Wednesday – March 9, 2016
Day 29 – John 14:1-14
Focus: v. 6
“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.”
At 7,242 feet, Harney Peak is the highest point in the Black Hills and west of the Rocky Mountains. It is located just north of Custer, where I lived for 12 years, and there is a stunning view at the top. On a clear day you can see four different states – South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska and Montana. After hiking to the top I can tell you that the best way to approach is the shortest and widest trail that leaves from Sylvan Lake. That trail will meander 3.5 miles through the trees as it climbs over 1000 feet to the top. Why is this the best way? Because it’s the shortest! I’m way too fat to hike any further. There are other paths to start from if you want to get to Harney Peak. You could even go off the path – though I wouldn’t recommend it. The other paths get progressively longer and harder but they are every bit as beautiful.
Our scripture for today is one most people have heard at one time or another. In fact, it shows up at funerals a lot as it talks about Heaven and Jesus’ promise to come back and take us there. “In my Father’s house are many rooms. . . . I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” It’s a beautiful promise of a home in Heaven. It’s the place where everyone wants to go when they die and if they could get a little of it on earth? Well, that would be nice, too.
Everyone wants to go to Heaven. There is a problem, though. Jesus is the only way there. You can’t earn your way to Heaven by being a nice person and doing a lot of good deeds. You can’t get there just because you want to get there. You can’t get there by the power of Buddha, Allah or any of the thousands of Hindu gods. Jesus is the only way. If you want to get to Harney Peak you are welcome to take any way you wish. A trail, a helicopter, a steep climb, a large cannon . . . whatever you like. Heaven, on the other hand, has only one way in – Jesus.
The way of Jesus is all about Grace. You can’t get there on your own goodness, only on the goodness of Jesus. I’ve run into Christians who don’t seem to get this whole Grace thing. They are busy doing all they can to earn their way to Heaven. They lack assurance in their heart and they hope that, if they are just good enough, God will let them in. Is this you? Christian or not, is this you? Are you just hoping to be good enough for God? Hey, doing good deeds and being a good person are great goals in life. Have at it! But don’t think for a minute that you could ever be good enough to match up to God’s standard of holiness. Don’t kid yourself – you need Jesus. It is His sacrifice that will get you in. That’s Grace. That’s the One Way to Heaven. That’s Jesus.
Prayer Focus: Dear Jesus, thank you for dying for me. Thank you for Your Grace in my life. Help me to live Your way, in Your power because of Your love for me. Help me to love you with all of my heart, mind, soul and strength. Thank you for Your promise of Heaven. Amen.