Lord, it must have been so hard for you to tell the disciples about the bad times they were about to face, the persecution, the torture, and the deaths that they would suffer. Yet, it was necessary. Lord, it was necessary that you leave them so that the Holy Spirit could come to them. You sent the Spirit to them, but in so doing, you also sent the Spirit to those of us who are alive today. Thank you, Lord. I know that it had to be hard for you to leave the men that you had spent the better part of three years of your life with, day in and day out, teaching them, showing them how to live, how to do the Father's will. You loved them so much, but you knew you had to go so you could send them the Holy Spirit to be with each one of them always. As long as you filled a human body, you could not do that. To be with them always requires a spirit body. That's why you had to go, isn't it? That's how you could say, as Matthew recorded, "Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
Thank you, Lord for sending the Spirit of Truth, your Holy Spirit, to guide the disciples. That guidance was necessary. It was necessary back then to get the church established, to train up the leaders. Lord, the guidance of your Holy Spirit is essential today, also. Help your church to recognize that. Help the leaders of your church to truly understand that they need the guidance of your Holy Spirit because man's guidance is faulty, inadequate, imperfect, and will, ultimately, lead to destruction. Help them, Father, help us all, to submit to you, to follow the guidance of your Spirit, to follow the path you want us to take, to do the things you want us to do. Let your Holy Spirit guide our thoughts, Lord, in all that we do.
Lord, your disciples didn't really understand much of what you said at the time that you said it. In this chapter, they seem perplexed by your statements about seeing you for awhile and then not seeing you and then again seeing you; your statements about going to the Father. Lord, they didn't understand after all the time they spent with you. They didn't understand until certain things came to pass, until the Holy Spirit came to them and dwelt within them to teach them. I don't see how we, today, who didn't have the advantage of sitting at your feet, hearing your words then, in the context in which you spoke them, having the chance to ask you questions: Lord, if they couldn't understand, then I don't know how we could expect to understand without spending time studying your word, without spending quiet time listening for your voice, listening for the guidance of your Holy Spirit. So, help us, Lord, help me. Help me to listen, help me to wait, to wait for your voice, for your guidance. Help me not to get ahead of you, but to stop and wait, knowing that you will tell me what I need to know in sufficient time to take the right action. Help me, Lord. I trust you.
Lord, in the Gospels the writers talk about your resurrection and the reaction of the disciples, first the disbelief and confusion, and then the overwhelming joy and ecstasy. I can sort of imagine what it must have been like the day you died, to watch you die, to watch your body be taken down from the Cross, prepared for burial, placed in the tomb. What a day of sorrow that must have been and the hours that followed, until that Sunday when you arose from the dead and appeared to Mary, to Peter, to James, to the other disciples. Oh, the joy they must have felt! Oh, hallelujah! Praise God!
Thank you, God, for raising Jesus from the dead. Thank you for sending him to die for me. Thank you for raising him back to life. Help me, Father, to live a life worthy of him, worthy of you. I can't do that without your help. Please help me!
God, Jesus said you love his disciples because we love Jesus and believe that he came from you. I do believe that, Father. I love Jesus and I believe that he came from you. I know he did.
Lord Jesus, I am sorry that you had to go through all those hours that led up to your death alone. Yet, as you said, you were not alone, because the Father was with you. Today, I go through far less horrible things, but for me they're difficult. Just living on this earth is difficult, and I do encounter trials, problems that are so hard to handle. Sometimes, I don't know what to do, except to keep forging on, looking for your guidance. I thank you, Father, that as you were with Jesus, you are with me and he is with me.
You are in me, Lord. Your Holy Spirit is in me. As I've said before, Lord, I don't understand with my finite, human mind how that can work, but I do understand there is a huge difference between a spirit and a physical being. I believe, Lord, when you say that you are in me and I am in you. I don't understand, but I believe.
Lord, thank you for the peace that you have given me. I do have peace. I refuse to give up that peace so that I can dwell on the problems of the world around me. No, Lord, I will not give up your peace. I will look to you, Lord. You are my peace. You give me peace. Thank you, Lord. Help me to always remember that you have overcome the world, that you have won the war, that you have defeated Satan. Oh, he's still out there, but you've beaten him. He's denying it, but he has to know, because he knows who you are. He has to know that he is doomed to destruction.
O Lord Jesus, I have read the last chapter, and I know that you win, that you have won! Because you are in me, and I am in you, that means that I have won. No matter what happens to me on this earth, Lord, I win! I win because you won. Thank you, Lord. Thank you for the peace that gives me. Thank you, thank you. Amen.
Copyright 2007, Star Ferdinand.
Star Ferdinand is the author of The Prayerful Bible Study Series of study guides, numerous devotionals, and other Christian writings. You can read more of her writings at starferdinand.wordpress.com.
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