Upon contemplating this Holy Week, Christians understand and rejoice the importance of what Jesus did for us. We realize the sacrifice and the pain He endured because of our fallen natures. Jesus’ death on the cross was for us; so that we could be saved and receive the opportunity to go to Heaven to be with Him and our Father. Although this is the greatest gift anyone could be given, that is not the only gift Jesus gave us. He still knew life was not going to be easy; whether we face temptation, confusion, fear or physical illness, He knew that we were not, in our own strength, able to deal with all the attacks (physically and mentally) without His help.
In John, Chapter 16, He attempts to comfort His apostles because He knows that His time with them is running short.
He also understood that the apostles, despite the years of walking along aside Him, did not yet learn (or fully comprehend) or experience everything they would face in the future. He knew, although the journey with Him appeared to end for them, the fact is, it was just beginning. Jesus prepared them to be “Fishers of Men”. He knew the challenges would be hard, painful and discouraging. He knew the walk without Him would be difficult for them. For this reason, in verse 7, He tells them:
Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.
John 16:7, NKJV
That “Helper” that he is referring to, is The Holy Spirit. Jesus provides us a tool to renew our mind, so that we can behave like true followers of Christ. Holy Spirit lives within us and provides us guidance, direction and even conviction. We may not always know what to do, how to act or even how to pray; however, we are never alone and God has given us incredible gifts to help us: His Son, His Word (the Bible) and The Holy Spirit.
In the Book of John, he focuses on retelling us his walk with Jesus by writing about certain themes and topics and therefore, the Chapter is not laid out chronologically as the teachings and parables in the Books of Matthew, Mark and Luke. John accounts what Jesus told the apostles about the Holy Spirit in Chapters 14 – 16.
Holy Spirit is not only your Helper, but your Teacher and Counselor. Just as a teacher or counselor would steer you in the right direction with the goal of creating functioning, wise, productive and independent adults, The Holy Spirit, helps us to make better decisions; He will convict us (make our conscience aware) so that we turn and go in the right direction. Keep in mind, that His correction is not meant to condemn us to the point where we feel unworthy to be used or to the point where we are so burdened with guilt that we become useless.
We are the Body of Christ and if we can’t bear good fruit or our decisions are not pleasing to God, then how do we positively impact the world. We are given all authority and power to be the light and mouthpiece for Jesus until His return.
Keep in mind, that we are NEVER alone. Jesus told us that:
And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. John 14:16-18, NKJV
No matter our situation or challenge, He promised…..”I will not leave you orphans”.
He also gifted us “peace”. Since we are assured that The Holy Spirit is within us, that we are not alone and that we have a Helper and Comforter, we can rest in knowing the truth of what Jesus told us below, “Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let it be afraid”.
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 things that I said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
John 14:26-27, NKJV
I have a copy of a Billy Graham Training Center Bible that was gifted to someone named Dawn. My husband purchased this Bible from a fundraising book sale at work. I don’t know who Dawn is (or was), but the Billy Graham Chaplains signed the front cover page with these words, “This Book is about hope and life for you only, Friend in Jesus!”
Since this is their training Bible, it includes notes on topics that help the reader understand Gospel messages and how we can apply it to living a life of faith. I share this with you because one of the notes I found in Acts 13, stresses that The Holy Spirit is not just a once-in-a-lifetime experience. He is a gift that Jesus gave us for our everyday journey on this planet. Here are some crucial reminders that I am sure Dawn won’t mind me sharing:
Realize that God wants to give you abundant life
Sincerely desire a Spirit-controlled and empowered life
Confess any known sin that would hinder the Holy Spirit’s control in your life
Ask God to fill you with his Holy Spirit and thank him for doing so
Walk in the Spirit and maintain an ongoing relationship with the Holy Spirit.
We have much to be thankful for this Easter season. So, let not your baskets be filled with candy, trinkets and hard boiled eggs, see that they are filled with gifts that only He can give……His Love, His Grace, His Comfort, His Guidance, His Peace and His Spirit. Do not let your gifts sit around for months; let the chocolates and the stale “peeps” be the only thing you throw in the trash 6 months from now!
Through God’s Grace, Blessings, Love and Prayers,