John 16

John 16 has Jesus talking with His disciples as He prepares for His departure.  “I’ve told you these things to prepare you for rough times ahead”.  The disciples, and us as well, are not always going to be a favorite of those around us.  They were being prepared for persecution which was to come, but the message applies to you and me as well.  We too, will be persecuted.  “They are going to throw you out of the meeting places. There will even come a time when anyone who kills you will think he’s doing God a favor”.  It isn’t a question of if, but when.

Jesus tells them He will be leaving, but in that will be a positive, He’s going to send the Holy Spirit in His place.  “When he comes, he’ll expose the error of the godless world’s view of sin, righteousness, and judgment: He’ll show them that their refusal to believe in me is their basic sin”.  The Holy Spirit will reveal sin, and show people of their failings.  It will be obvious that all mankind falls short.  It will be evident that without a relationship with the Father through Jesus Christ, and the acceptance of His grace through the shed blood of the Cross, that there is no forgiveness of sin.

Jesus reminds them that they have power through His name.  We all do as believers.  Jesus told us that God answers prayer.  And here he reminds us to “Ask in my name, according to my will, and he’ll most certainly give it to you”.  The problem most of us have with prayer is not God’s ability to answer, but our unwillingness to ask.  God loves to answer prayer.  He loves to show Himself strong. But far too often we don’t even get around to asking Him.  We just do it on our own and when it falls short, then we blame God anyway.

God loves us.  “Because you’ve gone out on a limb, committed yourselves to love and trust in me, believing I came directly from the Father, the Father loves you directly”.  As Christ Followers, He really loves us and we have a direct relationship and line to the Father.  But the truth is, that even though God loves us and allows us to come to Him whenever we want, the world around us will not see that as a good thing.  It draws attention to their sin, and no one wants that to be in the light.  So we must get ready.  “In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world”.  We will be persecuted.  We are in a war, but we know how the story ends!

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