June 28, 2018
What Difference Does He Make?
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth (John 14:16-17 NIV).
Friend to Friend
If you were going off to war, and knew you’d be put on the front lines and probably wouldn’t be coming back home to your family, what would you tell them? Think of the final instructions you’d give your children, the affirmation of your love you’d whisper to your spouse, and the words of endearment you’d share with your friends.
Jesus was in that very situation as He shared His last meal with the disciples in the upper room. All along, He had given them clues about how His earthly life would end and the purpose for His brief life here on earth. But they didn’t understand. They refused to believe their king would be anything other than worshiped as He had been when He rode into town on the back of a donkey and was hailed with palm branches and praise.
I imagine during their last meal together, Jesus went through a mental list of what He needed to tell His friends before He went to the cross. John records those precious moments in
Let’s look at one word of comfort and instruction regarding a special parting gift Jesus was leaving His trusted friends. He said:
If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them (John 14:15-21).
Did you catch that the Holy Spirit had been with them, but now He was going to be in them? What difference do you think that would make in someone’s life? What difference has that made in your life?
After Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven, the Holy Spirit fell on the disciples and transformed a bunch of bungling cowards into powerful, prophesying preachers. They commanded the lame to walk, cast out demons, preached to the masses, confronted angry crowds, and laughed in the face of death.
They changed the world.
On that glorious day at Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit fell on the worshiping believers, a new day was unleashed for the church. The Holy Spirit now resides in every person who has accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior (Romans 8:9). The Spirit of the living God has empowered us with the same power that raised Jesus from the dead (Ephesians 1:19-22).
Then why don’t we exercise that power? Because we don’t believe.
In developing countries, it is not unusual to hear of miraculous healings, signs, and wonders, and even the raising of the dead. No one told them those things don’t happen anymore. Praise God for that! They believe in the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives and expect God to show up when they call on His name. Oh that we would put our sophisticated, over-educated minds aside and go to God as children who believe He is who He says He is and does what He says He will do.
When we come to Christ, we are given the Holy Spirit as a deposit of our heavenly inheritance (Ephesians 1:14), as a seal upon our hearts (Ephesians 1:13), and as a permanent resident within us (Hebrews 13:5). But we have the choice to stumble about in our own strength, saying “I can’t,” or embrace the power of the Holy Spirit and say, “I can.”
Today, I’m choosing to access the power that is already mine. What about you?
Lord, I’ll be honest, sometimes I forget that I even have the power of the Holy Spirit in me. I stumble about like I’m spiritually blind rather than walk surefooted like an empowered child of the King. Help me to access the power that You have already given me. Help me to understand what that power looks like. Help me to understand the person of the Holy Spirit better.
In Jesus’ Name.
Now It’s Your Turn
Read Acts 1:4-5,8 and note what Jesus told the disciples about what they would do with the power of the Holy Spirit. Now look at Acts 2. What difference did the power of the Holy Spirit make in Peter’s life?
Do the voices in your head tell you that you are not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, or just not enough, period? If so, it’s time to stop listening to the lies that sabotage your confidence and start embracing the truth of your true identity in Christ. It’s time to overcome the lies of the enemy with the promises of God.
Enough: Silencing the Lies that Steal Your Confidenceexposes the lies that keep you bogged down in guilt, shame, and insecurity. By recognizing the lies, rejecting the lies, and replacing the lies with truth, you’ll be able to:
· silence the voice inside that whispers you’re not good enough
· accept God’s grace and no longer allow past failures to define you or confine you
· be preloaded with the truth to fight insecurities
· walk in the surefooted confidence of God’s unconditional love
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Originally published Thursday, 28 June 2018.