Sermon Notes for The Helper May 31, 2015. You can listen to this message on the PromiseLand Podcast. Click here.
Jesus was speaking to his disciples on a ‘dark and stormy night’. Hours before his captivity and death.
John 16:5 But now I am going away to the one who sent me,…
“Tomorrow, I am leaving you.” Jesus was the best thing that they had encountered. For the past 3.5 years he WAS their life. He was their hero, role model, rock star. The disciples were addicted to the confidence of Jesus, teaching, leadership, knowledge of scripture and God. Now, he was leaving them.
How lonely and desperate they must have felt.
Many of you know what it is like to have people taken from you. Losing your best friend. Losing your prized possession. Having the thing or place where you feel the most secure. The items that protect you. The items that convey your identity, transport you, provide shelter. The flood took from San Marcos residents the very things that were the dearest to them. Their homes, clothes, cars, electronics, communications, phones, tablets, jewelry, pictures, furniture all gone. I walked the streets and hugged necks and looked deep into tired eyes. People at a loss.
Who are you when all of these things are gone? Where are you? How do you exist? How do you move forward?
Jesus told the disciples that he was leaving them. Even though Jesus would raise from the dead, he was going to leave them on the Earth without his physical presence. They would walk out the rest of their days on earth without their best friend and teacher. Not only was he leaving them, but he was leaving them with a huge task of spreading his message to the entire world. How could this be possible?
How would it be possible to spread the message of salvation in Jesus Christ when: there men who take advantage of women, governments that are corrupt, destruction, loss, pain in communities? “Seriously, Jesus, how are we going to do this?
John 16:7 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.
How many of you could use a helper right about now? I don’t know about you, but I need a helper!
As David said years ago in his dark hours:
Psalm 121:1 ….From where does my help come? 2 My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. 3 He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. 4 Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. 5 The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. 6 The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. 7 The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. 8 The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.
Psalm 61:1 Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.
Jesus tells his disciples:
John 14:1 “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. 2 There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.”
Of course, he is talking about our eternal home here. I love the lesson we learn here. Just as the flood victims are not really pleased with their temporary home, Jesus is telling all of us, All that live on the earth now even in mansions, I’m sorry that you are having to live on a broken earth for a while. Just hang on. There is going to be a new heaven and a new earth that you will live in someday. That is going to blow even the best current conditions away.
Hang on a while longer! You are going to make it. There is something better on the way.
Thomas responds…I love this honesty…so raw…
5 “No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
So sincere and honest. Have you seen what I have gone through? Have you noticed how difficult this life is? How do we know the way?
6 Jesus told him, “I AM the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. 7 If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him!”
John 14:15 If you love me, you will keep my commandments.16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
50 days later while these men and women were praying…
Acts 2:2…suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Acts 2:39 This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away—all who have been called by the Lord our God.” (you know the ones that are in San Marcos in 2015. I’m calling them too) 40 Then Peter continued preaching for a long time, strongly urging all his listeners, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation!”
And because of this comforting power of the Holy Spirit
Acts 2:42 All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. 43 A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders.44 And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. 45 They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. 46 They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity—47 all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.
It is not far fetched to think that with the power of the Holy Spirit in our communities we could see unprecedented unity. That the love of God could permeate every school hallway, the quad, and dorm. No law or administration can stop it. Just as the flood on Saturday night was unstoppable and indiscriminant, so is the power and love of God when it begins to flow in the hearts of broken men and women. Start seeing a vision of your life and community with the influence of the Holy Ghost. What would happen to your life when the Spirit of God is not just flowing around you, but is overwhelming you? In fact, John the Baptist said that Jesus would baptize you with his Holy Spirit. This is an overwhelming.
Let’s pray today for an overwhelming of God’s presence. I have talked long enough. Let’s pray. If you are here today and want an overwhelming love of God in your life, then come to the front right now and we are going to pray that the power of God intersect with your difficulties and problems.