Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings: 2 Chronicles 21-22; John 14
“Don’t be troubled. Trust in God. Trust also in me. 2 My Father’s house has room to spare. If that weren’t the case, would I have told you that I’m going to prepare a place for you? 3 When I go to prepare a place for you, I will return and take you to be with me so that where I am you will be too. 4 You know the way to the place I’m going.”
5 Thomas asked, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going. How can we know the way?”
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you have really known me, you will also know the Father. From now on you know him and have seen him.” (John 14:1-7, Common English Bible).
When I served as pastor at First United Methodist Church in Grapeland Texas we built an entirely new facility. We moved the church building from one location about a mile away to a new location. We built a new place for the worship of God.
It would seem to e a reverse of the lesson for today. Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you.” Here we were, building a place for Him. As we were preparing for the building of the new facility, raising money, working out details, having parts of the building redrawn by the architect, I would sometimes think of David who wanted to build God a temple and God said no. Was God saying I wasn’t to build this building? There were days it certainly seemed that way. Even once we got started with construction there were times I thought we might not finish. When tropical storm Allison blew into East Texas and dumped water I felt pretty dejected. We had water in both the old and the new buildings.
Now, after several building projects (never to the extent as in Grapeland) in several churches, I have come to realize, it isn’t us building a place for God as much as God building a place for God. I know God is the one making everything possible.
Well before work ever started, we said we had to have half the required funds for whatever we built and we would borrow the remainder. The truth is, we didn’t have anything that actually belonged to us. It was all things God entrusted to us. The real question is, how much would we trust God to use all God had entrusted to us.
The biggest difference I see between us preparing a place for God and God preparing a place for us is one thing, What God uses to prepare a place for us actually belongs to God. From the money we gave (that already belonged to God), the materials we used (all made by God) and the labor from us and the contractors (God gave us the knowledge, the ability, and the energy to get it done) it was still only us being faithful to God and God’s call for our congregation.
What God builds for us, is all God. What this place is that God is preparing for us, I do not know. Nor do I know what it is made from or when it will be ready. What I do know is, God made the universe and all that is in it. God’s got the building materials already on hand. If God is going to give knowledge and energy to human contractors, I do believe God has what it takes to get the places for us prepared.
Where we should take comfort is, unlike our building in Grapeland that didn’t finish when we anticipated (not necessarily the contractor’s fault, he can’t control tropical storms), God will be ready with our place. Something tells me God doesn’t have to worry about a tropical storm getting in the way.
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
With Joy and Thankfulness,
Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All rights Reserved