Weekly Devotional 2-25-19 We Haven’t Been Left Alone
On the night that Jesus would be arrested, He gathered the twelve disciples to Him and assured them that even though He would be leaving them, He would not leave them alone. Turning to the Gospel of John we read, “16And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever–17the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. 19A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. 20At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. 21He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him” (John 14:16-21).
Meeting with eleven of the disciples a few days later, He breathed into them His Spirit (John 20:22). His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, was imparted to them on that day and they were forever changed men. This impartation, however, was and is not to them alone. It is Jesus’ gift to all who by faith commit themselves to Him. Many times in the book of Acts we read of persons receiving the Holy Spirit. Some of them were singled out, and the record tells how they were also changed persons. These were such persons as the deacon Stephen (Chapter 7); the Ethiopian eunuch (Chapter 8); Saul of Tarsus (Chapter 9); Cornelius (Chapter 10); and the Philippian Jailor (Chapter 16). None of these were left alone. The Spirit of Jesus indwelt them, and they were spiritually changed persons. Each of these persons were never the same again. They received the comfort of the Holy Spirit. He brought illumination about Jesus to them that He is one with God. Because of this comfort and illumination they set the world around them spiritually on fire.
The wonderful thing about this is that the comfort of the Holy Spirit is given to each believer, not the comfort of the world, but God’s comfort. Consider the following excerpt of the inspired words of Paul as he, by letter, encouraged the Christians at Rome. “16The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17and if children, then heirs-heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. 18For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23Not only that, but we also who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. 26Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:16-26).
The Church by this time had suffered much by the Roman government, and by the Jews. Paul sought to encourage these Christians by reminding them that they had the indwelling Holy Spirit and they had not been left alone. In another letter, his letter to the Galatians, Paul encouraged his readers by reminding them that the Holy Spirit produces in the committed Christian “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”
Both letters, to the Romans and to the Galatians, were written thirty plus years after the Holy Spirit had been breathed into the apostles (John 20:22), and when He birthed the church on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2). Jesus’ promise therefore transcends the apostles and His original followers and all who would come to believe in and commit themselves to Him. This includes you and me. We have not been left alone. Wonder of wonders!
Transforming Power; The Work of God on Behalf of Man
All Scripture Usage is from the NKJB