Today's Bible Reading: John 16
Selected Biblical Text
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. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. (John 16:7-8, 13-14 NIV)
Reflecting and Thinking
The Holy Spirit empowers our faith in several ways. He accompanies us -- in fact, he is with us forever. He teaches and reminds and instructs. He testifies that Jesus' claims are valid; he empowers our testimony as we boldly live out our faith. He is our confidence -- affirming that we are children of God, that we are heard in prayer, and that the future is secure. He helps us have a right understanding of and attitude toward sin, righteousness and judgment.
Some think that faith is a "do it yourself" proposition -- just hear and accept the word of God. Biblically, faith is a mysterious combination of God's initiative and my response, just as mysterious as God's grace. God's initiative ultimately finds its power and meaning in the human response of faith.
When have you felt lonely? When you feel spiritually alone, how aware are you that Jesus has promised his presence and comfort through the Holy Spirit? Is faith for you more like a mental exercise, or is it more like a lived out experience? (Biblically it is both -- that which I come to know and understand and accept to such an extent that I apply it and live it out in my life.)
Heavenly Father, increase our faith. Help us see the story of Jesus clearly; help us listen to the testimony of your inspired word and Spirit. Help us live out what we intellectually believe, so that faith becomes real and vibrant and useful. In the name of Jesus who demonstrated faithfulness to us, Amen.