When I stay close to God by reading His word, giving thanks and prayerfully surrendering my life to Him, I feel the Holy Spirit guiding me more than ever.
Sunday, January 16, 2022
By Angela Gaffney, Journey Small Group Leader
“Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” (John 14:19-21)
Jesus’ disciples had been asking questions of him about where he would go after death. In these verses Jesus shared that he promises them the Holy Spirit if they choose to love him and keep his commands. He promises the Spirit of truth to be with them forever as an advocate once he is gone. He later tells them that the Holy Spirit will teach them all things and will remind them of everything he said to them.
When I stay close to God by reading His word, giving thanks and prayerfully surrendering my life to Him, I feel the Holy Spirit guiding me more than ever. My relationship with God needs nurturing just like any other relationship. I find that when I’m too busy or miss out on a few days of my morning reading and prayer, I’m not able to connect with Him as easily. I know He’s there, He is in me and I am in Him but in order for me to fully see Him in my life I need to remain close and express my love, faith and trust in Him. This scripture challenges me to be more thoughtful and consistent in building my relationship with Him.
“Jesus, thank you for believing in me and for blessing me with the Holy Spirit as my forever advocate. I feel your presence in my life. I’m grateful for your guidance and for trusting me to do your will even when it may feel difficult to do so. Thank you for giving me the courage to respond to you. I simply want to know you more and I pray that you continue to work in me so I may serve you in the greatest way possible. I fully trust and surrender to you. Amen.”
Get to a place where you can focus and read the daily Scripture passage several times. From the passage of Scripture you read, highlight one or two verses that stick out. Write them down, and even consider rewriting the verse(s) in your own words.
Make some basic observations about the scripture you just read by asking these questions:
- Why was this written?
- To whom was it originally written?
- What is the author trying to communicate?
- What does the Scripture passage teach me about God and humanity?
After taking some time explaining the highlighted scriptures, begin to think about how they apply to your life. Ask yourself these questions and spend some time writing down your thoughts:
- What do these verses mean today?
- What does this verse(s) mean for my life?
- How does this verse challenge my thinking and actions?
- What changes do I need to make in my life as a result of this passage of Scripture?
Your response to the passage may take on many forms. You may write a call to action. You may describe how you will be different because of what God has said to you through the Bible verses. You may indicate what you are going to do because of what you learned. You may respond by writing out a prayer to God. For example, you may ask God to help you to be more loving, or to give you a desire to be more generous in your giving. Keep in mind that this is your response to what you have just read.