Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He told His disciples and us that He would send us a Comforter and that Comforter would teach us everything.
25 I am telling you these things now while I am still with you. 26 But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.—John 14:25,26 (NLT)
The Holy Spirit abides in us and His job is to teach us everything, including how to love God and how to love others. The English language does not have words for different kinds of love. In the Greek, there are at least 6 words for love, Let’s look at four of those. We have philos or phileo (brotherly, friendly love), storge (natural or love for family) eros (sexual) love. These three can be accomplished to a degree in the natural and involve both parties loving and giving. The fourth word is agape (unconditional) love. This is the love that comes only from God, It is the love that only the Spirit can teach us. It is unilateral love, God loves us whether we return that love or not. The flesh can not love in that respect. This is the love that we are to be striving to show to others. But, as Paul said, we “must strive toward the mark”. We must keep practicing loving without expecting anything in return.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
God inhabits the praises of His people, so we should enter His gates with thanksgiving in our hearts and enter His courts with praise. After we have praised Him, He also instructs us to ask and keep on asking. He is longing to bless us when we are obedient to Him. And never forget to be grateful for what He has done, is doing and will continue to do for you. Worry will not accomplish anything useful, so just rest in the arms of Jesus and enjoy the “now”. He gives us a peace that passes all understanding, even in the worst of times. Remember the times He has brought you through and be encouraged. When we walk through the valley of tears, He is still God and He is still holding our hand
11 “This command I am giving you today is not too difficult for you to understand, and it is not beyond your reach.12 It is not kept in heaven, so distant that you must ask, ‘Who will go up to heaven and bring it down so we can hear it and obey?’ 13 It is not kept beyond the sea, so far away that you must ask, ‘Who will cross the sea to bring it to us so we can hear it and obey?’ 14 No, the message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart so that you can obey it.–Deuteronomy 30:11-14 (NLT)
This was the message that God gave to Moses to give to the children of Israel. Time and again, God would give them this message. Time and again, God changed the hearts of His people. They would disobey and go astray. Being a just God, He was required to discipline them. They would repent and turn back to Him and He would soften their hearts and accept their offerings again. That was the Old Testament.Then Jesus died on the cross for our sins and established a new and better covenant. Now, Jesus says the whole law hinged on two commandments. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself. Two commandments that are certainly not hard to understand, but God knew we would fail, so He sent us a Helper, His Holy Spirit. 15 “If you love me, obey my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. 17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. –John 14:15-17a (NLT)
Now, He is closer to us than He has ever been. We don’t need to look for Him anywhere because He abides in us and is all around us. Or as St. Patrick said: “Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left.”.
There is no need for us to go anywhere or search anywhere because He abides in us and leads us into all truth. Two commandments, easy to understand, but not so easy to follow on a daily basis.
16 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 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.–John 14:16,17
16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.–1 Cor. 3:16-17
Yesterday’s thoughts ended with a comment about beginning the remodeling in earnest. Today, we continue with those thoughts. There are changes that will have to be made and they must be made on the inside first. We are beginning to become something new and that starts with the indwelling of God’s Spirit. We, as humans, are not capable of changing ourselves. God knew this and sent the Comforter, His Spirit, to direct and accomplish the work. He is both the Architect and the Master Builder. He already has the plans and knows what the final product will look like if we let the Master do His work. Some of the changes will be quick and almost painless, but others will be painful because the flesh wants to hang onto worldly things. There will be trying times, but as Paul tells us, the finished product will be worth all the pain. 16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison–2 Cor. 4:16,17 (NASB)(emphasis added)
Or as James puts it “Count it all joy!”