Summary: A sermon about how Jesus will never abandon us.
“God Lives in You”
By Ken Sauer (many ideas taken from a sermon by Lee Griess) Pastor of East Ridge United Methodist Church, Chattanooga, TN eastridgeumc.org
There’s a story about a rookie baseball player just up from the minor leagues who was sent to bat against a great Hall of Fame pitcher in his prime.
Just off the bench and as nervous as someone on his first date, the rookie stepped up to the plate and took a couple of tentative practice swings, as the pitcher glared down at him from the mound.
Then, with a great windup and pitch, he blew two fastballs right down the center of the plate, so fast that the poor kid didn’t even have time to swing his bat.
With that, the rookie turned and started back to the dugout.
“What are you doing?” his manager shouted at him.
“Get back out there. You’ve got another pitch coming.”
“Let him have it,” the rookie said.
“I’ve seen enough already!”
“I give up!”
Have you ever felt that way?
Outmatched by life?
Up against what seems to be impossible odds?
Overpowered by life?
What do you do when life bullies you into a corner?
Where do you turn when trouble traps you?
As those who gather here this morning, as those who believe, we encounter the Resurrected Christ, the One Who has triumphed over the Cross and the grave; the One Who stands eternal before the throne of our Heavenly Father, Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who says to us as He did to His first disciples, “I will not leave you as orphans.”
In other words, “I will not leave you alone.”
“I will not abandon you.”
“You need not feel like a mother-less child!”
To those who love Jesus and obey Jesus’ commands, Jesus promises to send us His own Spirit, His own breath, His own inner life.
Jesus tells us that He will never leave us alone, but He will send us the “Counselor to be with [us] forever—the Spirit of truth.”
“I will not leave you as orphans,” Jesus promises, “I will come to you.”
This is where we find strength in weakness!
We have a Risen Lord!
And God lives in us!!!
Take note though that Jesus says, “The world cannot accept [the Spirit], because it neither sees him nor knows him.”
What a sad, sad world.
What a horrible plight, to feel abandoned, alone and without hope, guidance or comfort.
A year or so ago, I was getting ready to leave the house and was thus trying to get Mary Ellen to “up and adam.”
I had called to her several times, from the kitchen.
Then, I realized I had forgotten something in the back part of the house.
When I got to the back bedroom, I heard Mary Ellen cry out from the kitchen in the most pitifully sad and terror-filled voice, “My daddy has left me.”
It nearly broke my heart.
I ran to her and hugged her and wiped away her crocodile tears assuring her that I would never leave her alone—never!
But to try and imagine what that little helpless 4 year old felt at the moment she thought I had abandoned her, left her in a house all by herself, is almost too painful think about.
Jesus never leaves us alone.
Many do not realize this, but it is true.
Long before we accept Christ as Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit is Counseling us, Comforting us, and pleading with our spirits on our behalf.
And if we are spiritually awake and open to “the Spirit of truth” we are being convicted of sin, and are beginning to understand our need for the Savior.
But we are told that the world will not realize that God’s Spirit is here.
What does Jesus mean by “the world”?
Remember back to the 1st Chapter of John?
We are told that Jesus “was in the world, the world was made by him, but the world didn’t know him.”
So what in the world is the world?
It’s the whole created order, and it’s also the people who live in it, and who have rebelled against their Creator.
That’s you and me and everyone else.
Jesus has, however, come “into the world” because “God loved the world so much that God sent His Son to rescue the world.”
We are told that Jesus has come as the Light of the world, but many prefer darkness.
How can that be?
How can we become that disillusioned?
How can we reject the Love of God which surpasses everything?
How can we make the decision to be alone, when we are offered the companionship of Christ?
How can we settle for mud when we are being handed the Pearl of Great Price?