Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Real Peace!

John 14:25-27 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Chapter 14 is one of the richest chapters in all of scripture. It is hard to pick one set of verses, because there are so many classic ones. But I picked these verses above, because we often teach so little about the Holy Spirit. In John 14-17, we see a ton of valuable teaching on the role and work of the Holy Spirit.

As you know Jesus is preparing His disciples for His departure, so he is giving them many comforting words of assurance. He tells them in verses 1-3, "Don't let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God trust also in me." Then, in 14:6 he says, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through me." This is widely misunderstood as a narrow and exclusive teaching. When in fact, though Jesus is the only Way, this Way is open and intended for all people. Jesus paved the way for all people to come to the Father through Him. This was his mission to show how much God loved the "whole world" not just the Jews. John 3:16

But in this passage, Jesus teaches about the promised Holy Spirit that the Father would send to them when he left. He taught that the Spirit will do several things in the life of the believer. He will teach and remind them of everything He has taught them. The Holy Spirit guides us and reminds us of what Jesus taught and how to use it in our everyday l
ife. He is our guide for real life. But we need to listen to His voice. One of the ways the Holy Spirit guides us is when we read the bible, which is God's inspired Word. God's Word will never lead us astray and the Holy Spirit will call to mind its teaching. However, the Holy Spirit will never make us do anything. We still need to obey the Holy Spirit in its power.

Second, Jesus promises that He will leave them with His peace. This peace is not a worldly peace, but a peace that passes understanding because it is the peace of God. Again it is the Holy Spirit that gives us God's peace. One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is "peace". Therefore, when we are walking in the Spirit, we experience the peace of God. And when we choose to walk away from God, we don't experience as much peace.

The last thing Jesus says in this verse is, "Don't let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." The opposite of peace is fear and anxiety. Many of us lose that sense of peace on a regular basis. Why? Because we let the things of the world become more important to us, or we are focused on our own ability rather than trusting in God. When we feel fear anxiety, it is a good reminder for us to return to God in prayer and surrender these things that have a hold of us. May you experience the peace of God tonight. It is Jesus' reminder that he is with us always and it is His promise and gift to us.

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