Wednesday, JULY 5
SCRIPTURE: John 14
As this chapter opens, we encounter some familiar and yet powerful words. Jesus is reinforcing the fact that heaven is a real place not a figment of an overly active religious imagination. Heaven is real!
Another thing we see as this chapter opens is heaven is not a place for the dead but for living. Those in heaven have a specially prepared place for them to live. There won’t be any death or dying or dead folk in heaven. Heaven is a place for life in such quality and quantity that we cannot comprehend all of its magnificence.
Christ followers should live with heaven in mind. We should rest easy in the fact that Jesus has promised a prepared, personal place for us to spend eternity. It is going to be off the cool chart.
But if the Christian life is just about where we will spend eternity, our life on this earth would be most miserable. In other words, if heaven is all there is, then we would spend our days on earth moping around upset that we haven’t gone to heaven yet.
But if you will look at verse 16, we see that as glorious as heaven will be, there is more in the Christian life. Jesus promised us that the Holy Spirit would be sent to us. It is really interesting how the different translations of the Bible translate this. The King James calls the Holy Spirit our Comforter. The New International Version calls Him our Counselor. The English Standard Version calls Him our Helper. The New Living Translation calls Him our Advocate. And The Message calls Him our Friend.
The crazy thing about that is all of those descriptions are very accurate. But what do they actually mean? If we look at the original language of the New Testament we would discover the Greek word is Parakletos. The “para” in the word means alongside of. The “kletos” refers to being called. So, the Parakletos is one who is “called alongside of us”. By definition, He is called to be our Comforter, our Consolation, our Encourager. The Holy Spirit is literally our Holy Encourager.
Jesus goes on at the end of verse 17 to tell us that the Holy Spirit will be in you. This is an amazing first. Throughout the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit came upon certain people to empower them to do certain things. Often once that was accomplished or the person rebelled against God, the Holy Spirit was removed. But now, the Holy Spirit comes to live in every Christ follower.
Verse 16 says He will be with us forever. In other words, once the Holy Spirit comes to live in us, He will never leave us nor forsake us. He takes up permanent residence in us.
In verse 26, we find another role that the Holy Spirit plays. He not only is our Holy Encourager but He is also our teacher. Jesus said He would teach us all things and then enable us to remember those things that He taught us. The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to teach us all things about the Way of God. He opens the Scriptures to us so that we can learn and we can recall what we have learned.
I wish we had more time to talk about the Holy Spirit but let me leave you with this. Heaven is our home and we should look forward to spending forever there. But in the meantime we have the Holy Spirit in us to make this life most abundant, incredibly fruitful, and divinely purposeful. Go live out your days in the power of and under the influence of the Holy Spirit.