A Lesson on Leadership

Today’s reading: Luke 21, Psalm 69

I had always thought of the Widow’s Mite (Luke 21:1-4) as a lesson on giving but through a recent study I’ve come to believe it is actually a warning of the implications of false leadership, specifically self-righteous, legalistic religious systems and their false leaders.  A good thing to know how to spot and avoid (Psalm 1) and a good thing to help us refine our beliefs on true leadership. 

When taken in context this account is surrounded by diatribes of false teachers.  (Luke 20:47, Luke 21:5-36)  In addition to the lack of the subject matter of giving in the surrounding scripture, is the lack of any principle taught on giving in this passage.  Jesus neither condemns the rich for their giving nor commends the widows for hers.  In my estimation, Jesus never said He was pleased with the widows giving, nor did he even imply it.  

On the contrary, we know that Jesus did not approve of the religious system that was receiving the gifts and from that we can even go as far as to assume he may not have been pleased with the fact that this widow was being separated from her last coin on account of it.  All throughout scripture, God’s Word protects and provides for widows, it never leaves them destitute.  (Exodus 22:22, Psalm 146:9, Proverbs 15:25, Isaiah 1:17, Isaiah 10: 1-4, Jeremiah 49:11, James 1:27)

The word rich used here is ‘plousios’ and means those who have enough. The word poor used in verse two is ‘penichors’, meaning someone who is needy but not destitute. The second mention of the widow being poor in verse three after she is seen giving all she had, is a different word ‘ptochos’ meaning someone who has nothing and has been reduced to begging.

The lesson, in my estimation, is this: the widow’s involvement in this false religious system has cost her everything.  The warning; false leaders and their systems prey on the weak and pry from them what little possessions they have.  Why give this warning?  Perhaps, this will help us identify these systems so we can avoid them and not be party to them.

Another identifying characteristic of these systems is in the preceding two verses. The leaders of these systems create them so that they can accumulate what they desire; influence, position, power, money, etc. at the expense of the weak. (Luke 20-46-47)  They are systems designed to serve the leader. 

Contrasting false from true: real leaders do two things.

  1. They serve those they lead and
  2. they lead by example.  

(Mark 10: 42-45, Philippians 2:3, Matthew 17,12, 1Timothy 4:12, 1Peter 5:1-3, Hebrews 13:7)

Here is a lesson of the cost of false leadership, a warning to false leaders and an aid to help us discern true from false leaders.  In a culture that has so much to say about leadership, God’s word helps us understand the truth and protects us.  Praise God!

 

Study resource: The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Luke 18-24

Painting by James Tissot (French, 1836-1902)

Cornerstone of Christ

Our Cornerstone

Today’s Reading: Luke 20 Psalm 68

God’s living word is filled with truths of How we should live our lives…, When we should call on Him…, Where you can find hope…, Why a relationship with God is necessary…,and Who we should live for.  The answer to all these questions point directly to Christ Alone and the timing is now and always! So as we reflected on how to live this earthly life,we land on a verse that reminds us of our essential Cornerstone.

Luke 20:17 Jesus looked directly at them and asked, ” Then what is the meaning of that which is written: “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone?”

This verse is a reminder that all our lives are built on this cornerstone? That in our broken lives God is in perfect control. The cornerstone breaks us down to make it not about me or you, but about Him.  This brokenness is necessary to draw us to the realization that we need God. That building our life on the Cornerstone of Christ gives Him full authority.  Do I remember that all the time? This cornerstone mentioned throughout the bible in various places represents our crucial stone, the cornerstone that holds up our whole structure. (Psalm 118:22, Matthew 16:18, Acts 4:11, Eph. 2:19-21) I love this use of cornerstone in these verses.

Here in verse 18 we are reminded that;

Luke 20:18 “Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.”

We are all broken. We have been broken to pieces. But God has provided us with this cornerstone that in our broken state we can submit to Him.  When we admit to our brokenness, repent, and give our lives to God, He makes us new.  We make it not about self-centeredness but giving it all to Him. The foundation is already at our feet.  Those who deny this cornerstone and don’t submit to God are described as “crushed”.

Dear Lord,

You are our cornerstone we put all our trust in.  We know we are broken and that in our weakness you are strong.  God we pray that in this earthly world we focus less on us and more on you.  We love you and give praise to you.  The victory is yours. Amen

 

In Psalm 68:4 David tells us to sing praise in His name, extol Him, rejoice before Him – His name is the Lord! Our Cornerstone!

Cornerstone – Hillsong

Resources:

The Jeremiah Study Bible

Tysdale Study Bible

Missing It

Today’s Reading: Luke Chapter 19, Psalm 67

“As he approached and saw the city, He wept over it, saying “If you knew this day what would bring peace-but now it is hidden from your eyes. For the days will come on you when your enemies will build and embankment against you, surround you, and hem you in on every side. They will crush you and your children within you to the ground, and they will not leave one stone on another in you, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.” Luke 19:41-44 (HCSB)

 There is so much in this 19th Chapter of Luke, I can hardly hold it in. Reading the story of Zacchaeus repenting for his sins and hosting Jesus while others looked on with distain. Then on to Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on that young donkey. My HCSB Study Bible explains that the distance between Jericho and Jerusalem is about 17 miles. The elevation change is 3,300 feet which means that the road was going up on average at a rate of almost 200 feet per mile. As he nears Jerusalem his disciples and followers spread their cloaks on the road as a way to honor their King. People were rejoicing and proclaiming His mighty works. I can only imagine the electricity in the air that day! I can imagine what it felt like to believe that your King has come and to be able to see him. Some texts say that the crowd was shouting Psalm 118:26:

“Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! We bless you from the house of the Lord.” (Ps 118:26)

This further solidifies the messianic expectation at that time. But when Jesus begins to approach Jerusalem he weeps. He weeps at the thought of rejection by the city of Jerusalem. It is true that the Jews enjoyed peace in this time under Roman rule until about 40 years after Jesus spoke the words in verse 44:

“…They will crush you and your children within you to the ground, and they will not leave one stone on another in you, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation” Luke 19:44

 In A.D. 66 the Jews revolted against the Roman control, three years later Roman soldiers attacked Jerusalem and burned it to the ground in A.D. 70. Six hundred thousand Jews were killed during that siege. Many Jews did not open their eyes to see Christ as the Messiah or recognize His coming as God’s visitation and offer of salvation. After studying the gospel of Luke and the historic context I’m struck by how similar this ancient society is to our so called modern society. We too are arguing about who is really the messiah. We have modern pharisees asking us to rebuke one leader in favor of another. Jesus viewed the corruption of the temple as a reflection of the corruption of the nation. He knew that they were about to enter an even greater season of judgement. How can we learn from the fall of Jerusalem? Can we begin to connect the dots between ourselves and the ancient Christians? The leaders among their people included wealthy men in politics, commerce and law. They saw Jesus as a threat. He drove the merchants out of the temple and his teachings favored the poor. He attracted attention that wasn’t in line with their business goals.

I love the woven tapestry of Luke 19. It’s a collection of parables for us to consider and then compare to our own Christian life. Are we tax collectors? Are we merchants in the temple? Are we truly spreading our cloaks out for Jesus to walk upon or are we a Pharisee, rebuking the message of Christ. Are we just plain missing it…in other words are we actually missing the opportunity for a visit from God. Are we so close but not quite there in our total commitment to the Messiah? I know that I have work to do. My eyes are open and looking for encounters with Him this week. I hope yours are too.

Peace.

 

 

 

What Do You Want?

Luke 18Psalm 66

As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind beggar was sitting beside the road. When he heard the noise of a crowd going past, he asked what was happening. They told him that Jesus the Nazarene was going by. So he began shouting, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”  “Be quiet!” the people in front yelled at him.  But he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”  When Jesus heard him, he stopped and ordered that the man be brought to him. As the man came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Luke 18:35-41)

Did you pay attention to Jesus’ question in this story?.  How would you respond to him?  Think about it.  If you captured Jesus’ attention and, point-blank, he asks you, “what do you want me to do for you?”  How do you respond?  My own answer to that question sends panic through my heart.  Why?  Because, my answer reveals the condition of my heart.

There are a thousand things that I want from him.  I want a new car, a new house and another sale.  I want my company to grow faster and have more influence.  I want him to heal my friend with cancer and to provide more money for the needy.  All of those things are what I want.  Do those Lord.  Should we be surprised that God doesn’t jump in and honor all of my requests?  We shouldn’t.   James 4:3 reminds us that, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.”  Yes, that answer stings a bit.  There is, however, a better way.  Consider the response of young King Solomon.

Similar to the blind man, the Lord appeared to Solomon.  He asked him, “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!” (1 Kings 3:5).  Solomon replied, “Give your servant an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?”  (1 Kings 3:9).  Solomon’s response pleased the Lord.  So did the blind man’s.  He answered, “Lord, I want to see!” (Luke 18:45).  Jesus immediately responded to this request.  Why?  Because like Solomon, his request required faith in God for the sake of God.

Do you know what you want?  Do you know that the Holy Spirit is here, waiting for you to ask?  What do you want him to do for you?

THIS

Today’s reading is Luke 17 and Psalm 65.

Luke 17 contains messages around temptation to sin, increasing faith, unworthy servants, and the coming of the Kingdom of God, but we will focus our time on the story of Jesus helping 10 lepers from Luke 17:11-19.

In this story, Jesus heals 10 lepers when they yell and ask for help from a distance, but only 1 comes back to thank and praise him. At first read, it’s easy to be judgmental, and think “how could they not come back and say thanks!?” It’s also easy to condemn members of the crowd yelling “Crucify Him!” when he’s on trial with Pilot.  After reflection, I realize when I take Jesus name in vain it’s just the same as someone yelling these words. When I don’t thank Him for answered prayers or completely forget about it a few days later, am I any different than the 9 lepers who didn’t come back to show their gratitude? It’s so easy to quickly forget about the answered prayer for a negative test for cancer, a successful surgery, a new job, retention of your job amidst downsizing, a new home, or a significant other you’ve been asking God for. How quickly do we forget these things!  I’m guilty of forgetting these things within days, hours, and even minutes! What about the answered prayers we don’t even realize occurred? For example, we pray for safety and then get really upset when spill coffee on the way to work and have to go back home in anger to change clothes causing us to be late to our first meeting. We had no idea this situation kept us from getting into a car accident.

Our leadership team, thanks to my brother in Christ Josh Waite’s idea, starts our weekly meetings by “going B.I.G.” That stands for “Begin In Gratitude.” We reflect and tell everyone one thing we are thankful for. When you focus on what you are thankful to God for, the stress and problems are minimalized. I’ve heard it said you can’t feel stress and anxiety at the same time. When we focus on and thank God for what we have and what He’s given us, we don’t get stressed and mad about what we don’t have.

Some might ask how they are supposed to be thankful when they just lost their job or a loved one? Well…it’s hard. But, maybe this will help you find your true calling or give you an opportunity to move closer to, or spend more time with, family. How about giving praise that you had that loved one in your life for the amount of time you did or even at all for that matter? When you praise God when things are good and when they don’t seem to be good, it changes your whole perspective and happiness. You see the world through an entirely different lens. Psalm 65 highlights offering praises as well.

As we go into next week, let’s go “B.I.G!” Let’s remember, thank, and praise Him for the big answered prayers we asked for, for the ones we don’t realize were answered, and for the things we didn’t even request. He gave it all to us. Most importantly, let’s thank him for sending his Son Jesus to take the punishment that should have been ours on the cross. For that, we should always and forever be thankful to Him for the opportunity He gave us to become one with Him and have eternal life! He did for us what we could not do for ourselves.

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

“Thank God for all I missed because it lead me here to This…”

The Pursuit

The pursuit of excellence. The hunt for the prize. The victory of a game. Have you ever been in pursuit of something, knowing you have to work really hard to achieve it? How about training for a marathon, running it and savoring the moment you cross that finish line? Have you ever lost something, spent hours trying to find it (I am thinking of my mother and her constant “pursuit” of finding her glasses 🙂 ), and then you are so pleased when you do, even if it’s just for a moment? How about that one photo from your childhood that you just have to find, digging through bins or an online album? Or have you ever even had that moment where you are trying to remember someone’s name from your past and it comes to you in the middle of the night? All these examples may spark even a little adrenaline rush. We have little things and big things we chase after all the time.

In today’s story, Luke 15, Jesus uses parables to relate to his pursuit of Christians or pursuit of turning sinners into Christians. He first gives us the parable of the lost sheep. He relates to our desire to find something that is lost. Wouldn’t we all go find that one lost sheep even if it meant leaving the rest of the herd behind? And then, rejoice, we find that lost one. Maybe there are some in the world who wouldn’t go after that one lost sheep, but many would chase down that one sheep.  He wants us all celebrating one sheep or one Christian.

Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

The second parable also appeals to many people. The parable of the lost coin. Would we not try to find that lost coin if we lost one and knew it was on the ground, in a corner, if we could just find it.

‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Hunting for little things is sometimes frustrating, but we do it, right? These first two parables are interesting as they relate to “things”.

The third parable tugs at us, particularly those of us who are parents and those of us who may still be very close to our parents. The parable of the lost son. In this story, the son is lost. Lost in the world, off to find his way, do his own thing, throw away his money all to pursue his selfish ways and gain “freedom”. While away, his loyal brother works hard, pleases his father and does what he views is right. When his father celebrates the return of his brother, the eldest is made. He does not think it is fair! He has been the one doing well, fulfilling his father’s wishes, God’s plan for him. But he can’t help himself and is upset. His father calms him but acknowledging his hard work, loyalty and commitment, but also helps us understand the need to celebrate when a lost sole is found.

31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

All three parables help us understand God’s pursuit. His hard work to help sinners become Christians. His hard work to help Christians remain Christians. To help the believers who sin to confess their sins and to continue on his path. His job is so hard some days! And if you don’t think so, pick 10 (or 100 or 1000) people in your head. Think of all God has to do for each one of those individuals. Wow. Yes he chases us down. He is on for the chase, the hunt, the game of pursuit of people.   Thankfully, he does not give up, whether the task is large or small.   He rejoices and celebrates each and every one of us he finds.  He puts his hands in the air and signals VICTORY!

**Special note:  This photo was taken during the Boston Marathon the year after the bombing.  As I wrote this post, I was looking for someone crossing the finish line, and then I remembered this sign of triumph as I saw my kids at the last turn.  The idea of pursuit reminded of the many days of training (pursuing) with my good friend Teresa Herbert.  How pleased we were to finish – yes, hands in the air!  She is running Sunday’s Chicago Marathon, and I know she will have her hands in the air as she crosses the finish line after months of pursuit.  May God watch over her and all the runners.  May God continue to provide opportunities for us to raise our hands in the air as Christians coming together in victory and may we respond to the pursuits he places in our paths.

Additional reading:  Psalm 64

Draw Near

The two chapters of Scripture we’re going over today might not seem like they tie in together at first glance, but as I was reading these two passages, my heart was definitely drawn to a few aspects of each. Both chapters, in my mind, I believe, discuss the character of my God. Let’s start with the beginning of Luke 15, focusing on verses 1-7:

By this time a lot of men and women of doubtful reputation were hanging around Jesus, listening intently. The Pharisees and religion scholars were not pleased, not at all pleased. They growled, “He takes in sinners and eats meals with them, treating them like old friends.” Their grumbling triggered this story.

“Suppose one of you had a hundred sheep and lost one. Wouldn’t you leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the lost one until you found it? When found, you can be sure you would put it across your shoulders, rejoicing, and when you got home call in your friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Celebrate with me! I’ve found my lost sheep!’ Count on it—there’s more joy in heaven over one sinner’s rescued life than over ninety-nine good people in no need of rescue.

Can we all just pause for a second and recognize how totally grateful we are that our God is a God who “takes in sinners and eats meals with them, treating them like old friends?” My goodness. I can’t help but think that it’s a really good thing that He does, because I don’t know where I would be without that kind of grace in my life. That is the God we worship: a God who will come and be with us. Immanuel. He is not a God who is distant.

Psalm 63 seems to be the perfect place to transition to from this point of total thankfulness for Who our God is. In this Psalm, the author is recounting all the ways that God has been good to him, and I love what he says in verses 5-8, in The Message version:

I eat my fill of prime rib and gravy;
    I smack my lips. It’s time to shout praises!
If I’m sleepless at midnight,
    I spend the hours in grateful reflection.
Because you’ve always stood up for me,
    I’m free to run and play.
I hold on to you for dear life,
    and you hold me steady as a post.

Because we have a God who came to be with us, a God who will eat with sinners, a God who will chase after the one who has run away, and a God who isn’t far from us even when we are imperfect, we can live this same sort of abundant life  we read about in Psalm 62. We are “free to run and play” as we hold on to Jesus for dear life, because we are loved by a God who came. Today, my hope is that you can rest in the fact that God is not far away or even angry with you. Instead, He wants to fellowship with you and draw near to you… in fact, He even promised, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13). And you get to experience that free and full kind of life that Psalm 63 talks about because of Jesus. Today, draw near to God and allow Him to show you the kind of life He has for you to live.

My Refuge

Psalm 62

 

Vs 1-2 “ I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken.” vs 5-8 “Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. My victory and honor come from God alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me. O my people, trust in Him at all times. Pour out your heart to Him, for God is our refuge.”  

So much power, truth and beauty in these words. “I wait quietly before God”. How often do I sit quietly and wait before God?  What does that look like? Can you grasp how much self-control it takes to sit quietly and wait before God… without asking for forgiveness, help, or intervention from Him? Shoot, just without talking! How often am I willing to sit quietly and wait? First, waiting takes time. Time that we don’t feel like we have to give. Time, may arguably be our most precious commodity in this country, society, and age. Honestly, “waiting” is probably considered one of the biggest wastes of our time and causes us more frustration than most other things. Second, I have thought for years that waiting for answers to the unknown is one of the hardest things in life. I was reading earlier this week the story of Abraham and Sarah waiting for a child. The commentator wrote, “There probably isn’t anything harder to do than wait.”. Finally someone said it! Waiting is hard. Waiting shows us that we are not in control. A lot of times when we wait, we are powerless to do anything to change the situation or make the process move any faster. Hmmm… I wonder why God asks us to wait before Him?  

When we are willing to use one of our most precious commodities, time, and put our hearts in the proper place of knowing we can’t control our own circumstances we are in the prime place to hear what God wants to tell us. I want to challenge you today to try this. Take 2-5 minutes this morning to sit quietly before God. (If you are anything like me, you will probably have to start over several times as your mind will wander to anything but waiting on God…and you may need to look at a clock. I can easily lie to myself about how long two minutes actually is.) Just try it today to see if it is a valuable practice that needs to be implemented on your calendar on a regular basis.

“ My hope is in Him, He is my rock, my salvation, my fortress and my refuge. Trust in Him at all times and pour out your heart to Him, He is our refuge.” What can I not face with these truths? I need these words in front of me all of the time! It is so easy to get sidetracked with responsibilities, activities, and schedules. A lot of life, because we need to concentrate and think on other things to complete tasks, pulls us away from thinking on these truths. I want to live my days mindful that my hope is in Him. I want to remember to pour out my heart to Him instead of worrying, telling a friend or complaining about my circumstances. I want to trust Him at all times instead of spending hours trying to figure out how to solve a situation. I want to remember His love for me and every person He created as I interact with others. I want to run to Him first when I think I’ve been wronged, scared or misunderstood.  

Luke 13

I am a reader. Those who know me will probably smile when they read those words. In my free time, I am rarely without a book in my hand. When I was younger, I read mostly fiction – especially the Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden series. My favorite author, though, was Louisa May Alcott. I read and re-read every book she ever wrote because I loved how she created a story. Even though her books were fiction, I felt as though I were reading a true story – her plot and details were that believable. And I always learned something from her books.

Jesus is the master story-teller. Over and over in the New Testament, we read of our Savior using a story to make a point or to teach a lesson. In doing so, He teaches about complex topics like faith and grace and salvation. We see this over and over in Luke 13, our chapter for today.

Jesus uses the parable of a barren fig tree to teach about how to live a Godly life (Luke 13:6 – 9). He compares the kingdom of God to both a mustard seed and to leaven used in baking bread (Luke 13:18 – 21) He uses the idea of a narrow door to represent the fact that “no one comes to the Father except through me” (Luke 13:24 – 30; John 14:6). The people to whom He was talking would have had as difficult a time as we do now understanding concepts like the kingdom of God, faith, and salvation. Fig trees, mustard seeds, leaven and doors, though? They understood those. They were familiar with these objects, because they used them in their daily lives. By using stories, Jesus made complex topics more easily understood.

As Jesus ends this time of teaching, He laments over the lost in Jerusalem, saying, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” (Luke 13:34). As I finish writing this devotion, it is Monday morning, and our country is waking to the news of the massacre in Las Vegas. Jesus’ poignant cries over Jerusalem remind me that my Savior also weeps today, along with those who grieve.

God the Spirit

Luke 12; Psalms 60

Rauch Elohim, Breath of Life, Spirit of Wisdom, Spirit of Grace, Spirit of Truth, Spirit of Glory, Spirit without Measure, the Holy Spirit, God the Spirit are all manifestations of an infinite and awesome God.

This past year has been an enlightening and transformational year for me as a father, husband, and above all witness for God. I made an intentional commitment to learn more about who I am and how God can use me for His glory. Through this expedition of self-reflection I have read several books on how to realign myself with God and understand His purpose. One particular book that has had an impact on me is Forgotten God by Francis Chan. This book reawakens the mind and allows the reader to recognize the Holy Spirit presence in our lives. It actually changes the way I see the Holy Spirit, not as passive being, but a dynamic and powerful presence of God: God the Spirit. In reading Luke 12, I have a more deep appreciation and awe for the magnitude that God the Spirit works.

Luke 12:8-12

“And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God, but the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God. 10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. 11 And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”

This chapter has many powerful messages and it is sometimes hard to discern what to focus on (according to the ESV Version): 1.) Jesus Speaks Against Hypocrisy, 2.) Have no Fear, 3.) Acknowledge Christ before Men, 4.) The Parable of the Fool, 5.) Do Not Be Anxious, 6.) You Must Be Ready, 7.) Not Peace, but Division, 8.) Interpreting the Time, and 9.) Settle with You Accuser.

Revisiting and reflecting on this chapter this week I have become aware of an important portion on the Word, which is hidden in verse 10-12. In this small space so much is revealed. Jesus is clarifying how the power is manifested in the Trinity. He states that as a human and advocate for us, that he is somewhat insignificant compared with the Holy Spirit. 10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. This for me is truly profound. The God in flesh is saying that the most severe sin that would not be forgiven is to speak against and deny the existence of the Essence of God, the Spirit of God.

With this new knowledge, I question myself and ask the question, “Have I blasphemed the Spirit? Have I not acknowledged the power of the essence of God?”

The Spirit of God has many names. The Spirit of God is present in the works of God. The Spirit of God is present in our lives. The first expression of the Spirit is Genesis 1:2: The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. This same Spirit that has been working since before the creation is manifested and working within each of us. When we recognize the presence of the Spirit and the power that He has in us, we are affirming that we are in connection with the Spirit.

My prayer is that as we continue to grow in our journey to know God the Father and God the Son, we be more sensitive to the presence of God the Spirit and allow Him to dynamic in our lives. Be Blessed.