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John 16:12-15 – No Magic Wand
by Gary Sims
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The Gospels
John 16:12-15 – No Magic Wand

Key Verses:
  • 12: “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear.” – The disciples were struggling with the news of Jesus’ impending death. This was all they could handle at that time…more was to come later.

  • 13a: “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth.” – The name ‘Spirit of truth’ links the Holy Spirit to Jesus as He proclaimed in John 14:6 – “I am the way and the truth and the life.”

  • 14: “He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.” – We are involved in the process of glorifying Christ by our response to the truth we learn from the Holy Spirit.
Points to Contemplate:
  • Do you know all you need to know? Have you finished your Bible study courses, received your certificates of completion, and now feel confident in the Word? Do you have your college degree safely in hand and are you now an expert? Or is there more to learn? The disciples were graduating from school. They were about to impart into ministry without the daily guidance of their teacher. They had paid close attention for three years, hanging onto every word Jesus had to say. Now He tells them there is more to learn. Do you have more to learn? Should you always be seeking learning opportunities in your life?

  • How much can you bear? The disciples were burdened with the knowledge that Jesus would soon die and it is understandable that they weren’t able to absorb anything further. Are there times when you reach sensory overload? Do you sometimes have to step back to allow what you have learned and experienced to soak in? In times such as these, have you experienced the Holy Spirit working with you? Has He slowed the input of information for you; perhaps bringing into your awareness collaborating information that helps you sort out the jumble of concepts and ideas you are absorbing? Are you aware that God will not give you more than He knows you can handle at one time? Doesn’t evidence of His love for you continue to amaze?

  • What is “the truth?” Is there simply one truth, a single guiding principle, to carry you through life? Or does each moment of your life consist of myriad pathways, opportunities, and “truths” from which to choose? Are there many “truths” or is the one truth so substantial that we can only comprehend parts of it at any one moment? Is the Spirit of truth guiding you in your life’s decisions, selecting from a variety of “truths,” or is He constantly and consistently bringing you towards the one truth? How do you know the truth when you experience it?

  • Are you bringing glory to Christ? Is this how you come to recognize truth? Should it always give glory to Christ? In your ministry, does everything you do point to Christ? Or are you still seeking some glory for yourself? Do you filter your life’s decisions through your self-interests and how you will be benefited? Are you involved in church activities only in the areas of your needs and concerns? When you become tired or fatigued or when you are ready to drop out of an activity you have been involved in, are you doing so for your self or for Christ? When you agree to chair a committee or work on a program, are you seeking fulfillment, recognition, or satisfaction? Or are you thinking only of those who you serve?
Promises of the Gospel:

The Holy Spirit plays an important role in our lives. He takes what we know and who we are and leads us towards the Truth. We become Christ. We are His hands and feet in ministry. But we don’t become Christ-like all at one time. The Holy Spirit is not a fairy god-mother with a magic wand imparting instant change. Instead, He works in and through us in a life-long journey of growth and transformation. We experience truth and come to know it when our actions bring glory to Christ. Then, at times, we forget. But He is still within us; reminding and guiding us back to where we belong. As with the story of the four blind men attempting to describe an elephant, we have limited viewpoints of the truth. It may have the look and feel of a tail at one point in our life and a large tree-like leg at another. Jesus taught us to remember that He is always within us providing just what we need at just the right moment so we can do just the right thing – bring glory to Him.

FUMC Devotionals

If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW

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Member Comments
Member Date
Deborah Porter  03 Jun 2004
Gary, this was an excellent study. The title alone got me in and you backed it up with well presented substance and thought provoking/challenging questions. Excellent! With love, Deb


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