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Prepare

Today is Pentecost Sunday, the day when God sent his promised Holy Spirit in power on the disciples and gave birth to the early church. Ask his Spirit to fall on you afresh today as you worship him.


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Bible passage: John 14:15–27


Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit
    15 “If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”

 22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”

 23 Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

   25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Counselor, 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.



New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society


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Great mysteries
I love Judas’ question in verse 22 of today’s reading, don’t you? How selfless it is! Jesus had just promised his disciples a special comforter and guide, and instead of treasuring this gift to himself, Judas immediately asked, ‘Why not for everyone else?’

These men still didn’t understand one of the great mysteries of God – that he wanted to use them – and wants to use us – to reveal himself to the world!

So that the world might see
Sometimes our friends’ eyes can seem blinded to what seems obvious to us. Like Judas, we often think, ‘If only they could see Jesus, then they’d understand and follow him.’ But remember, of all the hundreds of people that Jesus saw and spoke to, even after his resurrection, by the time of the day of Pentecost, the believers numbered only 120 (Acts 1:15). After the coming of the Spirit, ‘about three thousand were added to their number’ (Acts 2:41).

God has sent his Spirit so that the world might see his Son through us. What an incredible privilege!


Respond


‘Lord, thank you for the wonderful gift of your Spirit. Thank you for his comfort, his guidance and his encouragement. Please help me to rely on him more deeply every day, that through me my friends, family and colleagues will see and worship you. Amen.’

Jennie Pollock


Deeper Bible study


In today’s reading Jesus anticipates and explains the ministry of the Holy Spirit as ‘the Advocate’ (v 16). The Greek word used by John for ‘advocate’ literally means ‘one called alongside (to help)’.

The Spirit is identified as ‘the Spirit of truth’, ie as the communicator of truth (v 17). As such he is able to convict the ‘world’ – humanity in rebellion against God – even overcoming an innate inability to accept him (v 17): he will convince them that right is on his side (John 16:8, NEB). We witness, but it is the Spirit who persuades people to trust Jesus. In other words, the Holy Spirit as Advocate makes the gospel believable. In verse 26 Jesus again refers to the Spirit as ‘Advocate’. Here the Spirit is to become Jesus’ emissary, who will remind the disciples of everything he has taught them. The Gospels portray the disciples repeatedly failing to understand who Jesus really is and why he came. Why then should we trust the Gospel accounts later prepared by these dull learners? Because, after Jesus is risen and glorified, the Spirit was given to enable them to recall Jesus’ teaching and to grasp its true significance. So it is the Holy Spirit as Advocate who makes the Gospels reliable even in times of widespread scepticism and suspicion.

Today give God special thanks for the gift of the Spirit, particularly for his role in making believable our verbal witness to unbelievers. Also give thanks for the Spirit’s role in ensuring that the written testimony of the four Gospels is reliable and can be commended without reserve by us to others. Ask the Spirit to make you bold and imaginative as you share the Scriptures with unbelievers and witness to what Christ has done for you.

Fergus MacDonald


The Advocate (Background)


What does your translation say for verse 16? The TNIV reads ‘he will give you another advocate’.

The New Testament was originally written in Greek, and the word translated ‘advocate’ is paraklētos, from two words which mean ‘called beside’. In Greek it usually refers to an advocate, but the root meaning of the words is illuminating. Jesus will send someone who will stand beside us.

No one word in English brings out all the nuances. Look at the different translations:

Comforter (AV/KJV) (from Latin fortis, ‘strong’) follows a very early translation from Greek into Latin in which the paraklētos was taken to mean one who consoles.

Counsellor (RSV, NIV) gives the sense of one who provides counsel, but is misleading because of its common use today. Now it is used to refer to someone who ‘adopts a permissive and supportive role in enabling a client to solve his or her own problems’ (Oxford English Dictionary). The Holy Spirit is Lord and does not place himself in a permissive role to us.

Helper (NRSV, ESV) is close, but doesn’t say enough.

Friend (The Message) is very general and misses the nuance of ‘someone called beside’.

Advocate (TNIV), a lawyer who stands beside his client, is perhaps the best, even if it narrows the meaning to a judicial sense. The New Testament often uses legal language to describe what Jesus did for us. Without him we are guilty before God. Because Jesus died for us, if we put our trust in him he will present us before God as righteous.

A little detail: ‘another advocate’ implies in English that we have one already. Not so in Greek. What this means is that God would give his disciples someone else who would be their advocate. Come back online for more on this word next Wednesday.

Annabel Robinson

Bible in a year


Read the Bible in a year:

2 Samuel 21,22

1 Corinthians 9

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Guide me o thou great Jehovah
Music: John Hughes (1873-1932) Words: William Williams (1717-91) Tr. Peter Williams (1727-1796) Buy this and other great worship songs at www.kingswayshop.com



  • Song: A Thousand Times (From The Inside Out)
  • Written by: Joel Houston
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Comments
  • Sandra Laythorpe | Sunday, 15 May 2016

    Thank you Lord for the gift of the Holy Spirit, and thank you that He will be with us for ever.

  • Gilvin Crisifeca | Sunday, 15 May 2016

    But the Counselor, 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. One of the ministries of the Holy Spirit is to bring back to our remembrance all things that Jesus has spoken to us. This is the best note-taking system available. With a promise like this we shouldn't ever have excuses, unless of course our faith is mixed with unbelief. Enjoy your Pentecost celebrations wherever you are today.

  • Brenda Hill | Sunday, 15 May 2016

    #Biblepassage:John14:27 "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." One important aspect of the Holy Spirit is the peace He brings in difficult situations and then Jesus says do not be troubled or afraid. I have listened to many who are fearful to receive the Holy Spirit - so many who are confused because of wrong teaching. How sad this is because our God Holy Spirit is the most wonderful person to know, experience and learn from. I pray today for those who struggle with the Holy Spirit - may your grace flow into their lives please Lord. Blessings all for today this Pentecost Sunday.

  • Angela Munday | Sunday, 15 May 2016

    Our God pours out His spirit; a sinless spirit that walks alongside us......."I know that your goodness and love will be with me all my life and your house will be my home as long as I live"

  • Derek Forster | Sunday, 15 May 2016

    Come, You Incarnate Word, Gird on Your mighty sword, Our prayer attend! Come, and Your people bless, And give Your word success: Spirit of holiness, On us descend. Come, Holy Comforter, Your sacred witness bear In this glad hour! You, who almighty are, Now rule in ev’ry heart And ne’er from us depart, Spirit of pow’r.

  • Adam Julians | Sunday, 15 May 2016

    And so peace and obedience - hallmarks of loving Jesus. It follows that this requires compassion and discipline, both tough things to do in a world that frequently lacks both. It means that if we do so we will stand out as lambs among wolves. Risky stuff. No wonder that in doing that there is the need for the comforter - the Spirit of love, power and sound mind. We would be devoured without Him. What change this manifested in say Peter. One who had denied Jesus who then when on to preach about him against what religious authority had told him and following Jesus in this way resulting in time with the ultimate cost. To what degree do you know the peace of the Lord that passes understanding and the indwelling of the Spirit giving you love power and sound mind? And to what degree are you willing to count the cot and lose your life for Christ's sake so you may have life?

  • Tim Berry | Sunday, 15 May 2016

    Come Holy Spirit, fill each one of us today and every day. Empower and enable us to be Jesus to everyone we meet. All love and blessings to W/livers this pentecost Sunday.

  • Gilvin Crisifeca | Sunday, 15 May 2016

    ADAM - In answer to your two questions. When walking in power of HS 100% In my own strength 0%. When dead to self 100% when I put self first 0%

  • Adam Julians | Sunday, 15 May 2016

    Thanks for sharing Gilvin. Yes it is 100% of the Spirit whit takes 100% of our involvement isn't it. I've learned in recent years that compassion sometimes is about putting myself first. It has been commented on in the past that I have given more than I can give. I'm better now at receiving as well as giving and asserting my own needs as well as being attentive or the needs of others. I find it less likely to result in resentment this way. At the same time it's resulted in some interesting conversations in church at times. One time with me talking about us loving ourselves and an elder saying to e that he hadn't got time at that comment to debate with me about loving ourselves. I mentioned what if we don't love ourselves we can't love others. We love others as ourselves.

  • Roger Hall | Sunday, 15 May 2016

    Just about a week ago, Shakespeare's 400th anniversary was celebrated in the media, and various great Academics and Actors were giving their deepest learning in interpretation. I felt then, as between the Ascension and the Day of Pentecost one's thoughts turn to the Holy Spirit, that Yes, Shakespeare has been made fairly plain by academics and so on. How wonderful, then, that Holy Scripture, the Word of God, is made understandable to all of those who read it, as the Holy Spirit gives us understanding and opens our eyes.

  • Barbara Sabin | Sunday, 15 May 2016

    I am reminded of the Bayeux Tapestry which shows Harold 'comforting' his troops, Harold was poking his men up the backside with a spear. It is a good analogy. The sword of the Spirit of Jesus prods us into remembrance of Him. Sometimes it is a sharp reminder. We remember at Pentecost the coming of the Holy Spirit as a rushing mighty wind and as tongues of fire, nothing gentle about a mighty wind or in the heat of fire. Who is it tells me what to do And helps me to obey? Who is it plans the route for me And will not let me stray? Who is it tells me when to speak And what I ought to say?Who is it gives me heavy loads And helps me take the strain? Who is it calls to sacrifice And helps me bear the pain? Who is it sees me when I fall And lifts me up again?Who is it shows me what to be And leads me to that goal? Who is it claims the heart of me And wants to take control? Who is it calls to holiness Of body, mind and soul? That’s the Spirit! Holy Spirit! That’s the Spirit of the Lord in me! https://youtu.be/4xvJZ_iF_P0

  • Ruth Lewis | Sunday, 15 May 2016

    Such a nice quite song to meditate on. "Come Holy Spirit"

  • Ruth Lewis | Sunday, 15 May 2016

    Yesterday I celebrated my 80th Birthday by the wonderful Grace of God!!! I am so thankful to Him for leaving me here this long. It is very hard for me to believe that I am now "80" I am giving Honor and Praise to God Almighty and thanking Him for introducing my husband and I to the Holy Spirit back in the 70's. Our lives changed after meeting Him!!!!!!!!!

  • Ruth Lewis | Sunday, 15 May 2016

    The link to the song "Come Holy Spirit" https://youtu.be/M7yGNe6i7xs

  • Barbara Sabin | Sunday, 15 May 2016

    A belated Happy Birthday RUTH well done. My husband will be 80 on Friday God Willing .Psalm 90:10Living Bible (TLB) 10 Seventy years are given us! And some may even live to eighty. But even the best of these years are often empty and filled with pain; soon they disappear, and we are gone. Keep going RUTH we love to read your comments. God bless you and keep you in His care.

  • Ruth Lewis | Sunday, 15 May 2016

    Thank you so much BARBARA for those kind and encouraging words!!! Tell your husband he has a Birthday Buddy on WordLive!!! I love the month of May, everything is coming alive.

  • Brenda Hill | Sunday, 15 May 2016

    Congratulations RUTH and many blessings for the year ahead. You are on the same day as my eldest grandson who is only 7yrs - many years of learning still.

  • Shona McLennan | Sunday, 15 May 2016

    Happy Birthday, RUTH!!

  • Jane Hill | Sunday, 15 May 2016

    Is the picture upside down? We read John 14 in church this morning. The last verse also what I read at Sigi's funeral. So hard not to share our Sunday's. Late birthday wishes, Ruth.

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