The Presence of God

John 16: 5-11
Acts 16:22-34 / Ps 138

Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.
(John 16:7)

The grief of sin is the absence
Of love... due to pride on my part.
There's joy within when the presence
Of Jesus puts love in my heart.

Jesus said to His disciples, “Now I am going to the One Who sent me, and not one of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. But very truly I tell you, it is better for you that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. When He comes, He will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because people do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

Reflection

He took them in at that hour of the night and bathed their wounds; then he and all his family were baptized at once. He brought them up into his house and provided a meal and with his household rejoiced at having come to faith in God. (Acts 16:33-34)

Such was the power of Jesus in His apostles that they boldly proclaimed His Good News in the pagan countries and cities like Philippi, where they were unjustly scourged and imprisoned for casting out an evil spirit (Acts 16:22-24). And in His presence, their jailer and his entire household were converted, receiving from the apostles Jesus into their lives. (Acts 16:31-34)

Love is God’s most precious gift to man. It is the greatest creation of God, because it is what elevates us above all of His creation. God is love, and he has bequeathed a part of Himself to us in the Living Covenant of Jesus Christ, the God-Man. Jesus has gone back to the Father, but He has left with us His love, the Holy Spirit, Who continues to unfold the wonders of God’s love to us in His gifts and in His protection.

Because I told you (I am leaving) grief has filled your hearts. But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send Him to you.” (John 16:5-7)

We were not grief-stricken when we heard a brother’s story about being robbed some time ago. Instead, we were quite relieved and grateful that he and his family were safe. Although they had lost some amount of money, none of them were harmed by the bolo-wielding robber who was able to enter their bedroom. I believe the presence of the Holy Spirit prevented any violence from happening in their home. They were all fast asleep when the break-in happened, and he only saw the weapon and their backdoor opened in the morning. It would have been a different story if this family was not so prayerful. We praised and thanked the Lord for His protection.

We know You are there to protect us even when evil confronts us. You shield us from all harm, and You bring us out of perdition. There is always joy in our hearts because we have a loving and compassionate God. Thank You for the presence of Your Holy Spirit in our lives. Amen.

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