Happy Friday, friend! Make sure you have a good plan for when you will meet with the Lord on Saturday and Sunday and have a lovely weekend. Watch for a video, again, on Sunday getting us ready for the week ahead as we dive into John's letters in depth. I love studying with you!
When my daughters went off to college, I was filled with a desire to tell them many, many things. I realized my time with them at home was almost over, and there were so many pieces of advice and wisdom that I wanted to pour into them before they were on their own in a college dorm. So, when I read John 14-17, I identify with Jesus, who has just washed His disciples' feet and is just about to be arrested and then crucified, and who has a few more things to tell them. John sat right next to Jesus as He taught at that Last Supper. He remembered. Perhaps he even took notes?! In any case, these words we are going to read the next three days are Jesus' last words to his disciples. They matter. They are important and they speak to us as well.
Today, we start this discourse with a wonderful assurance that a place is being prepared for us in Heaven. Have you ever anticipated a guest coming to stay, puttering around your house, straightening things and making the guest room all pretty and comfortable? Our daughters and their families live far away from New Hampshire, so when they plan a visit to us my excitement is HIGH! I buy little presents to put on each grandchild's bed. I put fresh water on the nightstand by my daughter and husband's bed and write a Welcome note to them with a little bag of goodies as well. I straighten pillows and wash sheets and imagine with JOY that soon these beds will be filled with some of my very favorite folk. I love it when my kids come home!!
I imagine that's how Jesus is feeling. He's looking beyond the cross and resurrection, perhaps longing to go home to Heaven Himself, and all excited about getting it ready ... for us. Isn't that astounding? He's preparing a special place for you. For me. For John and the disciples. And it's going to be marvelous beyond all imaginings! I love that Jesus' wants us to know this fact and that He is clear that the way to Heaven is through Him, the Way, the Truth, and the Life!
I also love Jesus' emphasis on love. If we love God, we will obey Him. And our reward is to be with the One who pours out love on us. Jesus wants us to experience the joys of Heaven and the joy of being deeply loved by our Creator, the triune God! I love being loved by the Lord. I love anticipating "my place" in Heaven with Him!
My verse: John 14:21 "Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them."
My response: If we love You, Lord, we'll want to please You; it will be our joy to obey You, and the result of that is also love! A love that flows within us and to us, as you reveal Yourself! It's all interrelated. Help me to love You more and more!