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The Way, the Truth, the Life, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
December 13, 2022 7:05 am

The Way, the Truth, the Life, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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Do you ever feel consumed, even rattled by the bombardment of vitriol that enters our ears on any given day?

Turn on the TV or scroll through the online news and we're assaulted with egregious sound bites. Well, today on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll will remind us that God is the stabilizing force in our lives. He offers peace to anyone whose heart is troubled. This is message number 10 in our 12-part series on the names of God called His Name is Wonderful. Chuck titled today's message, The Way, the Truth, the Life. We're spending these days thinking about various names of Christ our Lord. The one we're landing on this time is the familiar expression of Him found in the Gospel of John chapter 14, where I'd like to have you turn for just a little bit of time. It is the title, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. John 14 is a chapter for everyone who has heart trouble.

Now don't misunderstand, I don't mean the kind of heart trouble that can be helped by a little glycerin pill or ultimately dealt with by cardiovascular surgery. I'm not talking about that organ in our chest that pumps blood. I'm talking about the inner being when it is full of turmoil, uneasiness, uncertainty. Twice in John 14, Jesus says the same thing. It is found in verse 1 and also in verse 27. If you have a New Testament, look at those two verses. Let not your heart be troubled. In verse 27, peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you.

Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled. Trouble is from a Greek term that means to be disturbed, stirred up, perplexed.

Or the archaic word disquieted. It is used by the psalmist in that way, disquieted. Jesus is telling us twice in this chapter not to let that happen, to stop it, to keep it from going on. Now is it a sin to have a troubled heart?

Apparently not. And I say that because Jesus himself had a troubled heart. And we find that in the Gospel of John chapter 11 verse 33 where he admits to such. John 11 33 when Jesus therefore saw her weeping and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and was troubled. Same word as in John 14, Jesus was troubled. Chapter 12 verse 27, another verse that refers to the same. My soul, says Jesus, has become troubled.

And what shall I say? Father save me from this hour? But for this purpose I came to this hour. And again chapter 13 verse 21, same word used with reference to our Lord. When Jesus had said this he became troubled in his spirit.

And testified and said truly, truly I say to you that one of you will betray me. Now if the trouble in our heart tends to make us worry then the worry can become a sin. But it is not a sign of sin to churn inside.

Jesus himself churned. He himself had feelings of uneasiness and unrest and disquiet. Not every moment of his life was spent in inner tranquility. There were times he was uneasy.

It's a very common experience this troubled heart condition. Now Jesus in chapter 14 of the Gospel of John talks to some people about that not happening in their lives. When was this spoken?

When did he say these things? Well over in chapter 13 verse 33 he tells these men who are sitting with him at that last meal they were to have together. I am with you a little while longer you shall seek me and as I said to the Jews where I am going you cannot come now I say to you also. So he said these words that appear in chapter 14 to the men he had just told he was going to be leaving. He's going to die. They will not be able to go with him where he is going. Verse 38 he even says will you lay down your life for me. Truly I say to you a cock shall not crow until you deny me three times. He has just said to the same group of men one of you is going to deny me.

In fact it will happen sooner than you realize. So they're troubled. He has been with them all along throughout his ministry and now he suddenly drops on them the fact that he won't be with them forever. He's going to leave them to make matters worse.

They won't be able to go with him and adding insult to injury one of them in fact is going to deny him. That's enough to make anybody trouble. So Jesus says to them in verse 1 chapter 14 unfortunate chapter break it ought to flow right together with chapter 13 let not your heart be troubled. Now the your you can't see it in English but it's in it's plural. Let not y'all's heart be troubled.

That's what he's saying. I don't want y'all's hearts to be troubled. I mean all of you not just one of you don't look around and find the one that's going to deny me and then make his heart troubled.

It's not a single thing. I don't want any of you to have a troubled heart over this. To whom was it spoken? Well these are the eleven disciples who were still at the Lord's table with him after Judas has left.

These are the final faithful eleven. The man who said they'd be with him to the end. He encouraged them to keep on believing in him. He said you believe in God keep on believing in me.

Present tense. Keep on doing this. You believed in me before I told you I was leaving. Keep on believing me now that I tell you I'm going.

Keep on believing in me. And then without a break in his thought he describes to them some wonderful events that are yet future. Many of us know these verses by heart but we didn't know quite where they were found or we remember the thought of them the idea of them. In my father's house are many dwelling places. If it were not so I would have told you for I go to prepare a place for you. I may die but I am going to live on. So don't let your heart be troubled. You may be left but I am preparing a place for you.

So don't let your heart be troubled. One of you may deny me but not one of you will miss my return. I'm going to leave and I'm going to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you I will come again and receive you to myself that where I am there you may be also. I got a great thought as I was reading that this past week during the interval of time between our Lord's departure and our Lord's return he is involved in two projects. One to prepare a place for his children and two to prepare his children for a place.

Two projects. He is engaged right now in preparing heaven for his own. That's what's happening in heaven away from our sight. But on this earth he is also engaged in preparing us for that place. In other parts of the New Testament we read that he will present us faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. It won't be the kind of thing where when we get to the portals of heaven he will look at us and wonder if we were sincere or if we were good enough or if somehow we measure up to spending eternity with him.

No not at that time. All of those things are dealt with while we're on this earth. While preparing for us a place in heaven he is working on us on this earth to prepare us for that spot. I would love to tell you that it's a mansion but it isn't. One person renders it an apartment and I know that takes a lot of the joy out of the thought of heaven. Having spent a few days or years as all of us have in apartments and maybe some of you to this day still there you can't imagine having to spend eternity.

Simply it means a place of dwelling, a residence. In ancient eastern lands families that grew and even married still lived under the roof of the father. The roof was just extended and rooms were added on so that you lived with the father and the mother and the family.

That's the same thought here. I'm going to expand for the father's house. I'm going to enlarge the roof.

I'm going to add the rooms and while we are there in the building project we will have you in mind. You have nothing to be worried about, nothing to be troubled over. I shall take you along with me to my home. Verse 4, you know the way and you know where I am going and that was about as long as Thomas could sit on his hands and he stopped him and said to him at that point, Lord we do not know where you are going and how do we know the way. You know this tells me a whole lot about the relationship Jesus had with his men. It wasn't an intimidating inaccessible relationship. It was a very close personal one. They were able to stop him in mid-sentence.

They were able even to challenge what he said. It is an honest statement, Lord you may think we know where you're going and you may think we know the way, neither is true. Now just a minute, can you remember a time when you had a troubled heart and you couldn't remember even the basic facts about life? I have been on accident scenes as many of you have and I have in the panic or in the shock of the accident kind of lost my senses and not really thought logically and clearly about what I knew would be the right things to do.

In another moment of time I might have been clear-headed and been able to go through it very logically but because of the panic of the hour I kind of got miswired and I forgot a lot of basic things. That seems to have happened to Thomas. I say that not in defense of him but because it's true of human nature and Jesus knows that. That's why Jesus never rebukes Thomas here or elsewhere. He realizes that Thomas in the panic of thought that my Lord is going to leave, he's going to die and we're not going to see him again in the swirl of all that, Thomas lost for a moment his logic. We don't know where you're going, how can you expect us to know the way? Very graciously Jesus gives him the statement that becomes one of his great titles, perhaps the most comprehensive of all as he looks at Thomas and he says to him, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me.

Let's spend a few moments sort of analyzing that name. I am the way. The original term means a road or a path. Hidden within it is the idea of a journey going from one point to another in one's travel. I don't know if you have read John Bunyan's Immortal Pilgrim's Progress but you really should not only read it but you should reread it. I suggest that you read it about once every three four five years. Pilgrim's Progress though it is an old old work it stands among the top 10 books I've ever read. This is my third copy. I read it rather regularly. This one is a very treasured one.

It has some wonderful illustrations and it's beautiful artwork but that's not important. What is important is the message. Allow me for a few moments to describe in the words of Bunyan the thought of the way.

Just listen. As I walk through the wilderness of the world I lighted on a certain place where was a den and I laid me down in that place to sleep and as I slept I dreamed a dream. I dreamed and behold I saw a man clothed with rags standing in a certain place with his face from his own house a book in his hand and a great burden upon his back. I looked and I saw him open the book and read therein and as he read he wept and trembled and not being able longer to contain he break out with a lamentable cry saying what shall I do? In his plight therefore he went home and restrained himself as long as he could that his wife and children should not perceive his distress but he could not be silent long because that his trouble increased. Wherefore at length he break his mind to his wife and children and thus he began to talk to them. Oh my dear wife said he and you the children of my bowels I your dear friend am in myself undone by reason of a burden that lieth hard upon me.

I am for certain informed that our city will be burned with fire from heaven in which fearful overthrow both myself with thee my wife and my sweet babes shall miserably come to ruin. At this his relations were sore amazed and he describes their reaction. Now I saw upon a time when he was walking in the fields that he was as he was want reading in his book and greatly distressed in his mind and as he read he burst out as he had done before crying what shall I do to be saved? I saw also that he looked this way and that way as if he would run yet he stood still because as I perceived he could not tell which way to go. I looked then and I saw a man named evangelist coming to him who asked wherefore dost thou cry? He answered sir I perceive by the book in my hand that I am condemned to die and after that to come to judgment and I find that I am not willing to do the first nor able to do the second. Then said evangelist why not willing to die since this life is attended with so many evils the man answered because I fear that this burden that is upon my back will sink me lower than the grave and I shall fall and sir if I be not fit to go to prison I am not fit I am sure to go to judgment.

Then said evangelist if this be thy condition why standest thou still? He answered because I know not whither to go that he gave him a parchment roll and there was written within flee from the wrath to come and then he begins his journey. He begins his trip, his attempt to find the living God, the way to God. It's a wonderful allegory and maybe my reading a few lines of it will encourage you to to read it yourself. Jesus is saying I am the way, I am the road, I am the path from earth and all your sinfulness to the father and the glories of heaven.

Have you been haunted as I have been by a proverb Proverbs 14 12 there is a way that seems right to a man but the end thereof are the ways of death. Philo called philosophy the royal way. Confucius called his teaching tau the way. Jesus said I am the way and did you know something his followers came to be known as people of the way.

Did you know that? I find that over in the book of Acts if you'll turn from John to the next book Acts chapter 9 and also Acts 19 you'll see two references to the title that the people picked up from Jesus own words. Acts 9 verses 1 and 2 Saul still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord went to the high priest and asked for letters from him to the synagogue at Damascus so that if he found any belonging to the way look at that both men and women he might bring them bound to Jerusalem here is a man on his way to persecute Christians and he asks for endorsements from authorities so that if he finds anyone who is a follower of the way he could take him to prison. Over in chapter 19 of the same book verses 8 and 9 referring again to Paul he entered the synagogue and continued speaking out boldly for three months reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God and when some were becoming hardened and disobedient speaking evil of the way there it is again before the multitude he withdrew from them and took away the disciples reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus and he moves away from that group that was resisting his teaching. One more time verse 21 same chapter now after these things were finished Paul purposed in the spirit to go to Jerusalem after he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia saying after I have been there I also must see Rome and having sent into Macedonia two of those who ministered to him Timothy and Erastus he himself stayed in Asia for a while well those are great verses but they're not the ones I needed are they 21 to 23 there 23 that's the one I want and about that time there arose no small disturbance concerning the way so glad that was there nothing's worse than reading along knowing you're not finding what you're looking for Acts 19 23 people who were people of the way that there was no small disturbance concerning the way Jesus said I am the way the way well please make a mental note of Acts chapter 19 where Jesus declared I am the way that's important because Chuck Swindoll will continue his teaching right there we're midway through a message he's titled the way the truth the life this is insight for living and we've carved out a few minutes at the end of today's program to hear from Chuck so please keep listening but first did you know that insight for living provides study notes for each of the sermons that Chuck presents this free resource is called searching the scriptures and it's perfectly suited for your private time with God or as a discussion tool for your small group Bible study this is an interactive document that's intended to help you go deeper into each topic in fact you can download the PDF printed out and even email it to your friends there's no cost just go to inside world org slash studies and follow the simple instructions well from time to time we receive questions from listeners who want to know why Chuck continues to keep such a busy schedule it might surprise you for instance that he's preaching two times every Sunday morning at Stonebriar Community Church and he keeps very busy with his responsibilities at insight for living as well in short Chuck remains committed to preaching and teaching especially in the confusing times in which we live here's Chuck time has a way of distilling the truth the issues that seemed a little fuzzy in our 20s and 30s came into complete focus in our 60s 70s and 80s well in October I passed another birthday and I'm here to profess that God is faithful the one whom I embraced as a young man has never once let me down in fact as I remained committed to a long obedience in the same direction my trust in my God was fortified by the promises he continually kept we're coming to yet another milestone it's December 31st which marks the end of another ministry year for insight for living ministries God has been magnificently faithful to this media ministry that aired its first broadcast back in 1979 and now I want you to look back and reflect on God's faithfulness to you do you remember the time when he entered your life and extended his amazing grace to you you recall the first time you sensed God's grace through insight for living well as you reflect I'm asking you to reciprocate to express your gratitude by giving a generous year-end gift we will continue to do our part what I'm asking you today is to do your part in fact I covenant with you to keep teaching God's Word with the same passion and the same focus you've come to expect from me with a track record that dates back to our very first broadcast in 1979 at Christmas time we celebrate the humble arrival of God's Son Jesus in Bethlehem as Mary laid her precious baby in the manger the fullness of grace bloomed like a rose later to be crushed for all our sins its heavenly fragrance released now it's up to us you and me to keep spreading that fragrance of grace all around the world so let's give generously together so all might come to know and receive God's greatest gift to us his one and only son thanks Chuck and here's how to respond today to speak with one of our friendly ministry reps give us a call if you're listening in the United States call 800-772-8888 or you can give your gift online at thanks so much for doing your part by giving a generous year-end donation to insight for living ministries we look forward to hearing from you soon once again if you're listening in the United States call 800-772-8888 or you can give online at donate I'm Bill Meyer join us when Chuck swindoll continues his message about the one who said I am the way the truth and the life that's tomorrow on insight for living the preceding message the way the truth the life was copyrighted in 1988 1992 and 1998 and the sound recording was copyrighted in 1998 by Charles R swindoll inc all rights are reserved worldwide duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-18 17:40:58 / 2022-12-18 17:49:31 / 9

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