ALL-CHURCH FOCUS 2018 DEVOTIONAL


September 17th, Day 30 - John 14:15-31

start here

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” – John 14:27

 

Where is your heart most troubled right now? 


Where do you need to experience peace in your life? 


Invite the Holy Spirit (a.k.a. The Helper) to bring the relief and peace that could really make all the difference in your life today. 

game on

Read John 14:15-31


Can you recall a moment in your life when you had to take a giant test? Did you feel the fear mixed with determination? The anxiety is revealed by the butterflies in your stomach. Then, as you reluctantly sit down at your desk to take the test, your teacher says, “During this test, you may use your textbook.” What happens?

You feel this wave of relief wash over your entire body.


In today’s passage, we see the continuation of Jesus’ farewell. We see His explicit instruction that seems like an impossible task, but, at the same time, we see a reassurance from Jesus that makes this impossible task feel possible. Jesus’ love for his disciples – and for us – is revealed. Before He left, He promised a Helper. Jesus wasn’t going to abandon them, and He won’t abandon us.


What a relief! As you continue to read this week, keep today’s passage in mind!


your move

Let’s look to what God wants to say directly to you today through John 14:15-31


Scripture: Read through the passage a few times and ask God to direct your attention as you read. Write down which verses or phrases the Holy Spirit has you zero in on in your heart.


Observation: List the ways Jesus describes this Helper. Why would you say Jesus was sending us this Helper?


Application: Where in life are you needing the Helper’s help? What have you been lifting alone in your life without His help?


Prayer: Invite Jesus’ Spirit to help you right now, asking Him to make you aware of this Presence in your life. Invite Jesus’ peace and love to wash over you today.

bonus round

We get some of the best teaching about God the Spirit here in John, chapter 14! Jesus taught about this Third Person of the Trinity in other places too, and the other writers of the Bible teach even more. Explore more today about who Holy Spirit is through this creative video, or read below. 


The Spirit is, first and foremost, God’s personal presence. The Spirit is a person and not merely a force. However, in order to let the text speak for itself, you have start on page one of the bible. Before creation ever even began, we see a depiction of the spirit of God hovering over the dark, disordered waters of the earth, ready to begin spreading goodness and creation. In the Bible, any time we see a description of the spirit of God, such as what is depicted in the first few verses of the Bible, the Hebrew word "ruakh" is used. This word is used to describe a number of things in Hebrew, but one thing they all have in common is that they are some kind of energy. Energy (such as the wind, which is one thing that the word ruakh describes) is invisible, powerful, and necessary for life, making it a fitting description for the spirit of God.


Throughout the Bible, we see the Holy Spirit power used to empower individuals for specific tasks. Joseph is empowered to understand and interpret dreams, an artist named Betzalel is empowered to create beautiful things for the tabernacle, and a group of people - the prophets - are empowered to bring messages from God to the people of Israel and to see what is happening from God's point of view.

The prophets, though, were able to see a problem. While God's spirit had created a good and perfect world, humans had given in to evil and unleashed chaos into it through their injustice. In a way, mankind had returned the earth to the dark, disordered state that it was in when the spirit of God was first hovering over it.


Addressing this problem, the prophets said that the spirit of God would come again, just like it had in Genesis, this time to transform the human heart and empower people to truly love God and others. It is through the life of Jesus that God carries out this return of His spirit.


At the beginning of Christ's mission, there is this beautiful scene where He is being baptized in the Jordan River. The Holy Ghost, God's spirit, comes down on Him in the form of a dove and empowers Him to begin his mission of healing the human condition and starting a new creation. We see this happen when He goes out and heals people and forgives them for their sins. Christ, empowered by the spirit of God, goes throughout the world fixing the chaos and disorder that mankind had brought to it.


Of course, the religious leaders of the time see these actions as a threat, and they have Jesus killed. Still, though, God's spirit is at work. When the disciples saw that Jesus had risen from the grave, they proclaimed that He glowed with the spirit of God. When Jesus appeared to His closest followers, He breathed into them the Holy Spirit, empowering them too to spread God's goodness throughout the world. Soon after that, God's spirit comes over all of His followers.


Today, through Christ and the power He has given His followers, God's spirit continues to hover over a dark and chaotic world, slowly healing it and working towards the day when it is restored to its former glory.


*This resource an excerpt from The Bible Project.