Section One: The Spiritual Characteristics of a Godly Life.
Our current theme: Characteristic Two: Being Empowered.
Our reading for today: John 14: 15-21 (MsgB)
If you love Me, (said Jesus) show it by doing what I’ve told you. I will talk to the Father, and He’ll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you. This Friend is the Spirit of Truth. The godless world can’t take Him in because it doesn’t have eyes to see Him, doesn’t know what to look for. But you know Him already because He has been staying with you, and will even be in you! I will not leave you orphaned. I’m coming back. In just a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you’re going to see Me because I am alive and you’re about to come alive. At that moment you will know absolutely that I’m in My Father, and you’re in Me, and I’m in you. The person who knows My commandments and keeps them, that’s who loves Me. And the person who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and make Myself plain to him.
Back at the beginning of this blog series, we asked the question…“What exactly defines a true disciple, or a follower of Christ?”
This entire 36-week series is designed to help address that burning question, but suffice to say that the Master, Jesus of Nazareth, did one heck of a good job when He simply reminded His friends here in today’s passage…
If you love me…show it by doing what I’ve told you.
Simple answers like this certainly deserve simple action points; so let me get right to the point. Following Jesus…or in other words, doing all the things He told us to do, is quite honestly, a pretty hard assignment. Have you ever tried to go one whole day, for example, loving, without any conditions, every person that came your way? Or what about forgiveness? Jesus taught His disciples to forgive others as God forgives us. After Peter thought that idea over for a few minutes, he asked Jesus if seven opportunities to forgive seemed reasonable enough. As you might remember, Jesus chuckled under His breath, and then retorted, “Hey Pete…try 70 x 7!
So how’s a man or woman like you or me supposed to do this Christian discipleship thing? Once we receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, how in the world does a regular person like us step up into such a demanding job?
Well, have I got a piece of good news for you today!
According to Jesus here in John 14, The Father and He have already dialogued about this predicament awaiting those of us who want to “do all the things Jesus asked us to do” and, praise God, the Divine came up with an amazing solution…an answer that, quite honestly, should blow our earthly minds!
The answer, my dear friends, is the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of Truth, as Jesus calls Him here. A comrade in the faith; a companion sent from God who comes alongside (no, wait…comes inside us!) and walks us through this difficult thing called life. You see, Jesus never, ever expected you or me to “do all the things He told us to do” out of our human strength alone. As a matter of fact, these next two weeks, we will explore the amazing work of the Holy Spirit, the Friend who enters in on Jesus’ behalf, indwelling and empowering followers of Christ to do and say things that the rest of the outside world will simply not understand.
So are you ready for a trip of a lifetime?
Join us next time as we ponder more on the Third Person of the Holy Trinity. The Spirit of Truth. The Holy Spirit of God.
My prayer: God, I stand amazed at the “solution” You and Your Son came up with for those of us who want to follow Jesus but find ourselves woefully unable, (and many times even stubbornly unwilling), to do all the things Jesus asked us to do. You’ve got my attention, Jesus, when You tell Your disciples that they are “about to come alive.” I say, come, Holy Spirit, come. For Your name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: Am I trying to live the Christian life, (i.e. doing the things Jesus asks me to do), through my human strength alone? Am I fully aware of the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit, calling upon Him to breathe new life into me today? What needs to change in my day-to-day existence as a follower of Christ, so that I’m making more room for the Spirit of Truth to dwell deep within me?
So what is God speaking to you today as we attempt to live the Christ-centered life?
Over a thirty-six week period, you and I will take a deeper look into twelve key characteristics of a godly life. In other words, we’ll take A Journey into Christian Discipleship. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Journey home page for ease of use. ENJOY!
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