This sermon given on 22 May 2022 was a gentle reminder that God does not leave us alone. I try to compare God’s actions with my actions as a leader and as a parent to help reason that the Lord does indeed care for and provide for us even though there are so many things going on in our mind, in our heart, in our life, and in our world. May this message help you remember and know that God loves you, cares for you and has provided for you and for me. See below for a few resources given on this first Sunday of Pentecost! What a great time to publish this blogpost and summary of my sermon given a few weeks ago which talks about the Holy Spirit.
“God does not leave us alone” Sermon John 14:23-29
- When I directed VBS (Vacation Bible School), I knew I needed to continuously communicate with my team and volunteers of what we were doing and how they fit into our hope and goal to share Jesus with the children that they and their families may come to know and trust in the Lord. I knew that unexpected things would happen (they always do) and I wanted them to be ready and to not be derailed. I wrote a few blogs from that time here. The book of John shows us that Jesus also regularly communicated with his disciples and with those around him the truth of who he was, what was happening, and who they were. Jesus constantly was going around teaching and answering questions as they went along and did not hide that he was leaving. They didn’t fully understand at that time what he meant, but Jesus nevertheless through God made a way for them to be cared for in his absence.
- God sends an ‘advocate’ (the NIV translation): “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.“
- Read verse 26 in other translations to see other English words used for ‘advocate.’ Maybe your translation says ‘helper’, ‘comforter’, ‘intercessor’, ‘consoler’…. These all try to capture in English was was meant by the original author of John (which was not written in English).
- The Greek word παράκλητος pronounced paraklētos which loosely means para– with/coming alongside and kletos – called. So you could replace this word (‘advocate’) as you read with ‘the one called alongside.’ (Read more on this word in the Blue Letter Bible.)
- There will be one called to come alongside to be with you. Actually, there is ANOTHER one called… did you notice this “another” in John 14:15-16? I didn’t until studying for this sermon it was highlighted in a commentary. “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—” (NIV)
- The Greek word ἄλλον translated in English as “another” means “equal to” and “of same substance.” (John: A new covenant commentary by Kanagaraj, p 148) This ‘another’ isn’t a knock off-low quality brand like the purse I carry around, but the real deal.
- God sending ‘another’ implies that there was a FIRST. Who was first? Can you think of anyone sent to us to be ‘one called to come alongside‘?
- With all ALL the events happening in our hearts, our homes, our communities and in our country and the world…. ALL THE THINGS- God does not and never did leave us alone. Even though there is a tremendous amount of grief and suffering among us- God has provided one to come alongside us in the flesh- that is Jesus in bodily form. But then Jesus himself as recorded in this passage in John 14, Jesus does not hide from those he loves what is happening. He tells them, although they did not fully understand, he tells them over and over that he is leaving but that God would send ANOTHER ‘ADVOCATE’, the Spirit of Truth, to be with them. To be with US. God is here among us and in us. The Holy Spirit. Advocate. Comforter. We are not alone.
- May we remember this Truth and live it out in our day to day lives. Live as one who lives with the Spirit. Let others see how the Lord is Present among us through You.
May you listen to the true word of God and know that you are loved. Know that you are not alone. The Holy Spirit is with you in times of trouble and in times of need. The Holy Spirit is with you always in every circumstance. God does not leave you as orphans. You are a child of God and you are beloved.
Help us to believe in You. Help us to remember Your Truth when times are complicated and messy. We often forget. Thank you that you already know ALL THINGS. Thank you that you have provided one called to come alongside us so that we who know you are never alone. It is in the great name of Jesus, the first One you called to be with us in the flesh, that we pray these things. Thank you Lord for your Holy Spirit with us. Thank you for everything. Amen.
Go in peace.
The number 1 Bible app, YouVersion, offers various types of plans that you can do together in a private group with friends or alone on Pentecost. https://blog.youversion.com/2022/06/god-is-closer-than-you-think/ .
SacredOrdinaryDays provides resources for cost that you might find helpful in your journey with the Lord. These are 5 Pentecost Prayers posted on their IG: https://www.instagram.com/p/CeZ6VZ0tL65/.
Pray As You Go free app or website provides daily audio Christian devotion where there is music, meditative reading of scripture, and questions to consider as you listen. https://pray-as-you-go.org/player/prayer/2022-06-05 .
This sermon was shared on 22 May 2022 for Meadow Oaks Baptist Church (MOBC) in Central Texas. I am a current Masters of Divinity (MDiv) student at George W Truett Theological Seminary in Waco, Texas. I preach as given opportunity for various congregations in Central Texas for pulpit supply. I am also training in Spiritual Direction and have a MS in Mental Health Counseling. I care about coming alongside others that they may come to know the Lord finding hope through God in their everyday life – from the mundane to the messy.
Find other recordings for my pulpit supply here https://sejanashines.com/2021/08/02/pulpit-supply-preaching/.
Find other blogs about my seminary experience here https://sejanashines.com/category/seminary/.
Sejana Yoo aka @SejanaShines
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