Summary: How Jesus Gave His Disciples a Goal Greater than Their Own Pleasures - John 14:12-16
How Jesus Gave His Disciples a Goal Greater than Their Own Pleasures - John 14:12-16
Many people lack motivation because they do not have a higher goal than merely pleasing themselves. Jesus gave His disciples a purpose that would transcend their earthly worries and pleasures. Jesus said, "If you believe in Me… you will do even greater works than I am doing because I go to intercede for you with the Father." (John 14:12)
Illustration: Peter and Betty Stam were beheaded by the Chinese Communists when most American missionaries fled China. When Peter was being led to his execution someone asked him, "Where are you headed?" Peter replied, "Right now I am going with the guards, but I am really on my way to meet my heavenly Father in heaven!" We all need to tune in to where we are really headed instead of fixating on our obsession for significance or our problems here below.
Remember. "Fixing our eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, not minding the shame and is now set down on the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such sufferings of sinners against himself lest you become weary and lose heart." (Heb. 12:1,2)
1. Jesus facilitated people’s perspectives by giving them spiritual goals that would bear fruit for eternity. The disciples were humble enough to recognize that life without a Christ like viewpoint is unfulfilling.
Illustration:Evangelist Billy Walked told a story about the city fathers of New York as they contemplated the future growth of the city. They laid out the streets and numbered them from the center outward. When they began, there were only six or seven streets. In their planning maps, they projected how large they thought the city might grow. Reaching beyond their wildest imagination, they drew streets on the map all the way out to 19th street. They called it "Boundary Street" because they were sure that’s all the larger New York City would become. But history has proven them to be shortsighted. At the last count, the city had reached 284th Street -- far exceeding their expectations!
2. Jesus presented a great challenge to His disciples when He said, "Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men." (Matthew 4:19) All people were created by God for the purposes of completing His will in giving the Lord glory. Saint Augustine said it best, "You have made us for yourself Oh God. Our hearts our restless until they find their peace in You."
3. Jesus helped the disciples set their sights on eternal goals rather than human achievements. When the apostle Peter got distracted by the winds and the waves he sank into the sea. Yet, when He focused all of His mental, emotional and spiritual attention on Jesus Christ, he was given supernatural powers. The Lord wants all of us to be able to overcome all kinds of limitations. Discipline your mind to focus on Christ and His will for your life rather than bemoaning to others about your problems.
Illustration:Good intentions are not enough.
Alexander de Seversky, U.S. aviator and engineer, was once visiting a fellow flyer in the hospital. The young man had just lost his leg. De Seversky, who had had an artificial leg for some time, tried to cheer him up. "The loss of a leg is not so great a calamity," he said. "If you get hit on a wooden leg, it doesn’t hurt a bit! Try it!" The patient raised his walking stick and brought it down hard on de Seversky’s leg. "You see," he said cheerfully. "If you hit an ordinary man like that, he’d be in bed for five days!" With that he left his friend and limped into the corridor, where he collapsed in excruciating pain. It seems the young man had struck de Seversky on his good leg!
Today in the Word, October 29, 1992.
4. Jesus helped the disciples understand the greater purposes of expanding His kingdom and righteousness. You become what you think about. "As a man thinks within himself, so he is." Proverbs
5. Jesus emphasized the eternal importance of each disciple’s contribution. Not the smallest expression of kindness, service or gift was overlooked by the Lord. "Only one life. It will soon pass. Only what’s done for Christ will last."
6. Jesus gave great promises to His disciples. He said to Peter, "You are Peter and on this rock (Peter’s inspired confession of his faith in Jesus Christ or Peter himself – since Eph. 2:20 indicates that the church is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets) I will build my church and the gates of hell (all evil forces) will not prevail against it." (Matthew 16:18)