Cover to Cover
This chapter is packed with revelation. Let’s look at some points:
· In verse 1, we read that Jesus said “Let not your heart be troubled.” Not only did Jesus express His desire for us to have peace; He also shows us that we have authority to decide what the heart will do.
· Verse 2 says, “In My Father’s house are many mansions. This means “dwelling places.”
· In verse 2, we also read part of Jesus’ purpose in leaving the earth – He’s going to prepare a place for us.
· In verse 3, Jesus tells us that He’s returning to come and get us, wanting to be with us. When you love someone, you want to be with them. Love does that.
· In verse 4 we she there is a way to know about that place. Not everyone has that knowledge. In verse 5, Thomas asks to know the way. In verse 6, Jesus says that He is the way. He is also the truth and the life. No one can go to the Father except through Him.
· If you are a parent, then you may understand how deeply the Father wants His children to come home. Jesus, loving the Father and us, deeply wants us to know and accept His salvation. We see their relationship in verses 7-11. Jesus came to Earth out of love.
· This love is seen in answered prayer. Our relationship with God through Christ is one of deep love. In verse 13, Jesus says, “Whatever you ask..” The word for ask in the original language means “ask, beg, crave, require.” Our need for Him is great, and Jesus promises to meet that need. Jesus also promises in verse 12 that greater works would happen at our hands, greater than His works. Why? Because Jesus will go away and send the Holy Spirit to us. It’s all part of God’s grand plan for the Gospel message of His love to spread around the world and through generations.
· Again, in verse 15, Jesus refers to a relationship built on love. This time He says if we reciprocate in love, then we will walk in His ways, surrender to His love.
· In verse 16, Jesus speaks of the Holy Spirit, in Greek parakletos, or “called to one’s side.” He’s a helper. This word also gives meaning for a stand by, a help ready in time of need. It also means an intercessor, someone who will help by bringing God’s provision to our need, bringing us together. It means an advocate, someone helping you by pleading your case. Also, the word comforter, someone helping us as He cares deeply for us. If you have a need or if you are leaning on the Lord for help in meeting someone else’s need, then FIRST, know you are deeply love. SECOND, spend time with the Lord, positioned in reliance and love. THIRD, lean in on the Holy Spirit as part of the Godhead, with confidence He has the Father’s heart for humankind.
· In verse 17, we read this Spirit of God is with us and in us. He is called the Spirit of Truth. He will never do anything outside of the Father’s best for us.
· In verse 18, Jesus promises He is not abandoning us like an orphan. He will return for us when the time comes.
· In verse 20, Jesus says that we are in Him and He is in us, a relationship where we are one. And because we are one with our Redeemer, and He is one with the Father; we too, can be one with God. Prayer, that time with God, can go to depths of love. It can seem almost overwhelming. There is no doubt He is real when you experience Him.
· In verse 21, we know that in this deep love is surrender, and in surrender, we find the desire to obey. We don’t want separation; we don’t want to jeopardize that nearness with our Father. We want to act on surrender and obey.
· In verse 22, in this surrender, Jesus says He will manifest Himself, or show Himself. Do you want to receive an answer to prayer? Soak in His love.
· In the context of love, Judas (not Iscariot), asks about how some will be able to know Him and others will not. In verse 23, Jesus says, “If ANYONE loves Me…” Miracles take place for the one who not only believes, but loves deeply. Again, He speaks of the Father’s love – Jesus loving us so we can also know His Father’s love. He says WE will come to him and make our HOME with Him. The Father and the Son and the Spirit and us… one in covenant, one in relationship; and not just any relationship. This relationship is one built on tremendous love.
· In verse 26, we read that the Holy Spirit will teach us all things. Some things we will learn as we read the Bible and the Spirit reveals spiritual truth. Some things we will learn as we experience them, guided by the Holy Spirit. He will lead us back to the things Jesus said, given us understanding.
· In verse 27, Jesus says He leaves peace with us, saying, “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
· The Holy Spirit dwells in our hearts. Jesus is at the righthand of the Father. However, for those who can understand, Jesus and the Father are with us through the Spirit in a union together with us.
· When we understand this union and this deep love, our faith will rise and we will stand up for Him with signs and wonders following.
2 Chronicles 13-16
Chapters 13-16 record the reigns of King Abijah and King Asa.
In chapter 13, verse 5, we read about a covenant of salt between God and David. Salt is a preservative, causing food to last longer; thus, salt symbolized longevity and loyalty. Salt was used as part of a ceremony or ritual to ratify a treaty.
Abijah, son of Rehoboam, son of Solomon, confronts Jeroboam of the northern tribes. Jeroboam had rejected the priests and Levites, as he rejected God, ruling in self-sufficiency. Abijah, on the other hand, rules from God-sufficiency, citing the salt covenant. He also says in verse 10, “But as for us, the LORD is our God, and we have not forsaken Him.
I observe people, and one thing I have learned over the years is that many believe, but less surrender and obey. I’m not being judgmental, only observant – some just do what they want to do when they want to do it and how they want to do it. On the other hand, there are others who seem more hungry for God, readying and applying the Bible to their lives with continual prayer and fasting, participating regularly in church services and events, and returning God’s tithe before using income for any personal use. God is first in their lives. They aren’t perfect, but they are surrendered and seeking to please the Father. Well, we all need God’s mercy and grace. It is up to God how He responds to each one.
I will go a step further to say that some will perform the works of God, but in a self-sufficient manner. They often resist the mercy of God for themselves and others, and usually they do so unknowingly.
In verse 12, King Abijah, King David’s great-grandson, says, “God Himself is with us as our head (or our authority.” The King it a matter of submission to God, putting action to their surrender with morning and evening offerings.
Also in verse 12, King Abijah says to fight the southern tribes, as submitted to God, would be trying to fight God Himself. This is a spiritual principle for us as well. When we are positioned in a faith that surrenders and obeys, whatever tries to attack God is going to pick a fight with God. He will fight on our behalf. Whatever weapon is formed against us – heartache, distractions, sickness, poverty, depression, anxiety, slander, abandonment, betrayal, or even a violent act, it will not prosper!
In verse 15, Judah was surrendered by a surprise attack. Do you know who wasn’t surprised? God! They people responded in this way: they cried out to God for help. Their initial response was not to react and fight; it was to humble themselves and put their trust in God. What happened? GOD HIMSELF struck Jeroboam. Is there something or someone attacking you? Call on God. Praise Him. Nothing can stand against Him.
In verse 18, Judah got the victory “because they relied on the LORD God of their fathers.”
Almost always, as the king led, the people followed. When the king led the people to worship God, the people worshipped God. When a king led the people to idol worship, the people followed and worshipped idols.
Surrender. Obey. Call on God. This is real faith. And as Jesus often said, “Be it unto you according to your faith.”