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Lent reflection Cover Image

The presence of God , John 14:15-24

3rd Apr 2019

15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. 17 This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be ina you.18 “I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. 19 In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21 They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will reveal yourself to us, and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered him, “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me. (NRSV) 

 The Promise of the Holy Spirit

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.  And I will ask the father, and he will give you another advocate, to be with you for ever.  This is the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him.  You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you…”

I wonder how mystifying Jesus’ disciples found this short section of His farewell discourse?  He was soon going to leave them, yet at the same time would remain with them! No doubt they would have found the whole thing baffling as many non-Christians and new believers still do today.

Thankfully, our God is realistic; He knows that we are weak. His promise was that neither the first disciples, nor any who turned to Jesus thereafter, would be required to stand alone – ever. Our God’s love for us has made a way for his Holy Spirit to live within us. From this place of indwelling he cares for, guides, strengthens, and teaches us. If there are times when we think that God is far away, in reality, He is always near, staying closer than any human counsellor or encouraging friend could ever do.

Jesus was concerned with the problems of the living. During this period of Lent when our thoughts turn to abstinence, let us reflect on those whose lives have been continually devoid of the Holy Spirit. Those in the world at large, we are told, cannot receive Him because they have not yet turned to him. Can we reach out to them? Jesus, whom we love, saves the deepest revelations of Himself for those who love and obey Him. For we who profess to love Him, let us prove it by doing what He commands.

Let us use the tailor-made gifts of the Spirit bestowed upon us to full effect, living as God wants and building Christ’s Church on earth. Of course, we wouldn’t be doing this alone, for we as adopted sons and daughters of God can place our reliance on the Holy Spirit to protect us in this crucially important work of encouraging others. The Holy Spirit, as we know, is a powerful Person on our side, working for, with and through us.

Jesus said that His followers would show love for Him by obeying Him. The love He spoke of is more than lovely words, it is based on commitment and conduct. By being sensitive to the guidance of the indwelling Spirit let us pray for our lives to become more Christ-like so that we may reach out more fully, whole-heartedly and genuinely to those for whom the culmination of this season is viewed in purely worldly terms – chocolate and a long weekend.

Angela, distance learning student