Thursday (April 19): Scripture:
31 He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth belongs to the earth, and of the earth he speaks; he who comes from heaven is above all. 32 He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, yet no one receives his testimony; 33 he who receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true. 34 For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for it is not by measure that he gives the Spirit; 35 the Father loves the Son, and has given all things into his hand. 36 He who believes in the Son has eternal life; he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him.
Meditation: Do you hunger for the true life which God offers through the gift of his Holy Spirit? The Jews understood that God gave a certain portion of his Spirit to his prophets. When Elijah was about to depart for heaven, his servant Elisha asked for a double portion of the Spirit (2 Kings 2:9). Jesus tells his disciples that they can believe the words he speaks because God the Father has poured his Spirit on him in full measure, without keeping anything back. The function of the Holy Spirit is to reveal God’s truth to us. When we receive the Holy Spirit he enables us to recognize and understand God’s truth. Jesus is the Word of God and he gives us his Holy Spirit so that we can recognize his truth and live according to it.
God’s truth has consequences and he gives us the freedom to choose how we will respond. The choice he gives us has eternal consequences – everlasting life or everlasting death. God challenged his people in the Old Covenant: “See I have set before you this day life and good, death and evil. …I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life, that you may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice, and cleaving to him” (Deuteronomy 30:15-20). And he issues the same challenge to the people of the New Covenant today. Do you weigh the consequences of your choices? Do they lead you towards life or towards death? If you choose to obey God’s voice and to do his will, then you will know and experience that life which comes from God himself. If you choose to follow your own way apart from God and his will, then you choose for death – a spiritual death which poisons and then kills the soul until there is nothing left but an empty person devoid of love, truth, goodness, purity, peace, and joy. Do your choices lead you towards God or away from God?
“Lord Jesus Christ, let your Holy Spirit fill me and transform my heart and mind that I may choose life – abundant life in you and with you. And give me the courage and strength to always discern good from evil and to reject everything that is false and contrary to your holy will.”
Psalm 34:2, 9, 17-20
2 My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and be glad.
9 O fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him have no want!
17 When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit.
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the LORD delivers him out of them all.
20 He keeps all his bones; no one of them is broken.