While I was never much for participating in sports in my childhood and youth, when I did play, I always wanted to be on the winning side. So, in my effort to win, I was always looking and analyzing to insure that we had all of the advantages necessary for the victory. I wanted everything to work in our favor so that we would have the check mark in our win column.
In speaking to His followers just a few short days before His return to heaven, Jesus gathers them together and tells them:
” … it is profitable (good, expedient, advantageous) for you that I go away. Because if I do not go away, the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you [into close fellowship with you]; but if I go away, I will send Him to you [to be in close fellowship with you].’ John 16:7 (Amplified Translation)
advantageJesus was telling them that it was in their best interest that He should leave them. The sending of the Holy Spirit was to their advantage. Another way that He could have conveyed the same message would be, “Guys, you are living at a disadvantage if I stay with you because my presence is withholding Someone who is important to your relationship with me.”
Now skip forward a few decades and we find Paul arriving at Ephesus. We find in Acts 19 …
While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through the interior provinces. Finally, he came to Ephesus, where he found several believers. “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” he asked them. “No,” they replied, “we don’t know what you mean. We haven’t even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” Acts 19:1-2 (New Living Translation)
Paul found believers who were living with a disadvantage. They hadn’t heard, much less received the Holy Spirit.  He knew that these believers were living with a disadvantage. We read over and over again in his letters to the Corinthians that Paul knew from experience the importance of the Person and work of the Holy Spirit. So, what was Paul’s response?
“Then when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in other tongues and prophesied.” Acts 19:6 (New Living Translation)
Here is the reason for this blog. Are the children/youth in your ministry living with a disadvantage? Are they like the Ephesians who didn’t even know that there was a Holy Spirit? If so, Children’s Pastor, Youth Pastor, Sunday school teacher, mid-week Bible club leader, let’s give our children and youth the necessary advantage to have a check mark in the win column. Let’s provide the opportunity for them to be filled with the Holy Spirit.