Day 140: May 20, 2014

Today's Reading(s)

John 16:5-15
5 “But now I am going away to Him who sent Me, and not one of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ 6 Yet, because I have spoken these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 Nevertheless, I am telling you the truth. It is for your benefit that I go away, because if I don’t go away the Counselor will not come to you. If I go, I will send Him to you. 8 When He comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment: 9 About sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see Me; 11 and about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. 12 “I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t bear them now.13 When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak whatever He hears. He will also declare to you what is to come. 14 He will glorify Me, because He will take from what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 Everything the Father has is Mine. This is why I told you that He takes from what is Mine and will declare it to you.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.



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The Father and Son Send the Holy Spirit to Benefit Believers
by Karla Worley, Member of Brentwood Baptist, Brentwood Campus

Have you ever wished you could have been one of Jesus’ disciples? To have seen Him in person, heard His voice, listened to Him talk about God—what could be better?

Actually, Jesus said, there is something even better for us: the presence of His Holy Spirit, living in us. “It is to your advantage that I go away,” Jesus told His disciples, who could not imagine life without Him. The Greek words there mean “it will bring you benefits.” And it did. As wonderful as it was to follow Jesus in person, the disciples were still often confused, powerless, competing with one another and afraid of what Jesus said was ahead for Him and for them.

Compare these same disciples to the men who appear in the stories in Acts. They are healing, powerfully articulating what God was doing in Christ, living with generosity and joy, fearlessly facing threats and beatings, praying with boldness, leading thousands to know Jesus Christ and follow Him. The transformation was so great that even the chief priests and Jewish elders were astonished. (Acts 4:13) What was the difference? They were filled with the Holy Spirit, just as Jesus had promised.

Here are just a few of the benefits the Holy Spirit brings to believers:

  • John 16:7-11 The Spirit convicts us of our need for God.
  • Ephesians 1:11-19 The Spirit is the deposit/guarantee of our new life with Christ forever.
  • Galatians 4:6-7 The Spirit makes us sons/heirs of God.
  • Romans 8:14-16 The Spirit confirms our identity in Christ.
  • 1 John 3:24 The Spirit is the proof that Christ lives in us.
  • Romans 8:5-11 The Spirit makes it possible to please God/live the life of God.
  • Ezekiel 36:26-27 The Spirit gives us a heart to obey God; moves us to obey.
  • Psalm 143:10 The Spirit leads us as we try to obey God
  • John 16:13-15 The Spirit guides us into all truth; makes sense out of what is happening; glorifies Christ.
  • John 15:26 The Spirit confirms everything about Christ.
  • John 14:16-18 The Spirit helps us, lives in us.
  • John 14:26 The Spirit teaches and reminds us of everything Christ taught.
  • Acts 1:8 The Spirit gives us power to be Christ’s witnesses.
  • Mark 13:10-11 The Spirit gives us the words to speak for God.
  • Acts 4:31 The Spirit enables us to speak the word of God boldly.
  • 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 The Spirit gives spiritual gifts to do the work of God.
  • Romans 8:26-27 The Spirit helps us when we pray.

It was necessary—yes, beneficial—for Jesus to leave. His death made atonement for sin. His resurrection brought the first fruits of eternal life. And because He returned to heaven and sent His Spirit, we have the power to live that new life.

Praxis

  • Begin by reflecting on the many benefits of the Holy Spirit. Thank God for giving us His Spirit! Thank God for specific benefits that stand out to you.
  • As you reflect on this list of benefits, open your heart for examination. One of the things Jesus said the Spirit would do is convict us of sin, of disobedience. Jesus said the Spirit would also guide us into all truth. Is there an area of spiritual life, perhaps on the list above, in which you’ve been trying to live under your own power, rather than relying on the Spirit? Ask Him to reveal this. Confess it. Ask Him to show you a new way to rely on Him.
  • Are any of these benefits of the Spirit news to you? Perhaps you never knew before that the Spirit makes this possible. Perhaps you need to learn more. Underline or highlight those passages. Spend some time reading them more deeply.

About JourneyOn Today

Today's devotional series accompanies the Spiritual Practices Foundations Curriculum which deals with 24 different spiritual disciplines. We will break for an Advent series in December and continue the second half of Spiritual Practices during the first quarter of 2015.