14 When you ask me for anything in my name, I will do it.
18 “I won’t leave you as orphans. I will come to you. 19 Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Because I live, you will live too. 20 On that day you will know that I am in my Father, you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them loves me. Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”
15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 I will ask the Father, and he will send another Companion, who will be with you forever. 17 This Companion is the Spirit of Truth, whom the world can’t receive because it neither sees him nor recognizes him. You know him, because he lives with you and will be with you.
22 Judas (not Judas Iscariot) asked, “Lord, why are you about to reveal yourself to us and not to the world?”
23 Jesus answered, “Whoever loves me will keep my word. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Whoever doesn’t love me doesn’t keep my words. The word that you hear isn’t mine. It is the word of the Father who sent me.
25 “I have spoken these things to you while I am with you. 26 The Companion,[b] the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I told you.
To this day, when I think of my mother, I am still awed by a contrast that I will explain here. In the 1940s fewer than 5% of women had a bachelor’s degree so she was kind of unique graduating with a degree from the University of Maine in accounting with a minor in music. She was talented, a violinist, pianist and vocalist and member of the university orchestra. As a child, she grew up in an American Baptist Church. The contrast I refer to was her never ending, child-like expression, saying that if you believe in Jesus, your life would always be fine.
What makes me mention this is Pastor Joe’s excellent message titled “Everything Happens for a Reason.” If you did not see or hear it I think you will find your effort to do so rewarded. A part of Joe’s message reminded us that sometimes the most difficult and painful things that happen in our lives are self-inflicted. But God can work good things in our lives even when the circumstances are bad.
That made me think about what Jesus told his followers in terms of the power that comes from God’s love in the world. The life of faith is defined and maintained through acts of love. Jesus telling the disciples that anything you ask of God in Jesus’ name is an occasion for joy because it is a sign that the disciples share fully in Jesus’ relationship with God. The presence of the Spirit of Truth, we might say Holy Spirit, Advocate, Comforter or Paraclete, will abide in the believing community, but not the world, after Jesus has gone.
The vital role of the Holy Spirit is described in five passages of John (14:16-17; 14:26; 15:26-27; 16:5-11; and 16:12-15) as the ways of extending the revelation of God in Jesus into the lives of post resurrection believers as both teacher and witness. The love of God, made known in the resurrection, continues on into the life of believing communities through the gift of the Holy Spirit today.
by Clarence Beverage
For Pondering & Prayer
I have an idea for your consideration. If we pause regularly to take in, and ponder, the fact that we are uniquely gifted with the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives, would that slowly change how we shape our day and what we do? It is a new thought for me, and I wonder. Does it make you happy? How about when you think of the rejoicing in Heaven every time a new believer is seen, Luke 15:10?
Prayer: Lord God, your Word reveals such richness the more that we read and here. We give you thanks for the pastors, teachers, musicians, and other servants who interpret and present your Word in our lives. Amen.