Ponder and Pray: John 15-16

Ponder: Last week we looked at the first of three chapters of Jesus’ Last Supper Discourse in which Jesus declared that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life, and then promised the Holy Spirit, a helping spirit of peace to guide them — and believers today — through life. Today we’ll find another I AM statement in chapter 15 and more comfort about how the Holy Spirit, also known as the Spirit of Truth, will guide us through the harsh reality that the world hates us because we follow Jesus.

In addition, we are reminded that we must love one another, for in that act, we show we are His disciples (15:12-14). Easier said than done, right? But we don’t have to live out a life of denying self and loving even our enemies all by ourselves. The Holy Spirit guides us in all that mirrors the heart of God (16:13). In His power, we experience a joy overcoming sorrow (16:22), a peace casting out all anxiety (16:33), and a courage dispelling dread (16:33) that is out of this world.

  • As we’ve spent time in chapters 14-16, have you added to your list of names, words, and phrases that describe God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit? If not, now would be a good time to review this Last Supper Discourse and add to your list.
  • Which characteristic especially encourages me today? Why is this?
  • Because Jesus is                              , I know that I am                         .
  • As I read Jesus’ instructions to His disciples to love one another, which challenging person in my life comes to mind? How is God asking me to respond in a new and different way to this person?
  • Does this charge seem impossible in light of my current situation? How can I view my situation differently in light of the truths from Jesus, namely in 14:15-17 and 16:22-24?

Pray: Dear Jesus, You spoke uncomfortable words to Your disciples on that night before Your death, words they didn’t fully understand. I’m guessing some of them in that moment around the table thought, “Check. I can do that. I can love others.” But just hours later as tears stained their cheeks, hate for their enemies must have choked out the love they were supposed to live out — and they were alone and abandoned as You lay in the tomb. So often I feel alone and abandoned, but I see from these chapters that I have something those men and women had yet to receive. I have Your Spirit living within me, empowering me to love when it seems impossible, to live courageous when I face my enemies. Thank You for reminding me that I am filled with Your Spirit and can do all things through You. Forgive me for the times when I’ve viewed myself as an orphan and tried to do the impossible on my own. I surrender to You and Your way. Use me for Your glory. I love You, Lord.