“Don’t let this throw you. You trust God, don’t you? Trust Me. There is plenty of room for you in My Father’s home. If that weren’t so, would I have told you that I’m on My way to get a room ready for you? And if I’m on My way to get your room ready, I’ll come back and get you so you can live where I live. And you already know the road I’m taking.” John 14:1-4 MSG
Well, well, well. What have we here? A promise from Jesus as He was preparing His disciples for His departure and ultimate return. This passage of scripture is commonly read at funerals, but I’m sure that wasn’t Jesus’ idea of a funeral sermon. He was actually reminding His disciples that this world is not our home. He was saying in essence, “ don’t become too attached to this world, it’s a temporary place for those of us who believe in God and His Son.
I do believe that Covid has demonstrated to us that Jesus’ words have not been heeded. I told my daughter last evening that the reason so many Christians and people in general fear this disease so much, is because they have become too comfortable in this world. I do expect the world to respond in this way, but the body of Christ? What has happened to being in the world but not of it?
“Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from Him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out—but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity.” 1 John 2:15-17 MSG
We’ve allowed ourselves to be squeezed into the world’s mold. We’ve lived so much in the here and now, that we’ve forgotten that we need to die both spiritually and naturally to enjoy the promises of Christ. We have lost sight of what makes us citizens of heaven. We’re here on assignment. We’re not here to set up permanent residence. Ambassadors aren’t in their host nations forever. We serve at the behest of the One who called us to serve, and can be summoned at anytime to come home. If you become too attached we lose our relevance.
Re-read verses one and two again. The key words are; let not, believe and if it were not so. He asks, “ would I lie to you?” Our responsibility is to live ready to go. We don’t control when, we do control the how. Meaning, we determine whether we’re ready or not. Ready to be with Him when the call comes. So my question is, as temporary residents here, why are you so afraid to leave? This satanic fear that has gripped so many hearts, has turned friends and families into enemies. I’ve watched great relationships dissolve into, folded arms, to prevent, God forbid, being hugged or touched. The only six feet I had become familiar with was the depth of the grave. Now it’s been used to stoke fear.
In the book of Hebrews we read these comforting words:
“Since the children are made of flesh and blood, it’s logical that the Savior took on flesh and blood in order to rescue them by His death. By embracing death, taking it into Himself, He destroyed the Devil’s hold on death and freed all who cower through life, scared to death of death.” Hebrews 2:14-15 MSG
Did you catch that? Jesus destroyed the fear of death, freeing all who cower through life “scared to death of death” Wow! My friends, we’re right back there.
Fearing what we were delivered from. We have allowed the fear of dying to cripple the church of Jesus Christ. Shame on us! What have we been telling the unbelievers all our christian lives? That’s why Jesus rightly said, we’re all talk, but our hearts are removed from Him. We tell people to trust in Jesus, but we don’t, we tell them that He’s the healer, while we tremble at diseases. We tell them He raises the dead, yet we fear death. Shame on us! The Bible says everything that has a name has to bow to the Name of Jesus. Therefore, sickness and disease must bow to His Name! Our problem is we’re all talk and no action to our faith.
I’ll quote the most hated man in America. He said this to pastors who met with him. “You’re soft” he said “look at everything that has been happening to Christians.” He was basically saying, “you have no power. Your influence is gone.” He was right then, and he’s still right. We have blended in so well that we’re impossible to spot. And we don’t even need to be in a crowd. Covid has further exposed the church’s hypocrisy. We don’t even need to be ordered to close our doors, some have volunteered. Where’s the proof that God is our refuge and strength? Where’s the proof that He will remove sickness and diseases from us? Where’s the proof that He’s our Healer? Where’s the proof???
We’re too busy trying to stay alive! Too busy trying to hold on to what is temporary. Too ashamed to stand up for what we say we believe, we live in the just- in-case mindsets. God help us all! If I perish I perish, but I choose to believe the Word of God! Do I have any in the audience who will choose to believe? Hebrews 11:1 and 11:6 will be my close out scriptures. I pray you’ll revisit them and examine how you’ve been living in the world of Covid-19.
“The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.” Hebrews 11:1-2
It’s impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that He exists and that He cares enough to respond to those who seek Him.” Hebrews 11:5-6 MSG
It’s time to pray…..go ahead, only you know what you need to say to God the Father in this critical moment of your life. He’s given me a promise and I’m holding to it.
“I AM leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27 NLT
Written by permission of the Holy Spirit