Hello to you all,
I can’t believe how quickly these weeks go by, and we are coming near to the end of our study of John. Franciene and I hope that you all are continuing to enjoy this beautiful and enriching study.
These chapters are so rich, and they can help us to deepen and strengthen our faith. One of the things that really struck me when I was reading this chapter is verse 13. Jesus tells His disciples “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth…” It made me think of how often I hear someone say they are a “seeker of truth”, and how “truth” is so valued when something is explained to us. In our culture, we put such a value on what we call “truth”–and we claim to always be looking for it in people and organizations, in candidates and in the products we buy. But Jesus reminds His disciples (and us) that truth is not something we create, nor is it something we discover on our own. It is not a subjective thing that is different for me than it is for you. It is the gift of God who is Himself the possessor of all truth. Jesus tells His disciples that it is the role of the Holy Spirit to reveal to us what is true. So often people don’t want to believe that there is an absolute and objective truth, because this sounds too authoritarian, and they feel it might inhibit their individual freedom. But we’ve read in an earlier chapter that Jesus also told His disciples that “the truth will make you free”. This kind of truth that Jesus is speaking of will liberate us from our human doubts, illusions and fears, and can keep us on the right path. Since God is the source of all truth, then the closer we draw to Him and listen to His word, the more we grow in the knowledge of Him and of His great love for us.
I can think of a few times in my life when I was following my own plans for my life, and then how–through time spent in prayer–I felt a sort of “nudge” that something ought to be changed, or done differently. It would have been very easy to dismiss these “nudges” as not corresponding with my idea of my life’s agenda, but I felt a certainty of their authenticity that made me seek to make the changes I felt God was asking me to make. I can only understand those “nudges” now as the Holy Spirit reflecting the truth to me in those situations–the eternal, unchanging, and unquestionable truth that I had been unable (or unwilling) to see on my own. To me this seems very comforting, as I can certainly make a mess on my own with very little trouble. But if I know that God desires only the best for each of us, and if we seek His will for our lives, then He will always provide us with the guidance we need from Him to grow closer to Him. Perhaps you have had similar experiences in your life that have convinced you of the Holy Spirit’s actions on your behalf.
As always, there is so much for us to learn and discuss in these chapters, and I continue to learn so much from each of you. Please feel free to contact Franciene or I if you have any questions or comments.
You all are in our prayers,
Franciene and Karen