Too often we do not celebrate well because we do not journey well. We don’t fully engage in the gravity of a moment because we didn’t put thought into it beforehand. Let’s not arrive at our Church birthday of Pentecost only to find we didn’t journey well. Spiritually speaking, the intention we put into our journey will affect the impact of our destination. While packing for a trip is important, sometimes of greater need is unpacking. It’s hard to stuff clothes into an already-filled suitcase, and the Spirit has no room to spread in an otherwise cluttered soul. Perhaps our most valuable preparation for Pentecost will come in the form of paring down the excess and the attitudes that muffle the spirit’s call to stillness. Over the next six days we’ll be taking time to offload life’s baggage that can be built up unknowingly. An honest look at the state of our spiritual life is imperative for positive change. If we turn a blind eye toward bigotry or negativity, we have no hope to be changed. Taking the time to uncomfortably root out unhealthy places in our hearts will leave us space to more fully accept the Spirit this Pentecost. Further, it will give the Spirit more leverage to change us, empower us and work through us. It is no surprise the Spirit is depicted as tongues of fire, wind and whisper. Can you think of anything lighter, more powerful but also much less obtrusive? When our spiritual senses are so dulled with worry, workaholism, bitterness, and busyness, how ever do we hear the whisper? We have no hope of noticing the wind. Commit to being honestly self-reflective these next seven days. Know that while facing the less lovely aspects of ourselves may not seem hopeful, it is oddly our only hope. In noticing your brokenness and inviting the Spirit to heal and renew, you become just that - made new.
Journey to Pentecost
June 10, 2019
Love • June 21, 2019
Love. A word tossed around as much as any, but perhaps understood less than most. When something’s been cited as both the starter of war and the motive behind martyrdom, it’s difficult to understand all that it implies. So we know we’re called to live it, but we don’t understand how love should look. I think if God would have us know anything about love, He’d want us to know that He is love. As His adoptive sons and daughters, it is our inheritance and it is our obligation. And our call to love can be summed up in nothing more than seeking Him. Our problem is instead we seek pseudo-love in lesser goods and wonder why dysfunction follows. Pseudo-love seeks feeling loved and goes to any length to get it. Pseudo-love does good with hidden agendas of accolades, amends or satisfaction at the least. Pseudo-love manipulates with kindness and serves self in the name of goodness. We have muddied our legacy of love with our narrow-minded motives. Let us seek the King and His kingdom and, as result, watch love be released on every corner of this marbled planet. Only in faithfulness to the God who is love can we embody it accordingly. Commit to taking a few minutes today to asking the Father to fill you up with His perfect and pure love that you may spill it out to those around.
Intro to Fruits of the Spirit • June 20, 2019
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 It would be hard to talk of the Spirit and not consider what He makes manifest in our lives. For the next portion of our journey to Pentecost, we’ll unpack one fruit of the Spirit per day, reflecting on why or why not and to what extent each quality may be evident in our own lives. But before inclining ourselves to yield more fruit, we must hear this most clearly: our application of the fruits is not a lesson in behavior modification. Sheer will to do good is sure to fail. The fruits of the Spirit are called fruits for a reason. They are the result, the produce, the product. The fruits are not the objective. They are evidence of the objective. We do not aim for the fruit. We channel our efforts into transfiguration and the fruit is what naturally follows. Our focus, then, should not be on displaying outwardly more fruits of the Spirit, but in permeating ourselves inwardly with the Spirit himself. As in any athletic competition or artistic performance, the results take care of themselves. Our part in the game is to orient ourselves to the process. The more we steep our soul in the Spirit through the Word, through prayer, through journaling or any other means of connecting with God, the more good fruit will follow. For we know that “a good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart.” (Luke 6:45) Commit to immersing yourself in whatever fruit of the Spirit we are studying these next nine days. Focus more on receiving that fruit from the Spirit as opposed to straining to manufacture it yourself.