Weekly Devotional – The Holy Spirit Promised

I know we have talked about this before, but I believe this is a subject that can’t be talked about enough. The Holy Spirit is what makes us Christians.

You see I grew up going to a church that was, I believe, scared of the Holy Spirit. They very rarely mentioned the Holy Spirit. I don’t believe they knew how to explain it.

Jesus actually makes two promises in this scripture.
  1.  Jesus promises that He will pray to the Father and the Father will give us an Advocate to help us with our daily lives.
  2. Jesus promises He won’t leave us as orphans.

The first promise is not free. Jesus gave some strict rules for us to follow in order to receive the Holy Spirit. Just because we are Believers, doesn’t mean we get a free ride. Faith is an important part of salvation, but faith alone is not enough (James 2:14-17). Let us look for a moment at these steps we must take.

  1. We must have a pure heart. We must repent of all our sins and give them to Christ for the forgiveness He gave us by His blood shed on the Cross of Calvary.
  2. We must believe in Jesus as our Savior (John 3:16). This is the faith we must have to move those mountains. Until we become Christians and receive the Holy Spirit to help us, we must have that faith of a mustard seed (Matthew 17:20). Without that faith, we can’t keep our hearts pure for the Holy Spirit to enter.
  3. We must keep our Heart pure through the study of God’s Word. We can’t build a relationship with Christ without getting to know Him. We have the bible for that purpose. To know Christ is to love Him. Notice the first thing Jesus says. “If you Love Me.” Without that love, we will not receive the Holy Spirit.
  4. And finally, keep My commands. The commands Jesus talks of here have nothing to do with the law. The Ten Commandments were given by God. These Commandments are not the law, but the law was “based” on them. There are other commands given in the Old and New Testaments that we must follow. These commands are in addition to the law. Remember all scripture is given by God (2Timothy 3:16-17).

Jesus said He would ask the Father and the Father would send us an Advocate. Notice how Jesus is protecting us by not leaving us alone to fight the darkness without any protection. Since the moment we believed, we have had the blood of Christ to protect us. Now we have something more to ensure we can live in the spirit.

Jesus also promised that He would not leave us orphans. Jesus came to the world to save the world. We only have to read John 1:1-18 to understand what Jesus was talking about when He made that promise.

The word given by the Apostles was inspired by God. This word was Christ incarnate and the word continues to inspire the same belief today as it did in the beginning of the church. Christ is also one of the three members of the Godhead. Without any one part, the Godhead would not be complete.

We need only to look at the divisions of the Godhead to understand it.

  • God created us
  • Jesus saves us
  • The Holy Spirit guides and protects us

What an awesome God we have. Without God, we would still be moving around in darkness with no purpose in our lives. God is more than salvation to us, God is our reason for living, our reason for kindness, our reason for forgiveness.

Without God, we would be nothing “again.”  Put God in your life and I mean the whole God, not just the first part. You need all three to be a Christian, God the Father, God the son, and God the Holy Spirit!!

Weekly Word Definition – Communion

Communion

  1. The sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially when the exchange is on a mental or spiritual level.
  2. The service of Christian worship at which bread and wine are consecrated and shared.
  3. A relationship of recognition and acceptance between Christian churches or denominations, or between individual Christians or Christian communities and a church (signified by a willingness to give or receive the Eucharist).
What is the meaning of Communion and why do it?

Communion is defined as “the sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially when the exchange is on a mental or spiritual level.” Communion is sometimes referred to as the Lord’s Supper, Holy Communion, or in some church denominations as Eucharist, or Sacrament.

Essentially, communion is a form of gratitude. While you are asking for guidance through prayer and forgiveness from your sins, communion also serves as a time to remember the blessings. Identifying the blessings, in your life, can serve as a launch pad for a better understanding and outlook for the future.

John 13:12-15 (NKJV)

So, when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.

Those who have shown faith and humility know that Christ loves, and He loves them to the end. Nothing can separate a true believer from the love of Christ. Those who are true believers; demonstrate their love, faith, and devotion 24 hours a day.

We don’t know when our time will come, therefore what we have to do in constant preparation for it, should never be undone. You can’t be a Christian today and a sinner tomorrow and still be in the good graces of God. Make up your mind. You’re a Saint or a sinner.

There are churches that are advocating sin as an acceptable behavior. What is acceptable for us is totally inappropriate to God.

Jesus gave yet another example for us to follow and most of our churches choose to ignore it because they think mankind is too good to be that humble. Why would a bank president want to wash the feet of a homeless person? Why would a bank president, hotel owner, real-estate mogul or any other person of high status want to wash the feet of anyone other than those of their own status?

Why would the King of Kings want to shed His blood to save a sinner like you?

Weekly Word Definition – Image

A representation of the external form of a person or thing in art.

synonyms: likeness · resemblance · depiction · portrayal · representation · statue

Genesis 1:26 (NKJV)

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

The general impression that a person, organization, or product presents to the public. “she strives to project an image of youth.”

synonyms: public perception · public conception · public impression · persona · profile · face · identity · front · facade · portrayal · depiction

Romans 6:4 (NKJV)

Therefore, we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

To be buried with Christ in Baptism, is to be immersed under the water so that we may imitate the resurrection of Christ. Just as Christ died on the Cross for the sins of the world, we as True Believers are dead to sin and have risen from the waters of baptism a new person. This new person is free from the bondage sin uses to keep us from the life of Christ. This new life is a newness of mind, spirit, and soul.

Romans 8:1 (NKJV)

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

In this verse of scripture, Paul is using the word flesh to represent the Sin Nature. The sin nature does not walk in the ways of God nor Christianity. The sin nature is the constant urge to do things that are not pleasing to God. To do things that waste the short life span we have and to deprive us of the opportunity to worship God.

When Paul refers to the spirit, he could be referring to the Holy Spirit. When we walk according to the spirit, we are following the guidance of the Holy Spirit that lives in us (John 14:17) The Holy Spirit that comes from God and is part of God.

The sin nature is gone because we are dead to sin, and we have put on the New Man because we now have God living in us and the sin nature was replaced by God’s Divine nature (1 Peter 1:4)

For He Dwells with You and Will Be in You

“If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever–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.”

John 14:15-17 (NKJV)

Please forgive me, I would like to break this verse of scripture down to get the true meaning and unfortunately just how dumb I can be sometimes.

The first statement that Jesus makes here is, “If You Love Me.”

There are some that advocate that you begin to “Love” Christ the moment you turn your life over to Him. I will stipulate that this is possible, it is also very unlikely. The feelings we have for Christ at that moment is “faith.”

I was one of the people that was extremely fortunate and had a person who was a good disciple. He was good at explaining the things that had been taught in the wrong context and showing how to replace them.

By using Hebrews 11:6 he was able to teach me the difference between love and faith in God’s eyes.

After we demonstrate our “faith” and accept Christ as our Savior, then we are on the correct road to salvation. As we study God’s word and get to know God, our love for God and Christ begins to grow.

When we learn to love God and apply that knowledge, then we must complete our works. God’s love comes at a price. Christ said we must “Keep My Commands.”

When we apply the knowledge we have learned and demonstrate that we can keep the commands and choose to not sin, it is at that point we become Christians. At that point Christ said “he” would pray to the Father and ask for Him to give us another helper.

You would be amazed at how many teachers and preachers I have heard teaching the Christ was living in us, this verse of scripture says different and so does John 14:3. In this verse of scripture, Christ says he has gone to prepare a place for us. We will need this place when Christ comes again to claim us and take us with him. That is God’s Love Supreme.

There are many that will tell you that you receive the Helper (Holy Spirit) the moment you are saved. Not according to the bible. We must first learn God’s word enough to learn to love God and keep His commands daily. If you are following the commands all day, there won’t be time for sin.

When I was saved, I wanted everyone to see the difference in me, but that was not possible. They wanted to see the change last in me.

Remember, the world can’t see God’s love and grace. They can’t respond to the Holy Spirit because they can’t see that He is present. Christianity is a way of life that we must live daily. The results of living a Christian Life are what the world can see in you.

Whoever Claims to Live in Him

Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did

1 John 2:6 (NIV2011)

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

1 John 4:12 (NIV2011)

Stop for a moment and think about God’s Love and what it means to live in the Love of God. You are claiming to Walk with God, Understand God, Live your life in God’s Will. How can a poor human accomplish all that? Because we are Blessed.

Sometimes I go to the grocery store or one of the box stores and as I start to walk away from the counter, the person on duty says, “have a blessed day.” I immediately turn and ask what that means. It is rare for the person to even get close to the meaning. Usually they state, “it means have a happy day.”

The Greek word used in the Beatitudes for “blessed” is Makarios. Makarios is the poetic form of the word Makar

Makarios: “a prose form of the poetic makar, blessed one.  Blessed, blissful.  Biblically, one is pronounced blessed when God is present and involved in his life.  The hand of God is at work directing all his affairs for a divine purpose, and thus, in a sense, such a person lives coram Deo, before the face of God.” (New Testament Lexical Aids in the Hebrew Greek Key Study Bible.)

To be blessed is when we can say that we look like Christ. We look like him because He is living in us. Since Christ never sins, then we cannot sin. Christ is always humble; therefore, we must maintain that image of humility and at the same time we must also love our neighbor enough to die for them.

When I was in the Navy, I saw men and women every day that were ready to go into battle. Everyone who is ready for battle knows there is a chance they might not come back alive; however, they choose to go anyway.

Many of these people did not go to church and had no time for the bible. Some of them were truly Christians. To tell them apart was hard. You had to talk with them and learn firsthand whether they were Christians or not. God is not even asking us to do something that the world won’t do. God is simply asking that we act like Him, so we can confuse the enemy

For “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

1 Corinthians 2:16 (NKJV)

People are really confusing when it comes to dealing with God. They say they are Christians (like Christ). They have the Holy Spirit living in them directing their lives every day (if they listen) and they have the mind of Christ. In other words, they have the ability to think the same thoughts that Christ is thinking, and you still hear them say they are going into their closet to ask God what He would do.

How many preachers and teachers have you heard say they will call down the Holy Spirit to guide them. Well, if you say you are a Christian, you have the Holy Spirit “in you.”

To know that God through the Holy Spirit is living in you, you must study the word of God and allow Him to help you understand it. In other words, don’t be dumb.

Accordingly, to have the mind of Christ you must know what Christ is thinking. If you study the bible you will find that Christ is the word of God.

And I Will Pray the Father

“If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever

John 14:15-16 (NKJV)

Tom Brewster was in his mid-20’s when he surrendered to God. It happened at a Sunday night service one summer. The pastor immediately assigned someone to disciple Tom and help him on his path to being a good Christian.

There are many who believe that a person who surrenders to God is automatically a self-sufficient Christian and can go out in the community and preach to the multitudes. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.

There are also some church congregations that believe a person receives the Holy Spirit when they are saved. The bible proves all this wrong and teaches us a vastly different truth. It is a lot of hard work and spiritual expectation to become a Christian.

When the pastor assigned one of the deacons to tutor Tom about the bible, he made a very profound statement, he said, “Becoming a Christian is not automatic. Becoming a Christian is hard work and patience. It’s not about how much you know about the bible; it is more about how much you show concerning your walk with God.”

Tom was confused. When the pastor saw his confusion, he changed his method of teaching. The pastor looked at Tom and stated, “In versed 15-16, there are 5 statements of things you as a believer must do to achieve just the firs level of belief.”

The pastor then broke down the verses in this manner.

  1. If you love me:  What does it mean to love Crist? To love Christ is to have the same love He had for us. We must remember that Christ loved us so much; He was willing to be hanged on a cross because he loved us. That type of love must be returned in kind.
  2. Keep My Commandments: God has given us a set of commandments that we must follow. These commandments are for our benefit and are non-negotiable.
  3. And I Will Pray the Father. Christ took it upon Himself to ask the Father to help us. Christ asked for nothing for Himself, He asked for help for the Believers that have turned their lives over to Him. Not physical help, but spiritual help.
  4. And He will give you another helper. Just think about how much God loves us.
    1. He Created us to be our friend
    2. He gave us a physical helper (a wife)
    3. He gave his only son to die for us
    4. Then He gave us another helper (The Holy Spirit our spiritual helper). The Spirit lives in us and is there whenever we need him.
    5. And through all this, He gave us each other to love.

There are many people who promote the idea that God has a magic wand that he uses when we need something. Nothing could not be farther from the truth.

When God gave us the church, it wasn’t to get together each Sunday and sing songs. He gave us a meeting place that we could gather and praise God for loving us enough to give us the opportunity to help each other.

When Christ was feeding the multitudes, He furnished the fish and bread, but it did not rain down from above, it was handed out by the disciples.

When we need it, God will always give us money or physical things through the church. God doesn’t use a magic wand, He uses His disciples

If you want to become a Christian, you must love God with all your heart. You must walk with God, work for God, and give your testimony by the way you live your life.

A Christian is Christ like; therefore, everyone must see Christ in you. AMEN!!