When Jesus ascended back to Heaven after His resurrection and brief presence on the earth,
He told the disciples,
I tell you the truth. It is better for you that I go away.
If I do not go, the Helper will not come to you.
If I go, I will send Him to you.
Every time I read this verse it stops me in my tracks.
Jesus, the King of Kings of Lord of Lords, felt it was better for Him to leave us than to stay.
Because in His place was going to come Someone who was better.
Better than Jesus????
How could anyone be better than Jesus, the Son of God??
Jesus told us how when He said that when He left a Helper would come.
Suddenly every person who accepted Jesus as their Savior was going to have Someone who not only loved them but also LIVED INSIDE them!!!
I love the thought that God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are all on the same team but have very specific purposes in our life.
God is our Father, Judge, Provider.
Jesus is our Mediator, Savior, Lord.
The Holy Spirit is our Advocate, Friend, Helper, Comforter
The Bible shares over and over again in the book of Acts stories of people receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit in their lives.
When the people in that day heard the message of Jesus, they asked, "What do we have to do to be saved?"
Every time, they were told that they needed to be born again.
Die to their old self.
Become someone new.
The way they were told this could happen was by being baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Our church believes that while baptism is not any sort of magic trick to make your life perfect, it is an act of obedience, crucial in our journey toward salvation,
that even Jesus humbled Himself and modeled while on this earth.
I would never make a list of things that a person has to do in order to consider themselves "saved,"
but I would also never share Jesus without talking about the book of Acts and the early church, and how the people of that day transformed their lives in order to receive the Holy Spirit.
When the Holy Spirit came,
lives changed dramatically.
Murderers, thieves, and so many other broken, messed-up people became passionate followers of a New Way.
They became so committed to the teaching of Jesus that they were willing to die rather than reject Him.
The Holy Spirit inside of them is what gave them the strength to survive earthly persecution.
They knew that something better was coming.
They lived everyday looking up to Him who promised eternal life.
Today, we have that same Holy Spirit living in us if we have accepted Jesus as our Savior.
That's how they work together.
One saves the other stays.
If you have given your life to Christ at some point, even if you feel far from Him today,
You still have someone living inside of you who longs to draw you right back to Him who loves you more than anyone on this planet!
I love the thought that God is always working through His Son and through His Spirit.
I am confident this morning that the only way I have survived the losses in my life is by having Someone with me and in me through every single day of my grief journey.
If you feel alone today, ask God to send you just the right person to lead you closer to Him.
John 14:26 says,
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.
I'm praying for you today.
Praying that you will turn to God with all your questions.
Be listening today.
Be watching today.
God longs to show up in your life and give you just what you need in order to feel His love and presence.
The Holy Spirit matters because He is here, living in us and with us, constantly drawing us nearer to the One who loves us most!