The Couch: The Place Where “Personality” Gets “Personal” – Part 1
Pastor Stephen Hayes
April 28, 2019
Main Idea– After the Resurrection, Jesus remained on earth for 40 days (Acts 1:3) to teach His followers. However, afterward the Holy Spirit came to comfort all believers, and enable them to do even greater things than were done when Jesus was here in person.
The forty days following the Resurrection
- After Jesus rose from the grave on Easter morning, He remained on earth forty days to teach His followers more about the Kingdom of God. Over 500 people saw Jesus during that time.
- 1 Corinthians 15: 3-8 – For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time. (NKJV)
- During His ministry time on Earth, Jesus performed many more miracles than are recorded in Scripture. John 21:25 – And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. (NKJV)
- Therefore, to the natural mind it doesn’t seem like a good thing that Jesus left behind His followers and returned to Heaven. However, the Bible shows us that the Holy Spirit is even more valuable to us now than Jesus was after the Resurrection.
The Holy Spirit makes you more relatable
- Having the Holy Spirit in you will not make you act weird. The Holy Spirit will enable you to actually relate better to others. When the Holy Spirit first fell on the believers in the upper room, they spoke in languages that others understood. Acts 2:5-8 – And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born?
- It is good the Holy Spirit is here among us. It helps us understand, and relate to, each other better.
The Holy Spirit is a comforter
- The Old Testament sometimes used words that described God’s greatness; words like awesome,glorious, or all-powerful. While those are good words to describe God, they also may leave an impression that God is distant from us.
- Jesus used words that personalized God’s nature, and made Him seem available to us.For example, Jesus used the word comforterto describe God; specifically, the Holy Spirit.
- John 16:7 – Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforterwill not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. (KJV)
- John 14: 15-16 – If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; (KJV)
- John 14: 25-26 – These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (KJV)
- The Holy Spirit is our advocate. He is on our side.
- We can tell the Holy Spirit things that will remain between only us and Him.
Knowing the Holy Spirit as Comforter:
- Changes how we pray
- He is our source of protection and refuge when we feel under attack. Psalm 46:1 – God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (NKJV)
- He enables us to pray what God is praying so that our desires are in unity with God’s. Romans 8:26 – Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (KJV)
- We understand our prayers have long-term significance. What we pray today will bear fruit in the future.
- Changes how we receive comfort
- As life changes, the way we understand the world around us must also change. The Holy Spirit helps us navigate the process of change in a healthy way, so that we do not go to harmful things for comfort (food, media, substance abuse, etc.)
- We all experience brokenness. We are at our most vulnerable when we are seeking comfort. The Holy Spirit should be the first thing we go to in difficult times.
- The Holy Spirit never changes. He is there for us in bad times as well as good.
- Choose wisely from where you receive comfort.
- Changes how we give comfort
- When we have received the Holy Spirit’s comfort we are able to share it with others.
- 2 Corinthians 1: 3-4 – Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts usin all our troubles, so that we can comfortthose in any trouble with the comfortwe ourselves receive from God. (NIV)
- When we share the Holy Spirit’s comfort we are able to help others to experience God, and to move toward greater closeness with Him.
Being responsible for the big things and the small
- Luke 16 teaches us to use all our earthly resources to the best of our abilities, so that we will be given even greater responsibility in Heaven. Luke 16:10 – He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. (NKJV)
- In the same way, God is faithful to us in the little things as well as the big things.Take everything to the Holy Spirit. Use the Holy Spirit’s comfort for the little details of your life as well as during the big events.
- This will establish an abiding relationship with God in every circumstance of your life.
Reflective Questions for The Couch – Part 1
- In John 16:7 Jesus said it was best that He leave so that the Holy Spirit could come. As many things as Jesus did, the Holy Spirit does even more. How would you explain the Holy Spirit to someone who is not a Christian?
- Pastor Stephen said the Holy Spirit helps us navigate the changing landscapes of our lives. Do you have a recent example of that from your life’s experience?
- Why is it important to engage the Holy Spirit in the little things?