No, I shan't be comparing the Pipers and Sprouls and MacArthurs and Carsons of this world to see who comes out on top. This is not a shameless plug for my dad's sermons (oh, wait, don't look now, but...) or for my list of favourite preachers and authors.
|Draw near in a snowy sunrise|
Perhaps by now you have an inkling of Who it is I am alluding to ~ and, no, C.S. Lewis does not come anywhere near close.
Yes, my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, you and I who belong to God have a free and unlimited subscription to the Holy Spirit. We don't need to go on YouTube, we don't need to pay any online streaming fees, we don't need to buy the latest books. The message of the Gospel is that God makes it possible for God to live in us so that we can live in Him. Guys, the gift of faith gives us the Spirit of God. We already have the best Preacher.
The Spirit of the Comforter, the Spirit of the Father, the Spirit of Truth, indwells us by God's matchless grace. I don't know how to make it sound exciting, but, think about it: God has given us HIS SPIRIT to live inside of us! No Piper can touch our heartstrings in the way that the Holy Spirit, who knows us, can speak to our souls. No Carson can shed the light of doctrine to our very own unique minds in the magnificent way that the Holy Spirit imparts truth to our souls. No Lewis can explain and sanctify our desires in the way that the Holy Spirit radically transforms our souls. The Best Preacher is with us, all the time, everywhere. This is news of inexpressible joy, is it not, my friends? Let us not ignore or neglect that gift.
But O how often do we do just that! See, the Spirit is God and the Spirit brings Truth. That means He always acts in accordance with the Word of God. The present of the Spirit is that He uncovers, unbinds, enlightens, convicts, applies, and comforts us in the Word of Truth, the Bible. But how frequent are the days where we do not give the Bible a second glance, apart from maybe doing a quick word search to send a friend some encouragement or gobbling a chapter down just in time for that weekly Bible study. How often do we slight personal enrichment in Scripture! The fact is, if there is no Bible before our eyes, there is no Spirit working in our hearts. The Two, the Person and the Word, go together hand in hand. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit gives us a love for His Word so that it is a delight to be pierced by His sword and strengthened in all truth. If the Spirit lives in us by God's grace, He will always draws us back to Scripture...eventually.
|Draw nigh when life seems to be a bed of roses|
I mean, peoples, this is why Jesus Christ ascended into Heaven! He said it was better for us to have the Holy Spirit during this season. Don't believe me? Slide down to these excerpts from John 14-16 (well, really, if you have time, just read John 14-17 in its entirety...like all the time. But for now, portions will have to do):
'“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 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. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. ... These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you."' [John 14:15-20, 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."' [John 15:26]
'"But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 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. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you."' [John 16:5-15]
|And draw nigh in the cloudy skies|
Aka: Read. Our. Bibles.
And He fills us with His truth and wisdom. And we will have The Best Preacher Ever: a Heavenly one, the Spirit of God.
But one last thing. Although I am trying to not disclaim myself all the time (hehe), I think this post merits a disclaimer. Jenn Jenn is NOT ~ I repeat: by no means ~ telling you to chuck out your church and your pastor and your good books to just "go it alone" with you and your independent lil self. God gives us a love for His Word, and a love for His People. He designed us to grow in Community and under Biblical Counsel. Is Scripture sufficient? Absolutely. Are we hermits with a Book and a candle in a cave? Absolutely not. So don't quit church. Christians don't quit church. Christians read their Bibles ~ not as a duty, but as a delight. Capisce? Good. Thanks. You may go now.
Photo discredit Jenn Jenn