Monday, April 6, 2009

Words of Encouragement - archived message

“These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:25-27

IN REMEMBERANCE. Jesus’ promises. Jesus was speaking to his disciples as he was preparing them for what was to come. Jesus was teaching his disciples that if they loved him and kept his commandments then His Father would love them and come and abide with them. He tells them in this beginning verse that all these promises he was telling them while he was still with them.

What is amazing to me is Jesus was preparing them (and us as well) so that they would be strengthened when he was not physically present with them. He let them know that God was sending the Holy Ghost to be with them and teach them, and bring all things to their remembrance.

The disciples would need to be reminded of what Jesus had taught them as they went out to teach the world. The Holy Spirit, who is not a lesser representative of God, stood with the disciples just as Jesus had done. He was there to teach, Jesus had taught. He was there to comfort, Jesus had comforted. He was there to remind them of the truth. He was to remind them of the promises that Jesus gave. He was to remind them of the peace that Jesus promises to all that loved him and keep his commandments.

This promise Jesus gave to his disciples still applies to us today. We did not walk as the disciples did with Jesus, but we have his words of promise that he would give unto us the Holy Spirit to guide us and teach us and remind us of the truth along our journey. And we surely do need to be reminded of the promises. It’s Satan’s job to try and convenience us that God’s words are not true. He wants us to believe we are defeated, that we are without hope. He wants to steal our joy and our peace and leave us in fear.

So the Holy Spirit comes into our lives when we accept the gift of salvation Christ came to enact. The Holy Spirit wants to help us remember the promises of the Word. One important note is, we cannot remember the promises if we do not know the promises. That is another think Satan wants to stop, us reading our Word and learning what riches the pages contain. So I pray for us today that we would be more diligent about reading our Word so that we can be equipped to stand up against the tricks of the devil.

“And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do you, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death til he come.” 1 Corinthians 11:24-26

IN REMEMBERANCE. Jesus’ sacrifice. Paul was writing to the Corinthian church regarding the keeping of the Lord’s Supper (communion). Paul says some were coming and taking for the wrong reason. Some were coming because they were hungry and it was only taken as food for the stomach. Some were coming because they wanted to drink and it was only to fill that need.

Paul gives instruction on how they should come to take of the Lord’s Supper. He is telling them they should first come with thanksgiving. They should be thankful for what Jesus did when he gave of himself for our sins. He gave his body to be beaten for our transgressions. He took in his body the sting of our sin as he was beaten, spit upon and crucified. He took away the stink of our sin when his blood was shed, as the lamb sacrificed.

The message still stands for all believers today. We must first examine ourselves before we take communion. If we take of the communion in an unworthy state, Paul says we drink damnation upon ourselves. We should examine our hearts and then come before the Lord with thanksgivings. And then we also must come in remembrance. We take of the elements to remind us of what Christ gave for each of us. And when we take, it is to remind us we are also taking a part in Christ death, so that we die and Christ lives in us.

I pray that when it comes time to take communion at your church, you will go remembering what Jesus truly gave for each of us. And then go with thanksgiving and remembering what it means to you.