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Worship Series: Lord’s Prayer
Worship Theme: Your Will Be Done
- CW 221: Blessed Jesus, at Your Word
- Change My Heart, Oh God
- Your Gracious Will on Earth Be Done
- CW 414: I Leave All Things to God’s Direction
- CWS 752: In Christ Alone
Message: Your Will Be Done
Pastor Jake Schram
I AM ____________. How do you fill in the blank for a sentence like that? Maybe some of you movie lovers out there wanted to complete it by saying, “I AM LEGEND.” Which is, of course, a movie from 2007 starring Will Smith. Maybe some of you filled the sentence with, “I AM IRON MAN.” This is a song recorded by the band Black Sabbath in 1970. Or maybe you filled in the sentence in another way. There are countless ways to fill in such a simple sentence. It can be filled in to describe someone, to fill in someone’s identity. But in all the cases it’s ever been used, I don’t think it’s ever been used as effectively as by God.
As recorded for us in the Old Testament, God proclaims himself to be the I AM (Exodus 3:14). He is the origin of everything. The one in charge. The one who existed before anything else did. Jesus tells us he is that same God when he says, “Before Abraham was born, I AM! (John 8:58).” The great I AM, but who is he? What is he? In the book of John, Jesus will give us the first of seven I AM statements answering this question for us. He is God and his will be done.
Our text for today tells us, “Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life.” What? When’s the last time you heard anyone call themselves a loaf of bread? Come on now. If your friends are calling themselves bread, we might need to have a talk. It sounds ridiculous, but as always Jesus has a point and a reason.
The disciples had recently seen Jesus’ miracle of feeding 5,000+ people. And what did he feed them with? Bread and fish. Crowds then followed him hoping to get more loaves of bread instead of what is truly important. Jesus then referenced manna, the bread from heaven. With all these things recently occurring, what do you think is on the disciples’ minds? I’ll give you a hint. It starts with a “b” and ends with a “read.” But they weren’t understanding what true bread was. They were thinking of physical bread which does not last. Jesus had deeper, more profound thoughts in mind.
He wanted them to have the bread that would allow them to never go hungry, the drink that would allow them never to be thirsty. Only through Jesus could all their spiritual needs be fulfilled. Only through Jesus can people get to heaven. It all comes from faith in Jesus. He’s the only way to everlasting life. Those who do not believe do not get to taste the heavenly bread. Pastor Enter talked about this in different words last week during his sermon. Not everyone goes to heaven. God is a loving God, but he is also a just God. If a person refuses to be saved, then they won’t be saved. If they cross that line, abuse God’s mercy, and push God away, that person will not be saved despite the fact God wants all people to be saved. They have forced his hand to carry out justice. It’s a sad truth, but it is true. It’s in the Bible and it shapes the reasons for why we preach and teach. We want people saved, to be nourished by the one true living bread: Jesus. It was his body that would be handed over to Pilate that would die for the sins of the world. He won the forgiveness that is for every single person.
Ok, bear with me in this analogy. We all know healthy food is good for us, right? But we only get the healthy benefits if we eat it. I can stare at it, recognize it as good, but if I reject eating it, the healthy food cannot help me. I have the choice between good foods and bad foods all the time. One night I was feeling really miserable. I got up in the middle of the night. I was in pain, grumpy, and I just wanted to feel better. Oh! And I was hungry! We didn’t have a lot of food in the house, but I wasn’t without options. In the fridge we had some carrots or sitting nearby was a chocolate cake. You already know where this is going. How many of you think I had carrots? How many of you think I went for the cake? You know me too well. Since I wasn’t feeling well, what should I have gone for? Yeah, that cake didn’t care about me. It wasn’t going to make me feel any better. If anything it was going to make me feel worse. Yet I went for it with ruthless abandon. Next morning, I was feeling much, much worse. Big surprise. Now I expected a little kickback, but this was bad. Something was very wrong. I went to look at the cake. Apparently some condensation had gotten underneath the wrappings and in the dark, going unnoticed, the cake had been growing nice little clumps of mold spores throughout the cake. No wonder it hurt me. Unbelief and sin are the same way. They might look appealing. They might look like they will make you feel better. They might look like just the thing to drown your sorrows in, but at the end of the day, they don’t care about you. The Devil wants you to give in and be spiritually unhealthy. He wants you to eat the sin that doesn’t look so harmful, even though it is decayed and infested with harm. You just couldn’t see it because it was covered by the darkness of sin. In our text, God mercifully gives us something better. God nourishes us with things we need for spiritual health: the bread of life. And here’s where my analogy limps a little. Maybe you don’t like carrots or healthy foods or even bread. But Scripture tells us that the bread of life not only will satisfy all our desires in the end, but it tastes good too (Psalm 34:8). We will have no regrets for eating the pure Word Jesus grants us and leaving behind the sin-infested food the devil offers. Because in the Word of Jesus all people are saved. Jesus says in verse 37, “All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.” We can have 100% confidence of being in heaven. 100% of those truly in Christ are saved. He is the bread of life. Jesus is God. Everyone who believes in Jesus will be saved.
This is why Jesus came to earth. He came from heaven to do the will of the Father. And this is amazingly hard for some of us to accept. Because his will isn’t always our will. Think about it. How hard is it for us to let go of our own ways, even when they are not important? The towels have to be folded a certain way. The dishes in the dishwater have to be placed in exact right formation. People need to adjust their schedules to the plans we make in our heads without telling anyone? How dare they try to change it! When we don’t get the things we want at the time we want in the way we want, we aren’t always the nicest people. Someone I talk to in Singapore once told me there was a joke about those living in the U.S. going around. The joke was Amazon Prime isn’t fast enough for us anymore. We want Amazon Now. Actually, we want Amazon Before - the package delivered to our doorstep before we even click the order button. We want things our way and that makes it really hard to trust other people. Because we think we always know best, even when we don’t.
Let me give you an example. As I’ve been healing from my health problems, I’ve often needed help. Almost as often, I didn’t always realize it. I’m stubborn, so I continued trying to do what I wanted to do or what I thought I needed to do. There were times people told me to stay down and I wasn’t ok with that. I thought I knew what was best and often didn’t. I would push too hard, my body would tighten up or break. I think I’ve gotten better at it. Because now sometimes when people I trust tell me to slow down, I’ll sit down and do some stretches and give my body time to recuperate. It’s not what I want. It’s what’s best for me. And the results were almost always better when I didn’t do what I thought was right. It’s the same way with God. I may think I know what is best in my own life and the lives of others. I may think I understand morality better than God, I may think I have a better plan than God for my life, I may think I understand people better than God, but I don’t. He is always right and just in every circumstance. And so while trusting in his will is scary, the results are great when we are connected to him through the bread of life: Jesus.
Just look at what is God’s will. It’s not to mess up your life and laugh at you. It’s not to abuse his power and lord it over you. Verse 39 tells us His will. “And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For the Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life...”
Weeks and weeks ago, we talked about how God is your Father. With any father you hope he wants what is best for his children. A good Father makes the choices that are best for their children even when they don’t agree with his choices. For example, if a child wanted to eat moldy cake, one would hope a father would stop the child so his little one doesn’t come to any harm, EVEN if the child desperately wants to eat the cake. Therefore our Father, the Father, wants and directs us to what is best for us, even if we desperately want to participate in sin. He steers us away from the devil and leads all those in Christ to eternal heaven. The only ones who don’t make it are the ones who reject or look elsewhere than the Father’s help. He sent us Jesus to do his will and today we ask that not our will, but his will be done. Because his will is perfect. He has decided to raise us up to Him on the last day. Let’s let God be God and thank God his will be done.