Is your GPS on?
John 14:1- 6
14 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God[a]; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Has anyone ever been lost before? You were going on a trip and took a wrong turn somewhere along the way and ended up in the middle of nowhere. I am sure that many of us have ended up on a dark dirt road just praying that we would not run out of gas because we were in no mans land! I know I have been there before. I just knew that I was going the right way and ended up lost. Many years ago on the way home to Pittsburgh we had to pick up my nephew from California University of Pennsylvania…
I think it was last month, me and Noah were watching an episode of the Wonder Years…
But people do not like to admit that they are lost, especially men. Whether it is on a real road or on the road of life. We will just continue on the wrong road or path acting as if we are going the right way. Someone will ask, are you lost?
No, I’m not lost.
I’m just taking a short cut.
This is a scenic route!
I wanted to try a different way!
I just want to drive and see where the road take me.
We studied this month how over 2000 years ago the wise men came looking for Jesus. They did not get lost. They followed the North Star to find Jesus and worship him. They presented him with gold, frankincense, and myrrh because he is the king of kings, the great high priest, and the savior of the world.
But with today’s technology it is very hard to get lost. There is a device call a GPS that can keep you on track. GPS, stands for global positioning system, and has become extremely popular as a personal navigation system. Elements used to create the GPS were developed as early as 1959, but it would be several decades before the technology was fully operational. Today, GPS units are readily available and affordable to the public. Although it was developed for military purposes, civilians can also enjoy GPS technology. A number of companies produce GPS units for the public, and a number of cars, boats, and other vehicles are equipped with them. Today most cellular phones and smart watches have GPS functions on them. What I love about the GPS is that if you do not follow the guide’s directions or miss a turn the system will redirect you so that you can reach your destination. So when you do not know the way this device will show you the way, and take you to your destination. Even if you mess up and miss your turn or take the wrong turn the GPS will redirect.
Has anyone ever needed redirected before?
You were on the right path.
You were on the right road and somewhere along the way you took a wrong turn.
You made a bad decision.
You chose the wrong path.
You trusted the wrong person.
You played to close to the fire.
You tempted fate one too many times.
You messed up.
You made a mistake.
You stuck your foot in your mouth.
You lost control.
Well I stopped by this morning to let someone know that there is a way to get back on track.
There is a way to get redirected.
No matter how many wrong turns that you’ve made.
No matter how lost you are.
There is a way to reach your destination.
Ask your neighbor, is your GPS on?
Shall we look at the text? In the text today John, the apostle whom Jesus loved is explaining a conversation between Jesus and his disciples. In the previous chapter, John 13, Jesus told his disciples that he will be leaving soon, they will look for him and he will be gone in reference to his crucifixion. Now in the 14th chapter he is trying to comfort the disciples. Letting them know that they will be okay. Explaining to them the purpose of his father’s plan. He tells them not to let their hearts be troubled, but trust in God and him. He told them you believe in God, now believe in me. In my father’s house there are many rooms. If it were not so, I would have told you. And if I go and prepare a place for you. I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going. Thomas said to Jesus, Lord we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way. Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me. In other words, Jesus was giving his disciples directions. They just had to use their GPS’s. He was showing them the way. They just had to turn on their GPS. I know what you’re thinking. The disciples did not have a Global Positioning System. And you are correct, they actually had something better, the Holy Spirit. And in order for you to reach your destination your GPS must be fully operational as well. Now don’t look at me in that tone of voice.
I know you’re not into all that technology.
I know you can just use a map.
I know you can just use map-quest, but map-quest is a computer program hooked up to a GPS. Why do I need to turn my GPS on? I am so glad that you asked. Here are three reasons why your GPS needs to be on and then I will bid you good day.
The first reason your GPS should be on is because you need to know the way. You cannot get anywhere in life if you do not know the way. I could not be with you today if I did not know the way to Second Community Church, but if I don’t know how to get here after being here over a year… Houston we have a problem. We have been to places that we did not know how to get to. In those cases we would just place the address into our GPS, and let the device lead us to our destination. I would let the device show me the way! But I am not talking about the way to a church, or the way to the store, or to the way to Big Mamma’s house in South Carolina.
But I am talking about the way to salvation.
The way to spending eternity with God.
The way to living the life God has called you to live.
The way to your purpose.
The way to redemption.
The way to freedom.
The way to your calling.
The way to heaven.
It’s a highway to heaven.
None can walk up there.
But the pure in heart.
It’s a highway to heaven.
Walking up the king’s highway
You must know the way. And the text tells us today that the way to heaven is through Jesus. That means that you need to know Jesus. You need to accept him into your heart, surrender all to him, and follow his direction. But knowing Jesus is the way is not enough. You also need to know the way. Meaning that knowing the way also means knowing Jesus. And you get to know Jesus by studying his word. Meditating on the word night and day. You have to open your bible. You have to read it and concentrate on what God is teaching you. Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. You must know the way, which is through Jesus and you must know the way, which is Jesus.
The second reason that you need to turn on your GPS is so that you can go the way. Isn’t it so much easier to go the way, when you know the way? So you would think!
If I know how to get to the store it should be easy for me to go to the store.
If I know how to live saved it should be easy to live saved, right? But God never said that it would be easy. God said that he would never leave us or forsake us! Usually when you put your destination into a GPS a map appears and shows your starting point and your ending point, but then it gives you directions to your final destination and all you have to do is go the way that it tells you. We know the way to the father is though Jesus, so all we have to do is be like Nike and just do it! But we do our own thing. Sometimes as soon as we find out the way, we go the opposite direction because we feel that we are not ready to follow Jesus, or worthy to follow Jesus. If we waited until we were ready or worthy to follow Jesus we would never get saved. We are a stubborn people and we want what we want when we want it, but God is not Burger King and you can’t have him your way. You know the way and you must go the way, which is his way! Jesus states this clearly! No one can get to the father unless they go through me! You must know the way. You must Go the way. And the only way to go is through Jesus. Meaning, you must believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus is the savior of your soul.
The third reason you need to turn on your GPS is so that you can show someone else the way. Once you know the way, and go the way, it is extremely important that you show others the way. God did not give you this great gospel to keep to yourself. You must share your story, use your gifts, and live a life of integrity that will lead others to Christ.
Not to you, but to Christ.
Not to church, but to Christ.
Not to Pastor Brian, but to Christ.
No to religion, but to Christ.
Not to tradition, but to Christ.
Not to the movement, but to Christ.
Not to dressing a certain way, but to Christ.
Not to acting a certain way, but to Christ.
You have to catch a fish before you can clean it. So you must show people the way, and then you can teach them the traditions, history, and movements of the church. Then you show them how to dress and carry themselves as Christians. But then again, How does a Christian dress? Sometimes we focus too much on things that are not important. We have to keep the main thing the main thing. We cannot be so worried about what someone is wearing that we don’t consider how they are feeling or what they are going through.
People need to know the way today more than ever. Look at all the craziness that is going on in the world today.
All of the horrific and terrifying tragedies in our world.
Racism and discrimination!
Black on Black crime!
White on White crime!
Plots to kidnap governors!
Transition of presidential power!
The racial unrest in our nation!
Sexual assaults in High school!
Cyber bullying, and the list goes on and on!
People need to know the way.
People need to know Jesus.
People need to get their affairs in order, and I am not talking about wills and insurance.
I am talking about getting your soul in order.
I am talking about getting your name written in the lamb’s book of life.
I’m talking about getting your mind right.
I’m talking about using the good sense that the Lord has given you and accepting him as your Lord and Savior.
I am talking about knowing the way, going the way, and showing the way.
Look at your neighbor, and tell them to turn on their GPS. I have been telling you throughout this message to turn on your GPS. And I know that you have been thinking, what does the global positioning system have to do with knowing the way, going the way, and showing the way. Well I have a confession to make. When I was telling you to turn on you GPS I was not referring to the Global positioning system. I was referring to the God Praising System. In order to really know the way you must praise God. In order to go the way you must praise God. And in order to show someone else the way you must praise God. So everyone in the room do me a favor and turn your GPS and give God some praise. Turn on your God Praising System and praise him. From the rising of the sun, to the going down of the same the name of Jesus is worthy to be praised. So on this last Sunday of 2020 lets give God praise for getting us through an unprecedented time of a global pandemic, social unrest, political upheaval, uphill battles, and outright bigotry and hatred that is far from over.
Yet we are still standing.
In spite of it all God has blessed us.
In spite of it all God has kept us.
In spite of it all God is still using us.
In spite of it all God is still pushing us forward.
In spite of it all God is still allowing us to minister.
In spite of it all we are still worshipping in our homes because we understand that the building is not the church, we are the church.
In spite of it all we are going to give God praise!
So turn on your GPS, your God praising system, and praise the God of your salvation.
The savior of the world!
The lily of the valley!
The balm of Gilead!
The lord of lords!
The king of kings!
The author and finisher of our faith!
The beginning and the end!
The bright and morning star!
The great I am!
The mighty God!
The way maker!
The mind regulator!
Because once you turn your GPS on and you find the way. Then you know the truth, which is the simple fact that God is real and he loves you so much that he sent his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have eternal life. And when you know the truth you know the life. Because Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. Now how many of you have been on vacation, or you have seen someone on a movie or television show sitting on the beach with a chilled beverage in their hand. They are comfortable and relaxed and the utter the words, “this is the life!” Well I have news for you baby if you do not have Jesus in your life you have no life at all. So tap your neighbor and tell them, turn your GPS on. Turn on your God Praising System because this is the Life that God has called you to.
This is the life that God predestined for you before the foundations of the world.
This is the life that God ordained for you while he knitted you in your mothers womb.
This is the life that you were meant to have.
This is the life that you have been praying for.
This is the life that you have been fasting for
This is the life.
The life of salvation.
The life of a Christian.
The abundant life that God has promised us.
The eternal life!
Oh come and go with me to my father’s house.
There will be no dying there.
There will be no lying there.
No bombings there.
No weapons of mass destruction there.
No gun control issues there.
No explosions there.
No natural disasters there.
No shooting there.
No sexual assaults there.
No bullying there.
No disease there.
No cancer there.
No blindness there.
No canes there.
No walkers there.
No wheel chairs there.
No suffering there.
No homelessness there.
No starvation there.
No racism there.
No classism there.
No democrats or republicans or independents there.
Oh, come and go with me to my father’s house!
But you will have to turn on your GPS to get there.
You will have to turn on your God Praising System so that you can know the way, go the way, and show the way!
Turn your God Praising System on!
Oh come let us adore Him!