September 20, Tuesday

doug2Editor’s Note: The AMI QT Devotional for today is provided by Doug Tritton.  Doug, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania, is currently pursuing a M.Div. at Gordon Conwell Seminary while working fulltime.  He is married to Cindy and they serve at Symphony Church in Boston.  (Also, they just became parents!  Congratulations!)

Devotional Thought for Today

John 16:5-7

But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, “Where are you going?” But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.

20One may become quite dismayed by these verses. Jesus, who had been leading His disciples for a few years at this point, tells them that it is to their advantage that He leaves. Whaaaat? To their advantage? That may seem like LeBron James saying to the Cavs that it’s to their advantage that he leave, yet what would the Cavs be without him? And what would the disciples be without Jesus? How could Jesus say that it’s to their advantage that He leaves? Many of us may think, if only Jesus were still around, living this life of faith would be so easy.

But what does Jesus say? He says, “It is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you.” The Helper, the Holy Spirit, was the promise of Christ to His disciples, and more than that, the Spirit was the promise of God to all His people from long ago. Joel 2:28 says, “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh.” And in order for this promise to be fulfilled, Jesus needs to die and be resurrected. Only then can the Spirit be poured out on all flesh.

Above, I posed this question, “What would the disciples be without Jesus?” And thanks to the book of Acts, we have an answer to that. While the Cavs likely would not be a championship team without LeBron, the disciples became a transformed people after Jesus left. When the Spirit came upon them, they suddenly became mouthpieces for the Kingdom, bringing the good news of Jesus from Jerusalem to Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth. And just like the disciples, the Spirit falls on us when we believe in Jesus. So the next time you say to yourself, “If only Jesus were still around, life would be much easier,” remind yourself that you have the Spirit of Christ living inside of you, and this Spirit will enable you to do the “greater works” that Jesus promised in John 14:12.

Prayer

Lord, fill me again with Your Spirit. Sometimes I forget that Your Spirit is within me, but remind me again that You live in me; and if you live in me, Your strength will always be with me. Thank You for Your Spirit; help me to live in the power of the Spirit each moment.

Bible Reading for Today: 1 Corinthians 8

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Lunch Break Study 

Read Joel 2:28-30a: And it shall come to pass afterward,

   that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh;

your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,

   your old men shall dream dreams,

   and your young men shall see visions.

Even on the male and female servants

   in those days I will pour out my Spirit.

And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Questions to Consider

  1. Who is the promise of the Holy Spirit for?
  2. How does receiving the Spirit affect our lives?
  3. How do we receive the Spirit in our lives?

Notes

  1. All flesh, meaning all people! The passage calls out sons and daughters, old and young men, male and female servants to emphasize that this promise is really for everyone – not just the Spiritual elite, the ones in power, or the ones who seem to be the most well-to-do. No, the promise of the Spirit is for all people who believe.
  2. With the Spirit, we receive the power of God in our lives. Never before Pentecost had the people of God received the Spirit in such an enduring way. Previously, the Spirit was temporary, coming upon God’s people at specific times. But now, through Jesus, the Spirit is always with us so that we may prophesy, dream dreams, see visions, and ultimately live in the power of God.
  3. The passage tells us that when we call upon the name of the Lord, we shall be saved. And more than that, when we are saved, we receive the Spirit. So call upon God and He will listen! Cry out for His Spirit because He delights to pour His Spirit upon us!

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Evening Reflection  

Ask again for God to fill you with His Spirit. Though we know the Spirit is always with us, the filling of the Spirit is something we need day after day. So ask again for more of the Spirit so that tomorrow you may continue to live in His power.

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