Bible Reading: John 16:1-15
As Christians, we have an advantage in the game of life…the Holy Spirit. Jesus told the disciples that they didn’t need to fear anything (not even death)…because the Holy Spirit would be with them.
Thoughts about God for My Grandkids:
I enjoy watching football…High School, College, and Professional…all levels of football. And what amazes me is that somehow, week after week, the players on those teams just happen to show up at the right time for the game, at the right place, wearing the same uniforms, taking their correct positions on the field, and running the same plays. How do they do it? Well, you and I both know that they don’t “just happen” to do those things. They have coaches who direct everything that they do. Check this out. There are 32 NFL teams (National Football League-the pros). Each team is limited to 53 players on its roster. The average NFL team has 16 coaches. That means that there is almost 1 coach for every 3.5 players (I don’t know where you get half of a player…maybe that’s the kickers…they’re usually smaller). Anyway, that seems like a lot of coaches to me. So, what do they do? Here is a list of some of the coaches that most teams have…
- Head coach
- Offensive coordinator coach
- Defensive coordinator
- Special teams coach
- Quarterback coach
- Offensive line coach
- Defensive line coach
- Linebacker coach
- Secondary coach
- Strength coach.
As you can see, each coach has a specific job that he does to make the team perform to its very best. Generally, you watch the team members play on television. They get most of the spotlight. But sometimes, they will turn your attention to what the coaches are doing. Maybe it’s the head coach walking along the sidelines with a headset on. He is evaluating how the team is doing in middle of the game and talking with the other coaches about changes they need to make. Maybe it’s the offensive coordinator high up in a booth where he can see what the other team’s defensive coordinator is planning and then call the plays. But on rare occasions, they will do an interview before the game and show what the other coaches do. It could be the strength coach as he is leading the players in exercises, or weight lifting. It could be the wide receivers coach working with players to understand exactly how to run their pass routes. It could be the special teams coach as he is training players how to execute on kickoff or punting situations. The point is…the coaches are extremely important to the success of the team. Without the coaches…the players would not be as physically fit, mentally prepared, or organizationally coordinated around a game plan. In fact, you can pretty well say that if an NFL team did not have coaches…they probably would not win a single game in a season…no matter how good their players are. Though you may not see them as much as the players during the game…coaches are absolutely necessary.
Stay with me here for a moment…and think in football terms. Not long before Jesus was crucified He had a team meeting with His disciples. He was their Head Coach and He told them that He was going to be leaving. Now, they didn’t understand exactly what He was talking about. After all, how could they have understood that He was going to die, be buried, and then rise from the dead three days later and go to Heaven…before it all happened? It is hard enough for some people to understand it after it happened…much less before it happened. But Jesus told them to not worry…because He was going to send them another Head Coach. Who is that? The Holy Spirit. When Jesus speaks of the Holy Spirit, He calls Him the “Helper” (that’s the word the New American Standard Version uses-the King James Bible translates the same Greek word as “Comforter” and the New Living Translations uses “Advocate”). This Greek word literally means, “called to one’s side”. For instance, it could be used of a person who is going to court about a legal issue and calls on a lawyer to come along side of them for help and counsel. Jesus told His team that when He left, He would send the Holy Spirit to be there with them…to come along side them. In essence, the Holy Spirit was going to continue with the same game plan that Jesus had already been following. But what would the Holy Spirit do? He would convict people of their need for salvation when the disciples preached. He would guide the disciples into an understanding of God’s truth. He would help the disciples to understand what was happening, and why. And, He would bring glory to Jesus. Whatever it was that they needed to fulfill God’s game plan, God’s mission through them…the Holy Spirit would be there with them to make certain that they succeeded. Jesus actually told the disciples that it would be to their advantage when He left…and the Holy Spirit came. How could that be? Well, for one thing, because Jesus had a physical body…He could only be in one place at a time. That meant that if He was in one place and His disciples were in another place…He could not be there to coach them. However, the Holy Spirit is spirit. He lives in our hearts, our spirit…and because of that…He is not limited to any one place. No matter where we may be, no matter how many of us there may be…the Holy Spirit is with each and every one of us…all, individually, at the same time. He is there to coach me in the matters that I am dealing with and He is there (at the same time but in a different place) to coach you in the matters that you are dealing with. It would kind of like every player on the football team having a coach standing right beside him during the game. That would be a huge advantage.
The same thing is true for you. When you accepted Jesus as your Savior…at that very moment, the Holy Spirit came into your life. He is your “Helper”…the One that comes along side of you. He is standing on the field (your life) with you. He is giving you the power to proclaim God’s good news. He is helping you to understand God’s Word. He is giving you comfort, and wisdom, perseverance, and peace…in every situation that you face. And, He is bringing glory to Jesus through you!
So, no matter how tough the game may be, no matter how big the players on the other team may look…you have the Holy Spirit. There is nothing that you cannot overcome. There is nothing that you need to fear. You’re going to win this game. You’re going to be successful in life. The Holy Spirit is with you. Now, get in the game…head for the goal…and score!
Love you more than bunches and bunches,