Faithlife Sermons

Embracing God's Presence

John 14:22–24 (NCV)
22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you plan to show yourself to us and not to the rest of the world?” 23 Jesus answered, “If people love me, they will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Those who do not love me do not obey my teaching. This teaching that you hear is not really mine; it is from my Father, who sent me.
To embrace someone involves accepting and enjoying their presence. I want to help us all understand how we can embrace God’s presence in our lives.
Jesus is having his last in-depth conversation with his 11 disciples prior to his death. He’s been telling them that he is leaving, while also assuring them that they won’t be alone. He makes a statement about how he will disclose himself to his disciples. Judas (not Iscariot) hears that and wonders why he would not disclose himself and his messiahship to the entire world. It is in Jesus response to him that I want us to see what it means to Embrace God’s Presence in our lives.
We Love Jesus
This is now Jesus’ 4th time bringing up love for him. This time he applies it to “anyone”. The point that the’s driving and that I want us to understand, is that embracing God’s presence first depends IF someone really “LOVES JESUS”.
Application: You will only hug and kiss Jesus when he’s present in your life, if you really Love him. We all know right now, if we don’t love someone, we’re not going to truly embrace them being around. Love is a heart matter. Thus our love for Jesus begs the question, what is the treasure of our hearts. That’s why Jesus says, where your treasure is, that’s where your heart will be.
Illustration: Jessyca and I, when we see each other, we hug and kiss, because of our love, not to check a box.
We Obey Jesus’ Word
But Jesus doesn’t stop with that. Loving him is a conditional statement, following by a logical conclusion. In other words, I don’t need to reach to other texts to explain what he means by loving him, because he explains that loving him naturally implies that someone will keep, adhere, or stick to his word. His word is not solely his instructions, but includes all revelation through Jesus. Is Jesus saying one needs to perfectly obey every word he has spoken. No. But he is saying that one will keep it in view! One will take note!
Illustration: I remember taking the PE exam. We could take notes in. While taking the test, I kept my notes right by the booklet so that it was always in view and I could reference it for any and every problem.
Application: Jesus shows us here, our love for him is expressed in our life’s commitment to all he has spoken. I hang to his word. It lifts me, saves me, guides me, corrects me, etc.
We Receive his Father’s Love
Now if loving Jesus by keeping his work in view is intact, Jesus says his Father will respond by showering that person with his love. Jesus isn’t referring to God’s salvific love, expressed in sending Jesus, John 3:16. Rather his special relational love with his child.
Application: We don’t initiate this, it’s still his love for all sending Jesus that initiated it. But our response of loving his son, then ignites his love toward us as his children.
Illustration: I strive to love all of humanity. Even y’all kids. But Gabby is my child, and she has a special love. We used to hold our heads together, lean one way, then the other way, saying I love you each time.
We Prepare Room for Him and His Father
Jesus says that WE, he and his Father will come to the doors of ones heart and make a room to stay with that person. Which means the love for Jesus, by adherence to his word, has also prepared room for GOD in ones heart. Same word in verse 2, which are rooms in heaven to stay in. This is the other direction, where a room has been prepared in our heart for the Father and Son. How? Through the Holy Spirit, v. 16-17.
Illustration: My father told me and Jessyca in advance of his stay. Jessyca prepared our extra bedroom for his stay. Embracing his presence.
Application: We prepare for God’s permanent and eternal stay!! How much have you gotten into Jesus word. That will determine how much room we’ve made for him in and with us!!
Jesus then shows the opposite by just the first two. Because if one doesn’t love him, they’re not going to keep his word. He didn’t have to follow with the opposites to the others, it is implied. He thereby answer’s Judas’ question about the world.
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