28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
I think this is probably one of my favorite verses of the Bible. Every time I read it my load seems lighter. This union between Christ Jesus and those of us that believe He is the Son of God is an awesome gift.
He offers to us the gift of working in unison with Him. By taking on His yoke we walk in accordance with His will and we learn from His gentle guidance.
This promise was made by Jesus while He walked the earth… but He makes a promise of union with Him when He leaves this earth and that promise overwhelms me when I consider it. That gift is the coming of a Helper… The indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
As I consider this passage I am compelled to go first, to Acts 2:2-4.
The Gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
“2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
That was the promised fulfilled. What a powerful day that was. After the gift of the Spirit was given Peter preached and the Church was born and grew by 3000 souls.
But I could not stop there. I looked to the scriptures when Jesus made the promise and today I end up in Gospel of John. First chapter 15:15-19
15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.
Jesus promises the gift of a Helper and He will be “with you forever (verse 16)”. He promises the “Spirit of truth (verse 17)”. And Jesus defines it as a truth that only believers can receive. And why do we need this gift? Jesus explains it in John 16:12-15.
12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
That passage makes sense of so many things for me. Jesus held back things from His disciples because without the gift of the Spirit it would be more than they could understand. But once they received the gift of the indwelling Spirit He would teach them.
When I consider that I understand why I can read the same passage time after time and one day it breezes by and the next the Holy Spirit will stop me in my tracks and reveal to me something I did not even know that I needed. What a gift we have in Jesus and His Spirit in me. That thought brings me back to a passage in John 15:26.
26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.”
This gift opens my eyes to see, my ears to hear and my heart to understand the wonders of God’s Word and fills me a joy that cannot be defined by the world. It is only clear when we open our hearts and minds and surrender everything to the will of God through the Holy Spirit. Lastly, I went to John 4:23-24 and considered the promise given by Jesus to the Samaritan woman at the well…
23 “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
What a glorious gift we have in the Holy Spirit. I pray that I might hold fast to Him and not be distracted by the things of this world, including my own selfishness, but cling to Jesus and His will that He shares with me in His Holy Word and the gift of the Holy Spirit.