The gift of the Holy Spirit

Please note: The last Growing in Discipleship daily devotion will be posted on Saturday, October 25. In the days ahead we will post some other places to find daily devotions online, or to have them delivered to you email inbox.

Date: Thursday, October 16

ScriptureJohn 14:23-31

Verse: The Companion, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I told you. (John 14:26)

exercise_lEvery morning the same two women walk by our house. No matter how cold or how warm, they are out walking, and every day when they pass they are engrossed in conversation. Based on the way they are dressed, and the fact that they really come by every morning, I assume they are exercising. It doesn’t really look like an exercise routine, but I imagine they are encouraging one another to keep going. One day, when one thinks it might be too cold, the other might push a little. The next day, it might work in reverse. It is good to have friends like that, people who encourage us to keep going even when things are getting tough.

I love the phrasing Jesus uses in today’s passage. He calls the Holy Spirit a “companion.” In other translations the same word is rendered “advocate.” What Jesus is trying to convey is that he is sending someone who is on our side. He is not leaving us alone to try to achieve some lofty goal of being holy. Instead he is sending one to us who will help us, teach us, even strengthen us to be his followers. What a joy it is to have a traveling companion like that.

As a general rule of thumb, many of us were taught that we should not talk about politics, money, or religion in polite company. At some point though, we took at least the religion one, a little too far. Many of us have privatized our faith, keeping it close to the vest, never sharing with anyone our joys or our struggles. We need to begin to again share our faith journeys with our friends. We were never meant to walk alone. We were always meant to travel together, under the encouragement and direction of the Holy Spirit, and giving strength to one another.

Prayer: Thank you God for my companions, including the Holy Spirit, to encourage me in my faith journey. Amen.

Action: Find a time in the next several days to go for a walk with a friend.

Respond: Do you have a friend who encourages you? How are they helpful?

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About Joe Iovino

Christian, husband & father, Associate Pastor in Monument CO, guitar player, motorcyclist, Mets fan.
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