February 1

…the Comforter,… the Holy Spirit… John 14:26 (TLB)

The word ‘Comforter’ is the Greek word paraclete which can also be translated ‘exhorter’.  The danger with the word ‘Comforter’ is that we may think of someone who smoothes our ruffled feathers, and lulls us to sleep.  No doubt He can do that, if that is our need.  However, the great work of the Spirit through His ministers the apostles was one of powerful exhortation.  The Holy Spirit is the one who reveals Christ, and then tells us what we can do because of who Christ is, and because of what Christ has done.  The Holy Spirit challenges us to think and do the impossible.  He declares to us our sonship; He declares to us our freedom and power; and He declares to us our spiritual position – seated with Christ in heaven!  Then He gathers us up and tells us to sin no more.  He tells us to pray without ceasing.  He tells us to believe for great miracles.  He bids us rise up and be completely different from the former person we were just minutes ago.  He sings to us with incredible joy, and appeals to us not to let sin reign in our bodies.  He bids us enter into unspeakable joy!  The exhorter brings strong comfort to the people of God.