I knew where she would be, you know, as far as her class. So I just kind of put myself in the same hallway, just accidentally. She calls it stalking. I don’t know. But anyway, we began to develop this friendship through that. And then one evening, I was talking with Kevin. I was over at his house, and Deidra was cooking dinner and everything else, and I was telling him, I said, ‘I met this girl.’ He said, ‘Well, it’s about time.’ I said, ‘No, no, really, I like this girl. I really like her.
And he says, ‘Well, what’s the problem?’ And I said, ‘Well, she’s got a boyfriend,’ and Kevin looks at me with all seriousness. ‘Does she have a ring on her finger?’ I said, ‘No.’ Well, then thirty years later, five kids later, here we stand. So he is somewhat responsible for us having that wedding and that marriage. Anyway, John chapter 14. John, Chapter 14. If you have your Bibles, I want you to turn there. This is a passage that for probably the better part of 30 years, I have used to preach at funerals. And I’ll be honest with you, I very seldom have ever thought to myself, ‘Hey, John, Chapter 14, these first six verses, this is the passage that I should preach on a Sunday morning.’ Over and over again, I have preached on this passage at funerals. Now, that doesn’t say anything about you guys. I’m not trying to say anything. But today, what I want to do is, here recently, I’ve looked at this passage. I’ve kind of looked at it with new eyes, and I thought, ‘Okay, God, what is it that you are saying to the church today? What is it that you’re saying to us?’ Because when Jesus spoke these words, he did not speak these words to or at a funeral. He spoke these words to his disciples who were about to go through some really, really difficult times. They were in the midst of the chaos of uncertainty. And in so many ways, the Church today is in the midst of the chaos of uncertainty. As a matter of fact, it’s not just the church, right? I mean, the world is in the midst of the chaos of uncertainty. You turn on the news, and you just feel as though, ‘Oh my goodness, what’s going on? When is this all going to come to an end?’ You don’t even have to believe that there’s going to be an end to come to a place where you think it could end at any time, at any moment. And that’s a lot of ways what was happening for Jesus and his disciples when he spoke these words. He spoke these words at a moment in time when it was chaotic and very uncertain.
So in order to fully understand what Jesus is going to say, I need us to get a little context. Because here’s the thing, just prior to Jesus speaking these words, if you go back four days, Jesus comes into Jerusalem and is hailed as a king. This, in many ways, would have been so confusing for the disciples, and they would have thought to themselves, ‘Wait, I’m not sure that this is lining up with what we were just experiencing.’ Because if you go back a few days earlier, Luke tells us that there’s a place where Jesus sets his face like flint towards Jerusalem. He knew that his time was coming, that the moment was about to happen for him to lay down his life. So he began to look at his disciples and he said, ‘Listen, we’re going to Jerusalem.’ And it’s interesting because in Matthew, Matthew chapter 20, Matthew tells us that the disciples didn’t quite understand. They were following him, and in many ways, they were kind of excited. ‘We’re going back to Jerusalem. This will be great. We’re going to go and conquer.’ But Matthew tells us that the other followers, those who were not his direct disciples, were full of anxiety. So Jesus, seeing this, takes his disciples aside and tells them, ‘Listen, we’re going to Jerusalem. And when we get there, I am going to be betrayed. I am going to be arrested, and then I am going to be killed.’ All of a sudden, he’s got the attention of the disciples because they’re thinking, ‘Wait, wait, wait. We’ve been following you for three years. We’ve seen some bad things happen, but you always seem to escape. You have the power to raise the dead. You have the power to escape. You have the power to heal. There’s no way that this is really going to happen.’ But Jesus says, ‘This is what’s going to happen. I’m going to show up in Jerusalem, be betrayed, be arrested, and then I’m going to be killed. But don’t worry about it.’ Don’t you love it when Jesus does that? When he says, ‘Listen, things are going to get really bad, but don’t stress. For I will rise again,’ that’s what he tells them. ‘For I will rise again.’ And I’m not sure that they got it, but at that point, he turns around and begins to walk towards Jerusalem. And on his way to Jerusalem, he comes by a town by the name of Jericho. You guys are probably familiar with Jericho, right? Yeah, Jericho. So a lot of people in Jericho begin to hear that he was coming, and they start to come out of their homes because they all want to get a glimpse of Jesus, maybe even touch Jesus, this healer, this teacher, this incredible man. I don’t think that they fully understood that he was the Messiah.
But they knew that he was something different from everyone else who had come before. So they come out of their homes, lining the streets. In Jericho, there was a certain man who was probably the most hated man in all of Jericho. When he heard that Jesus was coming, he came out of his home and began to walk. Seeing the crowd lining up, he inquired, ‘What’s going on here?’ They replied, ‘Jesus is coming.’ He said, ‘I want to see Jesus.’ We know from the scripture that he was a small man. Some of you might even be thinking of the song right now, aren’t you? I know you are. So Zacchaeus tried his hardest to get to the front of the line, but he couldn’t make his way through. So he continued down the road a little bit further, spotted a Sycamore tree, climbed up into the tree, and positioned himself there just to catch a glimpse of Jesus as he passed by. As Jesus walked down the street, people greeted him, he touched them, he talked with them, and they were in awe. Then, something amazing happened. Jesus veered off to the left and entered the crowd, and people began to make way for him as he headed toward the Sycamore tree. At this point, everyone knew that Zacchaeus was in the tree, and they must have thought that a clash was imminent. Jesus reached the foot of the tree, looked up, and said, ‘Zacchaeus, come down from the tree, for today I will go to your house and have dinner with you.’ So he went to Zacchaeus’s house, and as they were there together, Zacchaeus began to turn his heart toward God. He looked at Jesus and declared, ‘Half of everything I own, I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone, I will repay them four times as much.’ Jesus responded, ‘Behold, salvation has come to this house.’ Everyone was amazed. The most notorious sinner, the most hated man in town, had become a follower of Jesus, and it wasn’t just in word but in deed. It changed who he was and what he did. It was amazing.
Then Jesus gathered his belongings and went back outside. The clouds were there, and the people began to follow him as he returned to the street. He made his way along the street, and the crowd that was present when he arrived in Jericho had now doubled or maybe even tripled in size. They began to move toward Jerusalem and eventually reached a little village called Bethany. Now, you’re familiar with Bethany, right? You know what happened in Bethany? Bethany is where Lazarus lived, where Mary and Martha lived, and it’s where Lazarus died. He breathed his last there, and they laid him in the tomb. Jesus had waited to arrive, and when he finally showed up, Martha came down and said, ‘If you had been here, he wouldn’t have died.’ You know the whole story. Then Jesus uttered those words, ‘Lazarus, come forth,’ and Lazarus did. But this time, as they visited Bethany, Lazarus was alive, risen from the dead. People heard that Jesus was coming, and they came out of their homes to greet him. There were hugs, tears, and joyous reunions. Jesus, with his determination set on Jerusalem, continued moving forward. The people of Bethany joined the crowd and added to the procession as they moved toward Jerusalem. Eventually, they arrived at a village called Bethpage. Just outside Bethpage, Jesus told his disciples, ‘I want you to go into the village, and as you enter, you will see a donkey’s colt tied up on the right side. This is significant; please don’t overlook it. I want you to go into the town, find that colt, and if anyone questions why you are taking it, simply tell them, “The Master has need of it.”‘
They go in and find it exactly as Jesus said. Back then, Jesus didn’t have the Internet to call ahead, book a colt online, or make any arrangements. God was at work, orchestrating things so that Jesus would have exactly what he needed when the moment arrived. They brought the colt out, and Jesus got on it, beginning his ride toward Jerusalem. It was about a two-mile journey. He reached Jerusalem, and as he did, people started gathering around him, lining the streets. Word spread throughout Jerusalem that he was coming, and more people came out to join the crowd. The disciples were confused and wondering what was happening because Jesus had told them, ‘When we get there, I will be betrayed, arrested, and then I will die,’ but nothing seemed like that was happening that day.
The people in the crowd began to shout, ‘Hosanna! Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord,’ and they were shouting, screaming, and jumping up and down, welcoming the King of Israel. The Pharisees, who had already issued an edict to inform them if anyone saw Jesus, chose a bad time to arrest him, with hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people praising him. So the Pharisees made their way to the front of the crowd, yelling over the people who were shouting ‘Hosanna,’ and said to Jesus, ‘Tell these people to stop praising you.’ Jesus responded, ‘If they do not praise me, the rocks will cry out in praise.’ Talk about confusion! If you were a follower of Jesus, you’d be thinking, ‘This is it. The greatest thing that has ever happened to Israel is about to happen. Jesus is coming in as a conquering hero. He’s going to overthrow Rome, and everything is just as we want it.’ He entered Jerusalem, and it turned into a game of cat and mouse between Jesus and the Pharisees. Jesus appeared in public places where the Pharisees couldn’t arrest him, then disappeared, only to reappear and teach. The Pharisees challenged him each time he showed up. Eventually, he went to the temple.
And he’s upset about what’s happening in the temple. He turns over the money changers’ tables and says, ‘My Father’s house will be a house of prayer.’ At that point, the Pharisees step in and ask, ‘By what authority do you have to do this?’ Through his interaction, Jesus points out the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. It’s at this moment that the Pharisees realize they need to take action.
About a day later, or maybe half a day, the disciples approach Jesus and ask, ‘Jesus, it’s almost the Passover. What should we do?’ Jesus responds, ‘I’m glad you asked. Here’s what you should do: Go down this street, take a right, and then a left.’ Okay, I made that part up, but he does direct them to a place where everything is already set up. Even without a phone or the Internet, God’s work is always at play. He tells them to go to this place and inform them that the Master is ready for the room and the Passover. The disciples set it up, and you know the rest of the story. Jesus arrives in the upper room to have the Passover with his disciples.
Luke tells us that when he arrives, there’s an argument underway, not a new argument, but an ongoing one about who is the greatest. They’re obsessing over who will sit next to Jesus when he establishes his kingdom. It’s ironic because they’ve completely missed the point of what Jesus has been teaching them. He seizes this moment as a teaching opportunity and talks to them about how, in a setting like a meal, the head of the table is usually the most important person. However, Jesus says he came to them as a servant and emphasizes the need for them to be servants as well. Unfortunately, like many of us, they were not really paying attention. They turned the message inward, each thinking, ‘I’m greater.’
So, Jesus takes off his outer garment, picks up a basin and a pitcher, and fills the basin with water. He wraps a towel around his waist and goes from disciple to disciple, washing their feet. When he reaches Peter, Peter protests, saying, ‘No, not me.’ Jesus responds, ‘If I do not wash your feet, you have nothing to do with me.’ Peter then says, ‘Not just my feet, but my whole body.’ Jesus corrects him, saying that’s not the point. Jesus washes their feet, and after they’re all in awe, he tells them that they should continue to do likewise.
Then he sits back down at the table, and it’s at this point that the betrayer is revealed. Jesus takes a piece of bread, dips it into the wine, and gives it to Judas, telling him, ‘Whatever you’re going to do, do it quickly.’
And Judas gets up and leaves, leaving the others confused about what’s happening. Jesus then turns back to his disciples, and they have what we now know as the Last Supper. After the Last Supper, the scripture tells us they sang a hymn, and then Jesus stood up and said, ‘Let’s go to the garden.’ Jesus knows and understands what is about to unfold. He knows that in the garden, he will be arrested, taken, beaten, and subjected to a trial that isn’t really a trial. He knows this is the beginning of the end.
As Jesus walks toward the garden with the disciples in tow, like a caring father, he stops and talks to them. He lets them know that things are going to get tough, but they can make it through because he will be with them. It’s at this point that he utters the words found in John Chapter 14, verses one through six: ‘Do not let your heart be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you. For 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 you know the way where I am going.’ Thomas asks, ‘Lord, how do we know the way?’ And Jesus responds, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me.’
In the midst of all the chaos and uncertainty, with everything Jesus had foretold now unfolding before them, Jesus takes a moment to be honest with his disciples. He tells them not to let their hearts be troubled, acknowledging the fear and anxiety he sees in them. Then, Jesus reassures them and acknowledges that life is filled with troubles. In the same conversation, in John chapter 16, verse 33, Jesus says, ‘I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace.’ I love that word.
You may have peace, harmony, tranquility, completeness, and contentment. How often do you turn on the news and feel contentment? Tranquility? At ease? See, Jesus says, ‘Listen, I’ve stopped and I’m looking you in the eyes to give you the message you need to know. In order for you to go through the things you’re about to face, you need to make sure that you do certain things. Trouble is inevitable, but it doesn’t have to overwhelm you. As a matter of fact, that’s why Jesus came, right? Jesus came to overcome that which overwhelms us. Jesus came to set us free from the things that have a grip on us, the things that cause us to fear, the things that cause us to doubt. And here in this passage, he tells them, ‘Listen, if you’re going to have the faith to go on, you need to have faith in a person, faith in a plan, and faith in a promise.’
Look at the first verse, he says, ‘Do not let your heart be troubled.’ In other words, don’t be overwhelmed by the events and circumstances of life. Believe in God, believe also in me. I love that. This is amazing when you think about it. Jesus says, ‘Believe in God, believe also in me.’ Now, if you talk to some scholars, they’ll tell you that what he’s saying here is that since you believe in God, you should also believe in me, which there’s some truth to that. But I think there’s more to it than that.
See, at the time, most of the people in Jesus’s time believed in God or gods. They believed that everything was under control, that everything was created by God or gods. They believed that there was something bigger and greater than themselves. And even today, according to statistics, 85% of the people we encounter believe that there is a God. And Jesus says, ‘Listen, it’s one thing to believe in God, the power that creates. And how can you not? Really, never take a moment just to sit back and take a look at creation. Have you ever stopped and looked at a flower? It’s amazing to me. I love going for walks, and I’ll see a flower, and I’ll just stop and gaze at it. It’s so beautiful, so intricate, so incredible the way the colors blend together, and it all works. Have you ever stopped and looked at a hummingbird as it hovers around a flower? Have you ever stood next to a waterfall or watched the sunset? I’ve been at the beach as the waves come crashing in.’
It’s so hard, almost impossible, to get to the place where you take a look at creation and you look at the ecology of it all and the way it all fits together, and if anything is just a little out, then it all disappears. God created that. Even the staunchest of atheists I’ve met would say, ‘Okay, okay, okay, something created it, but it’s not your something,’ right? So Jesus looks at them and he says, ‘You believe in God, but it’s one thing to believe in a God that creates. It’s another thing to believe in a God, to believe in him, because to believe in him is to believe in a God that loves you, a God that knows you, a God that cares about you.’ Probably the most famous verse most people know, 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.’ I’m certain that’s not the first time you’ve ever heard that, but in this context, it speaks volumes. You believe in God, believe also in me. God so loved the world, He so loved you, He knows you, that He sent His Son. That whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. There’s just something that’s right about this. This is an incredible picture. Jesus stepped into strong trouble. He steps into our trouble, not necessarily to save us from it, but to save us through it.
So here in this moment, Jesus stops with his disciples. He looks at them and he says, ‘You’re about to face trouble, but trust me, I am enough.’ I love the story of the little boy who was attending church, a little 9-year-old, and for, I don’t know, probably about a month or so, he had been trying to memorize scripture and memorize different verses and such as his parents were bragging on him and talking about, ‘Hey, little Johnny, he’s been memorizing scripture, and it’s just such an amazing thing, it’s so cool,’ and his pastor at one point said, ‘Oh wow, Johnny, that’s incredible. So you can memorize scriptures?’ ‘Yeah,’ he said. ‘I tell you what, next week I am going to preach on Psalm 23. Would it be possible for you to memorize Psalm 23?’ which would be a big ask, right? I mean, one week you’re gonna ask a kid to memorize Psalm 23, but he said yes. So Johnny went over to his parents, and he says, ‘Pastor asked me if I memorize Psalm 23,’ and they said, ‘Okay,’ and not wanting to be embarrassed, they took him home and they began right away. ‘We’ve got to get this thing down,’ and Johnny started learning it and started learning it and started learning it.
By Thursday, he had them all sitting down, brothers and sisters and everybody. He was reciting it. By Friday, they were all tired of it. Sunday came. It’s time for little Johnny to get up. I don’t know how many of you have ever had to get up in front and give any kind of speech, any kind of talk. This is hard. This is really, really hard. I mean, I’ve done this for 30 years. No matter what, I get nervous every single time that I have to get up and talk. So Johnny gets up in front of everybody and instead of just having his family there, he’s got this entire congregation there and before he gets ready to speak, the back door is open and all the kids, all of his friends who were in children’s church, they all filled out and sit on the front row because little kids want to see him do it as well. Johnny super nervous at this point. You know, you know. Psalm 23, it starts out, ‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.’ So Johnny gets up there and he stands and he’s fidgeting. He’s got everything. He says, ‘The Lord is my shepherd, He’s all I want.’ And the kids over here start laughing because they knew he messed up. He messed up. Johnny was so embarrassed he ran down the stairs. He buried his face into his mom’s lap, and he began to cry. His mom says, ‘What’s wrong? What’s wrong?’ He says, ‘I got it wrong, Mom, I got it wrong.’ ‘What do you mean you’ve got it wrong?’ ‘I said, ‘The Lord is my shepherd; He’s all I want.’ ‘Oh, no, honey, you got it. He’s all you need. He’s all you need. No matter what it is that you’re going through, He is enough.’
Those disciples over the next 24 hours needed to hear what Jesus had just said. ‘You believe in God, believe also in me. You believe in God; believe all. I am enough. No matter what you’re facing, I am enough.’ I love the old hymn. I don’t know if churches remember hymns any longer, but I love the old hymn ‘Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus,’ and that first verse that says, ‘Oh, soul, are you weary and troubled? No light in the darkness you see. There’s life for a look at the Savior, and life more abundant and free.’ If you want to make it through the things that you’re going through, you gotta have faith in a person, but you also gotta have faith in the plan. God’s at work. God’s doing things right. Look at verse two, look at what he says here. Verse two, he says, ‘For if I go and prepare a place —’ or no, no, ‘and in my Father’s house are many dwelling places. If it were not so, I would have told you. For I go to prepare a place for you.’ I love it. Listen, what Jesus said. Jesus is telling them, ‘Listen, I know that no matter how bad things get here, no matter how difficult things are getting here, I need you to know that I am going someplace else where I am going to at some point call you to, and I am preparing a great and phenomenal place for you. See, something happens in our minds, in our psyche when we know that whatever it is we’re going through, there is something better around the corner, right? All of you have been there. All of you have faced some difficult situation, but you knew.
24 hours of this, and then I’m around the corner, it’s fine. Two days of this, and I’m around the corner, and it’s fine. See, I believe that to be a follower of Jesus, to be a person who has placed your trust in Jesus, it is like being a person who is three days from a vacation. Have you ever been three days from vacation? What a glorious moment that is, right? Three days from a vacation, that is incredible. As a matter of fact, there was a study that came out just recently that said that the days leading up to vacation are actually better in anticipation than the vacation itself. But to be three days from a vacation is incredible. I mean, everything is set, you’ve got the reservations booked, you’ve got the tickets bought, you’ve got everything done. I mean, you’re packed. Well, I mean, if you’re my wife, you’re packed. If you’re me, it’s two hours before you leave. But you’re three days from a vacation? You’re not on vacation, you’re three days from a vacation. And you still gotta go to work. And you show up at work, and somebody comes in and says, ‘Oh man, it’s terrible. This is going on, this is happening.’ You’re going, ‘That’s OK, I’m three days from a vacation.’ ‘Oh, but someone so quit and they left, and we’ve got to do more work.’ ‘I’m three days from a vacation.’ ‘But the place burned down.’ ‘I’m three days from a vacation.’ See, to be a follower of Jesus is to be three days from a vacation. That’s exactly what he’s telling his disciples here. There’s a plan, my father is always at work. We see that in the story, right? Jesus shows up there just outside of Bethpage, and he tells the disciples, ‘I want you to go into the village, and I want you to look for this colt, just around the corner there. He’s tied up. If anybody asks you, tell them that the master has need. My father’s already taken care of it.’ ‘Lord, when are we going to have the Passover?’ ‘I want you to go on. I want you to go to this place. I want you to tell the owner of the house that the master’s coming. My father’s already taken care of it. My father has this. There’s a plan in motion. Things are OK.’ In the course of that hymn, it says, ‘Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace. I am going to prepare a place for you.’ How amazing must that place be? And when you look at creation, right, how amazing does that place have to be? R.G. Lee, a great pastor centuries ago, he was asked by a reporter, ‘So what’s heaven like, Mr. Lee?’ He said, ‘It is the most glorious, most beautiful place that the mind of God could conceive and that the hand of God could create.’ How amazing is that? I love the story of the little girl walking with her dad. It’s night, she looks up at the stars. We don’t get that very often in the Northwest. And she says, ‘Oh daddy, if the wrong side of heaven is so beautiful, what must the right side be like?’ ‘For I go to prepare a place for you,’ see, this was not spoken at a funeral. This was spoken in the chaos of uncertainty. Jesus looking at his disciples and saying, ‘It’s going to get hard, it’s gonna get confusing, and you’re gonna wonder what’s happening. But you need to know that I am going forward, and I will prepare a place for you. So how is it that we can make it through these situations? We have faith in our person and faith in a plan.
And then the third one, we’ve got to have faith in a promise. He says in verse three, ‘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. I will come and receive you unto myself.’ That’s the promise for every Christian, for every follower of Jesus, for everybody who has put their trust in Jesus. You don’t have to go through it alone. See, this isn’t just the end of life that he’s talking about. We know that because in Matthew chapter 28, when he gathers all of his disciples together and gives them the Great Commission, he says, ‘Go into all the world and make disciples.’ Right at the end of that verse in verse 20, he says, ‘And I am with you always, even to the ends of the earth.’ The writer of Hebrews quotes Jesus as saying, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ And the way it’s written in the original language is ‘I will never, never leave you nor will I ever, ever, ever forsake you.’
Back to the hymn. ‘Through death into life everlasting, He passed, and we followed Him there. Ours sin no more hath dominion, for more than conquerors are we.’ Love the way he ends this. Look at this. He says, ‘If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am, you may be also.’ And then he says, ‘You know the way where I am going.’ And Thomas wondered, the disciples said, ‘Lord, we don’t know where you’re going. How do we know the way?’ And Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me.’ Thomas A Kempis says this. He says, ‘Without the way, there is no going. Without the truth, there is no knowing, and without the life, there is no living.’
So how do we have the faith to go on? Faith in a person, faith in a plan, and faith in a promise. See, ultimately what Jesus is telling them is that, listen, no matter what you’re going through, and what you’re about to go through is going to get really difficult, but I am enough. Whatever you’re facing today, Jesus is enough.
Here’s what I want to do. Here’s how I want to close this. Here in a moment, the band’s going to come, and I’m going to pray, and I’m going to ask you to do something. But in preparation for that, I’m going to ask you to take out your bulletins. Everybody’s got a worship folder or something like that. And if you don’t have a worship folder, I noticed that in the first service, there were some people who didn’t have one and they weren’t able to participate.
So here’s what I want you to do. You can take anything if there’s. You can take a bulletin, you can take a piece of paper, take anything. And I want you to tear off a quarter of that, just a little piece of that. And then, would you just write either on your bulletin or on the sermon notes on the inside, there’s a place where it says sermon notes, but I just want you to write this. Would you just write ‘Jesus is enough’? Jesus, isn’t it? That’s it. You’re just going to acknowledge? Lord, I showed up for church today. God, you spoke to me and I know you are. Enough. Would you just acknowledge that? Jesus. Is enough. Again, if you don’t have a bulletin, just find something. Find an offering envelope, find something. Tear off a piece, Put ‘Jesus is enough.’ And then when the band comes, I’m gonna have you stand. And at that moment, I’m gonna ask you to come forward, and I’m gonna ask you just to lay it here on the old-fashioned altar. That’s all you’re gonna do. You’re just going to lay it down and say, ‘Jesus, you’re enough.’ For some of you, you’re going to come, and you’re going to kneel, and you’re going to need to pray. You’re going to need to say, ‘God, I know you’re enough, but I’m having a tough time believing you’re enough.’ For some of you, you can’t kneel. You just need to come and stand. But let’s acknowledge that Jesus is enough. Just place it on the altar. Will you do that? Let me pray for Heavenly Father, Thank you. Thank you, God, for today. Thank you, God, for your grace and your mercy and your salvation. And I pray that Lord Jesus, you will be with this moment, that this time, this is yours. I give this to you, and I ask that you will do what only you can do. God truthfully, I can speak and I can say things, usually not very well. But God, only you can touch a heart. And I pray that God, today would be the day that you would touch a heart, and that no matter what we’re going through, no matter how difficult life is, that people here would acknowledge that you are enough. Please God that they will lean into you. And that you will do what only you do and walk with them. So I give you this moment do with what you want, or I ask this in your precious name. Guys, if you do me a favor, would you just stand? It’s easier to move when we stand. It’s easier for people around you to move when you stand. And then as the song is sung here, what a beautiful song this is. I just invite you to come forward and lay down your sheet of paper. Pray, do work with God. I. Art. My way. What’s up? What? Never. You. Me too. Well. What? My soul. My see. Oh. Stop. Bye. No. Praise the Lord. Praise.