Home     John    

JOHN 14:1-4

Pastor Stephen Muncherian
November 18, 2004

My memories of _____ are from the last two years - since Karen and I have come to the Evangelical Free Church here in Merced.  _____ and I would get together - either at his house - or mostly at Paul’s.  _____ liked to eat at Paul’s.  I got to listen to his stories.  Stories that many of you had the privilege of living first hand with _____ - stories that I’ve been able to vicariously enjoy.

_____ had an amazing life.  Listening to you all share - that’s obvious.

Sometimes - as we were talking - _____ would say to me,
“Pastor you’re an educated man and I’m not.”  Then he proceed to lay out some incredibly well thought through practical perspective on life.  Despite what _____ may have thought about himself I think _____ was a very educated man.

As I was thinking about _____ I was reminded of Moses.  Do you remember when Moses was out in the fields - shepherding his father-in-law’s flocks - and he comes across this burning bush.  The bush is burning but not burning up.  God is there and God says to Moses,
“I’m going to send you to Pharaoh so that you can bring my people out of Egypt.”

Remember Moses’ response? 
“Who me?”  “Who am I?”  Moses goes down this list of excuses - why God’s plan won’t work:  “I don’t know what to say and even if I did know I can’t talk so good and they won’t listen to me any way.” 

God patiently reminds Moses that its not Moses that’s going to do this.  It’s God. 
“I’m going to send you…  Trust Me.” (Exodus 3:1-4:23)

_____ may not have felt that he was all that educated.  But, he learned how to trust God.  God led him to a life of great significance and honor and to effectively serve God in a tremendous number of ways - in prison ministry and with the Gideons and in our church - and in the community in ways that encouraged others to grow closer to Jesus.  Each of us is here because of _____’s impact on our lives.

I wanted to share one thought of encouragement with you this afternoon - thinking about _____ and what it means to trust God.

When we honor the life and death of someone we care about we
re reminded that we, too, will die.  Death is a harsh reality of life.  Some people try to avoid thinking about death.  But its a reality that we need to deal with.

here’s something mysterious - something uncomfortable about death.  Is there an eternity?  What will it be like?  How do we enter into eternity?  All of us struggle with the separation and the questions that death brings us face-to-face with - our own mortality and our need to trust God.

Jesus speaking about Himself
- Jesus said this - John 14:1-4:  Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.  In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.  And you know the way where I am going. 

he Bible speaks with the authority of God.  Jesus - who is God - in John 14:1-4 - speaks with the authority of the only one who has triumphed over death.  Jesus was born in a manger, lived in this world of struggles and pain, death and questions, died on a cross, was buried, and is resurrected from death, dwelling in Heaven, and is returning.  This resurrected Jesus says that He has gone to prepare our place in Heaven. 

This is the hope and faith that we share as Christians.
  The faith that _____ lived by - and in his last days - as he passed into death - _____ held onto that faith.  That through Jesus - death becomes the beginning of eternity with God.  Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God; trust also in Me.”

s a dwelling place in Heaven for _____ - with Jesus - with _____ -  for each one of us who will trust in Jesus as our Savior.  We don’t get there because we’re educated enough - or good enough - or do all the right things working hard at serving God.

Ephesians 2:8,9 say this: 
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves - God’s grace - life with God is not something we earn - it is the gift of God; not as a result of works - anything that we might do - so that no one may boast.” - “I earned my relationship with God.  I deserve eternity with Him.” 

’re sinners in need of a Savior - separated from God - facing eternal separation from God - and nothing we can do will ever change that.  And Jesus says, “Trust God, trust Me”  Hes God’s answer to our sin and separation.  He’s God’s answer to what comes next.  All of us need to come to the point in our life when we admit our sin - our need for Jesus as our Savior - and trust God with our lives.

had come to that point of trust - of accepting his need for Jesus as his Savior and placing his life in God’s hands.

Jesus said,
“I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies.” (John 11:25)

Today - even in the reality of death - we share this hope.  God loves us - He is with us
- with _____ - and _____ - and He will be with us.

I can't help but think that if _____ was here speaking instead of me he would say something like: 
"You need to trust in Jesus as your Savior.  And if you do know Jesus as your Savior, you need to share Him with someone else."


Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New American Standard Bible®, © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by the Lockman Foundation.  Used by permission.