Weekly Devotional 12-5-22 Our Counselor and Comforter
Just before His crucifixion, knowing that He would soon be leaving His followers He promised that even though He would soon be leaving them, yet He would be with them. They would not immediately understand this, but would, a few days after His departure. We find this promise recorded in the Gospel of John. He said: “15 If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever–17 the 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.18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.19 ‘A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also.20 At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. 21 He 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 14:15-21).
About this promise we can conclude at least five truths: (1) The Holy Spirit would abide with them throughout their lifetime. (2) He would indwell them. (3) He would comfort them. (4) He would continually testify that Jesus and the Father were one, and that they were one with them. And (5) He would manifest Jesus to them. He said: “26 But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. 27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning” (John 15.26-27).
Continuing with this discourse Jesus said: “13 When He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you” (John 16.13-15).
Certainly, Jesus loved these men and in compassion for them He wanted them to know that even though He would soon leave them physically, He would be with them in another manifestation, in the person of the Holy Spirit. He knew of their insecurities and was assuring them that they would not be left alone. He told them that the Holy Spirit would not only be with them, as had He, but would be in them (14:17) in an intimacy that they did not understand at that time. But after the Holy Spirit would take up residence in them, they would lovingly, willingly, answer the dispatch of 15:27 “And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.”
Ten of these men would exemplify the strength of that dispatch by martyrdom, the eleventh (John) would suffer many years of exile on the isle of Patmos having been sent there by the Romans for his refusal to stop preaching the gospel. He, like most convicts on the island had to provide their own food and shelter. Many died of exposure, violent attacks by the other convicts, or starvation. The point is, John, like the other ten apostles, was so under the influence of the indwelling Holy Spirit that he was able to arise above his circumstances. He accepted his situation and loving fulfilled the demands of Jesus’ dispatch, he bore witness of Jesus. The apostle Paul, who had also been called by God, answered that same dispatch, and served Him without reserve until his life was taken by execution. Turning to his second letter to the Corinthians we read what He endured for the sake of Jesus and the gospel. He wrote: “24 From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep;26 in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;27 in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness–28 besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches” (2nd Corinthians 11:24-28).
It is interesting what the Holy Spirit works in the life of all who have been called of God, those early followers, and all Christians down through these many centuries, including you and me. He rebirths in us new spiritual life, He sets us apart from our old self to a new self and matures us into persons who become His beloved people.
Stevelampman.com / Transforming Power; the Work of God on Behalf of Man