Unsinkable YouVersion Devotional

The Spirit of Truth
By Danny Saavedra
“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.”—John 16:13 (NIV)

In John 14:6 (NIV), Jesus declared, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” It’s a life-changing reality we can rest in every day, a reality that gives us security for tomorrow and satisfaction for today! 

He is the way, and in Him we find life beyond our wildest dreams! But if we want to accept Him as the way and experience the life He has for us, we must also embrace Him as the truth! 

As believers, we must embrace all of Him, in every area of our life, and we need to embrace His Word as the ultimate authority over our lives so we can live out our faith and calling—and experience the fullness of all God has for us as we become more like Jesus.

So how do we do this in a world of ever-changing truth, where right and wrong is often based on how culture feels about an issue this week? How do we navigate truth in a world where what’s true for me may not be true for you?

We do this by the power of the Holy Spirit! In John 14:16–17 (NIV), He says, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth.” 

Then in John 16:13 (NIV), Jesus adds, “When he, the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” 

That sounds awesome, but how do we walk in the power of the Holy Spirit? Through relationship and obedience. When we consistently spend time with the Lord in prayer, in the study of His Word, in worship, in community with other believers, when we’re obedient to His Word, we will hear the Holy Spirit speak to us! What will He speak to us? John 14:26 (NIV, emphasis added) says that “the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

And so, as we listen to the Holy Spirit, we will walk in the power of the Spirit, and our lives will be defined by the fruit of the Spirit. When we do that, we’ll be able to experience the amazing, abundant life that Jesus came to give us.

DIG: How do you navigate truth? 

DISCOVER: How are you walking in truth? 

DO: Ask the Holy Spirit to empower you and guide you into truth as you navigate the world.

The Advent

Humble Beginnings 

Bethlehem was a small town, insignificant in comparison to bigger cities in the area. In the Message Paraphrase of Micah 5:2, Bethlehem is referred to as “the runt of the litter.” Why would God choose to come to earth in such an unimportant location? Does it seem like a worthy birthplace for the King of Kings?

The thing is, God has never been interested in the world’s definition of greatness. Wealth, fame, popularity, power—none of these are noteworthy to God. Paul told the Corinthians, “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” What He can do in someone’s life is not limited by their earthly status. If Bethlehem was “the runt of the litter,” how much more glory would God receive for establishing the life of His Son there? Where Jesus’ journey began did not determine what He could accomplish for the Kingdom. Isn’t it the same with us?

Prayer: Father, thank You for not allowing the lowest points of my life to limit my potential. Thank You for giving divine purpose to someone as imperfect as me. I praise You for Your amazing power that carries me in moments of weakness. I know that no matter where I started, You will take me where You want me to go. Thank You, Jesus, for showing me that incredible things begin in humble places.

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How the Incarnation Should Impact Our Daily Lives

The Incarnation: when God became man

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. – John 1:14

In our modern age, we prefer to understand and explain our world rationally and with cold hard evidence. Talk of mystery and the supernatural isn’t popular. And yet one of the basic tenets of Christianity seems completely irrational, indemonstrable and too mysterious to comprehend: The incarnation.

It’s not only scandalous now in our culture and it was radical even in the ancient world, – to think that a divine being could—or would even want to—become human. And how could such a person be both human and divine at the same time?

Yet Christian teaching, based on Scripture, tells us this is what happened.

The incarnation of God the Son is indeed a profound mystery. The invisible, immaterial God condescended to take on human form. The Creator became that which he made to redeem humanity and ultimately all creation. This underscores both God’s humility and his love for his creation. Further, by becoming a human, God has dignified humanity in a way that goes beyond creating men and women in his image.


“Christ did not come to explain human suffering or to eliminate it. Rather, He came to fill human suffering with His presence.” — Father George Calciu

The ancient world acknowledged that gods, goddesses and other supernatural beings could possibly take on a bodily form. In Greek and Roman mythology, such divine beings usually retain their self-consciousness and simply assume human form in order to communicate with human beings.

I. Howard Marshall explains: “Their temporary manifestation in human form is an extension of their heavenly life, just as an actor assumes a mask and then discards it again. The gods thus simply appear to be human.”¹ The New Testament writers, however, mean something far different when they describe the incarnation. Marshall explains: “Whereas the gods temporarily take on a human form, the Word is united permanently with a human body to be a specific person, Jesus of Nazareth, and it is inconceivable that what God has joined together should ever be sundered.”²

While some prominent men in the ancient world were considered the offspring of the gods and mortal women, there is no indication that the ancients believed a divine person became human. Rather, they believed an entirely new person had come into existence. Throughout history, there is nothing fully comparable to the biblical idea that God became a man.

To be sure, God appeared visibly and audibly to particular persons (see Genesis 3:8Exodus 33:18–34:9). But these instances are far different from God the Son becoming and forever remaining human. It is unprecedented in human history. Only God could ordain and orchestrate it.

Sacrificial Love

God the Son did not become human so he could flaunt his power or use it to his own advantage. No, he became one of us in order to redeem us, to free us from sin and death and reconcile us to God.

The Son of God became a servant—while still remaining fully divine—so that we might once again become sons and daughters of the living God. That’s what Paul points out in Philippians when he says that Jesus “did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage” but “made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant” (Philippians 2:6–7).

The incarnation, therefore, serves as a model of sacrificial love, and it should exemplify for us not just who we are as people, but also who we are as workers. When we see problems at work or in our communities, we shouldn’t dismiss them as the problems of other people. Christ took on our problems, our sin and death, and provided a solution. As Christians who are now united to Christ, we reflect the love of God and the work of Christ when we sympathize with others and serve and love them.

Action

How might the incarnation of Christ lead you to love and serve others in your life and work?

¹ I. Howard Marshall, “Incarnation,” in New Dictionary of Biblical Theology, ed. T. Desmond Alexander and Brian S. Rosner (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2000), 578.
² Ibid.

Article from the NIV Faith & Work Bible.