(GLC Africa and French Caribbean World Sector Forum, 1 August 2015)
Brothers and sisters it is great to be with you.
I’m excited to share with you about the topic that truly I believe is one of the key things of Jesus that was one of the most powerful, the most controversial: the fact that he said that he is the way the truth and the life. Truly it has been a privilege to oversee the work in Africa and Haiti. I’m so grateful for couples like Blaise and Patricia Feumba and Chris and Sonja Chloepek – incredible hearts to have the similar dream for the Lord.
Please turn to John 14. At this point we see Jesus with his disciples at the Last Supper explaining to them that they must love one another, serve one another as he was preparing to die for them and return to the Father. At this point Judas had left to betray him. At this point Peter was deceived that he would not deny him. But lets look what Jesus has to say at this time.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 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. 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. You know the way to the place where I am going.”
Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Very interesting – remember this is the last supper, Judas has already left to go and to betray him and Peter is still thinking he is going to stay by him all the way even though we know he is going to deny him. All this crazy stuff is happening and what does Jesus do? Jesus comforts the disciples. You would think that he is the one that needs to be comforted. Instead he is the one comforting them. It is interesting here that he understands that at this point he is about to become an absentee savior. He knows he’s about to go. He knows: I’m gonna leave you guys. “So you know what because I’m about to leave you I want to comfort you.”
I looked at this and I realized Jesus was really trying to remind them to stay faithful, to stay close to the Lord. As a man that is preparing to take my family, my wife and my two little kids – Isaiah, two years old and Naomi four years old – I am about to take my family to the continent of Africa. A land of 1.1 billion people. A land of 54 countries. We are leaving everything behind – our friends behind. Leaving our families behind. Going into an unknown world with unforeseen trials ahead. As I read this scripture I took comfort because Jesus admonished us to stay faithful and close to God.
I think for us – we’ve got to continue to trust even when we feel alone. Have you ever been on a mission team where you have left your family and friends behind? But when you’re all alone – that’s who you are. When you’re all alone its just you guys. Its you and God and a lost world. So even when we’re all alone – when we feel that there’s nothing familiar around us we got to remember that God loves us so much and he has prepared a place so that we can get there and that we can bring as many friends as possible to get there as well.
So I have three points for you today.
IN ORDER TO TRULY STAY FAITHFUL WE GOT TO:
- Trust in Gods presence (That he is always there – even when you feel alone – God still wants to comfort you.)
- Trust in Gods promises (He has prepared a place for us – that we are not just fulfilling a duty living the Christian life – God actually wants to reward you and reward others that have been living a life that is faithful.)
- Trust in Gods plan (Sometimes you have your plan and you think your plan is going to work – your plan is going to be awesome. But then you find out Gods plan was not exactly your plan. One of my favorite scriptures is Proverbs 16:9 In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.)