So Much More

John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” – (Luke 3:16, NIV)

John’s answer to this was, “I baptize you in water, but there is someone coming later who is able to do more than I can. I am not good enough to be the slave who unties His sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” – (Luke 3:16, ERV)

But John made it clear by telling them, “There is one coming who is mightier than I. He is supreme. In fact, I’m not worthy of even being His slave. I can only baptize you in this river, but He will baptize you into the Spirit of holiness and into His raging fire.” – (Luke 3:16, TPT)

As we have begun to march our way through December, I have decided to join in and read the corresponding chapter of Luke each day, leading to Christmas eve. This morning, as I read through Luke 3, verse sixteen stood out to me as a reminder of how we ought to view the season. In this season of Advent, the waiting for “The Arrival”, there is a powerful opportunity to look back on the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Even before Jesus began His ministry, there were indicators along the way that pointed out just how powerful and significant Jesus would be. John, the cousin of Jesus, had been raised up to faithfully follow God, and grew in wisdom and boldness as he faithfully taught and baptized all who were ready to hear and follow after God. Despite his following, John always pointed people to look forward to Jesus and the mighty power He would hold. In the same way, we ought to fix our eyes on Jesus, as He came to us as a baby, but returned to heaven as our Eternal King. May we marvel at God’s goodness this season, as He sent His Son to save us so that we might know the power of His Spirit within and among us.

The good we see now,

Is merely a glimpse;

Of what is to come,

That yet to exist.

Our hope, heavenward,

Where light and love dwell;

Let our hearts choose Him,

As we’re loved so well.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to dwell among us and show us the love and power, goodness and hope that is found in You. Forgive us for losing sight of the reason for the season. Teach us to look at the entire picture, not just the snapshot of a baby in a manger. Show us how to love those around us in practical and tangible ways. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You and study Your word to better grasp the goodness held in life with You. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come. – John 16:13

Obedience Makes Love Obvious

photo by Sybil Staples

“If you love Me, you will obey what I command.  And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth.  The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him.  But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you.” – John 14:15-17

Obedience to all that God asks of us, is evidence of our love for Him in action.  His gift to us, is the presence of His Holy Spirit forever.  Because the world neither sees Him nor knows Him, they cannot accept Him.  However, we know Him because He walks with us and dwells in us, and is our Comforter and Counselor, always.

When we listen to the Still Small Voice that we sense in our spirit, we are hearing the heart of God.  He who dwells in us, holds our heart in His hands, and is ever whispering words of direction, correction, encouragement and love.  Because we are loved, we have the capacity to love others and obey all that He asks.  When we walk in obedience, we are outwardly displaying our love for the Lord, and how to move toward our Maker.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Spirit to be our Counselor and Comforter.  Teach us to listen as Your Spirit speaks, and empower each of us to obey all that is asked.  May our obedience move as a mirror to reflect Your loving kindness to all men. (and women)  Lead us in obedience to love like You, so that all may see and know Your saving grace.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present