A Day Of Forgiveness

Let us call for a day of forgiveness patterned in part after the Ancient Jewish notion of a Year of Jubilee in which all debt was “forgiven” although this will be one day every four years (paralleling the USA election for the presidency) and it will not be about money but about family and community.

Forgiveness gives us the chance to start over, to set aside all self pity, and to have a chance to emphasize unity—on all  levels: relational, family and national. If the “Day of Forgiveness” comes the Sunday after a presidential election, we can have at it, politicking passionately, but  with a sincere desire for unity just afterward. (This always had been an American democratic tradition.)

Over the course of a relationship, whether in a marriage or in a friendship or within a community, mistakes are made, regrettable and hurtful things are done, some planned out, some recklessly rushed into in the heat of the moment, that strains relationships, sometimes to the breaking point. We are animals of indiscretion—as the song goes: “Everybody plays the fool, sometime.”

We all realize later after a lapse of wisdom, when we come to our senses, that what we did or said was the worse mistake of our lives. People break laws, incur fines, make financial investments that prove too risky. People are prone to say hurtful things. People live with addictions. All of us make mistakes that tend to divide us, that damage our relationships, but nonetheless, we are loved by persons who wants us back—emotionally back, back for real!

No one moves to Canada, but there is an unforgiving spirit present when we are not united; when we cannot resolve a matter, we cannot compromise, we cannot empathize. A banquet turns into just another meal and no one is hungry anyway. We win battles but the war is too costly in terms of our friendship and union. We celebrate ourselves but in the absence of those who should be celebrating with us. We make new friendships sometimes to hide the pain. But what we really need is forgiveness!

Some church congregants treat militancy and division as a righteous thing, although, by biblical definition, it is the exact opposite. A worship service without Christian unity is nothing more than an exercise in social pride that we fulfilled some commitment (which in our hearts, we did not do at all). Did you know that repentance and forgiveness is by biblical definition [Joel’s prophecy] what revival is all about and Christians are always longing for revival.

Families are sadly divided by politics and religion. Married people have affairs, children are sadly and tragically hurt, money is often misappropriated, gambled away. Any one of a number of excuses are readily available to accuse another, project blame, in our pain, on someone we used to be close to.

We need a day of forgiveness which should come every fourth year after a presidential election to erase the escalating contention of the past four years, to give families a chance to be families again, to remind couples of their wedding day and believers of the first day of a new found faith in God’s goodness. November should symbolize renewal. Let’s call for a day of forgiveness in which families and communities as well as congregations within churches may “let go” of the past and look to a more hopeful future …together.

Posted in Finding God Thru Prayer | Leave a comment

What Was God Thinking?

To apply Paul’s commendation to God, let me use his words about the Savior:

Behold, [Jesus] you were in pain for God’s Work. What sense of urgency you exhibited, what an apologetic,  what indignation for what is right to do, what respect  of God’s will, what passion and zeal and vindication of God’s Word [vengeance]. In every way without sin you presented yourself Your Father’s Servant at Calvary.

To reconcile us to God, Jesus had to deal with the sin in our lives that broke the first covenant by not only forgiving us [He would not annul the covenant] but by making restitution [He would fulfill it].  Some say He did this through His perfect obedience in His incarnation and death. Others see Jesus satisfying divine justice. After this in His resurrection He could bring into being the New covenant now written on the heart.

Love displayed—we might add—with a vengeance!

Is it possible that English is weak in explaining the Divine intention? Vengeance with God was an act of judgment directed always at God’s enemies.  To think that somehow God’s intention was to return pain for pain, blow for blow against someone with whom He was displeased suggests that such a punishment [which is another word for vengeance] was merely intended to give God some satisfaction as the more powerful or the victor in such an exchange. It is to suggest that God was not particularly conscious of how His opponent felt or to what degree they were experience the pain of His divine blows. It suggests uncontrolled rage on an infinite level without any further thought about the offender turned victim [in today’s parlance].

What we do know for sure is that the unfaithfulness of His people [me and you included, Galatians 3:22 “concluded all under sin,”] ignited a flair up of Divine jealousy to get us back, and to bring this about Jesus willingly submitted to the Cross. Would this not mean that on the Cross Jesus was engaged in a battle with Satan and sin but, as regards me and you, He wanted us back? (John 3:16)

The LORD is a jealous and avenging God; the LORD takes vengeance and is filled with wrath. The LORD takes vengeance on his foes and vents his wrath against his enemies. Nahum 1:2

Understood, we teach and sing that Jesus at Calvary paid our debt in full and we found a couple scriptures that support this interpretation. In Colossians 2:14  we may interpret “handwriting of ordinances” as a certificate of debt as well as have Jesus’ words from the Cross, “It is finished” (John 19:30) mean “paid in full.”  The Lord instructs me not to disturb this because such a presumption would be pure arrogance on my part that suggests I know something which the Lord has not yet shared.

We see through a glass darkly (1 Corinthians 13:12) but when we arrive in Glory, the fog surrounding this central truth, “Jesus died for me” will lift and we will “know as we are known.”


Posted in Finding God Thru Prayer | Leave a comment

Vengeance is Mine, Saith the Lord

Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. KJV Romans 12:19

When the Lord talked in Leviticus 26:25, of executing “the vengeance of the covenant” little doubt He knew that to keep His word according to the covenant He would have to indict a nation now guilty of  breaking their word, breaking covenant. This has to be what Jesus meant in Matthew 5:17 in fulfilling the Law and not abolishing it. To discard or nullify the covenant He made through Moses, which included the commandments, would mean not to honor His own Word and God cannot lie (Numbers 23:19).  To bring about a New covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-33) He had to first honor the Old one by recompensing disobedience—someone had to make payment for sin. Scholars call this a punishment and because it is God’s decision, He recompenses the sins of the world accordingly, and He did that through His Son on the Cross..

Appeasing God

Did Jesus’ crucifixion appease God’s wrath (John 3:36)? In Romans 12:19 vengeance in human terms is the wrathful act of paying back, getting even, whereas with God it speaks more of retribution or paying the penalty for wrong done. Unlike the pagan idea of an enraged and dangerous deity, the word vengeance in our Old Testament is linked more to God’s justice (divine judgment). Vengeance with God is final judgment intended to bring an end to sin (Daniel 9:24; Hebrews 9:26). It is not someone with an enraged and offended self-interest that wants to inflict pain on someone who had inflicted pain on them. Punishment that only focused on the offended who takes pleasure in seeking to return pain for pain (lex taliones) does not answer to the biblical idea of vengeance. God’s vengeance does duty for a number of Old Testament terms: judgment, a divine visitation, and rebuke, correction, and chastisement. If we want our word punishment  to say all this, so be it.

An overjoyed Paul wrote to a repentant Corinthian church, “Just see what this godly sorrow produced in you! Such earnestness, such concern to clear yourselves, such indignation, such alarm, such longing to see me, such zeal, and such a readiness to punish wrong (vengeance). You showed that you have done everything necessary to make things right.”

Perhaps, unintentionally but under inspiration, Paul also gave God’s vengeance a context in this verse, 2 Corinthians 7:11, when he put it in the neighborhood of words (using the NLT) like: earnestness, concern to clear or vindicate oneself, indignation (a passion to deal decisively with all sin), alarm, longing, and zeal—all pointing to a “readiness to punish wrong,” or to make things right.  If we use this to interpret Leviticus 26:25 God vowed in conversing with Moses to make things right between Himself and His people and not by tossing the Covenant to the curb.  He would keep His word in fulfilling the Old Covenant in judgment and then replace it with a New one, written on the hearts of His people.

We are still left asking: Why did the Savior need to suffer and die? What happened at Calvary? What was the Father thinking?


Posted in Finding God Thru Prayer | Leave a comment

Punishment con’t.

For some believers there are a few more concerns worth mentioning:


Some concluded that Jesus’ wholehearted submission to the Cross had, at least, to imply something other than punishment, that His death was restorative also, that there was something more happening at Calvary than assuaging an angry God.

Augustine believed, “Christ’s human attitude in proximity to his death is exemplary. He is a fitting and pleasing sacrifice on account of his obedience even in the face of death. This is what propitiates God.⁠”

It is this debate that consumes us, the theories of the Atonement abound, because elements of Jesus crucifixion suggest so. To start with: as retribution, punishment does not require the cooperation of the offender, but Jesus went to the Cross willingly (John 10:18; Titus 2:14; Hebrews 10:9).

A. W. Tozer reminds us, “When Jesus died on the Cross the mercy of God did not become any greater. It could not become any greater, for it was already infinite. We get the odd notion that God is showing mercy because Jesus died. No–Jesus died because God is showing mercy. It was the mercy of God that gave us Calvary, not Calvary that gave us mercy. If God had not been merciful there would have been no incarnation, no babe in the manger, no man on a cross and no open tomb.” 

The International Dictionary  of New Testament Theology concludes,

“The law nowhere indicates that in sacrifice…an act of punitive punishment is executed; it in no way asks us to look on the altar as a place of punishment. …sacrifice in the Bible is concerned with expiation rather than propitiation.”


Punishment is final. Romans 3:23 the wages of sin is always death. Punishment, biblically speaking, is a sentence of death—spiritual and eternal (Hebrews 10:29 KJV) but what is evident to faith if not to reason is the our Savior rose from death—a point unaccountably overlooked by some.

It is, perhaps, of some interest that neither the apostles nor Jesus nor the writers of the Old Testament books ever referred to Jesus’ crucifixion, theologically, as a “punishment.” Our verse in Isaiah is better translated “chastisement.” [It is Hebrew for discipline, correction]

Notwithstanding any theological doubt, Christendom still endears herself to the old hymn, “Rock of Ages, Cleft for me…Be of sin the double cure, Save from wrath and make me pure.”

“If the Cross of Christ is anything to the mind, it is surely everything – the most profound reality and the sublimest mystery.” ― John R.W. Stott, The Cross of Christ

But there is a Biblical path through the labyrinth of theories and the focal point, for me, on which all theories teeter is the Biblical meaning of vengeance.

Posted in Finding God Thru Prayer | Leave a comment

Is Punishment the Right Word?

Isaiah 53:5 NIV …the punishment that brought us peace was on him….

A study of the word “punishment” suggests to me that English is weak in offering this word as a reasonable explanation why Jesus’ crucifixion was required as the means of our salvation. Yes, punishment can be a judicial term and those who by faith accept Jesus as their Savior, thanks to Calvary, will not be “condemned” Romans 8:1.  Jesus bore our punishment in our place. But is “punishment” the word?

And most certainly, the mystery of godliness is great: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory. [CSB] 1 Timothy 3:16


Punishment is a criminal judgment as opposed to a civil one or, as an example of a civil judgment, a fine included in the repayment of debt [Leviticus 27:13]. When Jesus spoke of “debt” was He not talking about His forgiveness and our forgiving others. Forgiveness does not suggest punishment (Matthew 18:21-35). In fact, for some, they are mutually exclusive.

The understanding that “tetelesthai (John 19:30, It is finished) meant “paid in full” as well as the interpretation of Colossians 2:14 that the “handwriting of ordinances” was a certificate of debt—as scholars argue—does not point to our Savior’s crucifixion as a penal substitution …even though we know it was.

We sing “He paid the debt He did not owe, I owed a debt I could not pay.” This reminds me of Anselm of Canterbury in Church Tradition who spoke of Jesus’ death in terms of debt, liability, compensation, satisfaction, honor, price, payment, merit. Jesus’ calling Himself God’s “Ransom” makes sense here (Matthew 20:28) Anselm was arguing for the truth that Jesus was both God and man:

“Our situation is compounded by the fact that in order to compensate God we need to give back more than we owed originally and … the debt we have incurred is of infinite proportion. So no one but God could pay a debt of such magnitude, but no one but man is obliged to pay it. It follows that our salvation requires God become man.” (Cur Deus Homo 2.6)


Conscious of Guilt

We also understand that repentance needs a consciousness of sin. Many believers ask God to forgive them of—they know not what—just in case.  They might be gently compared to the Athenians on Mars Hill that Paul preached to who erected a statue to “the unknown God.”  Many recognize the unknown sins of their past. A dearest friend now with Jesus felt this way; so, it is beyond me to speak ill of it! But think of our word punishment in light of this.

Early theologians argued that we were liable for original sin but not guilty of it, but Evangelicals see no such distinction (Romans 5:14; 1 John 1:9). C.S. Lewis argued,

“Punishment, however severe,  is deserved if the offender is to be treated as a responsible (conscious of sin) human person made in God’s image. “

Yet, from the Cross Jesus forgave those who did what they did unknowingly (Luke 23:34).   The “guilt offering” was the offering  for sins done in ignorance (Leviticus 5:15) This word is used in Isaiah 53:10.

This doesn’t say that it wasn’t a penal substitution for our sins. It was! Had Jesus not gone to Calvary, we all would be destined for a lost eternity without Him. But what is the word for this? Continued.

Posted in Finding God Thru Prayer | Leave a comment

Pushing Back

Christians are pushing back against the unproven assertions of those whose worldview (their logic) is built on the foundation that God, the Christian God, does not exist. On many levels, some scientific, some philosophical, some, in support of a Biblical continuity, and the clear and emphatic position of Scripture, there is an apologetic worth arguing in favor of the God of love we serve. And we need to argue it! (Hebrews 11:6)

Much of what is being promoted as education is actually designed to establish a godless closed system that counters the message of the Christian Church. This is partly true because science was never designed to explain God and partly because there is an asserted effort to belittle and discredit the Christian faith.

The onion of evolutionary theory, as an example, should be pealed away, layer by layer of unscientific assumptions that even Darwin understood might eventually be disproven (research the phrase “irreducible complexity”). Women’s studies that support gender equality (when God made them not just physically different from men), deconstructing the “nuclear” family (a fatherless home in the Old Testament leaves children orphaned), and a disregard for human life through abortion (Psalm 139:16 mentions the embryo) discredit our Creator. In biblical terms, the first revelation of God was as our “Creator” which is mutually exclusive of evolutionary theory.

It should be equally obvious to persons of moral integrity that some subjects are off limits to young children. When did our culture lose this perspective? Tampering with God’s creation is tampering with His design, it is playing at “god” through genetic or chemical engineering and we pray our God would outright forbid it as He forbade Balaam from cursing His people of old (Numbers 23:26).

How shrewd the serpent is (Genesis 3:1). Even the vernacular of the day talks of drugs (an entheogen) taken as a “spiritual” experience, of “grooming” children (sexually), of social constructs and virtual signaling—all a “thing” in a controlled effort to change the narrative by changing the language. Paul informed that there are those who “peddle the word of God for profit“ (2 Corinthians 2:17) which means that there are those who feign wokeness as a part of worship. It is not!

We need to push back. We need to make sure the children in the name of science are not introduced to a godless lifestyle without hearing from us of a legitimate and provable alternative “in Christ.”

Proverbs 14:8 has been interpreted: The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception. The “fool” here is the ignorant simpleton who is easily misled—and God forbid our children should be in that number. We need to keep God on His Throne in our hearts, our thoughts—and in our lives, “our ways” according to the Proverb, where He belongs and make sure the children also see Him there!

Posted in Finding God Thru Prayer | Leave a comment

Jesus’ Easter Weekend Prayer

John 17:20 ‘My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

Here Jesus begins to envision something beyond incredible but not incredulous. As the old preacher reminded me, Jesus died, not so much to get us into heaven as to get heaven into us. A unity with His church that parallels that of the Holy Trinity can only mean that we have arrived at the very threshold of the Kingdom. Unity is only possible if all interests are centered in Christ. Unity is only possible if our personal desires—if I may be a bit cryptic or metaphorical—reduce to a common denominator, absolute humility, so that God can easily take the sum of all our ministries together. Unity is only possible when believers are at peace with one another, when we willingly submit unto one another allowing each to minister to the other as the Spirit directs. Unity means no racism, no lies, no personal ambition, no greedy grasping for attention or fame. Unity means we take personal possession of nothing but have already laid all our crowns at His feet. Unity means all things in common and no one has unmet needs. Unity is the ultimate revival! Unity is ὁμοθυμαδὸν, one passion, according to Acts 2:1. Unity, the Greek word is “One,” was a vision the Church caught on its first day at its birth while it was still in its cradle, its infancy, in Acts 4:32. “One heart, one soul.” But have we outgrown this?

I was surprised to hear Jesus praying for this because we have been so divided and denominationalized over the centuries, because we have prided ourselves in our hermeneutics and traditions and rituals and doctrines. Because we have stayed in our church circles and were told to stay there. Other christians in other circles were strangers in the night of a world drifting more and more distant from God.

Jesus was praying for us because He was praying for them, for the masses, for harvesters to seek out the Lord of the harvest (singular) and allow the Holy Spirit’s ministry in us and then through us to show us how to wield a sickle (Matthew 9:38). But, if we think His High-Priestly prayer here is the first sign of a burden for the “lost,” we must reread the Gospels. Not only did He weep over cities (Matthew 23:37) and swing wide in His travels outside Israel to minister to even gentiles (Matthew 15:21; John 4), we must remember that He came to die for them, too!

Perhaps, it is time to look at the word used for “prayer” [ἐρωτῶ  to ask or request]. There are a couple other words, synonyms, which scholars argue over. I shall not engage them, but it might be safe to say that the nuance with our word here is to “ask God to do [not give] something. Jesus is not seeking for anything personal. We have maintained throughout that He has remained self-less. He is asking His Father to pull off the miracle of miracles, to unite us for the sake of the harvest of souls! There is nothing more self-less than that except His soon crucifixion.

Posted in Finding God Thru Prayer | Leave a comment

Believer Introspection

Yesterday evening the men’s study, I am part of, was into 1 Corinthians 6 which included verses 9-10 [NET]

“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, passive homosexual partners, practicing homosexuals, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, the verbally abusive, and swindlers will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

This is strong language which understandably we wish to interpret in an excusatory way if it appears to indict us. So, perhaps, this has nothing to do with having affairs outside of wedlock? Is Paul talking only about “ladies of the night”? At least, allow us to get drunk at weddings or excuse us if we are working ourselves to death (7 days a week) to “get ahead” without calling us “greedy.” Certainly the practice of homosexuality here does not include lesbianism or true “gay” marriage! And “gossip” is not abusive, if it’s true! Swindlers! I got all my money legally!! Oh, and idolatry, idol worship?  No one does that anymore!

I mention this for its relevance in our time. Obviously, there is no finger pointing intended here. This is for introspection only. Paul used the term “shame” in verse 5 to encourage self-introspection for all true believers to see where their convictions are at. What does our conscience tell us? We are not trying to rationalize some cognitive dissonance that makes Paul’s words sound good for us but not “the other,” targeting persons we do not like.

We are in the birth pains of a cultural revolution; but we must remember that God’s Word transcends culture. It would be dangerous, in terms of a meeting with God as the Judge, to assume whatever Paul is talking about, had nothing to do with our society; that it was only about something religious or cultic within the Corinthian community. It would be foolish, for example, to think that internet pornography (which we do not need to define, because we know it when we see it) would be exempt from this list of vices.

“Passive homosexuality” mentioned here was indeed the abuse of catamites. But dare we assume this must mean boys only! The ancient Israelites were warned, instead, about temple prostitution—things we can read about in Herodotus. And should we assume that such a judgment does not embrace a few traffickers of children of any age or gender!

This is a difficult subject because it is obvious to all that morality is culturally being defined not only with relaxed norms but in a way that mocks God, making our Bible sound like something straight out of grandma’s imagination and nothing more.

The church, however, must promote, first and foremost, God’s Word, which seems clearer when studied with an open heart and mind— and thus the word “shame” used here. The next chapter is next week when we discuss marriage from God’s perspective. If God created one Adam for one Eve, something every believer accepts as indicative of the Divine plan for marriage, what does this say about God’s thoughts on today’s lifestyles? If we say, “Nothing,” well, shame on us!

We may in the midst of this cultural revolution soon pay a price for our commitment to God’s Word; so, we best know what we are willing to endure …and why!

Posted in Finding God Thru Prayer | Leave a comment

We’re Living in the Death of Shame

Okay, I needed a comedic break from the narrative that is the “news.” So, I watched the “fun” version on cable when Comedian Jimmy Failla summarized in a most serious tone, “We’re living in the death of shame.” Or in the words of Bishop Robert Fastiggi,

“Perhaps the greatest sin in the world today is that men have begun to lose the sense of sin.”

The metaphor that someone is “coming out” used to imply a degree of secrecy or privacy associated with one’s activity or life-style. Perhaps, in someway, we all had a closet experience, that secret side of our desires that we would never mention in public. Who wasn’t used to living two different lives, one real and covered up and the other what society expected of us! Dad used to say, “When in Rome live as the Romans do.” “Dance to the tune being played” even clumsily or even if you’d rather sit this one out.

The stress of living in two different worlds, one culturally acceptable and the other who you really are, has become, most understandably, a chain of a tyrannizing hypocrisy. That metaphorical “closet” now (as I see Mr. Failla’s interjection) has been dismantled social brick by brick, shame by shame, until in the name of a social honesty modern life has been transformed into a civilization that no longer identifies with “sin.” And no sin means to need of a Savior… sadly.

Not everything one does in private or secret is sinful… Please! But, what we are saying is that, no one can live their entire life as the free exercise of their passions, if it isn’t natural, if it does not put on display their real self. There is no bigger lie than trying to convince yourself that some culture you find yourself in must know better than you what is in your best interest, to pretend to love what you detest, to publicly smile through private tears.

But “shame” is still a real thing, a really word, in our Bible. Actually, there is more than one word because there is more than one kind of shame. Shame can be the fear of being discovered, the fear of being disapproved by the social circle we move in. As Jeremiah 2:26 reminds us, “disgraced when … caught….”

But there is a Biblical word for shame meaning a reverence for the good as good. When this good is not honored in one’s actions, the sense of shame, like a faithful conscience, sounds the alarm. This has nothing to do with reputation. It has to do with honor—and to God that means “reverence.”

“…serve God acceptably with reverence” Hebrews 12:28

Scholarship tells us, “We may say that [a godly reverence] restrains a good man from an unworthy act, while [being found out] would sometimes restrain a bad one.” Shame is a friend if it can forewarn, but we live now in social change that prefers to disconnect altogether from any moral code God might be said to have inspired. Thinking this way, it seems best to destroy shame in social change (make it not against any moral law by getting rid of all talk of God). I leave it to honest faith to recognize the danger here.

There is a third term in our Bible which includes self-introspection. You, who know God because you walk with Him, should always see if the Spirit within, in whom you confide, would tell you that what you about to do or say, or where you are about to go, is out of character with the new you. Be advised!

Paul said it best:

Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. – 2 Corinthians 4:2

Posted in Finding God Thru Prayer | Leave a comment

God’s Gift

As I took my walk I was thinking about Peter’s response to the crowd that first Feast of Pentecost after Jesus’ resurrection and ascension [Acts 2:1].  Many in the crowd came under a conviction after hearing about Jesus’ crucifixion and they found this news difficult to balance against their own future interests. Taking two year old lambs to the Temple court seemed less an act of atonement now and more like an exercise in futility. [On that they were unknowingly right: Hebrews 10:1].

“Men and brethren what shall we do!? [Acts 2:37]” they gave vent to their anxiety (for these were “God-fearing Jews ” Acts 2:5).

I am singularly interested in Peter’s response,

“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. [Acts 2:38]”

The straight forward theology here says that nothing happens until you repent ..and if you are serious about confessing your sinfulness, you will be water baptized as a public testimony that you intend to follow Jesus!

And then Peter said “you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

This word “gift” means gratuitously given, unearned, or another word for “grace.” I must assume they knew what that meant …or, if not, they took Peter’s words at face value and his explanation of what happened to him, according to Joel 2:28, would happen to them. …and they wanted this!

Or Peter like Paul later [Acts 19:2] meant, “Yes, trust me, you need this!!!  You need Him! You need the Spirit, else repentance stands alone in a wilderness of evil and temptation.” [King John interpretation.]

Once in a while it is good to set aside form and ritual (not always because these play a role in a Christian’s experience). It is good to forget preaching just for today and save the song list for next week and, if the community can handle it, this time should be set aside especially for prayer and worship, if our Lord cares to use it. Jesus instructed us to

wait for the gift my Father promised” (Acts 1:4)

Each of us needs to find the time and get alone with God without watches and smart phones.  Each of us, as individuals, needs to understand the “gift” of the Spirit as more than a confirmation of salvation, a spiritual status symbol, or an unseen Divine act that we accept only by faith.  The Spirit’s work in us is a work of sanctification: conforming us to the image of Christ [Romans 8:29] , dealing with the sin question in our life [John 16:8], emboldening us for God’s service [Acts 4:31], and making our witness “pop” even when life seems ordinary [Acts 1:8]. God’s Spirit in us is life changing and He will keep us on the straight and narrow no matter how passionate the enemy of our soul is about rerouting us back into our old life!

If you have not received this gift of God, you just must discover what I am talking about!


Posted in Finding God Thru Prayer | Leave a comment