Saturday, August 11, 2018
15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.
“If you love me, keep my commands.” These are tough words. Yes, I love the Lord, but no, I am unable to completely keep God’s commands. If I were to stop there, it would be hopeless. I cannot show my love for the Lord by doing all that God asks. I’m going to fall short.
That’s why Jesus had to go on, had to give us a new promise: “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever – the Spirit of truth.” Life in the Spirit is completely different from life without the Spirit. Without the Spirit I cannot stretch high enough, give enough, serve enough. Without the Spirit I am discouraged, disheartened.
I need the Spirit to help me, to speak for me, and to be with me, especially on the toughest days. Like a coach shouting encouragements from the sidelines, the Spirit keeps my spirit from faltering or slowing down, so I may continue in the race, even presume to be victorious.
I don’t want to be an orphan, bereft of help as a believer. I don’t want to be a lone ranger, all by myself trying to swim against the tide of those who live in ways counter to how Jesus wants us to live. Jesus promised to be with us after his earthly life was over. He promised that his crucifixion would not be the end. He promised that we would be a team together – you, me, God, Jesus, and the Spirit. And together we will live.
Lord Jesus, look inside my heart that is open and revealed to you. You will see my love, even as you see where I struggle to do the right thing. Thank you for your Spirit to guide me when I am tempted to stray, who encourages me to keep following you, who will be truthful to challenge me when I need it most. Let your Spirit keep me connected with you, so that you may live in me. Thank you, Lord. Amen.