Devotional of the week: The three-in-one in us

But you will know him [the Spirit], for he lives with you and will be in you… 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. (John 14:15–21)

2808576_f248Our text comes during what is known as Jesus’ “final discourse” with the disciples. They have shared their last meal together, and now Jesus is preparing them for life after his death. Their fears about the future are clear and he seems to be comforting as much as instructing them.

He says that only with the coming of the Holy Spirit will they truly understand his words, for then their minds will be transformed by his indwelling wisdom. Here he is describing a wonderful mystery; not only the presence of God in his people, but the interconnected nature of his relationship with his Father and with the Spirit. He is in his Father, we are in him, and he is in us.

This might sound abstract, but look again at the context. As the disciples fear what lies ahead, Jesus tells them that he will not leave them as orphans (v. 18). In their anxious doubt, he offers them the ultimate assurance. We too when we are lonely or afraid can know that Jesus will not left us; indeed, he lives inside us.

When my son was five years old, sometimes he would say he was scared, and he’d ask for “a long prayer.” I’d pray that he would know the loving arms of God underneath him, upholding him. I’d tell him that Jesus was with and in him and would never leave him, and I’d pray that the Spirit would bring him comfort and rest.

How much more assurance does the Lord want to give us. As Jesus said to his disciples, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me” (John 14:1). As he lives in us, he will take our burdens as we yield them to him. Come, share in his comfort.

For prayer: “Be thou my wisdom, and thou my true word; I ever with thee and thou with me, Lord; thou my great Father, I thy true son; thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one” (ancient Celtic hymn).

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