Sermon June 12, 2022: He Will Give You Another Comforter (Pentecost 2)

Replace Me

If you prefer to worship at home at this time or simply wish to listen to the service or sermon again, please click on the link below to watch the entire worship service as a video on your home computer, tablet or smartphone:

Link to Video:

Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/719453984

Screencast-o-matic: https://screencast-o-matic.com/watch/c31X3uV3wWw

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If you would prefer not to view the video, you’re welcome to use the links below to have a time of worship at home. (Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

CALL TO WORSHIP: The Prayer of St Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console
To be understood, as to understand
To be loved, as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
And it’s in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it’s in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Amen

HYMN Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah
Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah – First Methodist Houston, Downtown
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AT-1svSDnws

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

A TIME OF PRAYER (Testimonies, Joys & Concerns)

Congregational Prayer − The Centering Prayer: Lord Jesus, today I am far less than the person I want to be or can be with your help. I ask today that you would be more and more the center of my life. Guide me to all that is good, cleanse me from all that is not. Teach me Your ways and form in me Your nature. Help me to serve you as I am gifted. Help me to notice my neighbor and work through me to redeem my neighborhood. I am a sinner; please be my Shepherd, my Savior and my Lord. Amen.

Please pray for yourself and your neighbors, lifting up your needs to God while giving thanks for answered prayer.

The Lord’s Prayer: Our Father, who art in heaven; hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

HYMN Kum Bah Yah
KUM BA YAH | AFRICAN MUSIC by Rafael Almadilla
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTD4idaHKWc

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

MOMENTS WITH THE CHILDREN – If you are blessed to have children with you, ask them what they are thankful for, and then thank God together!

GIVING OF OUR TITHES AND OFFERINGS – these can be mailed to the church office.

MESSAGE: He Will Give You Another Comforter
John 14:12-17
Series: “The Acts of the Holy Spirit through the Apostles.”

Right-click, open in new tab to play … Sermon audioSermon slides as a PDF file.
Saturday Video Audio

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SERMON NOTES

John 14:12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son; 14 if you ask anything in my name, I will do it. 15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever, 17 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.

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.   – Howard Thurman

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HYMN Every Time I Feel the Spirit
Ernie Haase, Babbie Mason – Every Time I Feel the Spirit [Live]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kXw5Z9O38A

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

BENEDICTION

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

If you worship at home, please let us know so we can pray for you!

TRANSCRIPT

United Methodist missionary E. Stanley Jones said the title of the book of Acts should change from what we normally see in our Bible, which is the Acts of the Apostles. We should change it to The Acts of the Holy Spirit Through The Apostles because that’s a more accurate explanation of what God is trying to do. Beginning today and for the next few weeks, I want to try to talk to you in very clear, specific terms: How does the Holy Spirit act through the apostles, including you and me? Because the word apostle means sent one. And you and I are also sent to do God’s work!

There are three foundations. And we’ve talked about this many times this spring. The first one is this: on Easter Sunday, now that Jesus rose from the dead, Jesus said to them, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so, I send you.” That’s why I can say that you also are apostles because you are sent. You have a mission. You have a purpose. Your life is never meaningless if your desire is to do God’s will.

And not only that, it goes on to say, “And when he said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.'” How are you and I going to do these things that God wants to be done? Well, as I said, the answer actually is that the Holy Spirit is going to do them. You are the vehicle through which the Holy Spirit acts.

And so as you go to and fro during your week, during your day, you’re going to find yourself in situations– notice the yellow words in the top box there. You’re going to find yourself in situations that God has prepared beforehand so that you can do some good thing, something that God desires in your micro mission field. Now, what do I mean by that? God is most frequently going to use you to influence the people who you talk with every week. Now, some of us may be introverted; maybe there’s just a few people. Some of us may be extroverted; maybe there’s more people. But as you go from person to person, as you encounter people during the week, it’s wonderful for you to think, “What does God desire to happen?”

And if you want, you can use the prayer of St. Francis as a guide because we’re here not so much to be consoled as to console. We’re here not so much to receive but to give. Where there is hatred, let me so love. So if in this situation you are sensitive, it’s very likely that you will understand that God wants something to happen through us. But it’s a new thing for the disciples. It’s a new thing for us to let the Holy Spirit work through us.

In Zechariah 4:6, with regard to the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the rebuilding of the Temple following the return of the Jewish people from Babylon, the Prophet reminded them, “What you are going to do will not be done by your might, won’t be done by your power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.” And what that means is, in all those situations, it’s not how powerful I am or what I have, but how can I yield and let God work? How can I partner with God? How can I discern the Holy Spirit? Well, obviously you can say, when you’re coming up to someone, before you even say hello, you could say as a prayer, “Lord, what do I need to learn about what you want now?” But it’s also true. How do I work with the Holy Spirit? And you see here’s the answer, if you remember how Jesus said, “As the Father sent me, I send you.”

Jesus’s ministry began when the Holy Spirit descended on him. So whenever you read what Jesus did, you will see how Jesus allowed the Holy Spirit to work through him. But we’re in a situation, this is new to us, and there’s going to be a learning period. There’s going to be a learning curve because this is new to us.

John 14:16, Jesus says to them in the upper room the night before he goes to the cross, “I will pray the Father and he will give you another counselor to be with you forever.” Now that word counselor, that’s what the RSV calls it. King James Version uses the phrase comforter. I like that one a lot better. Other translations use the word helper, but it’s the Holy Spirit. And the Greek word that’s used there is Paraclaytos, from which we make into an English word called the Paraclete.

This is something that the disciples will need to learn. But the Holy Spirit is now going to be with us just as Jesus is with us. The Holy Spirit is going to be inside of us as Jesus is inside of us. And that Holy Spirit, even the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive because it neither sees him nor knows him, but you know Him, for he dwells with you. They have seen Jesus operate out of the Holy Spirit now for three years. And now Jesus says, just as the Holy Spirit was inside of him, the Holy Spirit will be in them.

Now, how does the Holy Spirit work? If you read through the Gospels and look at what Jesus did, what you find are the words just before these in the Gospel of John. Here is the primary way that the Holy Spirit works. Jesus says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do and greater works than these will he do because I go to the Father.” Jesus, in a sense, is now working from heaven, but he’s connected to us through the network of the Holy Holy Spirit. How is it that we will do greater works than Jesus did? Look at verse 13: Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it. That the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in my name, I will do it.

But please understand, asking something in Jesus’s name does not refer to your Christmas list. Remember the prayer of St. Francis? We’re not asking for what we receive, but for what is needed. The way the Holy Spirit operates through you and me most often will be because when we come up to someone, we find ourselves praying: Lord, help them and then God helps them. Lord help them to learn from this. And then the Lord helps to teach them. And one of the main things we do that helps the Holy Spirit to flow through us is that we take what we’re feeling, feeling in our hearts and we turn it into a prayer. And just like a magnifying lens can focus the light of the sun, your prayer focuses the power of God to specifically help someone. And so consequently, all day long, every day in this community, hundreds of prayers focus God’s power to help very specific people in very specific situations. The way the Holy Spirit most commonly works through us is that you and I ask for God’s help in prayer for another person.

Let me tell you a story that comes from 1989. My oldest son was nine years old and he was a Cubs fan. And our family was living in Quincy, Illinois. And around the time of his birthday, he and I would get in the car and we would drive all the way to Wrigley Field to go to some Cubs baseball games. So you go to an afternoon game and you go to a night game and because you’re young and stupid … I’m referring to myself … you think you can drive home from Chicago starting at 9 o’clock at night game! (I’m now too smart to do that! But back then I was not.)

So you drive down I-55 at Springfield, you drive west on I-72. And as you get closer to Quincy, if you’re familiar with Quincy, they built a new four-lane interstate bypass going north from I-72 about 18 miles into Quincy. So I turned onto that bypass and it was relatively new construction. There was nothing there. It was as dark as what you see in the picture. And then all of a sudden, I don’t think I dozed off. But all of a sudden, I noticed in front of my right headlight a patch of fur just like you see on the screen there. And that’s how I got my first deer – with a 1986 Ford Escort. Instantly, going down the highway, 70 miles an hour. No one around me … instantly my headlights go out and I’m driving 70 miles an hour in the dark. Fortunately, I know the road. It’s straight as an arrow as flat as can be. I just simply began to slow down. And I could tell by the sound of the tires as I slid over onto the shoulder. And I parked the car and it was absolute, complete darkness.

And I said, “Lord, what are we going to do now?” These are the days before cell phones, friends. I’m at least a 10-mile walk from the nearest farmhouse. And my nine-year-old never woke up. He slept through the whole thing. And I think to myself, “This is terrible.”

So I turn on the flashers. Flash, flash, flash. They light up the area around me just a tiny little bit. And back in the mirror behind me, I see a car, the headlights of a car. And I say, “Oh, thank you, Lord.” And the car comes toward me, moves over into the left-hand lane, and drives right by. Over the next half an hour, it happened three more times. Flash, flash, flash. And it occurred to me I could probably, in the light of the flashing lights, drive along the shoulder of the road. So 10 miles an hour, I began to drive along the shoulder of the road, lit by the flashing lights.

Way far in the back, I saw the headlights of an oncoming vehicle. As it got closer, I could tell by the size that it was a semi-trailer truck. And as he pulled over into the left-hand lane to pass me, he slowed down to look at this weirdo driving on the shoulder by the light of his emergency flashers. And he pulled up a little bit ahead, and I guess he could see the damage to the front of the car caused by hitting the deer.

And then he slowed down and backed up to where he’s about 50 feet behind me. And all of a sudden his brights came off. And the road in front of me looked a little bit like what you see in that picture. And I said to myself, “Thank you, Lord Jesus.” Now, I was thankful for the trucker, but I was thankful for Jesus hearing my prayer. And I turned onto the interstate right lane from the shoulder and he matched my speed as I worked up to 25 miles per hour and worked up to 35. And finally, I was going down the interstate at 55 miles an hour because this trucker was my headlights and God had helped me.

Now, I’ll be very honest with you. You know, when you’re a pastor, that weird things happen to you so you can put them into sermons. So I immediately make the connection that the trucker behind me is a paraclete, because the literal meaning of that word– they translate it to counselor, comforter, helper, but you know what it literally means? It means someone who comes alongside … so that you are not alone. It means someone who comes alongside so that you’re not helpless. It means someone who comes alongside to do what’s most needed. And what I most needed at that moment was light.

This didn’t cost that trucker anything. It was not even an interruption in his night’s work. He was able to do exactly what I needed. A paraclete is a person who shines a light into your darkness, one who provides exactly the help that is needed. We got up to the exit. I pulled over, and he pulled up behind me, and he said, “Are you okay?”
“Yes, I am. Everything’s fine.” I said, “Would you mind following me on into town because I need to get to a pay phone to call the Sheriff to report the accident to call and get a ride?”
He said, “Sure.”
But I want to tell you, ever after that day, I have a very great fondness for Bunny Bread because that’s the truck that lit up the road for me!

And in addition to that, you see, this man was a means by which the Holy Spirit met my needs. Ever since 1989, I’ve been waiting to see some weirdo and a Ford Escort driving by the flashers down the side of the road so that I can do it again. Only this time, I get to be the paraclete. This time, I get to be the person who, simply by turning on my brights, saves the day.

And you see, friends, this is an example I want to share, I want to suggest, of how God would want to work through you and me because, remember, God organizes these things beforehand so that you already have what is most needed that you can provide to help someone. It’s already there.

Now, here’s the problem. We don’t have a list so that you know what to put in your trunk. You just simply have to trust God. We don’t know how we’re going to be able to help somebody because we don’t know everything that God knows. But in the moment, maybe we will realize that we have something to offer. Now that’s you and I responding to what’s needed in the moment.

There’s another truth here about how the Holy Spirit works. And that’s that each one of us has a specialty. Each one of us has a gift. Friends, if somebody has the gift of playing a musical instrument, you want them to play. If somebody else has a gift to teach, you want to make sure they can teach. And every single bit of expertise that a person has comes to them from God so they can use it to do God’s work.

And the best illustration I’ve ever had for this is that you have a natural aptitude for a specific tool. Some of us are hammer people. We love our hammers. Now a problem – and you probably already know this – to somebody who loves their hammer, everything looks like a problem you should solve with a hammer. That’s not always true.

The second thing is if you’re a person that God uses to hammer things, think about what a hammer does. It connects things together. If your ministry is connecting things together, we need you to do that. But the other thing is, the hammer isn’t much good without a nail. So you have to look around and be aware. Now, if I’m a hammer, who’s the person who’s got the nails? Because you’re going to do God’s will with a partner who brings the other half of what’s needed.

Maybe the situation is not that something needs to be hammered, but something is too tight and needs to be loosened up. And thank God for the WD 40 people who go around and help people to loosen up, relax, and who help people calm down. You pour oil on the waters. You pour WD 40 on people who are just too tight. But in the same way, thank God for you wrench people because sometimes the problem is that it’s too tight and it needs to be loosened. Every one of us needs to be aware: We tend to have a specialty. And a lot of times God will use you in the area of your specialty.

Now, here’s the problem that the Church had in Corinth – 1 Corinthians 12, all the specialties that were used in worship were put up on a high pedestal. So singers and preachers and musicians, they were highly honored. But friends, every single one of us has a way that God desires to work through us. Verse 7-1 Corinthians 12: 7. To each is given – every single one of us – a manifestation of the Spirit, the way the Holy Spirit works through us … for the common good. And more often than not, as you go through your day, God will put people in front of you who need a hammer if you’re a hammer person, so just be ready.

But sometimes it’s not a hammer that is needed. Sometimes it’s that we pray and that we care and that we show people love. And as a result, we want to have within us what military people talk about. We want to be situationally aware. I can tell you, as a very big man, I’m extremely situationally aware, you know why? If I walk through a crowd and I’m not paying attention, I will bump somebody and I will literally knock them off their feet.

But it always astonishes me when other people are not situationally aware. You pull into the drive-through line at McDonald’s, and you’re waiting your turn to give your order into the speaker. And if the idiot – – – I mean, the person in front of you – – – would just pull forward three more feet, you could give your order and your food would be ready sooner. But you know what it is? They’re not situationally aware.

And so as you go through your day, you can pray, “Lord, help me to be aware.” As the centering prayer says, “Help me to notice my neighbor.” But you can also be situationally aware and ask for God’s guidance: “Lord, help me to notice what you would like to see happen here.” And then if what’s needed is a hammer … I can tell you in that line at McDonald’s, I’ve wished that I had a hammer. That’s a joke. I’m glad I don’t carry a hammer with me! It would be a grievous temptation. In the moment, we want to use the right tool to benefit others.

But more often than not, as I said earlier, the main way the Holy Spirit will work through you is that you can focus your prayers on what needs to happen here. And the way most often that God will meet the needs of people is by answering the prayer that you prayed.

Because the one who comes alongside the person in need, the paraclete will deliver the answer to your prayer to that person.

Another way to say that same thing is the prayer you’re saying so many times is simply this: Lord, come by here, Kum Bah Yah, and let me know what I’m to do. But, Lord, also help that person. And it might be, could be, that you’ll be asked to pay for the meal of the person behind you. It might be that you’ll be asked to do something else. But most of the time it’s just very likely that what God will ask you to do is pray for them and remember — and the next time you see them, you can do another something. And the time after that, then you’ll help them again, and your ongoing assistance will make a huge difference in that person’s life. But it normally starts with us praying, “Lord, come by here, help me to understand what you want.” And then God answers your prayer.

Please pray with me. Lord Jesus, it’s a new thing for us because our whole lives we’ve been praying in human situations that you would do all the work, and now the Holy Spirit lives inside of us, and we’re coming to understand that you want to work through us, and you still do most of the work. But there sometimes is something that we do.
Lord, it’s so much easier for us to dump all the work onto you and then just go our merry way. But, Lord help us to be sensitive so that the thing that you ask of us in every separate human situation, quite often just a little tiny thing, help us, Lord, to be able and aware and ready to do that tiny little thing that allows the Holy Spirit to flow through us to meet someone else’s need, to change someone else’s life. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION: Let’s have a conversation! Please reflect upon the questions below as you consider the material presented above. In a comment, share your thoughts and additional questions. What would you like to know?

What grabbed your attention?
What is the human need or problem?
What questions do you have about any quotes provided?
Does the Bible say anything about this?
What solutions do you see for the problem?
What specifically could we begin to do to make a change?

Additional Resources

Kinmundy United Methodist Church is located at 308 E. Third Street, Kinmundy, IL 62854. Worship begins at 9 am Sundays. The building is handicap accessible.
Wesley United Methodist Church is located at 3381 Kinoka Road, Patoka, IL 62875 in the country between Kinmundy and Patoka. Worship begins at 10.45 am Sundays.
VISION: We are a functional family of God, where Jesus is Lord and people grow.
MISSION: Every layperson is called to carry out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20); every layperson is called to be missional. (¶126 of the 2016 Book of Discipline)
Paradigm: There are two kinds of people in this world: people who need to become disciples and disciples who need to become disciple makers.

(If you wish, you can listen to the Prayer of St. Francis being sung:
Sarah McLachlan – Prayer of St. Francis
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agPnMxp5Occ )
 

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