Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – June 13, 2018
When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. John 15:26
The Holy Spirit can easily be taken for granted, like a compliant child with two other siblings who tend to garner most of the attention. Or, like teenagers looking to experience the boundaries of their freedom, the Spirit of God may be labeled as disruptive, even unruly. When in reality the Holy Spirit is co-commissioned by the Father and the Son to testify of the truth. From eternity the Holy Spirit has been: brooding over creation, empowering prophets and inspiring Scripture. Without the Spirit of God there would be no Bible, no gospel, no church and no life change. Here are four influences of the Holy Spirit that empower Christians for life impact:
Inspiration of Holy Scripture
“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:20-21, NJKV).
John Piper explains these verses better than I can: Peter is not saying that only prophetic parts of Scripture are inspired by God. He is saying, We know the prophetic word is inspired precisely because it is a “prophecy of Scripture.” Peter’s assumption is that whatever stands in Scripture is from God, written by men who were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
Because the Holy Spirit is the divine author of the Bible we can confidently embrace the teachings of: salvation through faith in Christ, direction through life’s journey, food for our soul, wisdom for our mind, hope for our future and eternity with the Father, Son and the Spirit. Holy Spirit inspired Scripture defeats the devil, gives joy and peace, and allows us to know God. The Lord in His wisdom knew we needed His word written in a way to better understand His ways.
Power to Witness for Christ and Enjoy Converts to Christ
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me… He [the Holy Spirit] will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (Acts 1:8, John 16:8, NKJV).
Like an eternal electrical current, the Holy Spirit flows freely through a life surrendered to Christ. Before the fullness of the Spirit, the disciples were inept and inconsistent, but after the Holy Spirit ignited their hearts they were bold and effective, living out and shouting out the Gospel of Jesus. Submit to the Spirit’s control and His fruit and confidence to share the good news will flow freely from your life and lips. As a result, those you influence will be convicted by the Spirit. Holy Spirit conviction draws us face to face with our sin’s guilt and our Savior’s love. Like a car’s gas tank needs regular fillings, so our soul requires ongoing infusions by the Holy Spirit.
Comfort and Help to Faithfully Follow Jesus
“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 14:16-17, NKJV).
The Holy Spirit is our Comforter in loss and our Helper to live faithfully for Christ. When a loved one slips into eternity to be with the Lord, the Spirit intercedes for us through our silent prayers as we fumble to express our grief and anguish. When the enemy tempts us to ignore behavioral boundaries, God’s Spirit grounds us back to our desperate need for Him and to invite loving accountability from caring friends. Yes, the Holy Spirit guides us in truth, so we are not deceived by the lies we can tell ourselves, or deception lurking to distract us. Recognize and release the Spirit’s indwelling presence and power—rely on Him for comfort, help and truth!
The Fruit of the Spirit
“But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23, Amplified Bible).
A fruitful life for Jesus draws attention to the gardener—God. Like the taste of a delicious, perfectly ripened piece of fruit, so is the tantalizing flavor of a fruitful life for the Lord. Your life is an appetizer for Jesus: your words are like a honeycomb—sweet and desirable, your love is like a magnet—a positive for good, drawing the negative forces of sin to repentance. The seeds of grace and faithfulness you plant today will blossom into orchards of a bountiful harvest of character and the salvation of souls. Pruning is painful, but necessary for fruit that remains!
“My [Paul] message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power” (1 Corinthians 2:4-5).
PrayerSweet Holy Spirit, thank You for indwelling within me, by faith I invite You to enlarge Your influence to lead my life, in Jesus’ name, amen.
ApplicationLook for others who bear much fruit and learn from them how to grow a vibrant life of faithful fruit bearing.
Related ReadingJohn 14:15-16; 15:1-8; 16:13-14; Romans 8:15-17; Philippians 3:3; 1 Peter 4:12-14
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