“Never Alone” (John 14:15–31) “Never Alone” (John 14:15–31)
Hezekiah 6:1 says, “God helps those who help themselves.” Can I get an amen? Perhaps a “Preach it, brother?” No? Why not?! “This is not a biblical citation,” you reply. You are correct. Despite what many Christians think, “God helps those who help themselves” is likely the most often quoted phrase that isn’t in the Bible. This saying is usually attributed to Ben Franklin, quoted in Poor Richard’s Almanac (1757). Franklin and his contemporaries adapted it from one of Aesop’s Fables—Hercules and the Waggoner (6th century BC). In the story, a waggoner’s heavy load becomes bogged down in mud. In despair, the waggoner cries out to Hercules for help. Hercules replies, “Get up and put your shoulder to the wheel. The gods help them that help themselves.” It’s rather ironic that a polytheistic tale appealing to Greek mythology has now made its way into what many believers think is in the pages of Scripture.
“God helps those who help themselves” is not merely extrabiblical; it is also unbiblical. It is polar opposite of the message of Scripture. The Bible insists that God helps the helpless. Today, if you are feeling helpless and hopeless, don’t despair. If you are feeling lonely and discouraged, don’t lose heart. Jesus has a word for you. In John 14:15–31, on the eve before His death, Jesus imparts to His distressed disciples His final words. In these waning moments, He declares: God helps those who help themselves to Him. This is the message of John 14 and the whole Bible. In every area of spiritual life, from beginning to end, God only helps those who help themselves to Him. Keith Krell
Temptation’s sharp and keen,
I have a peace in knowing
My Savior stands between--
He stands to shield me from danger,
When earthly friends are gone,
He promised never to leave me,
Never to leave me alone.
I’m treading the road of care,
My Savior helps me to carry
My cross when heavy to bear,
Though all around me is darkness,
Earthly joys all flown;
My Savior whispers His promise,
“I never will leave thee alone.”
For me they pierced His side,
For me He opened the fountain,
The crimson, cleansing tide;
For me He’s waiting in glory,
Seated upon His throne,
He promised never to leave me,
Never to leave me alone. Author Unknown
I. The greatest power in the universe or in heaven
a. Acts 1:8
b. Power to witness
II. The “Paraklete” John 14:16,26;15:26;16:7; and 1 John 1:2
a. One who comes along side
b. Helper(NKJV, NASB,ESV,)
c. Comforter (KJV)
d. Counselor (NIV,HCSB)
e. Lawyer or Advocate (Macedonia, 1John 2:1)
III. Power to love John 14:15 If I love Jesus I:
a. Obey (1John 1:7)
b. Love other believers
c. Know we are disciples (John 13:35)
d. The power to love (Galatians 5:22)
IV. Power in abundance
a. Truth (John 14:17)
b. The perfect Father- Child relationship (14:18)
c. The blessedness of the trinity (14:20)
d. The comfort of the Word
e. The peace than cannot be understood (14:27, Philippians 4:7)
Study Questions 1. Which of Jesus’ commandments are the most difficult for me to obey (14:15, 21)? Why is this particular commandment so difficult? How have I sought to obey this command or battle the temptation to break this command? How would I presently rate my love for Jesus based upon my level of obedience? Do I consciously obey Christ by yielding myself to the Holy Spirit?
2. How do I rely upon “the Helper” in the course of my daily life (14:16)? If the Holy Spirit was taken away from me, would I even recognize His absence? How would I function? Would there be any notable difference in my life? If so, what would be identifiably different?
3. Why does God promise to dwell with obedient believers in a unique way (14:21–24)? What does this promise mean to me? Am I satisfied with my present intimacy with Christ? If not, what area of my spiritual life needs to be improved? How can I prepare myself for greater intimacy in the eternal state?
4. Martin Luther once said, “The simple maid studying the Bible with the help of the Holy Spirit’s grasp is better than the greatest scholar studying without the help of the Holy Spirit.” How has the Holy Spirit taught me the Word and reminded me of biblical truth (14:26)? Why is it so difficult to rely upon the Spirit in my Bible study?
5. Do I currently sense Christ’s peace in my life (14:27)? Am I restless? If so, what area of my life needs the peace of Christ? Why is it so difficult to trust in the Lord? What role should 14:18 play in my perspective? Do I believe that Christ loves me and cares for me?
Study Questions and introduction courtesy of Keith Krell at www.bible.org
During the depression this field was a sheep ranch owned by a man named Yates. Mr. Yates wasn’t able to make enough on his ranching operation to pay the principal and interest on the mortgage, so he was in danger of losing his ranch.
With little money for clothes or food, his family (like many others) had to live on government subsidy.
Day after day, as he grazed his sheep over those rolling West Texas hills, he was no doubt greatly troubled about how he would pay his bills. Then a seismographic crew from an oil company came into the area and told him there might be oil on his land. They asked permission to drill a wildcat well, and he signed a lease contract.
At 1,115 feet they struck a huge oil reserve. The first well came in at 80,000 barrels a day. Many subsequent wells were more than twice as large. In fact, 30 years after the discovery, a government test of one of the wells showed it still had the potential flow of 125,000 barrels of oil a day.
And Mr. Yates owned it all.
The day he purchased the land he had received the oil and mineral rights. Yet, he’d been living on relief.
A multimillionaire living in poverty.
The problem? He didn’t know the oil was there even though he owned it.
Many Christians live in spiritual poverty.
They are entitled to the gifts of the Holy Spirit and his energizing power.
In his book, Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life", the author Charles Swindoll tells a story about the 19th Century agnostic Thomas Huxley (some of you might know that it was Huxley who promoted Darwinism and Humanism in his attacks on Christianity). Huxley was in Dublin and was rushing to catch a train. He climbed aboard one of Dublin’s famous horse drawn taxis and said to the driver -"Hurry, I’m almost late ... drive fast". Off they went at a furious pace and Huxley sat back in his seat and closed his eyes. After a while Huxley opened his eyes and glanced out the window to notice that they were going in the wrong direction. Realizing that he hadn’t told the driver where to take him he called out ‘do you know where you're going?’ The driver replied "No, your honour, but I am driving very fast’.