02 Sep “For All” – Day Four
Scripture: John 14:1-3 NLT – “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.”
Observation: While Jesus is breaking bread with his disciples for the last time, he is trying to prepare them for the road ahead, while also preparing his kingdom for his own journey. These are the things he wanted them to know and to carry forward. He wants his disciples to trust him and everything they have learned and experienced in their time with Jesus, so that when he is no longer with them in person, the Spirit will live on with their ministry.
Application: In thirty-six years I never considered a life of faith, or even what God meant to me. I would equate my life up until this point as going through the spin cycle of gym, work, home, repeat. It took some very painful events in my personal life, some serious soul searching, and a special person in my life to introduce me to Jesus for the first time… and initially, I still wasn’t sure. See, I was a naturally skeptical person, I took myself way too seriously, and I was so concerned about what people thought of me that I missed out on learning who I actually am. I’ve always let a major insecurity creep back into my mind… do I belong? I needed to see to believe.
Just before Jesus spoke the words in John 14, he got down and humbled himself by washing his disciples’ feet. Who am I not to follow suit and do the same in loving the people around me? “Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (John 13:34-35)
My first time walking into The Journey post-pandemic was a whole new world for me. Prior to this I had only experienced church online. I had never been in a place with so many people present and just happy that I was there. These were crazy people, I thought. No. I would come to find out that these are followers of Jesus that are living out those words: Love each other.
August of 2020, I put my faith in Jesus fully for the first time. I raised my hand and prayed that prayer. October 24th of 2020 I was baptized in the Brandywine river—yes, it was cold—by a pastor that I have come to learn is not the biggest fan of nature (major understatement)… THAT dedication and commitment show what loving your people really means, and I am forever grateful.
It isn’t that I have transformed into this all-knowing follower of Jesus that walks a perfect path. I am certainly very flawed. I sometimes have crushing insecurities. I sometimes get a little depressed and have trouble discerning why, and where it’s coming from. I sometimes slip and forget myself, uttering or thinking those words that rush hour traffic brings about. I am still learning who I am after starting over in a life of faith. But once I did put my faith in Jesus, the big picture is that it isn’t about me, it’s about what God does through me.
If God has been able to transform me, a gym bro with an edge that worried more about appearance and work than faith and family, then I have to believe that our God can do anything. There are times my heart is troubled, but I do trust God and I know He has a place for me because I believe, “There is more than enough room in my Father’s home”.
I have a place now.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I pray that I continue to put my faith and trust in you because you know all things and your plan is absolute. Thank you for the trials that have helped me grow closer to your vision. You know what the hearts of your people need, and I know you will help me through whatever this life brings. I praise you because even when I was faithless, you remained faithful to me. In your precious name I pray, amen.
Brian serves on ERT (Emergency Response Team), the Shuttle Team, and occasionally in Communications. Serving on the weekends is the highlight of Brian’s week. He loves that he gets the opportunity to be part of a gathering each week and hopefully, in some small way, impact the experience The Journey’s guests have as they come to church.
- Are you unsure about your faith or have questions about where you belong? How can you build habits into your day to stay connected to God in a life-giving way? If you are a long-time follower of Jesus, but maybe lost the itch to gather and/or serve, what is the spark that brings you back?
- Have you let preconceived notions of faith and what religion looks like bar you from a relationship with God? What is preventing you from taking your first steps to putting your faith in Jesus?
- For more inspiration and hope, check out this past message, “Faith Through The Fog” from our Lead Pastor, Mark Johnston!
Rick CrossPosted at 05:39h, 02 September
Thank you for sharing your story. This was the sentence that really resonated for me: “But once I did put my faith in Jesus, the big picture is that it isn’t about me, it’s about what God does through me.” Amen!
Omar McNeillPosted at 06:24h, 02 September
Jessica D. RuggieriPosted at 05:53h, 02 September
Believers loving one another genuinely will show others what a life with God can look like. How great that God allows us to be a part of communicating His love?
Katie ValetuttiPosted at 06:14h, 02 September
Brian, your story of finding Jesus and learning how to follow him fully is why The Journey exists! Thank you for sharing the raw truth- that even though we will always have struggles, God’s faithfulness says WE BELONG!
Jayme RolloPosted at 06:50h, 02 September
So incredibly proud of you B. The way you are inspiring others (myself included!) is so admirable. I know you will never stop seeking after God and building your relationship with him!
Kim LindellPosted at 06:57h, 02 September
There is always room in the Father’s house, Amen!
Cathy SalerniPosted at 10:53h, 02 September
Thank you Brian for your honesty, this truly touched my heart. Why? Because my story is somewhat similar and I needed this today. In my experience God is so often speaking to me through others!! Thank You Father.
I’m newly back to Journey yet the smiles and enthusiasm I’m greeted with on Sunday’s feels like I never left. I’m trying to not be so hard on myself, He’s got me!!!
Walt & Barb HarringtonPosted at 16:10h, 02 September
So proud of you Brian!!I have seen the change in you we love you❤️
Kerri SmithPosted at 18:26h, 02 September
Incredible story Brian! And this is only the beginning. There is a huge calling on your life and Jaymes. Your family is going to change lives for the kingdom!!!
Jamie EmreyPosted at 21:42h, 02 September
Wow! What a powerful testimony! I really love your story and can relate to it very much with having some of the same insecurities. Thanks much for sharing Brian!
Eva McIntoshPosted at 09:06h, 03 September
Awesome testimony Brian! I’m laughing at your comment “these were crazy people” because I get it. When I first came to TJ, I only knew a couple of people but walking through that door I felt like I was home with family. It was a genuine outpouring of love. That’s how we should be as followers of Christ so every person who comes through that door, regardless of their past or walk of life, knows that we are His disciples and they too are loved. Thanks for sharing!
Court NeilPosted at 14:23h, 05 September
Thanks for sharing! It’s definitely so nice to be surrounded by like-minded people who share in faith and family. You’ve been a great person for Scott and I as we’ve come to TJ and are doing ri going to build our faith more and more!
Cynthia CarrollPosted at 09:02h, 07 September
Thanks for sharing your story. The “Going Deeper” Section was very thought-provoking for me.