March 24, 2020
All DayCategory: Lenten Devotional
The Work of the Holy Spirit
“But now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because people do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned”(John 16:5-11).
Jesus has to leave his disiciples so that the Holy Spirit can come. The Holy Spirit will reveal God’s truth and love to those who seek him.Those who turn their backs on him are victims of their sin.
God had meant from the beginning to unite all humans, who are all made in his image, to be his sons and daughters. After the Fall, he chose Abraham to be the one through whom this blessing should come to the whole world (Genesis 12:1-3). From Abraham’s descendants he chose Isaac, then Jacob and the Israelites to model this relationship. Both in the Psalms and by the prophets, a king was promised who would reign forever over all the earth in justice and peace ─the Messiah, the anointed one. Jesus, a Jew, came and taught Israel about this kingdom. Many understood, but the leaders did not recognize the Messiah. Instead, they saw only a heretic and traitor and had him executed by the Romans. But after his resurrection and ascension to the seat next to God, the Holy Spirit came and empowered the expanding Messianic community to do great things. From Israel, the kingdom began to grow to include the Gentiles and today it encompasses the whole world.
Yet, as with the Israelites, and as we witness in our “Christian” western world, many turn their backs on King Jesus. They seek peace, but in the wrong places. Peace can only reign when people are reconciled with God. But our secularized society is too proud to accept a king. Pride is the original sin. It means separation from God. It means “knowing better” than God. God, our creator, has given us the manual for living a life of peace ─the Bible. But as with so many manuals, people are too proud or too lazy to read it. They think they know a shortcut. They invent their own manuals for happiness (peace) ─wealth, power, fun, science, cars … all of which may be good as tools, but are the road to death (sin) when elected as gods. They cause us to separate ourselves from God.
With the Holy Spirit, the kingdom of God has come. It is already here but not complete. Through the Holy Spirit, and in spite of our weaknesses, God’s love and truth are working through us. In our weakness, his power is revealed.
Prayer:Heavenly Father, I thank you and praise you that through the sacrifice of Jesus, I may be your child. Help me to be open at all times to the leading of the Holy Spirit, so that through me your love and truth may be revealed to those around me.