www.herald-journal.com
My last column
January 16, 2012
by Pastor Dan Swanson, First Baptist Church, Cokato

My, how time has flown! We first moved to Cokato in January of 1990. It was 22 years ago. Now, retirement stares me in the face.

The questions come from many people. What will you do? Where will you live? Well, by the grace of God, we have a home and we hope to stay here for the foreseeable future. It is a comfortable home, and we love it here in Minnesota. It’s home to us.

But, there is another, better home which beckons me. Jesus spoke of it in John’s 14th chapter: “In my Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you.”

What Jesus tells us here is solemn truth. His credibility is involved in being a man of truth. It is really a huge issue for people looking for a home beyond this world, this life. I believe what Jesus says on the eve of His death and eventual departure from His disciples.

Jesus speaks next of that departure. The purpose of His leaving is to prepare a place in the Father’s house for His disciples. “I go there to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:1)

It never ceases to amaze me just how lacking in understanding those original disciples were. Thomas said the words, “Lord, we don’t know where you’re going. How do we know the way? (John 14:5)

Without a GPS system, how can you go, when you don’t know the road to take?

Jesus speaks so powerfully about the answer to Thomas’ honest question. He simply points to himself and says, “I am the way (road, pathway), the truth and the life. Nobody can come to the Father’s house except through me.” (John 14:6)

I know these verses are quoted again and again. But let’s not miss the significance of Jesus’ words. There is only one way to the Father’s house – that is, through Jesus; through knowing and believing that He is the only means of experiencing the Father’s house.

As a young boy, I came to know Him. I invited Him into my life and began to look for, and long for the Father’s house. I hope and pray that you know Jesus and that He is living in your heart even now.

Someday He will return from Heaven: “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself that where I am you may be also.” (John 14:3)

No earthly home, no matter how grand, can begin to compare to the Father’s house. I won’t go there because I’ve been a pastor for 37 years. I’ll go there because as a young boy, I asked Jesus into my life by faith and became a recipient of His promises.

Open your heart to Jesus and begin to follow Him by faith.