Sunday, May 23, 2010

Helper, Comforter

TODAY'S SPECIAL: John 14:15-31

TO CHEW ON: "'And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper that He may abide with you forever.'" John 14:16

We cherish a person's last words, whether we hear them in person or read them in a letter or story. Here, through John, we are privy to some of the last teachings and conversations Jesus had with His disciples. They didn't know what was about to happen, but we do and that makes them all the more poignant.

Jesus, realizing He will soon be gone, pre-comforts his soon-to-be-bereaved disciples with words on which they will probably meditate a lot in the days to come. He will soon send them "another Helper" -- the Holy Spirit. We learn a lot about this third person in the Trinity from this chapter (and John 16).

1. Holy Spirit will be given to all. Jesus gave this promise to His assembled disciples, not one individual (14:16).

2. Different Bible translations describe Him as "Comforter"  also "Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby" (Amplified). Each of these names adds a layer of meaning to our understanding of Him (14:16).

3. He will live with them and be in them. What amazing intimacy (14:16-17)!

4. He will "abide forever" (14:16). In other words, He will be a permanent guest.

5. Jesus calls Him the "Spirit of truth" (14:17). In contrast, Satan, who is the "ruler" or "prince" of this world is known for his lying.  No wonder Jesus says the world wouldn't see, know or receive the Holy Spirit.

6. The Holy Spirit will continue to reveal Jesus to them even though He is physically absent (14:21).

7. He will remind them of what Jesus said and teach what it means (14:26).

8. The Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin righteousness and judgment (John 16:13).

9. He will guide them into truth (16:13).

10. He will explain future events to them (16:13).

11. He will explain and glorify Jesus to them (16:14).

The thrilling thing is that this Holy Spirit is available to us today. He draws us to Jesus and as we give Him the controls of our lives, is with us and in us, just as Jesus described. We probably aren't aware of a fraction what the Spirit does in us, around us, hopefully even through us.

But we can also stymie His presence and activity in our lives. We can test Him, lie to Him, grieve, vex or sadden Him, resist Him, insult Him, and blaspheme Him. On this day when we celebrate His coming to the church, let's let Him search us for anything that would hinder His presence and activity in our lives.

PRAYER: Dear Holy Spirit, thank You for being my constant companion. Please help me to realize this fully and, in the knowledge of it, live boldly. Amen.

MORE: Today is the Day of Pentecost (or Whitsunday), when Christians celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit as told in Acts 2. Enjoy the liturgy for this day.

Cece Winans sings - "Holy Spirit Come Fill This Place"

Do your 8-12-year-olds have daily devotions? Point them to Bible Drive-Thru.

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