John 16

When I was still young in faith, I found it difficult to understand who the Holy Spirit was. I knew that Jesus was the Son of God and what He did on the cross and His resurrection. I knew the Father who we most often refer to as "God" as creator and provider. However, the Spirit was the godhead who I was inclined to attribute everything else about God that I couldn't understand. I also sense that many Christians rarely elevate Him in their worship by fear of over-spiritualising what they perceive to be an act of God in their life, or fear of being wrong about His role. The result is we fail to rightly worship the Spirit whose role is described in John 16:4-15

Jesus says that He (the Spirit) will convict the world concerning sin, righteousness and judgement, and that He (the Spirit) will guide us into all the truth and glorify Him (Jesus).

Looking back to the season of my coming to faith (around 2010-2011), I realize how much of my journey of faith is attributed to the work of the Spirit of God: how my interest of the Christian faith grew, how I increasingly felt concerning the broken things on my heart and in my life and the need for a true and earnest resolution, reshaping my worldviews, and most importantly at that time how I viewed friendships and relationships. It is amazing what the Holy Spirit did in my life, and I praise Him for opening my blind eyes, and even to this date as He increases my affection for Jesus my saviour and friend. When reading v7, Jesus says that "it is to your advantage that I (Jesus) go away" which seems quite foolish at first. The disciples were probably shocked to hear this since what could be better to have the Lord Himself in their midst! But since we know of the resurrection, we see that Jesus rose to the Father's right hand in order to give place to the "Helper" who will indwell His people as promised (Joel 2:28), and to be with us through tribulations and all joys as He sanctifies us.

Holy Spirit, thank you for indwelling us and convicting us of the Truth concerning the risen Christ! We thank you for your empowering presence in guiding us and illuminating our minds and hearts to His beauty. Thank you that we were not left as orphans, but rather left in Your good care. You are the deposit of our salvation in Christ, the guarantor and seal of our faith. Thank you that You will never leave us, but will be with us until the end of the age when our Savior returns to take us home.

Cyril Laugeon

John 13

I've worked in retail for about 5 years. Over this period of time I've come across all sorts of people and have had all sorts of interactions. I can easily relate to all the frustrations that my fellow retail workers have expressed relating to customer service. I could probably write a whole book on the funny/frustrating experiences that I've had.

As I read through this passage I was convicted when Jesus gave a new commandment: "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved love, you also are to love one another." The one thing that I always struggle with is being able to love the people that I serve at work. Although I may not show it on my face, my heart is quick to anger when a customer is rude or ignores me. This then ultimately translates into how I would treat or respond to them. Realising my sinfulness, I always find myself thinking "What if hypothetically Jesus walked through the door right at this moment? Would my heart harden against him just like how it had hardened against all these other people who were also made in the image of God?"

Lord, please forgive us for the times that we were not loving to others. I pray that you would help us to be more like Jesus who loved us first with a true, unconditional love. Amen.

Edward Zhang