He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. John 14:16–17
While writing a Bible guide for pastors in Indonesia, a writer friend grew fascinated with that nation’s culture of togetherness. Called gotong royong—meaning “mutual assistance”—the concept is practiced in villages, where neighbors may work together to repair someone’s roof or rebuild a bridge or path. In cities too my friend said, “People always go places with someone else—to a doctor’s appointment, for example. It’s the cultural norm. So you’re never alone.”
Worldwide, believers in Jesus rejoice in knowing we also are never alone. Our constant and forever companion is the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. Far more than a loyal friend, the Spirit of God is given to every follower of Christ by our heavenly Father to “help you and be with you forever” (John 14:16).
Jesus promised God’s Spirit would come after His own time on Earth ended. “I will not leave you as orphans,” Jesus said (v. 18). Instead, the Holy Spirit—“the Spirit of Truth” who “lives with you and will be in you”—indwells each of us who receives Christ as Savior (v. 17).
The Holy Spirit is our Helper, Comforter, Encourager, and Counselor—a constant companion in a world where loneliness can afflict even connected people. May we forever abide in His comforting love and help.
Reflect & Pray
As a believer in Christ, how does it encourage you to know that the Holy Spirit lives inside of you? How have you neglected God’s comfort?
Jesus promised we will always have companionship with the Holy Spirit, who never leaves us.
To learn more about basic Christian beliefs visit christianuniversity.org/ST101
God’s simple requests of us are oftentimes stepping-stones to His greatest blessings. Although we may view these lesser events as unimportant, the Lord sees them as a big deal. The apostle Peter is a wonderful example of a man who took small steps that led to a great destiny.
When Jesus asked to be taken out in Peter’s boat, the fisherman could have said no. After all, he’d put in a full night’s work and was probably exhausted. But by taking this small step, Peter received a front-row seat to hear the greatest teacher on earth, and he began a life-changing adventure.
Although Jesus’ first request was fairly ordinary, His next suggestion would challenge everything Peter knew to be logical. Heading into deep water at midday for the purpose of catching fish was ludicrous to this fishing expert. Sometimes the Lord asks us to do what seems unreasonable. We should remember that the Lord is not obligated to work within the realm of what’s normal or logical. If Peter had refused this unusual request, he would have missed the biggest catch of his life—and I don’t mean just the fish. This miracle opened Peter’s eyes to catch sight of his Messiah. When he got out of that boat, the fish meant nothing to him because Jesus became his everything.
The Lord isn’t waiting for us to do some big, impressive task for Him; He’s simply calling us to obey Him one small step at a time. Don’t miss the great adventure God has for you. Even when His ways seem unreasonable, follow Him faithfully, and your destiny will unfold before your eyes.
“If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister.” (Colossians 1:23)
Before the Lord ascended back to heaven, He commanded His disciples to “preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15), and one might receive the impression from the words of our text that this had already been accomplished, just 30 years after the command was given.
Yet, it is hardly plausible to infer from this that Christian missionaries had already reached the entire globe. The problem may be our far-too-limited appreciation of God’s witness in the creation. The phrase “to every creature” in our text could better be read “in everything created.” That is, the gospel that was now being brought in explicit terms to the Colossians was consistent with what they already should have known from God’s great witness in the very structure and behavior of everything He had created.
This is the testimony of such familiar verses as Psalm 19:1 (“the heavens declare . . .”); Romans 1:20 (“the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen”); Acts 14:17 (“he left not himself without witness”); and Acts 17:28 (“in him we live, and move, and have our being”). In the verses just preceding our text (Colossians 1:16-22), Paul had defined this universal gospel as embracing the creation, salvation, and consummation of “all things” by Christ (vv. 16-17, 20). The essence of this truth can be seen (if one’s eyes are willing to see it) in “all the world” (v. 6) in the beauty, complexity, unity in diversity, purposefulness, continuance of energy, and process, as found in “every creature which is under heaven.” Every aspect of God’s creation has been designed to reveal Christ as Maker and Savior. HMM
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
—2 Timothy 4:2
I heard of one graduate of a theological school who determined to follow his old professor’s advice and preach the Word only. His crowds were average. Then one day a cyclone hit the little town and he yielded to the temptation to preach on the topic “Why God Sent the Cyclone to Centerville.” The church was packed. This shook the young preacher and he went back to ask his professor for further advice in the light of what had happened. Should he continue to preach the Word to smaller crowds or try to fill his church by preaching sermons a bit more sensational? The old man did not change his mind. “If you preach the Word,” he told the inquirer, “you will always have a text. But if you wait for cyclones you will not have enough to go around.” GTM086
Lord, I commit myself again today to avoid the sensational and to faithfully “preach the Word.” Amen.
A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another, as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.—John 13:34.
One with our brethren here in love,
And one with saints that are at rest,
And one with angel hosts above,
And one with God forever blest.
All extreme, sensitiveness, fastidiousness, suspicion, readiness to take offence, and tenacity of what we think our due, come from self-love, as does the unworthy secret gratification we sometimes feel when another is humbled or mortified; the cold indifference, the harshness of our criticism, the unfairness and hastiness of our judgments, our bitterness towards those we dislike, and many other faults which must more or less rise up before most men’s conscience, when they question it sincerely as to how far they do indeed love their neighbors as Christ has loved them. He will root out all dislikes and aversions, all readiness to take offence, all resentments, all bitterness, from the heart, which is given up to His guidance. He will infuse His own tender love for man into His servant’s mind, and teach him to “love his brother as Christ has loved him.”
Jean Nicolas Grou.
Enjoying each other’s good is heaven begun.
Lucy C. Smith.
“And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good.” Gen. 32:12
This is the sure way of prevailing with the Lord in prayer. We may humbly remind Him of what He has said. Our faithful God will never run back from His word, nor will He leave it unfulfilled; yet He loves to be enquired of by His people, and put in mind of His promise. This is refreshing to their memories, reviving to their faith, and renewing to their hope. God’s Word is given, not for His sake, but for ours. His purposes are settled, and He needs nothing to bind Him to His design of doing His people good; but He gives the promise for our strengthening and comfort. Hence He wishes us to plead it, and say to Him, “Thou saidst.”
“I will surely do thee good” is just the essence of all the Lord’s gracious sayings. Lay a special stress on the word “surely.” He will do us good, real good, lasting good, only good, every good. He will make us good, and this is to do us good in the very highest degree. He will treat us as He does his saints while we are here, and that is good. He will soon take us to be with Jesus and all His chosen, and that is supremely good. With this promise in our hearts we need not fear angry Esau, nor anyone else. If the Lord will do us good, who can do us hurt?