My Paraclete (Parakletos in Greek) at Christmas and Always.
Christmas, the celebration of our Saviors birth always brings a flood of memories and emotions that only seem to come at this time of year. Family, friends, worshiping Him with heavenly music and violins, snow covered evergreen mountains, beautiful little girls in pink dresses with silver ribbons, the warmth of wood cook stoves and crackling fireplaces, the smell of horses on a cold winter day, freshly baked cinnamon rolls and cherry pies, and simmering oyster stew. These are but a few of the words I would describe Christmas with.
This year I am again reminded of the word Parakletos and want to write about a supernatural event that occurred in my life during a Christmas celebration that we attended in a small brightly lit church in Eureka, Montana many years ago that changed my relationship with Him forever. That One very special Christmas we were attending a Christmas Eve communion service and the miracle revelation of Christmas and its true meaning came to me in a most unusual way. As I took the communion bread and juice, I suddenly began to experience a physically tangible Presence right next to me and I looked over to see who had come to sit beside me. I could not see anyone there so I continued to pray and worship when I felt it again – a tangible yet invisible presence was sitting on the pew right next to me. And then in my spirit I heard the words “This is me Parakletos, the Holy Spirit, and I live inside of you – but I am also alongside of you and in fact I am right next to you right now and I am your comforter and your peace in this season and I will be with you throughout your entire life.”
I began to look up this word Parakletos and found it came from a passage in John, where Jesus is talking to his disciples. John 14:16-17, “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 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 and will be in you.” (NKJ)
In verse 17 it states ‘he lives with you’ – I like how the ‘Amplified’ and ‘Message’ Bible translates this verse also. The Amplified says, “The Spirit of Truth, Whom the world cannot receive (welcome, take to its heart), because it does not see him or know and recognize Him. But you know and recognize Him, for He lives with you (constantly) and will be in you.”
The Message Bible says, “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.”
Do you see it! Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit, and He came as a lowly babe lying in a manger and lived a life here on this earth to show us how to live. He was crucified and gave Himself as the ultimate sacrifice for our sin (there was no more need for the blood sacrifice of spotless animals – He became the pure and spotless lamb of God) and then He rose again on the third day and He made the way for all who believe in Him to be saved and live life abundantly here on earth! Not only that but He reconciled us to the Father and made the way for us to be received back into our Father’s arms for eternity! And yes, He did not leave us as orphans here on earth but sent us this wonderful friend/counselor and guide who brings all comfort and lives within and beside us as our advocate and the source and sustenance of our strength always. Never
leaving or forsaking us, giving us His agape love, peace, joy, council, guidance, and hope to name just a few! Never alone, yes, I said never alone. He walks beside us, and He lives within us.
The Gift That Keeps On Giving
What a deal this is! The best gift that has or will be ever offered to mankind. This is the ultimate gift. The ultimate priceless gift! Our adoption as His beloved sons and daughters, our precious Savior Jesus Christ who loves us beyond measure, and is our forever friend and advocate, our Holy Spirit our Parakletos! The Holy Spirit is a person, to be worshiped, honored, and reverenced as a priceless gift. Let us never grieve Him, or bring dishonor to His place in the Godhead, let us learn to heed His voice as He guides our lives.
Since this encounter in my life I have come to know Him more and more as my personal friend and He is so precious to me. I have learned to expectantly look for and rely on Him in my everyday life and He offers me more than I can express with words. He gives us His power to overcome and His fruits to live a fulfilled life here on earth. He also has graced me with His gifts and He intercedes through me and has been right alongside me to minister to the hundreds of people I have been so privileged to minister to in the past 25 years. I am overwhelmed by this precious gift, my friend, my Parakletos.
Christmas and the holidays can stir up loneliness in most of us especially if we are away from loved ones or if we are transitioning from one season into another. We also have memories of past Christmas’s and with grateful hearts we remember the miracle that Jesus’s birth holds for each one of us. How precious it is that we have our identity in Him as His beloved children and to realize we are never alone! The best Christmas gift that was ever given is the gift of the Holy Spirit our Parkletos, who is our helper, our Guide, our Counselor, filling us with peace, hope and joy unspeakable for the present year. Yes, in this very present Christmas His presence is with us!
Our prayer for you this Christmas and in the coming year is that you will receive a fresh or renewed revelation of the priceless gift of the Parakletos who lives within you and walks alongside of you, and that you will know Him and make Him known to those around you and to the nations of this earth.
Thanksgiving Outreach In North East Philly
On the 23rd of November we had our annual Thanksgiving outreach to the hood in Philadelphia. We are continually amazed at how God comes in such power to touch the lives of those who come to receive food. One young father, named Pedro, came with his three small children to pick up some food and asked if we would pray for him. He told us that he had a malignant tumor on the right side of his head. Lois reached out to lay hands on his head, but he jerked back and said it hurt too much to be touched.
We began praying for him and after a couple of minutes his legs became weak and he began to slump downwards toward the floor until he was down on both knees. Lois reached out and laid her hands on his heart and asked the Holy Spirit to come and touch his heart. Suddenly he began clutching his chest and weeping he said that it felt as if God had reached in and had hold of his heart. He said his chest was hot, very hot and that God was touching him in a way he had never experienced before. Lois told him she had a picture in her mind of Father God holding him close like you would a little child. He just kept weeping and weeping and looked totally amazed at what he was experiencing and kept saying he had never felt anything like this before. We ask that you join with us by continually lifting Pedro and all those God brought to us during the outreach in your prayers.
Glory to God in the Highest and on Earth Peace and Good Will Towards all men. Forever and ever! Amen
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Rex & Lois