Thursday, March 15, 2018

The Advocate

Jesus is leaving but he isn't leaving us alone.

John 15:26-27 “But I will send you the Advocate, the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me. And you must also testify about me because you have been with me from the beginning of my ministry.”

John 16:5-9 “But now I am going away to the one who sent Me, and not one of you is asking where I am going. 6 Instead, you grieve because of what I’ve told you. 7 But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come.”

“If I do go away, then I will send Him to you. 8 And when He comes, He will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. 9 The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in Me.”

The Lord’s Supper has just been finished and Jesus knows that His time with His disciples is coming to an end. Jesus was always up front with his disciples, he knows that they will have a difficult time with the events that are going to happen very soon, he is much more concerned for them than they are for Him.

During His ministry Jesus has explained to them many times that they would have a difficult life because of their association with Him. Jesus knew that the hatred that came at Him will be directed at his disciples after He is gone.

The opposition will require some help from a source that the disciples don’t know much about. They knew they had a great friend in Jesus, so great that it is distressing to see him go after only three years, but Jesus tells them that there is a better relationship that will come about after he leaves.

The Holy Spirit doesn’t get mentioned very much, we shy away from Him, maybe it’s because the spirit world seems too scary or magical and there are a lot of wrong ideas in religious circles about Him. The Holy Spirit does not typically draw attention to Himself and put Himself in the spotlight, most of the time His work in your life is quiet and unassuming. Because of this we give the glory He deserves to someone or something else.

The Holy Spirit was there with the Father and Son at creation (Genesis 1:2). He was there when Jesus was conceived, and there at His baptism and temptation (Luke 1: 35, 3:22, 4:1–2). The Bible tells us that Jesus performed his miracles through the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:14–19).

When Jesus’s closest earthly companions betrayed him, denied him, and scattered, the Spirit walked with him all the way to His death, empowering him to offer himself freely (Hebrews 9:14). And the Spirit was there on Easter Sunday to raise him in power (Romans 1:4).

What as amazing and powerful companion He is, we are privileged to have him, He assisted Jesus in his ministry and we can also enjoy the benefit of his power in our ministry as well.

The Holy Spirit gives us gifts and helps us to use them properly. It is tempting to use our gifts for our own interest or to just say that we are naturally talented in a certain area and ignore the source of that talent. It is an ugly thing to see a gift being used in a self-serving or unloving manner.

The Holy Spirit strengthens us in the face of suffering and persecution, enabling us to confront a hating world and a supernatural enemy with all of his demonic helpers, such a powerful foe would be impossible to defeat without the power that Jesus told his disciples to wait for. (Acts 1:8)

The Holy Spirit guides us towards obedience, it is easy to believe that being more like Christ is a product of our own efforts but really it isn’t us at all, the ability to change comes about by the Spirit’s power within us.

I need to be sure that I am relying on the Holy Spirit in my life everyday. With Him I will be powerful in ministry, I will be more obedient to become like my Savior and I will use my gifts to serve others. I need to be in the word each day and praying for the Holy Spirit’s direction in every detail of my life and then I need to give him the credit for my gifts and abilities.