Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path. (Psalm 119)
Acts 16, 22-34 & John 15: 25- 16:4
When Paul and Silas were first stripped and beaten, then jailed ‘securely’, shaken by an earthquake and finally had opportunity to speak to their jailer who with trembling bowed before them, what did they say in the press of the moment? The word of the Lord – words proclaiming the love and truth of God – is what they sang and spoke 24/7 and it led them through throngs of listeners, imprisonments, earthquakes, mighty deeds, mini moments of grace and tricky conversations. By listening to the Holy Spirit of God breathing through their hearts and minds, they knew what the Lord would have them speak into each situation. The Advocate, (same root as the word ‘lawyer’), that is the Holy Spirit, - the one who has studied long and hard and knows all the complexities of the ‘word’ of God – can inform us, just as Paul and Silas were informed, of all the intricacies of God’s truth and mercy, if we will only listen. When I hear the word of God explained by the Holy Spirit into my life, then I am able (unlike the scribes and Pharisees of Jesus’ day) to discern the truth about sin, righteousness and judgement, the three main aspects of our faith. The Advocate declares that active sin is the only thing that can separate me from God, and thus I need to receive Jesus as sin-sacrifice, as Redeemer, to remove sin far from my soul. The Advocate teaches that living in righteousness, that is being aligned with God, is a choice I make on my own (neither the devil nor Jesus ‘make’ me do anything). And the Advocate explains to me that the ruler of this world, that is the devil that lures me away from God through human pride and passions, stands condemned for eternity because Christ Jesus, the Holy One of God, submitted to the agonizing – and sacrificial –death of a criminal and lives again. At every turn in life’s journey, in every choice, every conversation, every action, it is useful to ask the Advocate of the Father to teach me to ‘speak’, that is to live into, the word of the Lord and no other. Will I open my heart, mind, soul and strength to learn from the Holy Spirit of God, the Advocate, the ‘lawyer’ who has a thorough knowledge of God? Advocate of the Father, teach me to speak not my own words, but the word of the Lord.
On the day I called, you answered me, you increased my strength of soul. (Psalm 138:3)
There’s a difference between knowing God and knowing about God. When you truly know God, you have energy to serve him, boldness to share him and contentment within him.
J.I. Packer, Knowing God
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Soli ad gloriam Dei
Beverly Illauq lives in Kemptville, Ontario, where she greets each morning by seeking the Gospel Mystery of the Day - the Word of the Lord for direct and practical application to the specific challenges & joys of the day.