“If you loved Me, you would be glad that I am going to My Father.”
~John 14:28, REB
Love is not affectionate feelings but a steady wish for the loved person’s ultimate good.
~C. S. Lewis
When we read the passion narrative, we see the weakness and failure of the disciples. Their ignorance is glaring: none of them understood what was going on. When Jesus talked about His death, they were depressed. In those last few days before His crucifixion, all the disciples were in a grief mode; their hearts were troubled and they were very afraid of what might happen. Every time Jesus mentioned going away, they dropped their heads in sadness. Looking back, we see clearly our own sin and weakness in these eleven disciples. Their love for Jesus was imperfect. Jesus said, “If you loved me, you would be celebrating my home going.” Jesus was about to make His exit; He was very close to seeing this sin cursed world in the rear view mirror. He is leaving a world that hates Him and going to a heaven that adores Him. He is leaving a world of shame and suffering and going to a world of wondrous glory. So why could they not be happy for Jesus?
Their love was an immature need love. The eleven were just like Jack, they were preoccupied with thoughts about their own personal welfare and future. They needed Jesus. He was their security blanket. With Jesus around, there was nothing to fear, not even death. Jesus could walk on water or turn it to wine. He could feed a multitude with a small lunch. The disciples had come to depend upon Him for everything even direction. They didn’t have to make hard decisions, all they had to do was follow Jesus who made decisions for them. Obviously they could not celebrate His home going. Is it possible to reach a place where we love Jesus for Jesus sake? Let’s tinker with what Job said, “Even if Jesus doesn’t come through for me, yet I will love Him.”
Do I wish the incarnate Jesus was with us today? Sure I do: it would simplify a lot of things. Would I if I had the power, recall HIM from heaven to come here and suffer again? As sorry as I am, I couldn’t do it. He has suffered for too much for sinners like me already. Think about it folks: how much does this selfish need love affect our lives? My first answer would be “A lot” and my second would be “More than we can imagine.” Our selfishness hinders our prayers, our praise, our worship, our ministry, our witness and on and on. How many times do we fail to praise HIM because we don’t feel like it? What’s that about? It is not about HIM, is it?
A lot of extra today: First, if you are interested in going to Atlanta and packing shoe boxes for OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD, we have 15 spots open but I need to fill them this week if possible. I think the date is December 13, a Friday.
Julie Ingolf spoke to our folks at GRACE POINT last night and she mentioned something that I never crossed my mind. Some fifteen years or so ago, I was with some bible translators in Atlanta: I overheard them talking about how computer’s had changed bible translation. Once the language is broken down, they can translate a bible in no time via the computer. That was encouraging to me but something greater than a computer has become available and I am speaking of the SMART PHONE. Julie works in a restricted country in central Asia, a country in which nomadic tribes still exist. These people live in a tent/house. These shelters are round with a dome roof but they can be taken down and moved in no time. Julie said, “These people have smart phones.” We recently saw the same thing in Guatemala. I personally saw a woman walk out of a lean to shelter in Guatemala with a cell phone in her hand.
What is the point? These SMART PHONES have bible apps. These folks can down load the bible. They can hear the gospel presented on YouTube. Via the Smart Phone, they have access to valuable information, even to the TRUTH that can set them free. Think about folks, God may very well use the internet and smart phones to get the gospel to the world.
Last Sunday night at Trunk-A-Trail; we used a YouTube gospel presentation that was in cartoon form. It was called “Mr. Nice Guy,” and we showed it nine times. I am convinced that this is what our teams need to take on Mission trips. If we had Mr. Nice Guy in Spanish, we could share it on our Smart Phones. Takes less than 5 minutes. Someone needs to work on this before our next trip.
Had a moving experience yesterday at Summerford’s. I visited an old preacher friend and his wife: they are 87 and he is bed fast. I visited him 2 weeks ago and he didn’t know me and that upset me but yesterday, as I was talking to his wife, he said, “Jack, is that you.” I spoke with him and before I left I laid hands on he and his wife [both in the same room]. As I began to pray, he began to weep and he continued to cry out in the duration of my prayer. I got to praying about heaven. I think we were all moved. I don’t pray for all our Senior Adults everyday unless they are in the nursing home. I do pray for Lou every day and I am going to pray for my preacher friend from now on.
CANDY LAND went great at GRACE POINT. I don’t know who enjoyed it the most, children or adults. Belinda Childers is a crackerjack: she is tops. She and her team did a great job.
Every president since William Taft in 1910 has thrown out a ceremonial first pitch at the World Series during their time in office. June and I heard last night that Trump was not invited by the Nationals: this is not exactly correct. The Astro’s had the opener and they didn’t invite him either. No team has allowed him to throw out the first pitch since he has been in office. What a shame. Now I am through with major league baseball.