Audio version at: https://youtu.be/oDUSC9WgFKY
Prepare to Listen. In your silence, offer this prayer: You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart. (Psalm 51:6)
Prayerfully Read John 14:15-18
15‘If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you for ever. 17This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you. 18I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you.’
St Augustine once said, “Love God and do as you please.” Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” I once had a student who read Augustine but failed to read Jesus. She foolishly thought he meant she could do whatever she liked, even if it was contrary to God’s will. Augustine made his bold claim because he understood Jesus. When we love God as we ought to love God, we will, not must, or ought, but will obey his Word. What we please to do will be what pleases God. Loving obedience will be our habitual way of life; obeying God because we want to, not because we have to.
Of course, this isn’t easy and doesn’t come naturally, therefore Jesus added, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever.” Another Advocate refers to the Holy Spirit, who is ‘another just like Jesus.’ Everything that Jesus was to the men and women who faithfully followed him around Palestine 2000 years ago, the Holy Spirit is to us today. This explains Jesus’ promise: “I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you.” Jesus isn’t up there, watching us; waiting for us to call upon him or reach some impossible gold standard. He is with us and in us, right now. The Spirit is ‘another Jesus,’ empowering us to live lives of loving obedience so that what we please to do pleases God.
Love God and do as you please. Can you live that today?
Respond to Jesus
I give you thanks, Lord Jesus, for the Spirit, for another just like you who makes your presence and power real in my life. Empower me to live as I please in loving obedience. Amen.
Go live obediently in the world. Love God and do as you please.
Reflection on Scripture has been a constant in my life ever since I can remember. Reflecting on Jesus in the Gospels has become a necessity to get Jesus right. Join me in reading John to see Jesus more clearly this Lent.