I am telling you these things now while I am still with you. But when the Father sends the Comforter instead of me—and by the Comforter I mean the Holy Spirit—he will teach you much, as well as remind you of everything I myself have told you. [John 14:25-26 (TLB)]

8-17-15buttIMG_6125-webWhen we were first married, my husband and I purchased our gas from a chain of stations that offered free glasses with a fill-up; that’s where we got our everyday glassware! Right now, if you’re thinking of changing banks, many are offering cash bonuses or gifts cards for opening new accounts and making direct deposits. Several times a year, cosmetic companies offer gifts with a minimum purchase at various department stores; I always wait for such a bonus offer before restocking my supply of lip gloss and face cream. An auto dealer in southwest Florida, famed for his “huge” deals, regularly offers cruises, flat screen TVs, and sound systems when a car is purchased from him. Since he is reportedly worth over $40 million, that tactic must bring in plenty of buyers. Everyone seems to want to get more for their money with the extra value offered by a bonus gift.

When we accepted Jesus, we also got a bonus gift: the Holy Spirit! Jesus knew how tough it was to be a man; he encountered temptation and had plenty of opportunities for less than stellar behavior. He knew the allure of sin and how flawed we all are. Since day one, mankind’s history hasn’t been good. It’s ranged from murder to theft, disobedience to jealousy, pride to cruelty, anger to revenge, and idolatry to avarice. When Jesus left us, he didn’t want to leave us “high and dry” without a helper. Far better than glassware, gift cards, lipstick or even a Caribbean cruise, his bonus gift of the Holy Spirit is more than “huge;” it is life-changing! Just remember, as with most bonus offers, it is available for a limited time only. No one, however, knows when the expiration date will occur.

Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.
Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.
Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy.
Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy.
Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy. Amen.
[St. Augustine of Hippo]

If you love me, obey my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. [John 14:15-17 (TLB)]

When the Holy Spirit, who is truth, comes, he shall guide you into all truth, for he will not be presenting his own ideas, but will be passing on to you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. He shall praise me and bring me great honor by showing you my glory. All the Father’s glory is mine; this is what I mean when I say that he will show you my glory. [John 16:13-15 (TLB)]