The One Year New Testament
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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. 19 Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me.
25 “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. 28 You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe. 30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, 31 but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.
Carefully note what Jesus actually says. If we love him, we will obey him (John 14:15). Jesus does not say, if we obey him, he will love us. The gospel turns everything right side up. We can do nothing to earn or maintain favor with God. Our obedience merits us nothing; rather, our obedience is the proof of our love for Jesus. We are saved by the obedience of Jesus, and our obedience demonstrates our gratitude for and faith in the One who has given us life.
As Jesus continues to prepare his disciples for his departure, he comforts them with the assurance that they will not be alone. The promise is astonishing: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit will take up residence within God’s people (John 14:17, 20, 23); we have become the new temple of God among all nations (cf. Eph. 2:19–22)!
20 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
22 I appeal to you, brothers, bear with my word of exhortation, for I have written to you briefly. 23 You should know that our brother Timothy has been released, with whom I shall see you if he comes soon. 24 Greet all your leaders and all the saints. Those who come from Italy send you greetings. 25 Grace be with all of you.
As this letter closes, we are reminded that the power to live the Christian life is provided by God himself. The writer prays that God the Father who raised Jesus will furnish believers with all they need to do God’s will and to please him (Heb. 13:21). It is important to see that God is at work here. As Paul says elsewhere, “Work out your own salvation . . . for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Phil. 2:12–13). God not only equips his people to obey and to honor him, he also works “in us that which is pleasing in his sight” (Heb. 13:21). We work hard in the Christian life, but it is not a self-help program. It is well summarized in the letter to the Colossians: “I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me” (Col. 1:29).
What is the ultimate goal of all of this? As always, the glory of God: “God, . . . through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen” (Heb. 13:20– 21). Christian theology insists that all three persons of the Trinity uniquely deserve the praise of human beings and angels. Indeed, to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit “be glory forever and ever. Amen”!
Lord, all nations!
Extol him, all peoples!
2 For great is his steadfast love toward us,
and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.
Praise the Lord!
Thoughts For Prayer
As God’s temple among the nations (Eph. 2:19–22), Christians have the privilege and responsibility of shining the light of God’s presence to others. Ask God that his presence would be clear to others as they spend time with you and your church family.
Missions Prayer Requests More
September 23, 2017
Supported Workers: Truth For Life
Country: United States of America
Please pray for Sarah Presley as she begins her new role as Communications Coordinator at Truth For Life. Ask the Lord to give her patience, endurance, and insight as she quickly comes up to speed as a member of the Truth For Life Communications Team. Pray for the many vital partners who pray for and financial enable the Gospel to go out to a worldwide audience through Truth For Life. Pray that God will continue to strengthen them in their faith through the teaching and that they will grow in number.
Uttar Pradesh (India). Uttar Pradesh is the home of Hinduism, and it has a long historical connection to Buddhism and Jainism – but it has given no home to the gospel. Millions of Hindu pilgrims visit Varanasi, the holy city of Hinduism on the Ganges River, but few find the Living Water that only Jesus can give. Pray that there might be a major mobilization of prayer for this key state and that God may send the workers who will turn the tide for the gospel.
The One Year New Testament Copyright Tyndale House Publishers, used by Permission. NIV Bible copyright International Bible Society.