JUST LIKE JESUS

Jn. 14:26 – I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;

I love to look at Bible words. This verse contains a classic example of looking at shades of meaning in the original Greek New Testament. In this passage Jesus is teaching His disciples about the coming ministry of the Holy Spirit. The disciples were overwhelmed that this would be their last night with Jesus; they couldn’t comprehend ministry, or even life for that matter, without Him. He was encouraging them by telling them that this is why He came, He came to die for man’s sins so that they too could experience the intimacy and power of the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives. This phrase, allos Paracletos, just about says it all. Allos is a particular kind of another. It means another the same as the former. Jesus was saying the Holy Spirit would be just like Him. Here is how Dick Mills defines allos.

“another, allos (al-loss); Strong’s #243: One besides, another of the same kind. The word shows similarities but diversities of operation and ministries. Jesus’ use of allos for sending another Comforter equals “one besides Me and in addition to Me but one just like Me. He will do in My absence what I would do if I were physically present with you.” The Spirit’s coming assures continuity with what Jesus did and taught.”

Then Jesus used the word Paracletos. We translate it comforter, Counselor, advocate. Helper, Intercessor; it actually means all of that. Here is how Brother Mills defines Paracletos.

“Helper, parakletos (par-ak-lay-toss); Strong’s #3875: From para, “beside,” and kaleo, “to call,” hence, called to one’s side. The word signifies an intercessor, comforter, helper, advocate, counselor. In nonbiblical literature parakletos had the technical meaning of an attorney who appears in court in another’s behalf. The Holy Spirit leads believers to a greater apprehension of gospel truths. In addition to general help and guidance, He gives the strength to endure the hostility of the world system.”

So you put that phrase together and you have dynamite. The Holy Spirit is another Helper exactly like Jesus. The significant difference is this; the disciples were really observers to the ministry of Jesus. They would now become participants. Jesus was saying the Holy Spirit would come upon them and give them a supernatural ministry like He had. That same power and intimacy is available now. Draw near to the Lord and you too will be baptized in the Spirit.

WALKING THROUGH SHADOWS

Psa.23:4 – Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

This verse has been a major comfort to dying believers for 3000 years. The amazing thing about God’s word is that it applies to many different circumstances. Even though this verse speaks of death I believe it also refers to the darkest of days in our lives when we may fear death or even wish we were dead. For the non Christian, we face the darkest days alone. It’s funny how the friends thin out and disappear when the going gets really tough, not so with the Lord. He is often more present when you face the valley of the shadow of death. Not only does He give us promises that He will bring us through, He gets in the middle of the mess with us. When we are at our weakest, He will show Himself strongest in our lives. Here are some thoughts from Albert Barnes on this amazing promise.

“Thou wilt be with me. Though invisible, thou wilt attend me. I shall not go alone; I shall not be alone. The psalmist felt assured that if God was with him he had nothing to dread there. God would be his companion, his comforter, his protector, his guide. How applicable is this to death! The dying man seems to go into the dark valley alone. His friends accompany him as far as they can, and then they must give him the parting hand. They cheer him with their voice until he becomes deaf to all sounds; they cheer him with their looks until his eye becomes dim, and he can see no more; they cheer him with the fond embrace until he becomes insensible to every expression of earthly affection, and then he seems to be alone. But the dying believer is not alone. His Saviour God is with him in that valley, and will never leave him. Upon His arm he can lean, and by His presence he will be comforted, until he emerges from the gloom into the bright world beyond.”

What kind of dark valley have you wandered into? You are not alone. As the Lord told Paul in the midst of his persecutions, “My grace is sufficient”. Sufficient ? I say more than sufficient. He is my light in darkness, my strength in my weakness, my wisdom when confused. He is my portion and my joy and more than enough no matter what valley I go through. Remember, it only the “shadow” of death.

TOO GOOD FOR WORDS

Acts 9:3,4 – Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?

Jonathan Edwards wrote several volumes defending the Great Awakening. Actually the famous missionary book, THE DIARY OF DAVID BRAINERD, was written by Jonathan Edwards in defense of the Revival. Brainerd had been strongly influenced by the preaching of Edwards and George Whitefield. His amazing story of expulsion from Yale and his missionary work to the Native Americans were all connected to the outpouring of the Spirit. Edwards took the diary David had compiled shortly before his death and used it as a testimony to the legitimacy of the outpouring. Here is a quote from Edwards defending his wife’s response to the Spirit. He left her anonymous in this account.

“sometimes the sufficiency and faithfulness of God as the covenant God of his people, appearing in these words, “I am that I am”, in so affecting a manner as to overcome the body: a sense of the glorious, unsearchable, unerring wisdom of God in his works, both of creation and providence, so as to swallow up the soul, and overcome the strength of the body: a sweet rejoicing of soul at the thoughts of God’s being infinitely and unchangeably happy, and an exulting gladness of heart that God is self-sufficient, and infinitely above all dependence, and reigns over all, and does his will with absolute and uncontrollable power and sovereignty; a sense of the glory of the Holy Spirit, as the great Comforter, so as to overwhelm both soul and body; only mentioning the word, “the Comforter,” has immediately taken away all strength; that word, as the person expressed it, seemed great enough to fill heaven and earth: a most vehement and passionate desire of the honor and glory of God’s name”

Edwards said that he couldn’t refer to the Holy Spirit, or Comforter, after his wife Sarah had been touched. She would be incapacitated by just remembering the awesomeness of the Lord’s touch. Brainerd turned his own awakening into evangelistic fervor. His passion for God spilled over into his zeal to reach the Native Americans. Sarah and David became powerful, irrefutable examples to the reality of God’s outpouring. It becomes impossible to argue with the testimony of Jesus. Theory folds in the presence of the reality of the testimony of Jesus.

SUPERNATURAL HELP

And I will ask the Father, land he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 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.
Jn.14:16,17

The night before Jesus was killed, He spent the evening with His disciples, telling them about the season of the Holy Spirit that was about to begin. “I will not leave you as orphans”, He said, “I will send the Helper to be with you”. The phrase Jesus used was actually allos paracletos, which means another helper exactly like Him. The disciples had no idea of the magnitude of His promise, but they were certainly about to find out. After about fifty days, the Holy Spirit came upon the followers of Jesus, nothing could ever be the same after that.
What kind of help did the Holy Spirit offer? His help is limitless and effects every area of our lives. Here are some of the ways He helps us today. In Acts 11:18, He gives us the ability to repent, to change our lives. In Romans 8:26, 27, He enables us to pray supernatural prayers. He helps us to worship, in John 4:23,24, we see the Spirit and His involvement in true worship. The Spirit also equips us to testify, in Acts 1:8 He is said to empower us to be witnesses of His work. He is also involved with our spiritual understanding, in John 16:13 we see Him leading us into all truth. Concerning addictions, habits, and fleshly weaknesses, the Holy Spirit joins together with us to overcome all of our struggles in this carnal arena. Paul describes this help quite graphically in Romans 8:26. As far as ministry is concerned, He is the supernatural power of God distributing His gifts for the purpose of ministry and outreach. Just as in the book of Acts, the Holy Spirit will help us reach our world by equipping us with the power of signs, wonders, and miracles.
What kind of help do you need today? The Helper has come, His power is unlimited, and His love is immeasurable. If you are sick, He is the Healer, if you are lost, He is the Savior, if you feel weak and powerless, He is the mighty power of God available to you today. How can you receive His help? That part is simple, call upon the name of Jesus. He promised, that when you call He will answer and all that call upon His Name will be saved.

HELP

John 14:26
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 things that I said to you

Have you ever needed help? I have, all kinds of help. We needed help when we were born, we couldn’t do anything. We needed help in school, and as teenagers, we needed all kinds of help, we just didn’t realize it. We needed help getting started as adults, we needed help in our marriages and raising our children. We really needed help after Katrina, we were in need of lots of help for a very long time. Let’s face it, we are very needy people.
All of us have needed the Lord’s help all of our lives, like immature adolescents, we avoided God at all costs. “We have everything handled”, we silently muttered, at least we thought we had it handled. Then, inevitably, the bottom fell out of our lives. The day had finally come when we saw we needed help. We became painfully aware of our greatest need, we are sinners in need of a Savior. In that moment, He came to our rescue. As soon as we turned toward Him, He was already there, ready to move on our behalf. After all Jesus called this unseen person the Helper. He is always there, always ready to show Himself as the Helper in our lives.
What kind of help do you need? He is the Counselor, to those who need guidance. He is the Great Physician to those who need healing. He is the source of all things for those suffering financial lack. He is the greatest of all friends to those who are lonely. He is the faithful High Priest when we need forgiveness. He is Unspeakable Joy to those imprisoned with depression. He is the Opener of prison doors to those captive to alcohol or substance abuse. For those caught in the world of lust and immorality, He has mercy and freedom in His touch.
He is the Helper and there is no problem too big, no sin too dark, no chain to strong that He is not able to overcome in your life. The term Jesus used in greek for Helper is Paracletos, one called alongside to help. When does He come?; when He hears someone calling. Today, I think He heard your cry. He will come Himself to bring His supernatural help into your life.

HELP ME

Jn.14:26 – 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 said to you.

We have all prayed this prayer at one time or another; HELPPPPP!!!!! For some, it takes longer than others to get to that point, but when we call He will answer. The night Jesus was arrested the disciples were in that crying for help mode. They realized Jesus was about to be killed and they were not in a place to believe in resurrection. To say they were distressed would be a huge understatement. They were consumed and over whelmed. Jesus spent the last evening encouraging His disciples with a gigantic promise. The Holy Spirit would come and His very nature is a nature of help. Jesus word for the Holy Spirit, Paracletos; was One Who is called along side of us to help us. The only catch, we have to come to the place where humility sets in and we cry out for help from the Lord. Some people say John Lennon got saved before he was killed in New York. I don’t know if that is fake news or not but one of the songs he wrote called HELP describes what could be called a prayer for help.

Help, I need somebody

Help, not just anybody

Help, you know I need someone, help

When I was younger, so much younger than today

I never needed anybody’s help in any way

But now these days are gone, I’m not so self assured

Now I find I’ve changed my mind and opened up the doors

Help me if you can, I’m feeling down

And I do appreciate you being round

Help me, get my feet back on the ground

Won’t you please, please help me

And now my life has changed in oh so many ways

My independence seems to vanish in the haze

But every now and then I feel so insecure

I know that I just need you like I’ve never done before

Help me if you can, I’m feeling down

And I do appreciate you being round

Help me, get my feet back on the ground

Won’t you please, please help me

Who knows who John Lennon was calling to for help, all I know is this; The Lord is near to those with a broken and humble heart. If you cry for help, the Helper will be suddenly there.

Breathe Again!

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BY PARRIS

 

-“Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.” Is.40:1

 

 

This verse is announcing the coming advent of the Messiah. As the Advent season approaches meditating on the work of Christ is our life pursuit. Redemption comes near to our hearts with all that he does and continues to do. In the book of Isaiah, Israel’s punishment was over and the need for restoration to the source of life in God had come. The word comfort has some interesting meanings, ‘to cause to breathe again, brave together, strengthener and to fortify”. One of the titles of the Holy Spirit is the Comforter. He certainly becomes our “covert” in the storms of life. He is more than a consolation in sorrow or trial, but we can have encouragement and divine strength to meet and handle life’s crisis. The comfort of God is rooted in fellowship with him and getting an adequate thought of God.

The Interpreter Bible puts it this way: “Those who turn to God in their deep need find that he responds. Apart from Him, this is a tragic world, without meaning and purpose, or hope. Only through the tragic sense of life do we realize the wonder of God’s grace. Against the background of a shattered world the love of God in Christ becomes real and radiant. It makes the trouble bearable. It delivers us from the fear of this crushing universe. It fills life with hope and takes us out of the grip of loneliness. So this vision of God’s love brings with it inner reinforcement. The picture of Christ upon the cross becomes our flag in the thick of battle. The only real comfort in face of misfortune comes through accepting it in the knowledge that blight can be turned into blessing.”

The comforter has come, will you be willing to once again let the breath of the almighty wrap you, fortify and strengthen you. Let his breath be your breath and with Him you can bravely face your day. Many times we lose our perspective when we feel hemmed in on every side. But thank God we have a choice either to trust in our own power or arm of the flesh or run into the Shadow of the Almighty. There is a sorrow that God alone comforts, there are trials that bring Him closer to us and reveal Him to us as “the God of all comfort.”

COMFORT OF THE HOLY GHOST

Acts 9:31 ¶ So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied. 
One of my earliest and fondest memories of my childhood was a funeral of all things. I must have been about four years old and my dad took me on a road trip from our home in South Carolina to the place he was raised in some small country town in Georgia. I don’t even know the name of the town, if you could even call it a town. His Uncle Clevie had died and we were going to pay our respects. I remember how special I felt riding alone with my dad through those winding country roads and staying up late with him to ‘wake the body’. The think that struck my memory the most was that funeral service. Even as a young child I recognized an atmosphere that I had never felt before. My dad’s relatives attended a Pentecostal Church, you know, the shouting and singing kind of church. I remember lots of loud singing, tambourines, crying, and shouts of joy. Yeah, you heard me right, joy at a funeral. Even as a child I recognized that these people didn’t just talk about ‘going to a better place’. They believed in that place called heaven and sang until heaven came into that church. It’s been almost 60 years since that funeral but I can still remember the atmosphere I felt there. Actually that is the atmosphere church is supposed to experience. It’s what I want more of in my church. Here are some thoughts from Matthew Henry on today’s verse.
“The comfort of the Holy Ghost was their consolation, and that which they made their chief joy. They had recourse to the comfort of the Holy Ghost, and lived upon that, not only in days of trouble and affliction, but in days of rest and prosperity. The comforts of the earth, when they had the most free and full enjoyment of them, could not content them without the comfort of the Holy Ghost. Observe the connection of these two: when they walked in the fear of the Lord, then they walked in the comfort of the Holy Ghost. Those are most likely to walk cheerfully that walk circumspectly.”
Why was there sadness and joy at that funeral? They were sad because Uncle Clevie had died, they were happy because of the comfort of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is real, He will comfort you in whatever circumstance you find yourself in, you just have to take time to let Him.

ALLOS PARACLETOS

I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever – The Spirit (of Truth, Whom the world cannot receive (welcome, take to its heart), because it does not see Him or know and recognize Him. But you know and recognize Him, for He lives with you ]constantly] and will he in you (John 14:16-17 AMP). 

In this Scripture, Jesus was talking to His disciples the night before He went to the cross. At that point, they had not received the Holy Spirit because Jesus had not yet died and risen. Their sins had not yet been washed away. The anointing of God was upon them as they went out and ministered; yet Jesus said there was coming a day when the Holy Spirit was going to be in them. That is the day we live in now, a day that began when Jesus rose from the dead. This day was  fulfilled at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the people in the Upper Room and they were filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke with other tongues. The above verses are from the Amplified Bible. The Amplified Bible takes the Greek New Testament and describes the different meanings in a particular word. Such is the case with the phrase “Another Comforter.” There are two Greek words for “another.” One of the Greek words, hetereos, means “another, but different.” It’s like saying: Here’s a book and here’s another book. There are two books yet they are different. Jesus said “Another Comforter,” referring to the second definition of another, which is in the Greek, allos, meaning “another,” but exactly the same as the first. For example, consider two envelopes. Here’s one envelope and here’s another envelope identical to the first one. Jesus said He was sending “Another” one just like Himself. The Holy Spirit is exactly like Jesus. The things Jesus did, the Holy Spirit is  also doing right now. Jesus healed the sick and suffering in His earthly ministry. In the same way, the Holy Spirit is healing the sick and suffering today. The Holy Spirit is working all over the  modern world. He is bringing people to Christ, healing the sick, and delivering the oppressed. The good news is that the age of miracles is not over. The Holy Spirit is real, He is our Helper. The things Jesus did while on earth, the Holy Spirit is doing today.

THY GOOD SPIRIT

Neh. 9:20 You gave your good Spirit to instruct them and did not withhold your manna from their mouth and gave them water for their thirst.

Everything about the Holy Spirit is good. He is the goodness of Almighty God in action. He is the Father’s love, power, guidance, instruction, and purity. He is all of this and more, He is a distinct person, a member of the incredible Trinity. Having access to Him is the greatest privilege anyone can fathom. People try to get close to famous humans, even an autograph can be quite valuable. The Holy Spirit is the most awesome person and his has come to make His home with me and in me. Here are some thoughts from Spurgeon about the wonderful Holy Spirit.

“Common, too common is the sin of forgetting the Holy Spirit. This is folly and ingratitude. He deserves well at our hands, for he is good, supremely good. As God, he is good essentially. He shares in the threefold ascription of Holy, holy, holy, which ascends to the Triune Jehovah. He is good benevolently, tenderly bearing with our waywardness, striving with our rebellious wills; quickening us from our death in sin, and then training us for the skies as a loving nurse fosters her child. How generous, forgiving, and tender is this patient Spirit of God. He is good operatively. All his works are good in the most eminent degree: he suggests good thoughts, prompts good actions, reveals good truths, applies good promises, assists in good attainments, and leads to good results. He is good officially; whether as Comforter, Instructor, Guide, Sanctifier, Quickener, or Intercessor, he fulfills his office well, and each work is fraught with the highest good to the church of God.”

Once we yield to the Lord we actually begin to take on His goodness. We begin to live under the influence of His goodness and our life and lifestyle change. We come under His power and we begin to receive goodness. His goodness provides our daily bread and brings health to our bodies . In this dark and foreboding world the church needs the goodness of the Holy Spirit more than ever. I believe (and predict) there will be another great swing back to the person of the Holy Spirit in the very near future. I think our world is becoming painfully aware of its need for the power of His presence.