Showing up for Class

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The first sentence of the devotional I read this morning: “The word disciple means ‘learner,’ so a disciple of Jesus is a learner of Jesus.”

The devotional went on to say that this is a continual process of absorbing and practicing the teachings of Jesus. Learning and knowing and understanding is a life long journey of choosing to be a student. As we learn and as we wrestle, we grow. Yet, we never reach a time where we graduate and stop attending classes or meeting with our teacher.

From the moment we wake until the moment we sleep again, we are in the classroom where Professor Jesus comes alongside us to help each student make sense of all the material.  And, as we learn, we are given opportunities to encourage others to become learners and to sign up for this life long adventure of learning.

That’s the thought I had this morning, after reading the following words in Luke 24:13-15

“Now that same day two of them were on their way to a village called Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. Together they were discussing everything that had taken place.  And while they were discussing and arguing, Jesus Himself came near and began to walk along with them.”

A couple of ideas stood out to me after reading this passage.

The students were in the “classroom”…together.  They were discussing and arguing over the class work…together. And as they wrestled and questioned, guess who shows up to help them understand the material?  The teacher!   I love how this translation puts it, “And while they were discussing and arguing, Jesus Himself came near and began to walk along with them.”

I loved this reminder today: the Teacher, Himself promises to be in the classroom with us. When we make a commitment to show up for class, our teacher will be there to journey with us through all the challenging questions.   

Today, I want to show up for class.  I want to learn from the teacher.  No matter how confusing or how many questions arise, I want to remember that all the answers I am seeking are found in the classroom and near the Teacher.

“The 11 disciples traveled to Galilee, to the mountain, where Jesus had directed them, When they saw Him, they worshiped, but some doubted. Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember,I am with you always to the end of the age.”  Matt 28: 16-20

Greater Things Than This

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“Then Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him and said about him, “Here is a true Israelite; no deceit is in him.”

“How do you know me?” Nathanael asked.

“Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you,” Jesus answered.

“Rabbi,” Nathanael replied, “You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”

Jesus responded to him, “Do you believe only because I told you I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.”  Then He said, “I assure you: You will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” John 1:50-51

In this excerpt Jesus is talking to Nathanael after Philip had invited him to come and meet Jesus for himself.  I’ve always loved this intimate exchange between Jesus and Nathanael.  Several years ago I shared these thoughts in a post called From Fig Tree to Follower

I love the reminder that God knows us, see us, and understands us long before we are ever introduced to Him. I love the memory Jesus chooses to share with Nathanael. It doesn’t appear to be some earth shattering type moment in Nathanael’s life. And yet something about it was significant to Nathanael, he knew exactly what moment Jesus was referring to.

As I was rereading verse John 1:50 this morning, the words “long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us…” crossed my mind. I couldn’t remember where I had read those words before so I did a quick google search (isn’t Google great for this!) and Ephesians 1:11-23 popped up.  Here are the words in context:

“It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone. It’s in Christ that you, once you heard the truth and believed it (this Message of your salvation), found yourselves home free – signed, sealed, and delivered by the Holy Spirit.”Eph 1: 11-13 Message

As I thought more about John 1 and Ephesians 1, I was reminded that it’s often this intimate eye Jesus watches us with that first attracts us to Him. When our hearts and spiritual eyes open up to this beauty, it woos us into relationship. 

The Creator of the Universe cares for me. The Creator of the Universe was thinking about me and working on my behalf long before I even knew about Him or even cared to know about Him.  Let that sink in for a moment.

I’ll go one step further and say that when we come to the realization and the understanding that He chose to love us, reach out to us and pursue us even when we were running in the wrong direction, it’s humbling.  When our hearts begin to grasp just a glimpse of the lengths Jesus will go in order to bring His children home, it changes us.  When 99 children are safe at home but one is still missing, Jesus doesn’t quit or give up on the one who hasn’t yet returned home. He doesn’t look at the numbers and say…well 99% is good enough.  No, He relentlessly and passionately pursues that one that is lost because long before time, he had his eye on that one, and a beautiful purpose in store for that one.  (Luke 15:4)

Dear Lord, no matter what we might be going through today, help us to embrace the Truth that you see something beautiful in each of us just like you saw something significant and purposeful in Nathanael. And, Lord, give us hearts that are not content with stopping there but rather hearts that anticipate seeing “greater things than this.”

An oldie but goodie.

How to Go and Return at the Same Time

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Our whole life becomes a cycle of returning and thanking.

That’s the first thought that came to mind this morning after reading the words in Luke 17:15. Here’s the entire section.

“While traveling to Jerusalem, He passed between Samaria and Galilee. As He entered a village, 10 men with serious skin diseases met Him. They stood at a distance and raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”

 When He saw them, He told them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And while they were going, they were healed.

But one of them, seeing that he was healed, returned and, with a loud voice, gave glory to God. He fell facedown at His feet, thanking Him. And he was a Samaritan.

 Then Jesus said, “Were not 10 cleansed? Where are the nine? Didn’t any return to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And He told him, “Get up and go on your way. Your faith has made you well.”

The last thing Jesus says to this man is to get up and go on his way because his faith has healed him.  I wonder what “going on his way” looked like for this man after that?  This was a pivotal moment in this man’s story.  This was the moment everything changed for him. In a book or a movie this moment has the potential to be an “inciting incident”.  Here’s a good definition I came across if you are not familiar with the term:

“Inciting comes from the Latin word incitare which means “to put into rapid motion, urge, encourage, and stimulate.” And that’s exactly what your inciting incident is: it’s an event that catalyzes your hero to “go into motion” and take action.”

Here are other ways to conceptualize the inciting incident:

  • it jolts your hero out of his everyday routine
  • it is the event which sparks the fuse of your plot
  • it’s something that MUST happen in order for your hook–your movie’s special premise–to kick in” ~Scribe Meets World

I have to wonder how this one grateful, healed man chose to live out the rest of his days?  Did he talk about this day to his friends? Or maybe, he was so humbled and changed by this act of extreme love that he continued to talk about this day to anyone and everyone who would take the time to listen!  I was sick, and one day, long ago I took a chance. I had heard the stories of how He could heal people like me.  So, I took a chance and I cried out to Him for His help. And the stories I’d heard…they were true!  I don’t exactly know how He did it, I just know that He did it!  He changed everything for me. He gave me a new life and a fresh start!  Have you heard about Him? 

When we live sent then our whole life becomes a journey of giving glory to God and thanking Him for what He has done and how He has brought beauty and light into our story.  We fall facedown over and over again giving praise to the One who changed everything.

I Love to Tell the Story

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These are three ideas I’ve been thinking about the last couple of days.

Jesus communicated most often through story.
We relate to key figures in Scripture through story.
We relate best to one another through story.  

I think about David and his heartfelt words in the Book of Psalms–it’s often the book I turn to when I don’t know where else to turn. David knew his life was an open book. He knew that bringing all the pages to the One who could edit and transform his story was the best, most productive way to journey through life. David knew that no matter what season of life he was in…he needed to run to his Redeemer over and over again.

When he was joy-filled, he turned to God.  When he was sad, he turned to God.  When he was filled with questions, he turned to God. When he was fearful, he turned to God. When he was shaking his fist or throwing a full-fledged temper tantrum, he turned to God.  And we, the readers of these stories, can see this and be encouraged.  We can discover pieces of our own journey tucked away in every desperate cry for help, every tear, every sigh, every dance of celebration, or every joyful hallelujah.

David teaches us that we are to bring every single page of our story to God.

I think about Peter.  His story reminds me over and over that when we live by faith and keep our hearts and eyes on Jesus then we can live boldly and courageously.  Yet when we take our eyes off of Jesus and focus on our limited abilities and our circumstances then fear will cause us to sink, hide or deny. (Matthew 14, John 18)

I think about the Apostle Paul and his story from Jesus hater to Jesus lover. Paul was so certain he was on the right path until Jesus spoke truth into his heart.  Jesus didn’t condemn Paul for all his steps in the wrong direction. Instead, Jesus used all the wrong steps to show both Paul and future generations just how big His Love for His children truly is…by taking the “worst of sinners” and transforming him into a “chosen instrument.”  

We learn from Paul’s story that no one can travel so far in the wrong direction that they are out of their Savior’s reach. Through the story of Paul, we learn that these tug of war matches we often have between flesh and Spirit, pride and humility, and bondage and freedom are not new struggles.  The “worst of sinners” experienced the same struggles yet chose to run back to this Truth over and over: God’s grace is more than sufficient. Our Redeemer’s hands stretch wide and His love and mercy can break through and shine truth into even the toughest of hearts. (Acts 9, Roman 7, 2 Corinthians 12)

Stories show us that there are “me too” and “I’ve been there” moments all around us. Not just in scripture but in our day to day lives too. Stories are powerful because they have a way of pointing our hearts back to the truth that we are not alone and there is hope.

Dear Lord:  Today, let story open our eyes to the more we can find in You

 

Erring on the Side of Joy

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“Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple complex, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with a joyful and humble attitude,  praising God and having favor with all the people. And every day the Lord added to them those who were being saved.” Acts 2: 46-47

The concept of joy, gratitude, and celebration has been on my heart this week.  This thought came back to me as I read these words above.

“They ate their food with a joyful and humble attitude, praising God…”

In these verses, I noticed some key common ingredients found in the first disciples of Jesus.  It was joy, humility and praise, combined with an intentional commitment to meeting and doing life together that attracted others to the Lord.

Yesterday, I had this thought: If the joy of the Lord is our strength, then His joy is the fuel we run on. Joy is a critical component to successful day-to-day living in Christ.

And today, I had this thought: It is joy that sustains a disciple and it is joy that makes a disciple attractive.

This is one of the reasons I write during my quiet time on a regular basis. Remembering how the Lord has loved me and continues to love me is the gas, the energy, that keeps me going. I need His joy. I need to celebrate…not just the big moments, but the small ones too.

Did you notice in the above verse that even doing something as normal as eating, that the disciples did it with joy?  The disciples seized every moment as a celebration. Every moment was sacred.

The other account that keeps coming to mind is the story of King David dancing and celebrating “undignified” before the Lord.  Saul’s daughter, Michal, was disgusted by the display, but the Lord was honored.  I can’t help but think to myself, how do I want to respond to God’s goodness and faithfulness in my daily life?  Do I want to err on the side of a critical eye…like Michal? Or do I want to err on the side of reckless, humiliating joy?

I’m still thinking and “joyfully” chewing on all of this.  But, here’s a reminder for us today.  Joy is essential.  If you are running on empty today, let His joy equip you with the nourishment your soul is craving.

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I wasn’t quite finished writing this post when I had to stop and drive my son to school.  As I prepared to walk out the door, I thought to myself…that’s okay, Lord, perhaps you’ll give me a song like you have done so many times in my life. 

As I drove to my son’s school, this song from Rend Collective started playing on the car radio. I don’t ever remember hearing it before.  I turned up the volume, smiled and said to my son, “this song is from God.”   Lord keep blowing us away with your breadcrumbs.  They bring joy to my soul!

“Satisfy us in the morning with Your faithful love so that we may shout with joy and be glad all our days.” Ps 90:14

“You satisfy me as with rich food; my mouth will praise You with joyful lips.” Ps 63:5

“But let all who take refuge in You rejoice; let them shout for joy forever. May You shelter them, and may those who love Your name boast about You.” Ps 5:11

“But the righteous are glad; they rejoice before God and celebrate with joy.” Ps 68:3

“When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dream.
Our mouths were filled with laughter then,
and our tongues with shouts of joy.
Then they said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord had done great things for us;
we were joyful.

Restore our fortunes, Lord,
like watercourses in the Negev.
Those who sow in tears
will reap with shouts of joy.
Though one goes along weeping,
carrying the bag of seed,
he will surely come back with shouts of joy,
carrying his sheaves.” Psalm 126

From Grief to Glory

Kid standing in nature with large copy spaceDeposit Photos

 

After this week’s message at church, two pivotal moments from early in my recovery came to mind.  The topic for this weekend’s message was all about living victoriously through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Several great points were brought up, but the one I’d like to focus on today is this one:

“Because the Holy Spirit is God, a person and available then the way we interact should be relational and not mechanical.”  One of benefits of understanding and responding to the Holy Spirit in this way is that we then know “the power of seeing sin as grieving a Person, not merely breaking a rule.” (Romans 8:7)

Our pastor used a few practical examples to illustrate his point.  When we love or care about someone, then we don’t want to bring grief or pain into their lives. For instance, if we discover that a person in our child’s class has a peanut allergy, then we recognize the harm of sending peanuts to school and we avoid doing so out of respect and concern for the child who is allergic.

This idea of grieving the Holy Spirit took me back to when I was recently divorced and coming to terms with an addiction to alcohol.  I remember thinking that if I ever were to get married again and if I ever did have a family, I didn’t want to bring this “junk” with me into those relationships. I didn’t want my future to possibly include putting my child in a car and making the poor decision of getting behind the wheel and driving drunk. (I had already been known to put my dogs–my four-legged children–in the car.) What made me think I wouldn’t make the same poor choice once I had children of my own?  I also didn’t want my future to possibly include sneaking drinks so the people around me had no idea how much I had actually consumed. I didn’t want my future to be formed on a foundation of lies and deception. I didn’t want to bring that kind of additional pain into a relationship. Relationships are hard enough without piling on the mess of addiction.

During this season of my life, I had also seen how addiction could destroy a family. My sister-in-law had lost her two sons and her husband because pain pills and booze controlled her life.  I saw the devastating and painful consequences of addiction and did not want that for my future family.

Simply put, I didn’t want to grieve them.

The other moment that came to mind after thinking more on the topic was when I was in the early days of sobriety and the temptation of picking up a drink again would sometimes cross my mind. However, on the heels of that thought was always this thought:

Lord, if I picked up a drink, it would be like me slapping You in the face.  It would be like me saying: Hey, thanks so much for redeeming my life from the pit, God, but I’ll take it from here.

Lord, after all You’ve done for me, how could I do that to You?   

Temptation was strong, but gratitude was stronger. I was grateful (and still am) for a God who showed me just how powerful He truly is. I was (and still am) so grateful for the second chance and for how the Lord was able to take my mustard seed of willingness and completely transform my life.

A list of rules didn’t motivate me to choose sobriety rather it was a relationship with the person of the Holy Spirit.

When we stand in reverence and awe of our Redeemer, our hearts will never be the same.

Seeking the Sea-Parter

sea

Last night I woke up with more song lyrics playing on repeat in my heart.

“You split the sea so I could walk right through it…I am a child of God.”

Prior to going to bed last night, I was thinking about how God’s ability to speak to and transform our hearts is not limited like we as humans are limited. I wrote a little bit about this idea a couple of months ago after reading 2 Timothy 2: 8-9

“Keep your attention on Jesus Christ as risen from the dead and descended from David. This is according to my gospel. I suffer for it to the point of being bound like a criminal, but God’s message is not bound.”

But God’s message is not bound. You can read those thoughts here: Boundless Beauty

When we choose to open our spiritual eyes and allow the Lord access to the chaos rocking our world…then hold on...you’ve just given God permission to enter your hopelessness.  You’ve just unleashed the all-powerful Creator of the universe and granted Him access and reign over the stormy seas in your life.  And guess what?

Jesus will often do his most miraculous work of healing and restoration right smack dab in the middle of all that chaos.

Jesus has never required optimum working conditions in order to be successful. At least not the ideal working conditions we humans often desire.  No, all Jesus needs is a heart that says: Yes, Lord, I believe You. I need You and I will seek and pursue You with all my heart.   

This morning, I read the familiar story of the lady who had been bleeding for years.  I love how, in this account, the lady must push through crowds (and the chaos all around her) in order to reach Jesus. She relentlessly pursued Jesus. It was this lady’s faith and her willingness to seek and find Jesus in the crowd that began the sea parting journey in her life and in her situation. 

“Having heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His robe.For she said, “If I can just touch His robes, I’ll be made well!” Instantly her flow of blood ceased, and she sensed in her body that she was cured of her affliction.  At once Jesus realized in Himself that power had gone out from Him. He turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My robes?”  His disciples said to Him, “You see the crowd pressing against You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’”  Mark 5: 28-31

What seas need parting in your life today?
In the middle of all the chaos, pursue the Sea-Parter

The Triumphant Journey Home

plane

Shortly before landing at the airport in Atlanta last weekend, the pilot announced that due to the windy conditions we would experience some turbulence on our descent. He was right. We did.

When we touched down, instead of the normal  “Welcome to Atlanta…local time is________ ” greeting, from our flight attendant these were the first words out of his mouth:

“Well…we made it.”

His comment didn’t really exude confidence. I think it was a joke and a few of us travelers even laughed because it was such a different (slightly unnerving way) to end our time of being 33,000 feet above the earth.

For some reason, this whole moment came back to me the next morning as I read Psalm 100 and I even shared the story and psalm later in the morning with a few volunteers at the church where I work.

“Shout triumphantly to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness;
come before Him with joyful songs.
 Acknowledge that Yahweh is God.
He made us, and we are His—
His people, the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving
and His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him and praise His name.
For Yahweh is good, and His love is eternal;
His faithfulness endures through all generations.”  Psalm 100

The one word that jumped out at me as I read this familiar psalm was His.

We are His
His people
the sheep of His pasture
we enter His gates
His courts
It’s His love and His faithfulness that lasts forever

We belong to Him…the Creator of the universe. We are a part of His family and we are all on a journey to arrive home. I thought about both our flight attendant’s hesitant greeting and the gratitude-filled words of this Psalm in light of the current sermon series we are studying at church: “Victorious: We are because He is”

Because Jesus was triumphant, we are triumphant because we belong to Him.  Our words and our actions and the way we live are opportunities to exude joy because of this Truth, the truth of belonging to Him.  We have no reason to be hesitant or fearful because we have this same power, the power of the resurrection, living in us…willing and able to tackle every single battle that arises, willing and able to supply us with all the joy and strength and peace we’ll need for our journeys.  This power will guide us through life and bring us home.  If Jesus is, in a sense our pilot, and we are passengers on His plane, then we have complete confidence that He will land the plane safely.  No matter how turbulent the journey might become, He will bring us home. This is reason to rejoice and approach His throne with confidence …every single day.

And when His plane touches down and we taxi to His gate,  we won’t hear a single trace of trepidation.

Welcome to the family of God. Local time: Forever

As I was driving to church the other morning, after reading the above Psalm, the song You Make Me Brave by Bethel Music began playing.

“For You are for us
You are not against us
Champion of heaven
You made a way
for all to enter in.”

Anchored to Hope


Sometimes it’s difficult for me to write when I come back to my childhood home of Arizona.  I’m a broken record and tend to write about the same things over and over. Nothing reminds me more of how powerless I am to change certain seasons of life than trips back home.

The last few times I’ve come back, I’ve made the trip without my family.  I try to make it home at least once a year to see my dad who (as many of my readers know) suffered a bad stroke about 4 years ago.  It left my active and independent 72-year-old dad paralyzed on his left side, bed ridden, and completely dependent on others.  Visiting with my dad is always bittersweet and it’s hard to put it in the “vacation” category.  My dad sleeps most of the time and is now suffering from vascular dementia (and possibly the onset of early Alzheimer’s too).  During my visits home, finding a window of opportunity when he is awake, alert, and able to carry on a conversation is a challenge.  It’s hard for me to ask my family to come with me to Arizona for “vacation”.  So, this year, we decided to combine the annual trip with a brief detour to the Grand Canyon. My son had never seen this stunning sight before.

Sean kept his eyes down and focused on the ground as we made our way from the visitor’s center parking lot over to the rim. As we neared the edge, he squeezed his eyes shut and my husband guided him over to the guard rail to experience his first breathtaking glimpse.  He was blown away.

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The next day we hiked for a couple of hours down into the canyon.

Sean 2

 

family

And we did a lot of this too…

sean 1

We toured around on wheels one afternoon too.

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We all agreed that this was the most scenic route we had ever taken on a bicycle.

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Then we drove down from the Grand Canyon to Tucson and went directly to see my dad at his assisted living home. When we arrived, he was sleeping.  Frances, his caretaker, told us that he was having some pain when he awoke that morning and had requested a pain pill. She reminded him that we would be visiting and that the pain pill made him sleepy. She suggested he try to make do with just Ibuprofen if the pain wasn’t that bad but he opted for the stronger medicine instead.

We woke him up and tried to converse with him but, like most visits, it was a challenge. It’s almost like there’s a delay somewhere in his brain that makes it hard for him to respond back.  I asked him if he wanted Frances to get him up so he could sit outside with us on the back porch for a while.  He nodded yes.

As we sat together outside, my dad rested his chin on his fist and closed his eyes. It’s a common position for him and a mental image forever ingrained in my mind whenever I think about my dad.

He lifted his head and asked me if I’d seen my mom lately.

“No, Dad, not lately…not since she passed away 25 years ago…but it sure would be nice to see her.”

“Dad, did you forget she passed away?”

He looked at me with a blank stare.

I wish I could say it gets easier, watching a parent age, but it doesn’t. It’s such a strange journey. My mom was only 54 when she died and it was a completely different experience than watching a parent grow old. Both experiences hurt but I guess this time around that underlying feeling of powerlessness lasts longer.

Yesterday morning, as my dad and I sat on his back porch, he looked at his lap and asked me who was lying on his lap.

“Dad, there’s no one on your lap.”

“Then whose head is this?” he said and pointed to his lap.

“Dad, there’s nothing on your lap except the sheet Frances put over your legs before we came outside.”

These are conversations I never imagined having with my dad.  I don’t know what category to put them in…but they just don’t belong in the “vacation” category.

After this visit, as I was driving back to my brother’s house…to go do some great vacation things with my family, I had the same numb powerless feeling I get each time I come back to Arizona. It’s that aching feeling that reminds me that if we can’t change a circumstance then hope is what my heart longs to stay anchored to.

Hope that this isn’t it. Hope that light is more powerful than dark. Hope that broken things will be made new. Hope that pain ceases. Hope that the lame will one day rise and walk again…or better yet…fly.

Hope.

The Eye-Witness

fishing

It’s the week after Easter and I’ve been spending some time in the Book of Acts. It seems like a natural place to linger after resurrection day, to retrace the steps and the faith of the first disciples.

This morning I was reading Acts 4 and 5. Peter and John are arrested and interrogated multiple times and each time they basically tell the court that they can’t not preach about Jesus.

“So they called for them and ordered them not to preach or teach at all in the name of Jesus.But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it’s right in the sight of God for us to listen to you rather than to God, you decide; for we are unable to stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” Acts 4: 18-20

But Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had murdered by hanging Him on a tree. God exalted this man to His right hand as ruler and Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.” Acts 5: 29-32

They were eyewitnesses. They’d been with Jesus (Acts 4:13), they had front row seats to the signs and wonders prior to his crucifixion, they had first hand training from the Son of God, they had seen the empty tomb with their own eyes and they had eaten breakfast with the risen King. (John 21: 12)

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Last night, I started reading a new book by Rick Lawrence called The Jesus-Centered Life. A couple of years ago I read his book Skin in the Game and absolutely loved it.  I am looking forward to this new one.  Here’s a quote that stood out to me last night.

“True disciples, people who follow Jesus & live out his mission, are captured & carried away by him.”

Peter and John had been captured and carried away. And, as I was reading Acts 5:32 this morning I realized that today’s disciples have no possible way of being captured and carried away unless that verse is true. We weren’t eyewitnesses…so everything hinges on the Holy Spirit…the eye witness that dwells in a Christ follower.

“We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.” Acts 5:32

The Holy Spirit is the reason why we can’t not preach about Jesus.

The Holy Spirit is what compels us to open our mouth even though we haven’t (yet) eaten breakfast with our risen King. 🙂

The Holy Spirit was there and saw and experienced it all.

I think back on the conversation Jesus had with his disciples before he went to the cross, assuring them that he would not leave them all alone.

“If you love Me, you will keep My commands.  And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive Him because it doesn’t see Him or know Him. But you do know Him, because He remains with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you. “In a little while the world will see Me no longer, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live too.  In that day you will know that I am in My Father, you are in Me, and I am in you.  The one who has My commands and keeps them is the one who loves Me.And the one who loves Me will be loved by My Father. I also will love him and will reveal Myself to him.”  John 14: 15-21

This morning I thought again about what an incredible gift the Holy Spirit truly is.  He gives us eyes to see when we are tempted to doubt or lose faith. He points us to hope when everything around us shouts despair.  He fills us with peace that surpasses all understanding.  He speaks to the Father for us when our aching hearts can’t find the words.

Thank you, Lord. Thank you for this eye-witness.