If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, an he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you for ever.
John 14, 15f
I am amazed at the surety with which Jesus says: you will keep my commands, if you love me. Yes, we love Jesus dearly. But we are often unsure as to how we should conduct ourselves. We often sin, or at least have the feeling that we have failed. Often other things take control of our thoughts and feelings, things that do not agree with our faith in Jesus.
Some people have long lists on how they should conduct themselves; – but they find it difficult to stick to them. Others are always looking for their mistakes and sins;- they become depressed. But God does not want these extremes. All that matters to Him is repentance and forgiveness. The more we focus on our failures and sins, the less we see Jesus, our Saviour. That cannot be right.
Because of all these inherent problems, God has sent us a "way out", a helper, the Holy Spirit. In Verse 17 He is called the Spirit of Truth. Because He tells us the truth about ourselves, about Jesus, about our path and about sin. Only together with this Spirit of truth can we live the living faith, without becoming tied up in a wrong direction, without legalities, and without living out our freedom with no limitations. He wants to be our guide and leader, who accompanies us on our life’s way, safeguards us from sin and keeps us close to Jesus.
This is superbly illustrated in Ezekiel 36,26f: I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
I think it so good that our heart of stone, that at times is incapable of sympathy and mercy, is replaced with a heart if flesh, that lives and beats. That is after all Jesus’ command, that we be merciful, friendly and helpful.
Thank You, Jesus, You Yourself help me to keep Your commands. Yes, there is a lot I do wrong, but You are there and You correct me. You take my hard heart of stone and give me a new heart that beats the same beat as Yours. Thank You for Your Good Spirit who is always helping me!
Bible study for today: John 12,1-10