Monday, May 29, 2017

Acts 19:1-8, Psalm 68:2-7, John 16:29-33


If then you were raised with Christ,
seek what is above,
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Col. 3:1

Acts 19:1-8, Psalm 68:2-7, John 16:29-33

Acts 19:1-8

Dear Love,

The Apostles and disciples were on afire with the Holy Spirit. There was a burning zeal in their heart and nothing could quench their ardent desire to teach, to preach, to share the Good News of salvation. Nothing stopped them, they were unafraid of persecution, of being imprisoned, lashed, stoned or threatened with death. They went where the Spirit led them, into unknown territory, they sailed to different places facing all kinds of hardship and inclement weather and yet they rejoiced for they knew that they were fulfilling the mission of taking the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

They got to know the community of believers if any, and they brought them into a deeper communion with the Holy Spirit, baptizing them with the baptism that makes us children of God and heirs. Paul had only to lay hands on them and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. Rarely do we witness this in our own time. We take all we have for granted, we take our faith for granted. We wilt under the least difficulty or hardship and give up when there is a real threat and go into hiding. We lack a faith that will go boldly and proclaim the joy of the Gospel. The world is such a sad, bitter, unholy, violent, wicked place and this is because those who call themselves Your disciples are timid, weak, anxious, and fearful. In this centenary year of the Charismatic Renewal grant us a new Pentecost, give us new signs, set us afire anew for we need disciples like Peter and Paul and all others who were prepared to lay down their lives in order that many may come to the knowledge of truth and be saved.

Psalm 68:2-7

Dear Love,

Today we are reminded that those who belong to You are kept safe in You. Their enemies are scattered to the four winds and they are heard no more. If we had a greater faith we would rise up with confidence and boldly proclaim that there is no God but God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - One in Truth, One in Love. 

Lord, God, be silent no more. Use us to bring about Your Kingdom on the earth so that Your reign of peace and love can prevail. With one word issued forth from Your lips the enemy is routed and will flee. We will sing songs of praise and gladness for You rule the world. As we recall Your mighty deeds our faith will be strengthened for You are a faithful God, the same yesterday, today and always.  What You have done in the past You will do again. You will lead us from darkness into Your own marvelous light and we will praise You. Use us Lord, empower us Lord, give us that same zeal that the Apostles had so we can conquer the world with love and establish Your reign upon the earth,

John 16:29-33

Dear Love,

It took the power of the Pentecost experience to transform the Apostles and disciples from weak, fearful, anxious men into warriors of the faith. Armed with the strength and power of the Holy Spirit they were transformed men. All that You taught them came back to them and they understood that You were the One of whom Scripture spoke. You were indeed the Messiah, the Savior of the world, the Redeemer who was raised from the dead and who ascended into heaven. You sent the Holy Spirit just as You had promised and He set their hearts on fire. They were given the gifts of the Holy Spirit and they began to preach, teach, and prophecy and perform great miracles in You Name.

However, they had to wait and they had to pray for the fulfillment of the promise of the Holy Spirit. Without Him they were a bunch of weak, scared men, easily cowed  down. But You promised that although they would have trouble in the world to have courage because You have triumphed, You are victorious, and Your rule over the world has been established forever.

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