His beloved treasurer had just betrayed him, many had stopped following Him, and an impending horrible and scandalous death was about to be His. Yet, this Jesus who would soon freely give up His life and standing with the Father to become Sin for an undeserving world gave what many believe to be His most powerful and heartfelt discourse. It’s found in the four chapters of the Bible in the book of John. Chapters 14-17.
With clarity of purpose and a passion that leaps off the pages into the heart of the reader, Jesus spoke to the men around Him that day as a man who knew death was near. As a man who realized that the most important things were left for that select few. The things He wanted to make sure that none of us would ever forget.
He spoke about the Father. Our Father. Jesus taught us things in these four chapters we would have never known unless he had revealed them that day. I doubt Paul would have even come close to understanding the love our Father has for us as he wrote about in Romans, without Jesus revealing this love to us. Jesus spoke as one who knew Him, not like so many of the religious leaders of the day. He taught us that we could know Him too.
He also taught more on prayer during this short lecture than at any other time in His ministry. It’s like He wanted us to make sure we not only knew how to pray, but to also realize that prayer is an exciting adventure and is key to a fruitful life with God.
But for this post, I want to talk to you about the greatest, yet most ignored blessing the Body of Christ has been given.
The World Cannot Receive Him
During these four chapters Jesus repeatedly told His disciples that after He was gone He would send someone to replace Him, someone better, someone who would be with them 24/7, and go everywhere they went. He would be someone so real they would always know of His presence. He would speak to them as Jesus did, comfort them as Jesus did, and help them in ways that even Jesus couldn’t during that time. He would make His presence so real and so tangible that it would turn men who were once like scattered lambs, into fierce lions unafraid even to their own death.
If you were to ask the judges or prophets of the Old Testament if the Holy Spirit had come upon them, they would never say, “I think so,” or, “I hope so.” Think of Gideon, Samson, or even Daniel in the Lion’s den, Noah and the ship he was instructed to build, Solomon’s wisdom and let’s not forget about the three Hebrew children, Shadrack, Meshach, and Abednego. These ALL knew it was God’s Spirit on them doing these great and wonderful things.
And to think, we actually have it better than all of the Old Testament prophets and Kings. Combined.
This personal experience with the Holy Spirit is still one of the distinguishing marks of Christianity. In a course which introduced me to the study of comparative religions, the professor pointed out that non-Christian religions do say good things. Some have high moral standards. A few emphasize one true God. Others even have some sort of trinity (really a triad). Many present a way of salvation of some kind. Some even speak of a resurrection. But none of them offers anything like the Holy Spirit. They all leave people to do in their own strength the good things they ask. You might say they ask people to try to lift themselves out of the mire by their own shoelaces.
I want to motivate you. I want you to get stirred up and hungry for God again.
The world cannot receive Him. But You can…
Consider the following verses from John 14.
I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
We’re great at knowing the Holy Spirit as One who convicts us when we mess up, but Jesus wanted us to also know Him as our Helper, As One who knows everything there is to know about everything. One who wants to help us in and with everything in life, not just church life, but everyday life. Our business and social life, our finances and our jobs and relationships.
But there is a huge disparity between what the Holy Spirit wants and is capable of doing with and for us, and with what we allow Him to actually do. The problem? Many in the church have quite frankly shut him out. We get so afraid he will mess up our neat little organized lives or church services that He is barely mentioned anymore, oh, except at altar calls.
To put it bluntly, a supernaturally birthed church no longer cries out for a supernatural move by a supernatural God.
We like preaching, we love teaching, but healing is something that is stumbled upon at times.
We love the serving gifts, we put up with part of the Ministry gifts, and we ignore the gifts of the Spirit.
And we wonder why things are getting worse in the church and ultimately our nation. And to the pastor who actually believes allowing the Holy Spirit in their services will run people off, just know this, He wants people born again and come back to Jesus a whole lot more than you do.
The world has to settle for it’s lot in life, we’ve been given an advantage. The world cannot receive Him, but you can, and you should. He wants to do so much in you and He wants to do so much for you. Does He help in Spiritual matters? Physical Matters, Emotional? Financial? Mental? Can He make you smarter?
Job 32:8,9 NLT Surely it is God’s Spirit within people, the breath of the Almighty within them, that makes them intelligent.
Exodus 31:1-5 NLT The Lord also said to Moses, Look, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. I have filed him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, intelligence,and skill in all kinds of crafts. He is able to create beautiful objects from gold, silver and bronze. He is skilled in cutting and setting gemstones and in carving wood. Yes, he is a master at every craft.
When’s the last time you asked Him to Help? Is there anything that He doesn’t know?
The world cannot receive Him
They don’t have anything like Him. At all. Nothing close. Why do we try to hide Him in a closet?
The world cannot receive Him.
But, You Can.
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