Tuesday, March 18, 2014
March 18: The Holy Spirit’s work
Nevertheless, I am telling you the truth. It is for your benefit that I go away, because if I don’t go away the Counselor will not come to you. If I go, I will send Him to you. When He comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment: About sin, because they do not believe in Me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see Me; and about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. (John 16:7-11 HCSV)
Jesus was preparing His apostles for His death, resurrection, and eventual ascension into heaven. But in His place, He was going to send the Holy Spirit to dwell in them and to work in the world. Jesus knew the power and effectiveness of the Holy Spirit (or Counselor) and says, "It is for your good that I am going away… if I go, I will send him to you."
When the Holy Spirit came, part of His work was to empower those who belonged to Him, and part was to deal with the world. To Christians the Spirit comes to make us stronger, wiser, to become like Jesus, and be more powerful witnesses. But the Holy Spirit also convicts people of sin, so that they can humble themselves and repent, and be delivered from the influence of demons. That means that as we reach out to our loved ones who are far from God, the work isn’t just done by our own efforts. Though we are rejected and misunderstood or mistreated by our family and friends, the Holy Spirit is busy with His work of convicting souls to draw them to salvation. In the end He is the one who reaches down into the hidden corners of their hearts to save them—we are just instruments that He can use.
Those who think that their lives would have been better had they lived in Jerusalem during the time of Jesus, don’t understand the power that is now available to us all today. What Jesus as a human being could offer 2000 years ago was limited, but now the Spirit of God who has no limits, wants to live inside of us and work with us to reveal God’s Kingdom to this world. Don’t stifle what He wants to do in you today. If each of us gave Him total freedom to work in us, our lives and this world would be totally transformed!