“NOT HOME YET”
Narrate story on coming home “down stairs on a plane” from Philadelphia to L.A.
Narrate recent trip events to Zambia
Preparation- fell ill before leaving, had to get anti malaria drugs, bugs spray
Length of trip from Detroit to Lusaka, and then Copper belt to Mansa
At the end of the day you spend about 27 hours traveling.
**Funeral at the border between Zambia and Congo
Farewell to my father- if we never meet again, I will meet you on that
Home will never be as I used to know it!
Today’s scripture reading
John 14: 1- 3 1. “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God
and also in me. 2. In my father’s house are many
mansions; if it were not so I would have told you, I
go to prepare a place for you. 3. And if I go to
prepare a place for you, I will come again and
receive you to myself: that where I am, there you
may be also”.
Where is Home and is it really home??
Talk about the Clichés: - “Home is where the heart is”
- “Home is where the family is”
- “Home is where you hang your hat”
- “Home is where mom is”
- “Home is where your Wi-Fi connects automatically”
- “Home is where I am with you” – YOU who is Jesus
- I like to think of it as “Home is yet to come” but it will be “where ever my Lord is”!
In Hebrews 13: 14 it says “For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come”
Paul writes in Philippians 3: 20-21 “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await our Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who by the power that enables Him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body”.
Knowing that this is not home keeps me on guard “not to become attached to earthly things” and to remember that we are here only for a little while.
- In a little while we will be going home!!
Paul writes again in 2 Corinthians 4: 7 – 18. Regarding remaining steadfast despite circumstances, to focus on what is eternal and not temporal. Read from the Bible
Go back to text and go over the entire John chapter 14–Christ prepares his disciples
for his death and departure
from the earth.
-Life as they had come to know
it, was coming to an end.
Let’s ponder on this for a minute!
1. They left their families, -for years which they spent with the savior
2. They were hated by those who hated Jesus
3. For three years they had “no fixed abode”
4. They had given up their careers and life as they had known it before meeting Jesus
Yet now here He was saying goodbye!
He however promises them “a Comforter” (the Holy Spirit) who would teach them or help them understand all Christ had taught them or said to them. The Comforter will be with them always through thick and thin and “will bring to your remembrance all things I have said to you” (Verse 26).
Reminds me of how patients cannot hear you when they are in a crises!
Jesus sensing their fear and anxieties He promises not to leave them as orphans, but says that He will come to them, (verse 18). In verse 27 He continues and says; “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give you; not as the world gives do I give you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid”
Jesus, would not leave them hanging as some earthly human being would do and can do.
***We are living in times when uncertainty is rampant and has become part of our daily lives. There are rumors of war, and yes there is war, nation against nation, tribes against tribes. Fear is rampant and it is now more than ever that we must cling to God’s promises. Jesus however, being realistic warned the disciples in Matthew 15: 18, that “if the world hates you it hated me first” and in verse 20 he says, “If they persecuted me they will persecute you also”
John Chapter 16 verse 1 – 4, He warns them of what is to come…. Oh what a way to say goodbye!
1-“All this I have told you so that you will not go astray. 2-They will put you out of the synagogues; in fact a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God. 3-They will do such things because they have not known the father or me. 4- I have told you this, so that when the time comes you will remember that I warned you. I did not tell you this at first because I was with you.
This not only applies to the disciples but to us as well. He warns us of the hard times ahead of us so we do not get surprised and become weary because He promises to send us the Comforter. I pray every day that I do not get too comfortable with the comforts of this world (whatever those may be) that I lose focus of my destination, which is Heaven!
I always think of Corrie Ten Boom (who was born in the Netherlands), whom together with her family helped hide Jews from the Nazi’s in World War II, and after reading her book “The Hiding Place” as a teenager and young Adventist, I made it a habit to memorize scripture in preparation for a time when we would not have access to the Bible. The goal was to imprint God’s word in my heart so I can dwell on it and be close to my Savior.
***Talk about the lack of hymnals back home and how we memorized hymns and would sing on end without a hymnal.
***Talk about grandmother’s method of prayer towards the end of her life. She would pray before her feet hit the floor every morning and could only sing her prayers towards the end.
Oh my dear brethren, “we are not home yet”
In chapter 16 Jesus concluded with a declaration in verse 33: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world”!
How could he say that and then have his pale, abused body hung on an executioner’s cross the next day? The disciples’ emotions and faith rose and plummeted in one unforgettable day. However, Christ had predicted this, likening it to the pain and spasms of childbirth before great joy breaks (John 16:21-22)
Imagine the emotions of the ones being persecuted today who have not seen Jesus yet? “It is easy to praise God when things are going well, but you have to be a great soldier of God to be able to Praise Him when all hell is breaking loose”!
“You cannot get to the Promised Land without going through the wilderness”!
“You cannot testify without going through a test”
Tell story of the Lebanese family who came to Bethel SDA Church now are members of the Lansing church.
Take heart, He overcame at Golgotha!
Promises to claim when in need/trouble
Isaiah 40:31 - But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Psalm 27:14 – Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.
Psalm 46:1, 2 – God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear, even if earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea.
Romans 8:35, 37 – Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger . . . . No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
Hebrews 10:23 – Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
2 Corinthians 12:9 – And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Numbers 23:19 – God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?
Beloved, I leave you with this:
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17King James Version (KJV)
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
In Revelation 21:1-5 says; John the revelator tells about a New Jerusalem, “my home”
Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
Lift up the trumpet and loud let it ring…Jesus is coming again!! He says in Revelation 22: 12 “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me and I will give each one according to what he has done!
Even so, Lord Jesus come!