40 days of resurrection joy – Ascension triumph.....
Waiting: what do you do? Read, Play, Work, Sleep
Waiting for something. The Promise: "I will ask the Father and He will give you another Counsellor to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth." Jn 14:16
If.... John 14:15
2. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit is not a new idea. It is part of God's plan of salvation. His Spirit is not to be confined to Priests or Temples. Holy People or Holy Places. All peoples. This is the same Spirit who moved over the waters in Creation, spoke through the ancient prophets, incarnated Jesus and raised Him from the dead. This is the promise in Joel 2.
If.... John 14:15
3. The disciples had experienced the Spirit without recognizing Him because He is the Spirit of Jesus. When Jesus says “He lives with you” he meant “I live with you”.
We can live in an environment of faith and experience Christian fellowship, appreciate it, benefit from it before realizing that “It could be in me too”. There is another, deeper, more personal level of relationship that is awakened in us.
If.... John 14:15
4. What has Jesus been doing? Giving his own life up to serve the Father by saving his lost children. Yes there have been miracles, inspired teaching, liberation, healing, confrontation with evil. These are all means of bringing in the Kingdom rule of God
5. Is that your experience?
Did you grasp this promise eventually. (I can be a bit slow. A bit fearful). But you step out tentatively in faith. Praying for something in secret and being amazed when God answers.
Sitting in a meeting for an hour with something you ought to say on the tip of your tongue, waiting for the courage to speak.
Inviting someone to the carols service by gong round when you're sure they are out and still crawling up the drive and creeping under the front windows so you can put a card through and run away before you have to speak.
Then you get hit by a storm – something that challenges your thinking. Why did that happen?
6. If we believe that Jesus succeeded, then we will be able to do the same things. And there are more of us! Thousands, Millions, Billions. Other people have the Spirit too. They shield you. Pick you up sometimes. Help you to laugh at your weakness. It's hard to grow on your own. In a team sport individual talent has to be blended in. The winger who only played on the beach gave away lots of throw ins and couldn't cross when confined to a pitch. “Cross” might be the instruction to the self focused christian. Give yourself up to save those in need. The church. The kingdom is not diminishing but increasing.
7. Of course Life has a way of tripping you up. Illness, family responsibilities, work pressure, relationships, bereavement, finances – can all flatten you when you feel you just got going. What's going on? Do you have to pretend to be happy and satisfied and spiritual when your life is falling apart? Or is it better to shout “HELP!” When we suffer, can this be part of “do what I have been doing”? Well it can.
8. Orphans know that their parent will never return. Jesus says that He will return. And we have phone, email, facebook, skype.... distant, yet here in your living room, car, church. Kids don't always want their parent to come home – party, girlfriend, french polisher... Yet Jesus promises that, even when we have been flattened, or have fallen or failed, “I will come to you”. You don't have to be perfect. You don't have to find Him. He will raise you up. Again and Again
9." But my situation is more serious.I'll never get over it. I'll never forgive them. I've lost hope and faith. I'm helpless under the weight of sin or failure. That “If...” Jn 14:8 seems to rule me out. I can't obey. I can't love. What can I do?"
Not in your own “name” – depending on your character – but on His. He is love. He promises. He is to be trusted. Refreshment. Renewal. Revival. Rescue He says “I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh”
10. 11. 12.