Thursday, April 07, 2016

Speak His Word at all Times

He does not ration his gift of the Spirit
April 7, 2016

By Beth DeCristofaro

“We gave you strict orders did we not, to stop teaching in that name. Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and want to bring this man’s blood upon us.” But Peter and the Apostles said in reply, “We must obey God rather than men. (Acts 5:28-29)

I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall be ever in my mouth. (Psalm 34:9)

Whoever does accept his testimony certifies that God is trustworthy. For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God. He does not ration his gift of the Spirit. (John 3:33-34)

Bless you, O Lord.  Fill me with your Gift of the Spirit.  Provoke me to obey your Word rather than the ephemeral whims of the world.  And inspire me, O Jesus, to speak your words to others at all times.  

The Disciples do not back down from the Sanhedrin.  John the Baptist declares that it is to Jesus that he, and the crowds, should look for salvation not to John.  Jesus is love.  He is mercy.  He does not ration Himself for me.  But to see Him I must also see him in the terrorist, in the refugee, in the pompous politician, in my neighbor in church who has a drinking problem.  He does not ration his gift of the Holy Spirit.  The wonder of it is that his gift allows me to show love, act with courage and offer mercy on others in spite of myself.

It is so easy to be led by my own bad habits, prejudices, fears, pride and just plain stubbornness.  However, if I keep his praise in my mouth and my heart – not just the words but the hope and the “yes” – each and every day, I am more open to the Spirit revealing Him and to be moved ever closer to His loving embrace.    The Spirit of the Lord gives me nerve to obey God rather than society, urges me to be lavish in love for the poor and vulnerable, and bestows generosity in mercy toward those who sin without, because of my insecurities, condoning the sin.  The Spirit of the Lord sets me free from anything which tempts me to turn away from Him and condemn myself.  He does not ration his gift of the Spirit.  Share it!

In what environments do I hesitate to speak up, perhaps not advocating for someone or remaining silent against an unkind comment?  What do I condone by my inaction?  Ask for the gift of the Spirit, praise God and be moved with the courage of His Word.  

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