Isolation

I have been pretty depressed from strict isolation. In my spirit I feel that the crisis is over and sense some relief. Isolation has been a very terrible experience for me – and for millions of others, too, I’m sure. God created us as social creatures and this social isolation has been against everything we were created to be. It concerns me that some of the freedoms we have lost will not be restored. How could any official in his right mind deny church meetings when honoring the distancing guidelines?! How could he/she threaten to “close” a church?! How could a policeman arrest someone for driving, alone, during this pandemic?! I’ve been horrified at the lack of respect those in authority have shown for our freedoms. We’ve come so far from the founding of our nation; and our schools no longer teach American history. Too many of those with authority have no idea how to respect others. And, fortunately, I know I am not alone in my dismay.

The Holy Spirit has been especially close and I am so grateful for Him. What a privilege it is to know the Creator of the universe. He is awesome in His sacred intimacy. I am spending so much intimate time with the Triune God that my spirit/heart is very tender. A friend lost his two dogs to drowning recently and I could feel the grief in him keenly and felt so sorry for him.

Yesterday as I took a walk I told the Holy Spirit how much I loved and appreciated Him. When I returned to my highrise I sat alone in the gazebo and let the tears roll as I worshiped Him.  He has stayed very close and makes Himself known constantly. I guess He is aware of the mental and spiritual suffering this isolation is bringing.

I believe “shelter-in-place” is forcing families to realize how far they’ve drifted from all that is good and morally right – a start toward Jesus. I pray their start toward the Lord will not be as quickly extinguished as a burning match, but will be touched to a candle and grow stronger with genuine commitment. Actually, our American churches need evangelizing (see link below). Supporting abortion and moral depravity as well as the sweet  encouragement that ignores the presence of sin may bring about serious consequences both for those in leadership and those in the pews.

Romans 1:32 AMPC Though they are fully aware of God’s righteous decree that those who are saturated with every kind of iniquity deserve to die, they not only do those things themselves but approve and applaud others who practice them, as well (Romans 1:32 AMPC).

2 Chronicles 7:14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Ezekiel 3:17-27 (NIV) 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for[a] their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself. 20 “Again, when a righteous person turns from their righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before them, they will die. Since you did not warn them, they will die for their sin. The righteous things that person did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 21 But if you do warn the righteous person not to sin and they do not sin, they will surely live because they took warning, and you will have saved yourself.”

The Comforter

John 14:16, 26; 15:26; and 16:7 refer to the Comforter as the Holy Spirit. All four references use the same Greek word for Comforter – Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Concordance and Dictionary of the Bible.

John 14:16 (AMPC) And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever—

Comforter is G3875 Transliteration: paraklētos   Pronunciation: pä-rä’-klā-tos Part of Speech: masculine noun; a root word The KJV translates Strong’s G3875 in the following manner: comforter (4x; all four times are in the Book of John), advocate (1x) (Strong’s Definitions Legend) παράκλητος paráklētos, par-ak’-lay-tos; an intercessor, consoler:—advocate, comforter.

I like to use Roget’s Thesaurus for synonyms because the subtle differences in words can make the meaning clearer. For example a comforter encourages, reassures, and is supportive.

The Holy Spirit is a wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9:6). That means He can be both an advisor and a lawyer.

The Holy Spirit is my Helper, i.e. He is an assistant or facilitator. He makes things easier.

The precious Holy Spirit is an Intercessor. He acts as a lawyer or mediator. What a comfort that is when I’m in serious need of help! He stands before the Almighty Father pleading for me! He goes with me as my lawyer before the Judge in the Court of Heaven when I need a judgment against the enemy.

The Holy Spirit is my Advocate. He is my defender and my lawyer, He is my friend and supporter. There’s that word lawyer again! But I learned early in our walk together that He is violently jealous when Satan comes to do me harm, and He protects me with passion!

The Holy Spirit is my Strengthener. He is my advocate, my stay, my Rock, my crutch. There are times when I’ve had to put my whole weight on Him and He loves to carry me.

The Holy Spirit is my Standby. He is always near, in fact, He comes to live inside the person who makes Him welcome. He is more intimate than words can describe in a very sacred Presence. He is my Treasure.

Matthew 13:44 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

Jesus’ Admonition to Holiness

1Peter 1:15-16

15 but as He who called you is holy, G40 you also be holy G40 in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, G40 for I am holy G40.”

Luke 9:26

For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son  of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s,  and of the holy G40 angels.

Transliteration hagios   Pronunciation hä’-gē-os   Part of Speech adjective

Root Word (Etymology) from hagos (an awful thing) [cf ἁγνός (G53), θάλπω (G2282)]

Strong’s Definitions

ἅγιος hágios, hag’-ee-os; from ἅγος hágos (an awful thing) (compare G53, G2282); sacred (physically pure, morally blameless or religious, ceremonially consecrated):—(most) holy (one, thing), saint.

Matthew 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, G5046 even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. G5046

Transliteration teleios (Key)   Pronunciation te’-lā-os (Key)

Part of Speech adjective      Root Word (Etymology) from τέλος (G5056)

Outline of Biblical Usage

  1. brought to its end, finished
  2. wanting nothing necessary to completeness
  3. perfect
  4. that which is perfect
  5. consummate human integrity and virtue
  6. of men
  7. full grown, adult, of full age, mature

Strong’s Definitions τέλειος téleios, tel’-i-os; from G5046; complete (in various applications of labor, growth, mental and moral character, etc.); neuter (as noun, with G3588) completeness:—of full age, man, perfect.

Deuteronomy 32:4 The Rock! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He.

Psalm 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.

Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.

Hebrews 5:9 And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation,

1Peter 1:15-16.But as he which has called you is holy, G40 so you be holy G40 in all of your ways; 16.Because it is written, Be holy; G40 for I am holy. G40

1 John 3:3 And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

Take-away:

God, Who is perfect, Jesus, Who is perfect, expects perfection in us because of the price He paid for our salvation. Remember that while “perfect” in our culture means without fault, in the teachings of Jesus perfect means to be mature with consummate human integrity and virtue. Oh how we need to demonstrate our integrity and virtue to those around us who too often see no difference between us and them! Being perfect does not mean to be flawless; it means to be honest and pure.

I remember making a mistake in an English as a Second Language classroom. At the next class meeting I apologized for telling my students something wrong. They were amazed that I would correct myself because teachers imagined themselves to be without error. No one is without error but we can be mature and value our moral excellence in all our relationships. That is expected of us by our Savior, Jesus, as shown in the Scriptures.

 

 

 

Who is the Holy Spirit?

What is His character like?

This is not a scholarly study. This is more like a devotional. I hope you will use it as a starter to developing your own list of the personality traits of the Holy One. Keep your list where you have ready access to it when you feel a need for His strength.

Galatians 5:22-23 (KJV) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

I like the King James description of the fruit of the Spirit because each item is distinctive, whereas the modern descriptions tend to morph into each other.

If you spend much time with the beautiful Holy Spirit you will take on His character. I’ve used Roget’s Thesaurus to get a broader picture of Who He is.

LOVE: desire, enjoyment, have deep feelings… (remember, this love is infinitely pure.)

JOY: quiet pleasure, enjoyment, contentment….

PEACE: still, at rest, freedom from anxiety….

LONGSUFFERING: patient, forgiving, give one another chance….

GENTLENESS: compassionate, tenderhearted, meekness….

GOODNESS; pure, honest, kindness….

FAITH: reliable, loyal, trustworthy….

MEEKNESS: humble, modest, unpretentious…. The Holy Spirit never brings attention to Himself and we are warned to never offend Him because He is deeply humble.

Ephesians 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

Matthew 12:31-32 Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. “Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.  Keep in mind, this is JESUS speaking!

TEMPERANCE: self-control, sober, virtuous….

Notice that some of these synonyms appear more than once, so they represent Him strongly. The only time I ever saw the Holy Spirit not sedate was when I accepted His revelation of who I am before the Father. He almost came unglued with celebration. I was shocked and after gathering my wits I had to laugh. Even now that memory brings a twinkle to my eye.

I hope this simple exercise has brought refreshing to your spirit. The sacred Trinity are three wonderful individuals worth getting to know.