S (Scripture): John 16:12 [Jesus said to the disciples] “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. For he will not speak on his own authority, but will speak whatever he hears, and will tell you what is to come. 14 He will glorify me, because he will receive from me what is mine and will tell it to you. 15 Everything that the Father has is mine; that is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what is mine and will tell it to you. 16 In a little while you will see me no longer; again after a little while, you will see me.”
O (Observation): Jesus could not (nor perhaps did he expect to) teach the disciples everything they would need to know before he departed this earth. He would continue to teach them through the person of the Holy Spirit. But that couldn’t happen until his earthly journey ended. And as the scriptures make clear, the Advocate does indeed burst forth onto the scene for ALL who believe.
The journey of discipleship was a long journey, was indeed a lifelong journey for the closest disciples of Jesus. And the Spirit is the one through whom Jesus would begin to speak after his death, resurrection, and ascension.
A (Application): Why do we think that we don’t need ongoing spiritual direction and education in the church? So many of us think that Sunday morning is good enough. One hour of worship and I’m good for the week.
Ok…I know that sounds harsh…but think about this: you don’t know what you don’t know. If you are not engaged in some form of Bible study or discussion group in your congregation, you are not gaining any insight from fellow believers, you are not entertaining any opportunity for the Spirit to move you, you are blocking the potential for renewal in your heart and mind.
So many of us think we’ve got it all figured out…but this text today reminds us that God’s work in us is never done. We simply reach new levels of renewal and commitment, and God is the one working a change in us. This is not just an exercise in intellectual ascent. This is about believing that Jesus is the Christ and ushers in kingdom work for us to accomplish.
But when we don’t pay attention to what God is up to, we miss wonderful opportunities for good, wholesome Kingdom work. Not for our glory or satisfaction, but as a way to honor God.
Paul continually worked with the churches he planted. Jesus sent the Spirit to be with all the faithful. Today, you are called upon to pick up a spiritual discipline to help you discern where God is calling you today.
Imagine a congregation full of people wondering what God is asking them to do in their homes, congregations, communities?!?!? And imagine the Kingdom work being lived out. Truly miraculous. And totally feasible, for God has sent the Spirit to be with us in this work.
One of our church members and I are working closely with the founding of the Rutherford County Interfaith Council, here in Murfreesboro, TN. That is good, solid Kingdom work, being done to bring peace and solidarity to a place that is experiencing a lack of cohesiveness. We are seeking mutual understanding and respect for each of our religions and cultures, so that we join in a common mission of loving our neighbors, regardless of religious or cultural differences.
What work is God calling you into today?
P (Prayer): God, you call us to work for your Kingdom, promising to equip us with the Spirit. Work in our hearts and minds this day. Renew us. Amen.