Monday, April 28, 2008

The Work of the Spirit

John 16

1“I have told you these things to keep you from giving up. 2People will put
you out of their synagogues. Yes, the time is coming when those who kill you
will think they are offering service to God.
3They will do this because they have
not known the Father and they have not known me.
4I have told you these things
now so that when the time comes you will remember that I warned you.

The Work of the Holy Spirit

“I did not tell you these things at the beginning, because I was with you then.
5Now I am going back to the One who sent me. But none of you asks me, ‘Where
are you going?’
6Your hearts are filled with sadness because I have told you these
7But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go away. When I go
away, I will send the Helper to you. If I do not go away, the Helper will not
8When the Helper comes, he will prove to the people of the world the truth
about sin, about being right with God, and about judgment.
9He will prove to
them that sin is not believing in me.
10He will prove to them that being right with
God comes from my going to the Father and not being seen anymore.
11And the
Helper will prove to them that judgment happened when the ruler of this world
was judged.

12“I have many more things to say to you, but they are too much for you now.
13But when the Spirit of truth comes, he will lead you into all truth. He will not
speak his own words, but he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you
what is to come.
14The Spirit of truth will bring glory to me, because he will take
what I have to say and tell it to you.
15All that the Father has is mine. That is why
I said that the Spirit will take what I have to say and tell it to you.

Sadness Will Become Happiness

16“After a little while you will not see me, and then after a little while you
will see me again.”

17Some of the followers said to each other, “What does Jesus mean when he
says, ‘After a little while you will not see me, and then after a little while you
will see me again’
? And what does he mean when he says, ‘Because I am going
to the Father’
?” 18They also asked, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We
don’t understand what he is saying.”

19Jesus saw that the followers wanted to ask him about this, so he said to
them, “Are you asking each other what I meant when I said, ‘After a little while
you will not see me, and then after a little while you will see me again’?
20I tell
you the truth, you will cry and be sad, but the world will be happy. You will be
sad, but your sadness will become joy.
21When a woman gives birth to a baby,
she has pain, because her time has come. But when her baby is born, she forgets
the pain, because she is so happy that a child has been born into the world.
22It is
the same with you. Now you are sad, but I will see you again and you will be
happy, and no one will take away your joy.
23In that day you will not ask me for
anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you anything you ask for in my
24Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you
will receive, so that your joy will be the fullest possible joy.

Victory over the World

25“I have told you these things, using stories that hide the meaning. But the
time will come when I will not use stories like that to tell you things; I will speak
to you in plain words about the Father.
26In that day you will ask the Father for
things in my name. I mean, I will not need to ask the Father for you.
27The Father
himself loves you. He loves you because you loved me and believed that I came
from God.
28I came from the Father into the world. Now I am leaving the world
and going back to the Father.”

29Then the followers of Jesus said, “You are speaking clearly to us now and
are not using stories that are hard to understand. 30We can see now that you know
all things. You can answer a person’s question even before it is asked. This
makes us believe you came from God.”

31Jesus answered, “So now you believe? 32Listen to me; a time is coming
when you will be scattered, each to his own home. That time is now here. You
will leave me alone, but I am never really alone, because the Father is with me.

33“I told you these things so that you can have peace in me. In this world you
will have trouble, but be brave! I have defeated the world.”

The Holy Bible, New Century Version


The disciples, who lived and worked with Jesus, had been his close friends for three years. They were saddened and afraid to hear him talk of leaving them. Jesus tried to help his friends see the bigger picture-that God had a purpose and a plan. But he also comforted them by promising to be with them through his Spirit.


The Holy Spirit was sent to complete several purposes among both Believers and non-Believers, including pointing out sin and allowing people to understand truth. The Spirit always gives glory to Jesus. That should be our goal, too.


Spiritual greatness is not spiritual stardom; it is servanthood. God is looking for servants, not stars. The road to an improved contribution isn't moving up in the organization; it is surrendering your motives to the Holy Spirit. Don't ask the Holy Spirit to increase your skill; ask Him to increase Christ. As Jesus becomes greater, your impact will enlarge, but because Christ is growing larger. Not you.

The servant no longer wants to become a great man of God; he wants to become less. His love for the Lord Jesus becomes such an intense fire that he abandons all desire to be liked, to do a good job, to have a winning way. To be a great man of God. He loses interest in who holds first place. He stakes out his claim on last place. His highest aim becomes for Christ to increase. For himself to decrease. (From Walking with Christ in the Details of Life by Patrick Morley)


Think of an area where you would like to do better or be more effective for God. Then pray that the Spirit will bring glory to God through you. Ask him to show you how to be more of a servant so that Christ is more readily seen by others.


Bringing Glory to Jesus-Matthew 5:16; Mark 10:43-45; John 13:14; Romans 12:1; 15:4-6; 1 Corinthians 6:20.

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