John 14:16-17 (ESV)
16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
John 14:26 (ESV)
26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
Ok, confession time. I have been trying to get this post started for 30 minutes and have yet to find a good way to begin, however the idea of not being alone because the Holy Spirit lives in us is really ministering to me this morning. I really just want to write a post that says read John 14 when you get a chance. There is a lot in there so read it slow and really think about what Jesus is saying to His disciples. The context of John 14 is it is getting close to the time when Jesus is to be executed and He is trying to get His disciples to understand the significance of their time together. The key things He wanted his disciples to get was that:
- He and the Father are one. If you know Jesus you know the Father and that none will ever know the Father except through Jesus. (v7)
- That to truly love Jesus you have to keep His commandments.(My mind immediately starts looking for a checklist of dos and don’ts but I don’t think that is what Jesus is talking about here. I think He is talking about applying His teaching to our lives with the love of God and others as the pinnacle teaching.)(v15)
- The Father will send the Holly Spirit to live in His disciples after He has returned to the Father so that each disciple will have the power and the guidance to do the will of the Father.
The verses that corresponds with point 3 are highlighted above and this is the point I will end on. Many times in my walk with Jesus I have struggled to not feel alone. Many times I am scared to act on my faith because I worry what the outcome will be or I worry that I won’t say or do the right thing. Worse than this there are many times where I will worry about the things of this life (job, bills, relationships) to the point that I completely miss what God is doing. The big reality is I am not alone. Not only has Jesus died in my place so that I may be reconciled and have a relationship with the Father, but He has also taken up residence inside of me in the form of the Holy Spirit. It is hard to contemplate that the Spirit of God who did all the works of creation and the work of salvation and reconciliation lives inside of me. He lives in me to teach me and to guide me and to help me resist sin and to be bold for the Kingdom and to empower me to do all things. This is the same Spirit that lived in Jesus when He was in human form and this is the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead. What an awesome reality it is to know that God lives in us. May we all grab a hold of this truth and live in peace with boldness for the Kingdom.
Heavenly Father, thank you God for your grace and your salvation. Thank you for your Holy Spirit. Thank you that you live in us and guide us. Thank you Jesus for your teaching and your peace. We praise you! In your name, Amen.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV)
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
No lengthy commentary today other than to say that giving into temptation either comes from a lack of understanding about what Jesus has done for us on the cross or just willful disobedience. I think as disciples we should all commit today’s scripture to memory and understand that Jesus has given us victory over sin. He has defeated sin and as we submit our lives to Jesus we become partakers in that victory. Reading the verse above, is there any excuse we can make for willfully giving in to any temptation? Read it again. This scripture plainly says that there is a way of escape from all temptation. I worry that sometime we abuse God’s grace and forgiveness. I know I am guilty. In the moments of temptation where sin is ready to dirty up my soul and cloud my spirit it is easy to rationalize and say, “well even if I do give in to this temptation God is faithful to forgive me as I confess to Him”. Its just wrong and I feel this is one of those things that really slows us down and get us off track in our walk. I am challenging myself and any Christian reading this to stop willfully sinning. Remember, the Holy Spirit lives in us to guide us. It’s time to let Him lead. Proactivelysubmit yourself to Him in all your actions today.
Heavenly Father, thank you God for your faithfulness. Thank you God that you do not allow us to be tempted beyond our ability to resist. Thank you for the way of escape. Father please help us today to submit to your leading. Please help us resist the old life of sin that battles with the new life of the Spirit. Holy Spirit lead us and guide us. May we hear your voice and heed your instruction. We offer you praise and honor. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
1 Samuel 10:6
6 Then the Spirit of the LORD will rush upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man.
1 Samuel 10:22
22 So they inquired again of the LORD, “Is there a man still to come?” and the LORD said, “Behold, he has hidden himself among the baggage.”
I found this interesting nugget from 1 Samuel. It comes from the story of how the first king was appointed in Israel. Basically, the people cry out for a king because they want to be ruled like other nations. God sends the prophet Samuel to point out who the king should be. God tells Samuel to pick this guy Saul. Samuel goes to Saul and tells him all that is to happen and that the at the culmination of the events he will become king. He tells Saul that while he is waiting to become king he will be filled with Holy Spirit and that because of this encounter with the Holy Spirit he will become a different man. All these things came to pass. Saul was filled the Spirit and those who knew him testified that he was indeed changed.
When I read this I was excited. I was thinking what a cool precursor to the modern Christian experience. Here we see God working in Saul much in the same way he works in us. As we come to faith and are in Christ we are filled with the Holy Spirit and hopefully that transformation is evident to the folks that knew us prior to conversion. As I read further I was shocked to find that after God had poured His Spirit out on Saul he kinda wimped out. Check out verse 22. At the moment when he was suppose to step up and be King, he went and hid. I was like what? The Spirit of God equipped Saul to be King of the nation and he hid out in the baggage. Really? Thinking about it though, isn’t this also often true about our Christian experience? I know from my experience there have been times I did not want to step up and do the things God has called. I have wimped out on things much simpler than leading a nation. Church attendance, leading my family consistently in devotions, and loving my neighbors are just a few examples of where I have hidden in the baggage.
I know I have heard it said that one of the reasons God fills us is so that we can empty ourselves out in service to others. I think the challenge is that we have to lay down our individual concerns and understand that Jesus ministers to us as a body. Each one of us are gifted and equipped so that we might be a benefit to our fellow believers. Our reluctance to engage in what God has called us and equipped us to do affects more that our own journey. It affects our families, the people we have influence with, and it affects Jesus’ bride the Church. Let us not forget that God who has called us will empower us to do all he sets before us.
So, pray for me and I’ll pray for you that we would not hide out in the baggage but that we would walk out our calling for the glory of the one who made the call!
Heavenly Father, thank you Lord for a new day. Father help us embrace your call and empower us with boldness to walk it out. Forgive our reluctance. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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Here’s Francis’ intro to the book.
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or check out Tim Challies’ review at his Discerning Reader site.
Grace and Peace,