Weekly Devotional - Nov 30, 2016
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 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 14:16-17)
Scripture Reading – Romans 7:14-8:2
We desire to obey God’s commands, but too often we are weak and fail when we try using our own strength. Our flesh continues to wage war against our heart’s desire to obey God, and we simply can’t succeed. Thankfully, God doesn’t leave us alone in our desperation. He gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit, so that we can live our life in obedience to God. Jesus Himself asked the Father to send the Holy Spirit. He knew that without the Spirit, it would be impossible for us to obey the command to do the work that He did.
Try to imagine the difficulties the disciples faced after Jesus rose from the dead. Jesus sent them into all the world to proclaim the news of the Resurrection. He gave them a vision, but didn’t provide them with any of the resources needed to fulfill that vision; resources like transportation, funds, or even an organization. From a worldly perspective, Jesus didn’t equip them with what was needed. And to top it all off, they weren’t sent into friendly areas, but to places fraught with danger. However, Jesus knew a Helper was coming—the Holy Spirit. Jesus’ presence through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit would be enough. Every other worldly preparation would pale in comparison to His presence. With the Holy Spirit, they had all they needed to fulfill God’s plan.
The Holy Spirit is of utmost importance in the life of every believer. He is all that we need. The world doesn’t have the Holy Spirit, because the Spirit is holy. He can’t dwell in those who are unholy. Unless the heart is cleansed by the blood of Christ, we are not qualified to be the temple of the Holy Spirit. The world has rejected Christ, so they are still contaminated by their sin and worldly passions. But even the weakest believers have been cleansed and given the power to obey the commands of Christ to do His works. The Holy Spirit resides in each of us to turn this world upside down for Christ. Instead of putting us in a situation where our hearts are filled with discouragement, because we face an impossible task, God has filled our hearts with Himself. Through the Holy Spirit, He is with us until the end of the age.
Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Truth. That’s because our message to the world is true. It’s very important that our lives reflect holy living, so that our lives and our message are in sync. The Pharisees were some of Jesus’ biggest opponents. They were the religious leaders who, on the outside, appeared to obey God’s commands, but their hearts were far from Him. Jesus calls them hypocrites. Their hypocrisy led them to opposing Christ and working to have Him crucified. We, too, are in danger of becoming hypocrites. The Spirit of Truth has been given to us so that we understand what is true about God and have the power to live according to that truth. This enables us to give a true, rather than hypocritical testimony about Christ.
The Holy Spirit has been given as a helper to us. He leads us in the truth about Christ and the truth about ourselves. He changes our sinful hearts by purifying them for God. The Spirit of Truth will help us live lives of self-denial and humility—and to be good witnesses for Christ. It’s the Holy Spirit who changes our minds and hearts to understand who we are in relation to the true God. Are you using the power of the Holy Spirit in your life to do the works that Christ did?