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Lent 2018 Devotional—March 23rd

Lent 2018 Devotional—March 23rd

PRAY

Loving Father, may I have the power to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge (Ephesians 3:18-19).

READ

“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”

John 16:12-15

As we listen to Jesus in the Upper Room we realize there are important matters He does not take up. He does not mention nanotechnology, nuclear proliferation, or space travel. Neither does He touch on Aunt Ruth’s battle with cancer, Jayson’s painful divorce, nor Celeste trying to decide on which college to attend. But Jesus goes one better. He promises that the Holy Spirit will do for believers what Jesus would do if physically present with them.

Jesus acknowledges that He leaves much unsaid in His last hours with His disciples: “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.” The word “bear” is the word used to describe Jesus “carrying” His cross (John 19:17). There are matters too heavy or too profound for the disciples to “bear” without the promised help of the Holy Spirit. But Jesus assures that when the Spirit comes He “will guide…will speak…will declare...” Note the future tense of these verbs. The Holy Spirit will guide, speak, and declare for “a deep understanding of what Jesus means for one’s own time.” (Raymond Brown, The Gospel According to John) In other words, the Spirit will be there for Aunt Ruth to guide, speak, and declare as she battles cancer.

It is the “Spirit of truth” who will “guide” (hodegeo), but it is Jesus who is the “way” (hodos) and “truth” itself (John 14:6). The Holy Spirit makes us one with Jesus “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3).

South African preacher Andrew Murray encourages readers:

Let us lay our own will and our own wisdom captive at the feet of Jesus and wait in faith and holy stillness there. The deep consciousness will grow that the Spirit is within us, and that His Divine Life is living and growing within us.” (Andrew Murray, The Spirit of Christ)

There are many matters Jesus does not address in the Upper Room, many matters of urgent concern to us today. But rather than give us rules to live by, Jesus gives us the Holy Spirit. Jesus says the Holy Spirit “will glorify me because he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” (C. Austin Miles, “In The Garden”) The Holy Spirit is with us to make real what we sing about Jesus in the old hymn: “And He walks with me, And He talks with me, And He tells me I am His own.” The Holy Spirit will “guide…speak….declare…”, actively doing for us what Jesus would do if He were physically present with us!

REFLECT

  • Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would guide. Where in my life am I needing the Holy Spirit to guide? Talk with Him about this.

O most merciful Redeemer, Friend and Brother, may I know Thee more clearly, love Thee more dearly, and follow Thee more nearly, day by day.
Richard of Chichester (1197-1253)

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