More of His Spirit-Seminar Three (Day 1)

kidswwjdWe’re going into the third week of Pursing More of Jesus. Last week we found More of His Courage and watched an amazing video presentation by Anne Graham Lotz.

Our conversations were interesting and sometimes uncomfortable as we shared our personal feelings about hate, love, courage and doubt.

This week we’re going to Pursue More of His Spirit. We’ll Pursue More of Jesus by reading the gospel of John, Chapter 14 verses fifteen through twenty-seven as we pursue more of his spirit.

Once again Anne begins the first day’s lesson with a short scripture verse: just TEN words. Having completed other Bible studies, I find it frustrating to face a blank page with ten words. The simplicity of the study annoys me, yet when I look at the remainder of the week, the pages are filled with an abundance of scripture verses. Certainly Anne has a plan for her readers, and with faith I have an open heart and mind.

Once again, there appears to be a workbook error. At the end of this week in the summary pages 62-63, the scripture verses do not match the verses of this weeks study!

Session Three Schedule

Today’s Scripture Verse

If you love me, you will obey what I command. John 14:15 (NIV)

If you love me, show it by doing what I’ve told you. I will talk to the Father, and he’ll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you. This Friend is the Spirit of Truth. The godless world can’t take him in because it doesn’t have eyes to see him, doesn’t know what to look for. But you know him already because he has been staying with you, and will even be in you! John 14:15 (The Message)

If you love me, you will keep my commandments. John 14:15 (English Standard Version)

Prayer Requests

Father, you’ve sent a friend and spirit to be with us always. Reveal to us the Spirit of Truth and fill our heart, mind and soul with the holy spirit in Jesus’ name.

Individual Activity

Complete pages 50-51 in your workbook.

It helps to understand today’s lesson if you read the different translations and the verses before John 14:15.  This chapter of John is titled “I am the way, the truth and the life” and Verse 14 says

If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. (English Standard Version)

Just prior to today’s scripture verse (John 14:15) Jesus tells us to ask anything and he will provide. Following this, in verse 15 he tells us

If you love me, you will obey what I command. John 14:15 (NIV)

Keep this in mind as you complete today’s study.

Group Activity

Jesus told us to ask anything in his name and he will do it. Then he tell us IF you love him….you will OBEY his command. What does this mean to you?

Author Christine Abraham

Founder and Ministry Director of the Womens Bible Cafe™ since 2009, Christine has led 60+ online Bible Studies for women. She completed a Graduate of Biblical Studies from Liberty University. She's an inspired writer, Amazon Top Reviewer and Blogger at LifeVerse Books.com Follow on Facebook

More posts by Christine Abraham

Join the discussion 13 Comments

  • Desiree says:

    Oh, thank you so very much Christine. I think you are right. I grew up attending a very strict Christian school and we were taught to obey, memorize verses, and do everything “to please God.” I did not realize that those old lessons have been clouding everything else I have been learning up until now. I think I need to go and reread, research, and reread the Bible again to make sure that what I believe is actually correct. Thanks for taking the time to explain to me what I may have been missing. You truly are an angel!!

    • Christine says:

      Sadly, when I felt I was not pleasing God, I lost God and he was no longer the center of my life. I turned my back on him in shame. Today God is the center of my life-heart, soul, strength and mind.

    • Theresa says:

      Desiree,

      Please know that as a person that was raised in a “Christian” environment there where some of the same legalistic struggles. You see sometimes the Church seems to forget it isn’t the building, it is the people. We are the church. Just as a building can collapse, we as flesh can fall with incomplete teaching. That is what makes this study site so great is that we help each other learn. We lift each other up and we pray for each other.

      I have been reading your comments and you are doing great. It is hard to break the mindsets that we were raised with. Catholic, Christian or any other “Religon”. When I am asked what my religon is I really don’t have an answer. I am not a denomination I am a Christ Follower.

      Christine, You seriously rock. You have such a great way of interacting with us, teaching us and just being a person. Love You!

  • Desiree says:

    What I have learned is that God’s love and His promises are conditional. In other words, IF I love him, I will OBEY His commands, and I will ultimately receive everlasting life, or whatever I ask. However, I do not think this is a bad thing. I do not expect to receive anything without giving something in return. I know Jesus died for me and I know that God’s promises are guaranteed, but my being an obedient follower is one way to show my love, appreciation, and commitment to Christ.

    • Christine says:

      In scripture, we find we’re not saved because of our actions. This scripture verse reminds me God’s love is unconditional:

      So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus. God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. -Ephesians 2:7-9

      When I made the decision to believe in Christ, I also made a decision to be obedient out of love for my Father. I faced this challenge a few years ago, when separated from my husband for 6 weeks. Family members and some Christian friends were advising me to terminate the marriage. I made the decision to stay obedient to God. My reward for my obedience was not salvation, my reward was a healthier family and marriage. I am thankful I followed scriptures rather than my family and friends. My favorite scripture verse during this time was “Lord carry me.” As he carried me through this storm, I waited with obedience, and He healed my marriage.

      • Desiree says:

        But the scriptures also say that in order to go to heaven, we must obey His word. In other words, we cannot just live any way, behave “badly” and expect to receive the gift of salvation. I know God’s love is a gift that we did not earn, but it seems that we need to earn our way into heaven. I may be wrong… but that is the way I understand it. Maybe I am misinterpreting what I read…

        • Christine says:

          I was raised Catholic and went to Catholic school, so I was taught about earning my way into Heaven and had to attend Friday confession at school each week. Because of my education, I believed I needed to earn salvation, and when I sinned, I made the choice to hide myself from God. For many years I just gave up, felt defeated and thought my sins sealed my fate. It was during this time that I lost my faith and felt unloved by God because my actions were not pleasing to him.

          My attitude changed when my sister and husband encouraged me to attend a Christian church. I hesitated, and I attended the mega church for about two years before I was finally comfortable with the format. I felt so guilty being at this church-it was not the formalized religion that I once knew. As I listened to the Pastor I began to realize that my 12 years of education did not include scripture and I was unfamiliar with the Bible. Oh, I could quote memorized prayers and name the birthday’s of the saints, but other than Psalm 23, I did not know a single scripture verse. In this new church, I started listening to the Pastor speak 45 minutes-about a SINGLE scripture verse. Then I started attending the Womens Bible Study, and eight years later, I find myself involved in leading online studies and running a Christian business!

          Desiree, I’d say you’re not misinterpreting what you read, you’re applying some traditional religious beliefs to your scripture reading. To explore this yourself, go to http://www.Biblegateway.com and start searching the verses to support your belief. Type in the words “Heaven and Obey” and see what verses appear. You can also search eternal life, or other words that appear in your mind, The point is, when you are unsure if you understand the verse, go back to the Bible and find more verses to assist you. I do this often, because I’m amazed at what I learned in school and what I’m now reading in the Bible. Everyday I learn a new Biblical command that differs from my former religious beliefs!

          PS- After the Ted Kennedy funeral, my 86 year in-father-in-law wants to “remarry” his wife in the Catholic church and confess all his sins to secure his salvation! He saw this on TV and now he’s on “Salvation to Heaven” with his wife of 65 years!

  • Theresa says:

    When I first read this verse I could hear my grandmother in my ear. “If you loved me then you would do this…..” I literally had to shake my head to get her out of it. She was amazing with guilt trips.

    I then reread the verse….This time I heard Jesus. I read it as a gentle reminder not a stern reprimand. He knows that in my heart I truly LOVE Him, that I want to obey him. It isn’t a guilt trip but a fact. He also knows that I need the reminder to obey Him. That his commands are meant to make my life better.

    I going to try harder to keep his commands. I know I have mastered some of them. I need to work on others and I truly need to quit ignoring the inconvenient ones.

    I want to show Him that I love him….Not just say it.

  • Charmaine says:

    I agree with Carole on the good job you, Christine, are doing. I’ve enjoyed this study but sometimes I’ve missed the personal touch of getting together with women in person and laughing, praying, and crying tohether. You have really been given the words to use from the Lord to stir the things that need stirred in us.

    When I read this I can immediately come down on myself and get depressed because I know that I am not obeying all of his commands. First of all it makes me feel bad because do I know what all of his commands are? I began a little search on his commands and I found a list someone had done thar contained 300 commands. It was a little over extensive to me but one just jumped out at me. It is Luke 11:29 which says “Put my yoke upon you and learn about me.” This is one to really ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate to us. Have I taken the time to REALLY” learn about Him. Have I sat and listened to His words in my own solitude by reading His words. Then there is the one we all have a problem with Matt 5:44 and Luke 6:27 “Love your enemies and treat well those who mistreat you, and bless those who curse you. Pray for those who abuse and persecute you.” Am I really praying for those who abuse and persecute me. Luke 8:21 says “Hear the Word of God and do it.” Some things for me to pray about personally. Yes, he says “If you love me you will obey my commands.” Do I love Him enough to truly know his commands and find them out for myself and not rely on others to tell me their interpretations because I have the Helper to help me find out what I need to obey at the instant I need to obey it. I guess the key word is IF. No he won’t make me but I heard someone say that another word for love is obey. If our children love us they will obey us for their good. We are His children. Good stuff to meditate and “act” upon in my life. No condemnation from Him just His love for us and our love for Him.

  • Sisterlisa says:

    Key point: if we love Him. When we are in Christ, we WILL obey because it will be a part of who we are. Obedience will come naturally and we won’t feel the yoke of bondage to obey out of obligation or fear of falling short.

    (how do I get current comments to this in my email???)

  • carole says:

    Christine, thank you for your incredible set-up and encouragement as our facilitator. This is my first on-line study and it really takes a strong facilitator to replicate doing a study “in person.”

    I appreciated your honesty about the single-verse day. That is so funny, because I saw that same thing – “Wow, Anne wants us to just look at one verse today?” So, then I dug into it and realized that was likely because she wanted us to ruminate on that pivotal principle for the week. It is just like me to want to fill in the uncomfortable “silence” with lots more words – what did the author think? What’s their point? I want Jesus to say more – then, after a short while, He just grabbed my heart! He said, “Carole, remember the ways you DIS-obeyed me this week? What is it that is getting in your way of loving me?” Then, He and I had the sweetest time talking about sin in my life that has “interrupted” my love for Him — and resulted in some specific areas of disobedience. For example, in earlier pages He said if we love Him we will love others. I knew I was being unloving to someone this past week – which was a direct disobedience to Jesus.

    Anyway, the point is – THANKS ANNE – for not filling in the pages with all of YOUR thoughts on this Scripture and dragging me along to what you think I should be getting out of this important Scripture. Thank you for giving me the discipline to listen to Jesus and to simply reply to His profound 10-word statement. I am loving this!! Thanks, again, Christine for facilitating our study!

  • Christine says:

    The verse John 14:15 tells me that loving Jesus is an option. I’m not forced to love him, I love him because I chose to do so. It’s an option- “if you love me” followed by a command “you will obey what I command.”

    At some point I probably said this to my children, and when my kids become teenagers, I’ll say it often! Why then, does Jesus need to say it to us? Because he knows children are rebellious? He is aware of the power and influence of love? What do you think?

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