Encouragement 03-11-05



March 11, 2005
Encouragement for Today 

The Advocate
Sharon Jaynes - Vice President of Proverbs 31 Radio, author, speaker.
Key Verse:

"And I will ask the Father and He will give you another Counselor, to be with you forever - the Spirit of truth." (John 14:15)

During Jesus' last supper discourse, He reassured the disciples that He would not leave them as orphans. "And I will ask the Father and He will give you another Counselor, to be with you forever - the Spirit of truth" (John 14:15).  The Greek word, which is also translated Helper (NASB) and Comforter (KJV), is parakletos and means a "person summoned to one's aid."  Originally it was a term used in a court of justice to denote a legal assistant, counsel for the defense, an advocate; then, generally, one who pleas another's cause, an intercessor, an advocate. 
I love the image of being in a court of law because I have come to see Satan as the "accuser of the brethren."  (Revelation 12:10).  He points His gnarly finger in our faces and says things like, "You aren't a very good Christian," "Jesus doesn't really love you," "You were a mistake when you were born," "You've really blown it this time,"  "What makes you any different now than before you accepted Christ,"  "I don't see much fruit in your life,"  "You're a pitiful excuse as a wife, as a mother, as a child of God," etc.
 Now tell me, have you ever heard any of those statements before?  Perhaps you've always assumed these were your own musings. That's exactly what Satan would have you believe.  However, I believe those accusatory statements are words from Satan that he whispers in our ears.  It sounds like us, it feels like us, but it's from the accuser himself. It is always amazing to me that while I might have trouble hearing God's voice, Satan's usually comes through loud and clear.  Why we even think they are our thoughts.
On the other hand, the Holy Spirit is our counselor, our attorney, who comes along side us and repeats, "Not guilty!  Not guilty!  Not guilty!" He says, "You, my child, have been set free!"
My Prayer for Today:

Dear Lord, thank You that You are my parakletos, my Helper, my Comforter, my Defender.  I know that I am guilty - guilty of sending You to the cross.  There are no words to express my gratitude and amazement of the mercy that You have bestowed.  To think that You took my death penalty and gave me life!  Thank You, Jesus. In Jesus' name, Amen
Application Steps:

Sometimes it is easy to think that we are "pretty good," or "not so bad."  However, the Bible tells us that we were "enemies of God" before we accepted Christ.  Not only were we "in darkness," we "were darkness."  Today, I want you to write down 10 reasons that you should be deemed guilty...but Christ took the penalty for you.  For those who are extra brave, write down 20.  This should come rather quickly. 
Now, with your list in hand, close your eyes and envision Christ on the cross.  Envision Him saying.... "I forgive you of (fill in the blank with your number one) and pay the penalty for you."
Reflection Points:

What lies of Satan have you been hearing lately?
God will convict us, but He will not condemn us. Do you realize that any thoughts that you have that condemn you are not from God?
Is there some area of your life where you have been wearing the chains of "guilty" or a self imposed life sentence?  What do you think Jesus would say to you about such guilt?
Power Verses:

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death." Romans 8:1, 2 (NIV)
"You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body." 1 Corinthians 7:19, 20 (NIV)
"This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished-- he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus." Romans 3:22-26 (NIV)
"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life." John 5:24 (NIV)
Additional Resources:

Today's devotion was taken from Becoming a Woman Who Listens to God by Sharon Jaynes

Originally published Friday, 11 March 2005.