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The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie http://www.harvest.org/devotional
Written by Keith Haney for “THE LIGHT BREAKS THROUGH” @ https://alightbreaksthrough.org
It has been five years since I got the phone call that my mom passed away. That event set into motion months of depression and guilt. You wouldn’t think death could shake a pastor’s faith, but this one did. I struggled with not being there for her, not having one last conversation, nor being able to save her. One day, as I was driving on the expressway in Chicago God, grabbed me by the heart and yelled at me the words of a David Crowder song.
He is jealous for me.
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree.
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory.
And I realize just how beautiful You are.
And how great Your affections are for me.
And oh, how He loves us, oh.
Oh, how He loves us.
How He loves us all.
At that moment God reminded me, a sinner, a saint, a pastor, that He loves me. And He loved my mom. While I couldn’t be there for her, he never left her. It was the message Jesus was communicating to the disciples in John 14.
Death creates Separation and Loneliness.
I have done many funeral services, but after my mother’s death, I truly understood grief. Her death made me a better pastor, a better comforter for the grieving. What I learned is that separation naturally raises a sense of loneliness. This opened a door too many questions that flooded the mind. It forced me deeper into Scripture to find hope and comfort for my troubled soul. We are living in a season of death and many of those who are left behind are struggling with questions, doubt, and uncertainty.
People experiencing the loss of a loved one often have difficulty integrating their state of loss with their questioning sense of what comes next. The words of Jesus were intended to calm their anxieties and ours. Jesus answers the ultimate question on our grieving hearts. What happens to our loved ones? And how can I have peace with this separation?
The Circle of Life.
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Jesus lays out the last chapter of life in two phases in John 14. This is probably a verse you will hear most often in many Christian funerals. In John, Jesus speaks words to calm our anxious souls.
Preparation for the ultimate reality (14:1–3).
Jesus begins by preparing us for the reality of death. Someone once said in life there are only two certainties, death and taxes. Both hurt and are painful. Jesus tells his disciples,
“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.” John 14:1-3
We in the western world get too preoccupied with the mansion idea of heaven. The poet Robert Frost said that home is the place that, when you arrive there, they have to take you in. A good definition!
The Greek word mone is translated “mansions” in John 14:2 and “abode” in John 14:23. Is often should be translated as “rooms, abiding places.” Jesus Christ is now preparing a place for all believers to be in His presence. All those loved ones we are separated from are abiding in the presence of the one who laid down His life for them. That comforts me.
1. Perplexing questions the Journey. (14:4–11).
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Like Thomas, knowing we will die is not enough. We want to know more details about the destination. Jesus provides Thomas and us with the answer.
“And you know the way to where I am going.’ Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.’” John 14:4-7
I have learned over the last several years to rely heavily on my GPS (Global Positioning System) for direction. It makes my journey less stressful even when I am traveling to unknown cities. The only problem arises when the satellite feed is spotty and reliable. Our life’s journey is less troubling when we are sure of the ultimate destination. Dr. James M. Gray put it beautifully in a song he wrote years ago: “Who could mind the journey when the road leads home?”
What God gave me in the car that day at 70 miles an hour was an assurance of my mom’s heavenly home. He also reminded me that as my life ends what awaits me is a joyful reunion. If you are struggling with grief and questions in this season of death and separation, may you hear the words of Jesus again.
“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.”  John 14:1-3
P.S. (from bruce) When there is no other place to turn…turn to God !! If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ?? Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ… https://godsmanforever.com
To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…
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