Alongside: Experiencing Jesus With Us Every Day - Week 2
“Know Your Truth.”
Those are the words I awoke to in my mind one morning last week. These words, so clear, have been ones that have stuck with me a lot, especially after a very dear friend of mine spoke them to me at a time I really needed to hear them. So I’m passing these words on to you today in hopes that they might be exactly what you need today or sometime in the future too.
The readings from week 1 of this series spoke about the truth. Specifically, John 14:15-17 reminded us that the Holy Spirit, a gift to us from God, leads us into all truth, and then again in John 14:26 when it says “But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative –that is the Holy Spirit – he will teach you everything and remind you of everything I have told you.”
When I reflect on that verse, I am reminded of what a beautiful promise that is. I know that I can certainly use this kind of teaching and reminding regularly. When I think about my day to day life, I would say most the time I think of reminders as being things I need to check off my to do list. But here, Jesus promises that the Holy Spirit, our advocate and helper, will TEACH US EVERYTHING and REMIND US OF EVERYTHING HE HAS TOLD US.
On days when I am fairly certain everything on my list of tasks won’t get done, or when I feel like there’s no way I’m capable of doing something I don’t feel trained or qualified enough to do, this promise tells me otherwise, and he tells you that too.
So what are those “everythings?” Quite honestly, there are many, and while that could seem overwhelming, it shouldn’t. Jesus doesn’t tell us to wait until we have everything all figured out before we act and trust in him. He promises he will teach us and he will remind us, and tells us to have peace in that thought.
“I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27
We see the disciples experience this reminder of Jesus's teachings and his peace instead of fear in last week's readings from Acts 1 and 2. He tells them to stay in Jerusalem in Acts 1:4-5, and wait for the gift of the Spirit. Then he says in Acts 1:8 “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere – in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria and to the ends of the earth.”
After this outpouring of the Spirit in Acts 2, Peter then preaches a message that clearly details all he has learned as a follower of Jesus, demonstrating the exact thing promised when Jesus said he would teach and remind us of everything. Peter remembers and tells everything perfectly even though he hasn’t spent time writing and rehearsing what he’s going to say, quoting scripture from Joel (Acts 2:17-21) and the Psalms (Acts 2:25-28).
What’s significant about this is that this is the same power promised to ALL of us. Peter reminds us of this fact when he quotes the prophet Joel:
‘In the last days,’ God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.’ Acts 2:17
So, if you’re ever wondering how to know what God wants you to do, or know what he says, we have a wonderful example here with Peter. Peter spent time with Jesus, learning what he said, hearing his promises, seeing his healing, his grace, and his acts of love. That’s why he can so boldly speak to everyone about all these things and confidently go out and love and serve like Jesus did. We can do the same thing.
The passages I’m choosing for this week are ones that show just a glimpse of things Jesus promises us and tells us. They are only some reminders of what he said and taught, some of the many “everythings” to think upon in order to “KNOW YOUR TRUTH” and SQUELCH ANY LIES that might be coming your way. If you find yourself reading other passages this week to hear what Jesus says, that’s one hundred percent okay!
I’m also including some readings this week from Paul’s letter to the Philippians, as Paul wrote and spoke from the Holy Spirit’s power and work in him, and I'm adding some Psalms. Reading a Psalm a day or a week is a great practice, teaching us how to commit ourselves to God and depend on him in our troubles and our triumphs. They are also often referred to as Jesus’s songbook, as they were the prayers Jesus meditated on and quoted more than any other old testament book. As we read them, we learn to think like him.
Like last week, read any or all of the readings I suggest here, and use the following prayer and journal prompts again if they’re helpful.
As I close, my prayer for you for the week is from last week’s readings. It is from Ephesians 4:16-21:
“I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength though his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen
This week’s Suggested Readings:
A Simple Prayer to Say Before Each Reading:
Help me to hear the words you have for me today and give me understanding. Help me to feel your presence as I read and throughout my day. Thank you for being my helper, my advocate, the one I can count on in all things.
In Jesus’ name,
Some Simple Daily Journal prompts:
1. What words or passages stood out to you in what you read today?
Copy a phrase or verse in your journal. Why do you think it caught your attention? What might God be saying to you through these words? Write your thoughts and maybe write a prayer asking God for understanding and wisdom. What might you do differently today based on the words you read today? Write your thoughts.
2. In addition to what you noticed in God’s word, where else have you seen God recently? (Something in nature, in a friend or loved one, in a conversation with someone, in an answered prayer, in your thoughts) Write down what you’ve noticed in a prayer of thanks to God.
3. When reading Luke 24:13-49, try picturing yourself in the scene as Jesus walks alongside you. How do you picture him? Imagine him asking you today, like in verse 38: “Why are you frightened? Why are your hearts filled with doubt?” Tell him your fears and doubts, and ask him to help you in a spoken or written prayer.
4. What does Paul tell us to do instead of worrying in Philippians 4:4-9? Copy this passage where you can find or see it as a reminder. You can also write his suggestions in a list you can remember, such as:
Praise and Give Thanks
Think on Positive and True Things
Try putting this into practice this week.
Have a blessed week with Jesus walking alongside you, speaking and reminding you of everything he has told us.