The Gift of the Holy Spirit
Open Your Bible
Romans 8:1-4, John 14:15-20, John 14:25-26, John 16:1-15, Titus 3:6-7, 1 John 4:13-15, Joel 2:28-29, Ephesians 1:13-14
We are the heroines of our own story. At least, that’s the lesson we are taught in our most beloved childhood fairy tales and animated movies. The princess, the underdog, the orphan, and the star-crossed lovers all receive their happily ever after because of their internal strength and sheer determination in the face of colossal challenges.
As much as I love a good old-fashioned story where the good guy or gal wins, this idolized belief in the “self-made” hero as followers of Jesus is a misleading one. As hard as we try to overcome temptation and do the right things, we come up short. We simply can’t become more like Jesus by our own will or strength. And when we inevitably fail to live up to our ideal of a “good Christian,” we are left wallowing in our inadequacies and uncertain of where we stand with God.
Thankfully, the gospel teaches us that we are not the heroines of our story or faith! God doesn’t expect us to fake it til’ we make it when it comes to our personal transformation. Instead, through Jesus’s death and resurrection, we are able to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The same Spirit of God that raised Jesus from the dead now dwells within every believer (Romans 8:11). Through faith in Jesus as our Savior, the Holy Spirit has been poured out on us abundantly (Titus 3:6). His Spirit alive in us is a guarantee of the eternal life that awaits us.
Romans 8 teaches us that the Holy Spirit’s constant presence in our lives empowers us to live free from the power of sin. He continually reveals the truth to us and guides us in the ways of Jesus Christ (John 14:15–20,25–26). We are never alone; He is always with us. The gift of the Holy Spirit is proof of God’s unfailing love for us. The heart of God toward us is one that longs for intimacy with us and desires for us to experience life to the fullest, which comes by relying on the power of His Spirit.
As you reflect on today’s reading, ask yourself, “Who is the hero of my story? Who is the real power behind my spiritual maturity? Am I relying on my willpower to follow Jesus or the empowerment of the Holy Spirit? Am I trusting in my moral strength to do what pleases God and exemplifies Jesus’s love, or am I trusting in the leading of His Spirit?” Today, hear the Holy Spirit’s invitation to lean on Him, to receive from Him. Lay down the impossible job of acting like Jesus, and allow the Spirit of God to empower you to become more like Jesus from the inside out.