May 27, 2007
Jump In!
John 14:8-17

            Imagine sitting in a lounge chair near a luxurious swimming pool in a tropical paradise. You can feel the sun shining on your face, the warm breeze brushing across your skin. Your entire body is relaxed. The deep blue water is inviting as the warm air surrounds you.  You stare at it, longing to jump in and refresh yourself. But, you never get in. Perhaps you prefer the ocean. Imagine standing on the shore, sinking your bare feet into the sand, feeling the salty spray lick your lips as you hear the crashing waves call your name. You stare at it, but you never get in.

What about the avid golfer.  Imagine playing at the Augusta National Golf Course. The greens are well kept, the service is top notch, it is one of the most exclusive, well-known courses in the country. You sit in the cart with your clubs ready to go, but you never step out on the greens.

            “That’s ridiculous,” you say to yourself.  “I would dive into that swimming pool” or “I would jump in the ocean,” or “I would be out on that green as fast as I could.”  We are willing and eager to enjoy leisurely and recreational activities, and rightly so. Yet, when it comes to enjoying the gift of the Holy Spirit that God has given to us, we often sit in the lounge chair from a distance and we never “jump in.”

I.  Recognize the Gift of the Holy Spirit        

            As we think about the Day of Pentecost recorded in Acts 2 and the promise of the Holy Spirit in John 14, we are reminded of the precious treasure that God has given us.  We often fail to enjoy this gift because we do not recognize it. 

Philip had lived with and traveled with Jesus, yet he still did not recognize who Jesus was (vv. 8-9).  It is frightening to think that we could be with Jesus and not know Him.  It shouldn’t surprise us though.  We do this type of thing every day. 

Can you remember the first time that you bit into a chocolate covered cherry?  You saw the chocolate on the outside, but nothing could have prepared you for the juicy sweet treat that was hidden inside.  Who would have dreamed that the drab, round rock called a geode would house such magnificent crystal formations inside. 

Often, we find a lost treasure in our purse, wallet, or drawer, never realizing that it was there all the time.  Biblical scholars still celebrate the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947.  Until then, no one knew that such a treasure was hidden deep within the caves at the Dead Sea.  We discover hidden treasures all of the time.

            The Holy Spirit is a treasure that abides within us.  In this passage, Jesus tells us that the Holy Spirit: 1. is the Spirit of Truth; 2. is our Helper; 3. will be in us; 4. abides with us forever. The Holy Spirit of Truth is abiding in those of us who are believers in Jesus!  What a remarkable treasure within us.

III.  Rely on the Treasure of the Holy Spirit

            There are several steps that we can take to “jump in” and enjoy the gift of the Holy Spirit. First, as we read and meditate on scripture, we must recognize the truth of this promise. Second, we can pray.  Jesus tells us to ask for anything in prayer (vv. 13-14). 

Of course, it is critical that we pray according to his will (I John 5:14-15).  I like the acronym ACTS. 

A = Adoration, praising God for who God is.  We can praise God that he is one who gives freely of his Holy Spirit.

C = Confession, we can admit to God that we have neglected this treasure. 

T = Thanksgiving, we can thank God that the Spirit of Truth abides within us. 

S = Supplication, we can pray that God would open our eyes to see this treasure more fully and to walk in the abundance of joy that he has for us. 

Finally, in this passage, we are told to keep the commandments (v. 15). The manifested presence of the Spirit in our lives is directly linked to our obedience to Christ. The Spirit cannot flow through us if our flesh and disobedience are in the way.  They are direct barriers to the work of the Spirit.  Righteous living allows the Spirit to flow freely.  

            I encourage you to seek to understand the gift of the Spirit that God has given to you.  I hope that you will not sit back in the lounge chair admiring the waters that flow freely in the lives of others, but that you will “jump in” and enjoy what God has already given to you. (Paula Fontana Qualls)



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