Malankara World Journal - Christian Spirituality from a Jacobite and Orthodox Perspective
autumn in Hudson, Ohio 2018
Malankara World Journal Monthly
Theme: Pentecost
Volume 9 No. 514 June, 2019

III. Pentecost Special

The First Pentecost

On that Pentecost day, Peter asked the people to repent, to change their way of life, to seek a new life in Christ. And they responded. The Holy Spirit of Jesus moved into the valley of dry bones and brought three thousand to life...

A Simple Glass of Water

Much of the Spirit’s action in our lives is not visible to our naked eyes. This is why not everyone on earth believes what we believe! ...

Importance of Pentecost

The descent upon the apostles was internal and invisible in nature although accompanied by certain visible phenomena. There came a mighty roar, like the onrush of a violent wind. It came suddenly, from heaven...

The Spirit of the Lord Filled the Earth – A Homily for Pentecost

The Lord Jesus said to Apostles, and still says to us, "I have come to cast a fire on the earth" (Luke 12:49). This is a feast about fire, a transformative, refining, purifying fire that the Lord wants to kindle in us and in this world. It is about a necessary fire. ...

The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, Fear of the Lord

Do Not Take Your Holy Spirit From Me!

The best way not to lose the Holy Spirit in our midst is to watch and pray that it might not happen. Take nothing for granted. And do not live on past blessings or dwell too long on yesterday’s victories. Seek the Lord while he may be found. ...

A Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Who is the Holy Spirit? and
What role does he play in the Christian life?

The 'Harvest of The Spirit'

When Paul speaks of the manifestations of the flesh, he describes them as "works," but when speaking of the manifestations of the Spirit, he describes them as "fruit." "Works" suggests something that is an effort: "fruit" suggests something that is effortless. ...

Malankara World Trinity and Pentecost Supplements

III. Pentecost Special

The First Pentecost

by Alfred McBride, O. Praem

The Greek traveler stood bewildered in the Jerusalem crowd. What was happening? All about him Jews from many nations milled excitedly and pointed to a group in the center of the square.

The traveler had heard that the Jerusalem holidays were exciting, but he was not prepared for this. The crowd was electrified. What was that group up to? He tried to weave his way closer.

"You are drunk!" someone shouted at the group.

The traveler heard one of them, the big man with the gray-streaked hair, respond: "We are not drunk. We are stunned with joy because we have had an experience like Israel had at Sinai."

The Greek traveler wondered what he meant by that.

"Why not own up?" heckled another. "You've been to the wine bottle once too often."

Then the big man raised his hand for silence. The crowd fell quiet.

"Do not judge by appearances," he began. "Listen to our words. At Sinai, God called Israel to be a community of faith. God called our ancestors there to be a holy nation. That meant they should form a community that would worship God and live a worthy life. God also summoned them to be the light of nations, that is, to be a missionary witness helping all people to know God."

"I think I can agree with your first point," ventured a Pharisee in the crowd, "but I don't really believe God wanted us to be missionaries."

"My friend, you have forgotten the meaning of the story of Jonah," the big man remarked. "He was a preacher told by God to go on a missionary trip to Nineveh. Recall that Jonah resisted the call at first until God overcame him. Jonah was an example of how Israel, too, resisted the call."

"Who is that man?" the traveler asked of no one in particular.

"His name is Peter," a tradesman replied.

"He is their leader," said a woman nearby.

A young woman in the crowd, moved by Peter's sincerity, asked, "How is it you were speaking in a language we all could understand when you burst upon us here in the square? How did you manage to unify all of us who speak so many different tongues?"

"Perhaps I can explain this best to you," Peter answered, "by comparing this to the old story of the Tower of Babel. That was a tower of human pride that resulted in a breakdown in communications. The people at Babel could not understand each other.

"Our Master, Jesus, asked us to spend time in prayer to await his Holy Spirit. We followed his word and meditated for nine days in the Upper Room. Into that tower of prayer this day came the Holy Spirit, whose greatest work is to bring all people to unity in Christ. At Babel, people babbled. Here we speak a message that will unify people in mind and heart."

"Is that why you said you've had an experience like that which Israel had at Sinai?" asked an elderly man.

"Exactly," replied Peter. "The difference is that what happened at Sinai was but a shadow of the promise and reality that has happened here today. It is because of Jesus, who died and rose for us, that it has happened. Because of him and his Spirit, we really can be a community of faith and a light for the nations."

"How can we have this experience?"

"Is there any hope for us?"

"Go on, tell us more."

"As I look out over the vast crowd in this square," answered Peter, "I think of a world full of dead bones. I know that my comrades and I must go into this valley of the dead and bring life. Don't you remember the story of Ezekiel and the dry bones?"

[God] said to me, "Mortal, can these bones live?" I answered, "Lord GOD, you know."

Then he said to me: "Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD!…I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin,...and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the LORD."

The traveler listened to Peter's voice as it carried over the square. It is like a wind, he thought, bearing good news to the world.

On that Pentecost day, Peter asked the people to repent, to change their way of life, to seek a new life in Christ. And they did respond. The Holy Spirit of Jesus moved into the valley of dry bones and brought three thousand to life.

A new Church began!

"Your young men shall see visions and your old men shall dream dreams," Peter exclaimed.

That's what happened. The young let loose a flood of heart-expanding ideals across the earth. The old suddenly realized that their dreams of a happier tomorrow were no longer foolish thoughts, but a reality come true.


A Simple Glass of Water

by Father Gary

Pentecost Sunday

Suppose for a moment that I have placed a glass of water on the altar. What might your first reaction to this glass sitting there be? That it should not be there! The altar is a holy place. It is where the Holy Spirit comes down like a dove during the Eucharistic prayer and changes ordinary bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ. This same Spirit flows out like water to you, the body of Christ, when you look on him or adore him, believe in him and then consume him, and he becomes like fire within you. Water is one of the metaphors scripture uses to describe the Holy Spirit’s action in our lives.

Much of the Spirit’s action in our lives is not visible to our naked eyes. This is why not everyone on earth believes what we believe! But still we are left with a glass of water on the altar. Actually, this glass of water tells us a lot about why God chooses to remain invisible to our bodily eyes (this analogy is taken from the words of Pope Benedict XVI). There is no doubt that there is a glass of water on the altar. It is a simple fact. So what’s the point?

God is not going to visibly show himself--on the altar--or in this world--or in our lives-- like this glass of water, because this would completely take away our freedom to choose, and that is exactly what we are here to do. Life is just one choice after the other, ending in that final choice for or against God at the end of our lives. But if God made his actions so obvious that we could not avoid knowing he really exists, if we could not avoid seeing that the glass is, in fact a reality, then we would no longer be free to say no to God either.

This explains why the Lord, at present, appears to be hidden, though he is in fact very real. His Holy Spirit really will descend like a dove on this altar; he really will flow like water out from here into our hearts; he really will blow like the wind in the words of scripture; he wishes to put a fire in each heart. But we must want this; we must ask for the gift of faith; we are free to reject these gifts. He will almost never make himself so obvious in our lives or our church or our world that we have no choice but to accept him!

You and I are also like a glass of water on the altar. We are the glass and the Holy Spirit is the water. We are like a vessel that God keeps molding and expanding and shaping all our lives. He does this through suffering; through experiences; through the scriptures; through the church; through our service to each other, and in many other ways. At the moment of death, the size of this glass -- your soul -- will be set forever. Then God will perfect the glass and fill it in heaven. But we will not all have the same size of glass (though we will all be as full as we are able to be), and that is why it is so important to try to cooperate with the Holy Spirit now during this brief life, once we understand what he is trying to do. The level of spiritual maturity that we have reached at the moment of death is the level that we shall be perfected at for all eternity. The Holy Spirit may not be as obvious as this glass of water is on the altar, but he is no less real.

Source: Pastor's Column

Importance of Pentecost
After Jesus had ascended to heaven from Mt. Olivet, the apostles and disciples returned to the Holy City. They remained together in the Upper Room or Cenacle, the place where Jesus had appeared to them and which may well be called the first Christian church. About a hundred and twenty persons were assembled there. They chose Matthias as an apostle in place of the unhappy Judas; they prayed and waited for the Paraclete.

Ten days had passed, it was Sunday, the seventh Sunday after the resurrection. At about nine o'clock in the morning, as they were together praying fervently, the Holy Spirit descended upon them. Note how all the great theophanies in Christ's life occurred during the course of prayer. After His baptism, for instance, when Jesus was praying the heavens opened and the Holy Spirit descended in the form of a dove; likewise, it was during prayer at night that the transfiguration took place on Tabor. Surely too it was while Mary was praying that Gabriel delivered his message, and the Holy Spirit overshadowed her. Pentecost followed precedent. The small community of Christians had prepared themselves through prayer for the coming of the Paraclete. The same is true at Mass today, every day; through prayer we ready our souls for the advent of the Spirit.

The descent upon the apostles was internal and invisible in nature although accompanied by certain visible phenomena. There came a mighty roar, like the onrush of a violent wind. It came suddenly, from heaven; but unlike storms that strike a structure from without, this one penetrated and filled the room where the disciples were gathered. Therefore it was not a natural wind, it was a miracle peculiar to the occasion. A second visible sign consisted in tongues of fire that descended upon each one present. These fiery tongues gave visible evidence that the Holy Spirit had descended upon them.

Today at Mass, particularly at holy Communion, the power of the Holy Spirit will come down upon us; fiery tongues will not be seen, but invisible tongues of fire will not be absent. There was still another external manifestation of the Holy Spirit; the apostles and disciples were enabled to speak various languages.

After the roar of the wind many of Jerusalem's pilgrims hurried to the Cenacle. Pentecost was one of the three festivals which obliged all Jews to be present in Jerusalem. Jews from distant lands, and Jewish converts from paganism too, attended these feasts. As a result, a colorful crowd speaking a variety of languages surrounded the house. Now the apostles, who so shortly before had hid in fear behind locked doors, came forth and courageously walked among the multitude speaking to each in his native tongue. It was indeed amazing! Galileans, and multilingual?

But the malicious too were present; they had the answer. Nothing marvelous at all! Those Galileans were simply drunk, and their drunken babble sounded like a foreign language! Peter showed no hesitation in answering the charge. None of their number, he said, were intoxicated; it was but nine o'clock in the morning, and at that hour men usually are sober. What the multitude saw was, in fact, the fulfillment of Joel's prophecy: In those days (of the Messiah), God will pour forth His Spirit upon men and they will prophesy. . . . Then the apostle pointed his words more directly against the accusers: they had killed Jesus, had nailed Him to the Cross; but God had awakened Him and after His departure to heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit.

The pilgrims who had heard Peter give this first Pentecostal sermon "were pierced to the heart and said: Brethren, what shall we do? But Peter said to them: Repent and be baptized; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." Three thousand responded.

One final question: why the miracle of tongues? In answer, recall the story regarding the tower of Babel. Puffed up by pride, men attempted to build a tower that would touch the heavens. To punish their sin, God confused their speech. Sin causes confusion and division. Now Christ came to gather all men into His Church and thereby to unite them to Himself. This should result in creating but one family of nations again. To this blessed state the miracle of tongues points.

Yes, even we as individuals have a gift of tongues which all men can understand. It is the gift of love infused into us by the Holy Spirit. Love unites, love is a common language, by means of love we can speak to all nations.

Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

The Spirit of the Lord Filled the Earth – A Homily for Pentecost

by Msgr. Charles Pope

What a wondrous and challenging feast we celebrate at Pentecost! A feast like this challenges us because it puts to the lie a lazy, sleepy, hidden, and tepid Christian life. The Lord Jesus said to Apostles, and still says to us, I have come to cast a fire on the earth (Luke 12:49). This is a feast about fire, a transformative, refining, purifying fire that the Lord wants to kindle in us and in this world. It is about a necessary fire. For as the Lord first judged the world by fire, the present heavens and the earth are reserved for fire. Because it is going to be the fire next time, we need the tongues of Pentecost fire to fall on us to set us on fire and bring us up to the temperature of glory.

The readings today speak to us of the Holy Spirit in three ways: the portraits of the Spirit, the proclamation of the Spirit, and the propagation by the Spirit.

I. The Portraits of the Spirit

The reading today speaks of the Holy Spirit using two images: rushing wind and tongues of fire. These two images recall Psalm 50, which says, Our God comes, he does not keep silence, before him is a devouring fire, round about him a mighty tempest.

Rushing Wind

Notice how the text from Acts opens: When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were.

This text brings us to the very root meaning of the word “spirit.” Spirit refers to breath. This is preserved in the word “respiration,” which is the act of breathing. So the Spirit of God is the breath of God, the Ruah Adonai (the Spirit, the breath of God).

Genesis 1:2 speaks of this, saying, the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters. And Genesis 2:7 speaks even more remarkably of something God did only for man (not the animals): then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

So the very Spirit of God was breathed into Adam! But, as we know, Adam lost this gift and died spiritually when he sinned.

Thus we see in this passage from Acts an amazing and wonderful resuscitation of the human person, as these first Christians experience the rushing wind of God’s Spirit breathing spiritual life back into them. God does C.P.R. and brings humanity, dead in sin, back to life! The Holy Spirit comes to dwell in us once again as in a temple (cf 1 Cor 3:16). It has been said that Christmas is the feast of God with us, Good Friday is the Feast of God for us, but Pentecost is the Feast of God in us.

Tongues of Fire

The text from Acts then says, Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them.

The Bible often speaks of God as fire or in fiery terms. Moses saw God as a burning bush. God led the people out of Egypt through the desert as a pillar of fire. Moses went up onto a fiery Mt. Sinai where God was. Psalm 97 says,

The LORD reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad! Clouds and thick darkness are round about him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. Fire goes before him, and burns up his adversaries round about. His lightnings lighten the world; the earth sees and trembles. The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth. The heavens proclaim his righteousness; and all the peoples behold his glory.

Scriptures also call God a Holy fire, a consuming fire (cf Heb 12:29) and a refining fire (cf Is. 48:10; Jer 9:7; Zec 13:9; Mal 3:3).

And so it is that our God, who is a Holy Fire, comes to dwell in us through His Holy Spirit. And as a Holy Fire, He refines us by burning away our sins and purifying us. As Job once said, But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold (Job 23:10).

God is also preparing us for judgment, for if He is a Holy Fire, then who may endure the day of His coming or of going to Him? What can endure the presence of Fire Himself? Only that which is already fire. Thus we must be set afire by God’s love.

So, in the coming of the Holy Spirit, God sets us on fire to make us a kind of fire. In so doing, He purifies us and prepares us to meet Him one day, to meet Him who is a Holy Fire.

II. The Proclamation of the Spirit

You will notice that the Spirit came on them like “tongues” of fire. The reference to tongues is no accident, for notice how the Holy Spirit moves them to speak and ultimately to witness. The text says, And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim. Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven staying in Jerusalem. At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd, but they were confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language. They were astounded, and in amazement they asked, “Are not all these people who are speaking Galileans? Then how does each of us hear them in his native language? We are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites, inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya near Cyrene, as well as travelers from Rome, both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs, yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues of the mighty acts of God.”

So behold how the Holy Spirit moves them to proclaim, not just within the safety of the upper room, but also in holy boldness before the crowds that have gathered.

Notice the transformation! Moments ago these were frightened men who gathered in secrecy behind locked doors. They were huddled together in fear. Now, they go forth to the crowds and proclaim Christ boldly. They have gone from fear to faith, from cowardice to courage, from terror to testimony!

What about us? Too many Christians are silent, overcome by fear. Perhaps they fear being called names or being unpopular. Perhaps they are anxious about being laughed at or resisted, or of being asked questions they don’t feel capable of answering. Some Christians are able to gather in the “upper room” of the parish and to be active, even to be leaders, but once outside the safe confines of the “upper room” they slip into undercover mode. They become “secret agent Christians.”

Well, the Holy Spirit wants to change that. To the degree that we have really met Jesus Christ and experienced His Holy Spirit, we are less able to keep silent. An old gospel song says, “I thought I wasn’t gonna testify, but I couldn’t keep it to myself, what the Lord has done for me.” The Holy Spirit, if authentically received, wants to give us zeal and joy, to burn away our fear so that testifying and witnessing come naturally to us.

Note also how the Spirit “translates” for the Apostles. The people in the crowd before them spoke different languages, yet each heard Peter and the others in his own language. The Spirit, therefore, assists not only us but also those who hear us. My testimony is not dependent on my eloquence alone but also on the grace of the Holy Spirit, who casts out deafness and opens hearts. Every Christian should remember this. Some of our most doubt-filled encounters with others can still bear great fruit on account of the work of the Holy Spirit, who “translates” for us and overcomes many obstacles we might think insurmountable.

III. The Propagation by the Spirit – In the great commission, the Lord said, 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 all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age (Matt 28:19ff). He also said, I have come to cast a fire on the earth and How I wish the blaze were already ignited (Luke 12:49).

How is the Lord going to do this?

Perhaps a picture will help to illustrate. My parish church is dedicated to the Holy Spirit under the title Holy Comforter. Above the high altar is the following Latin inscription: Spiritus Domini, replevit orbem terrarum (The Spirit of the Lord, filled the orb of the earth). (See the photo above of our high altar.)

The walls of my parish Church answer the question. The clerestory walls are painted Spanish red, and upon this great canvas are also painted the stories of the lives of twenty saints, surrounding us like a great cloud of witnesses (cf Heb 12:1). (See also the video below.) Over the head of every saint is a tongue of fire.

This is how the Spirit of the Lord fills the earth. It is not via “magic fairy dust.” It is in the fiery transformation of every Christian going forth to bring warmth and light to a cold, dark world. This is how the Lord casts fire upon the earth. This is how the Spirit of the Lord fills the orb of the earth—in the lives of saints (and in your life)!

In the end, the great commission (Matt 28) is our first and most important job. No matter what else we do, we are supposed to do this. Parishes do not deserve to exist if they do not do this. As individual Christians, we are a disgrace and not worthy of the name if we fail to win souls for Jesus Christ. The Spirit of the Lord is going to fill the orb of the earth, but only through us. The spread of the Gospel has been placed in your hands. It’s scary, isn’t it!

In my short time on this planet, I have seen it. Parishes that were once big and booming (and, frankly, sometimes arrogant) are now in decline; some are near closure. It happens to the best if they do not evangelize, if they do not accomplish “job one” The Lord wants to light a fire. Why not become fire? Let the Spirit propagate the Church through you. (I’m not talking about the person next to you; I am talking to you.)

Happy feast of Pentecost! But don’t forget that the basic image is very challenging, for it means getting out of the “upper room,” opening the doors, and proclaiming Christ to the world. Let the Holy Spirit light a fire in you. Then you can’t help but spread light and heat to a dark, cold world.

Let the evangelization of the whole world begin with you.


This video features details from the clerestory of my parish, Holy Comforter in Washington, D.C. Notice the tongue of fire above each saint. The paintings show how the Spirit of the Lord fills the orb of the earth through the lives of the lives of the saints (and through you, too). It is not magic; it is grace, working in your life, through your gifts and your relationships, so that the Lord will reach each soul. The witnesses on the walls of my Church say, “You are the way that He will fill the earth and set it on fire.” Let the blaze be ignited in you!

The song says, “We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, looking on, encouraging us to do the will of the Lord. Let us stand worthy and be faithful to God’s call … We must not grow weary …!”

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come,
they were all with one accord in one place, saying, alleluia.
And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, alleluia. 

The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit
1. Wisdom
2. Understanding
3. Counsel
4. Fortitude
5. Knowledge
6. Piety
7. Fear of the Lord

1. Wisdom

[Read Proverbs Chapter 8]

Wisdom is one of the three main attributes of God: Power, Wisdom and Love, corresponding to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and to the three theological virtues of Faith , Hope and Love.

Jesus is the incarnate Wisdom of God, He is the Word of God made flesh, He is the way, the truth and the life. Bestowed upon Him is the plenitude of Wisdom, which desires to live in every heart.

One who is full of God is full of Wisdom, with Jesus He can claim the prophecy of Isaiah which was fulfilled as Jesus read it. [Luke 4:18-21]

[John 15:4] Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abide in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in me.

A definition of Wisdom is found in the book of Job [28:28] Behold the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom: and to depart from evil, is understanding.

[Psalm 111:10] the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. A good understanding to all that do it: his praise continues for ever and ever.

[Romans 11:33 ] O the depth of the riches of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God! How incomprehensible are his judgments, and how unsearchable his ways!

For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written: I will catch the wise in their own craftiness. [1 Corinthians 3:19]

2. Understanding

And God gave to Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart as the sand that is on the sea shore. [1 Kings 4:29-30 (3 Kings in D. Rh)]; understanding is the ability to discern what is from God and what is not. It is also the gift of understanding the meaning of the Holy Scriptures.

With the gift of understanding the disciples on the road to Emmaus were given the light to understand the Holy Scriptures and their hearts burned within as the Lord spoke to them.[Luke 24:30] The apostles understood about the yeast of the Pharisees being their wicked doctrine [Matthew 16:12], when the Lord told them that Elijah had come but they had done with him whatever they pleased, the apostles understood that Jesus was referring to John the Baptist [Matthew 17:12-13]

Understanding is also the gift of being able to perceive the hidden spiritual meaning of the Holy Scriptures, either by reading and meditating them or by listening to someone who has the gift of preaching.

3. Counsel

Those who desire to acquire wisdom must accept that they don't know everything, they should seek counsel from the elders and learn from experience and wisdom.

In the old days, kings used to consult the prophets and the men of wisdom before taking important decisions. God gives counsel to those who come to Him, therefore we should consult the Lord before we take any important decision, He will respond by giving us a clear mind full of wisdom.

With this gift we learn to help those who are confused, we lend a hand to those suffering depression, we advise those who are about to do something wrong and we minister the great wisdom of God, we normally receive counsel from God [Psalm 16:7] when we are sleeping.

[Psalm 32.8-9]

8 I will give thee understanding, and I will instruct thee in this way, in which thou shalt go: I will fix my eyes upon thee.

9 Do not become like the horse and the mule, who have no understanding. With bit and bridle bind fast their jaws, who come not near unto thee.

4. Fortitude

Our Lord Jesus Christ had this great gift from God the Father so that He was able to endure the hardships of the passion.

God gives us the cross but He also gives us the strength to carry it [1 Corinthians 10:13]

It is not by human strength that we have to do our spiritual battles, therefore we need to be reinforced being strong in Him and in the strength of His power, putting on the armour of God and fighting the good battle.[Ephesians 6:10-17]

Seek ye the Lord, and be strengthened: seek his face evermore. [Psalm 105:4]

In fortitude we learn to endure and persevere through all our difficulties, I am able to do all things in Him who strengthens me. [Philippians 4:13]

5. Knowledge

The gift of knowledge is the ability to know future events and to read the minds of others, mainly to read the soul of another person; as Our Lord demonstrated knowing how the samaritan woman had had different men [John 4:18-19], He read the mind of those who were saying to themselves how can this man forgive sins when only God forgives sins [Luke 5:21-23], He knew that Lazarus was dead when the apostles came to tell Him, He also knew that Judas was going to betray Him and much more.

This gift of the Holy Spirit has been present in the lives of the prophets and the saints, it is given so that others may be warned or that they strengthen their faith.

In a weak form this gift is the same as intuition. For those who practise the spiritual life, this gift comes sometimes in visions that represent a message of something that is either going on or that will happen, also as a reminder to pray for a particular cause or person.

6. Piety

This is a great gift of faith that gives a person the ability to spend time in prayer and devotions, it is like a fire that always wants to grow and it receives fuel in prayer.

On the way to Calvary Jesus met the pious women of Jerusalem, they followed the example of Mary our Blessed Mother. Pious people can be found today attending mass daily and praying for other people. They feed their piety by praying the Holy Rosary daily, by seeking knowledge in religious books and by practicing their religious devotions.

Most priests and religious have had this strong vocation of serving the Lord, they were motivated by piety. They have accepted hardships and persecutions and somehow they have become fools for Christ like St. Paul [2 Corinthians 12:10-11] because in our weaknesses we discover the strength of the Lord.

In baptism we receive an infusion of all these gifts of the Holy Spirit, but like gifts under the Christmas tree, they must be opened and put to good use.

7. Fear of the Lord

Holy fear of the Lord consists in fearing to offend God by our indifference and sinfulness.

In fact fear of God is the beginning of Wisdom [Proverbs 1:7], The fear of the Lord hates evil: I hate arrogance, and pride, and every wicked way, and a mouth with a double tongue says the Lord . [Proverbs 8:13]

Not much is taught about fearing God any more, the concept is that God is so good that we should not fear Him, but if we look at the Holy Scriptures we will see that even the Holy Name of God inspired so much awe and respect that the Israelites did not pronounce it completely for fear of offending Him.

We must not fear God because He is going to punish us, this indeed would be to think that God is a punitive God waiting for a chance to teach us a lesson. We must fear God because our lives depend on Him and if we sin, we ourselves separate from Him and risk to be on our own.

A branch cut off the vine withers and dies [John 15:1-6], so if we turn away from God who is Light, we give ourselves to the prince of darkness, the devil and He becomes our Father [John 8:44] . This would be enough reason to have fear of offending God.

So we must trust and remain in our faithful God, who is our strength, the light of our lives. We must remain faithful to Him and avoid the risk of losing Him for lack of Fear of God.

Romans 3:10

10 As it is written: There is not any man just.
11 There is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God.
12 All have turned out of the way; they are become unprofitable together: there is none that doth good, there is not so much as one.
13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have dealt deceitfully. The venom of asps is under their lips.
14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
15 Their feet swift to shed blood:
16 Destruction and misery in their ways:
17 And the way of peace they have not known:
18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.

Do Not Take Your Holy Spirit From Me!

by Dr. Ray Pritchard

Scripture: Psalms 51:11

"Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me” (Psalms 51:11).

It is sometimes said that no Christian should ever pray this prayer, but I wonder if that is correct. Clearly David feared being cast away by God and losing the Holy Spirit. The big question is not, “What does this verse mean for us?” But rather, “What did it mean for David? What was he thinking and feeling when he prayed this prayer?”

One of the keys comes in the preceding verse when he prays, “Create in me a clean heart, O God.” David was a man with an unclean heart.

This is not David before he met the Lord.

This is David, the man of God, who has an unclean heart.

This is not David the unbeliever.

This is David the man after God’s own heart.

This is the man who said, “The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want.”

This is the king God personally chose to rule his people.

He is a man of God with an unclean heart.

He knows the Lord, and he has an unclean heart.

He is a leader of God’s people, and he has an unclean heart.

He writes worship music, and he has an unclean heart.

  • When a man has an unclean heart, he rightly fears being cast out of God’s presence.
  • When a man has an unclean heart, he rightly fears losing the Holy Spirit.

The heart always tells the truth eventually. When God chose David to be the future king of Israel, he said, “For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart” (I Samuel 16:7). A man may lie to others, and he may even lie to himself, but eventually his heart will tell the truth.

Do you remember a short story by Edgar Allen Poe called “The Telltale Heart"? After committing murder, the main character dismembers the body and buries it under the wooden planks on the floor. He does such a good job that when the police come to investigate, he invites them in and even aids them in their search for clues. But the murderer is unable to escape the haunting guilt of his deed. He begins to hear the heartbeat of his dead victim. A cold sweat pours over him as that heartbeat goes on and on, relentlessly, getting louder and louder. Poe repeats the word for effect. Louder! Louder! Louder! Why can’t the officers hear the sound of the beating heart? It begins to drive him mad. Finally, in desperation to make the sound go away, he admits the crime. The story ends this way: “Villains!” I shrieked, “Dissemble no more! I admit the deed! —Tear up the planks! Here, here! ―It is the beating of his hideous heart!” But the pounding which drove the man mad was not in the grave below but in his own chest.

Guilt is like that. When we have sinned, the heart will not rest until it is clean once again. That is why David prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, O God.” He heard the pounding of his own guilty heart and he could not live with the shame of what he had done.

That is the key to understanding his prayer in verse 11. It’s all about David’s heart.

I. A Broken Heart

We are not left to wonder why David feels so guilty. The superscription to Psalms 51 tells us the story: “A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.”

Oh, so that’s what this is all about.

One day when David was the king, in the spring of the year, at the time when kings went out to war, David sent his armies out to do battle. But he did not go himself. He stayed in Jerusalem. We do not know why he stayed behind. Perhaps he felt confident that his men could win any battle without his presence. Perhaps he had matters of state to attend to. Perhaps he was tired or bored or restless. One evening he went for a walk in the cool of the day. There he saw a beautiful woman named Bathsheba taking a bath. Seeing her aroused a great desire within him. So he sent for her and she came. Now, that was a day not unlike the present day, when powerful men think they can break the rules with impunity. As the king, David could have any unmarried woman he wished to have. He could call for any woman who had no husband and she would come to him. You did not say no to the king. But Bathsheba was married. He knew that because his servant told him she was married to a man named Uriah the Hittite. He should not have called for her and she should not have come. But he did and she did. They slept together, which is a modern way of saying they both committed the sin of adultery. In the Old Testament adulterers were stoned to death, but that was not likely to happen in this case, David being the king and all. If anyone might be expected to get away with adultery, it was David.

So they slept together and she returned to her home. Days passed and it seemed as if the little affair had been nothing more than that. A little affair, a brief fling, a lapse in judgment, a momentary foolishness, a giving in to the flesh. Upon a day Bathsheba sent word to the king that she was pregnant. That’s what you call a complicating factor. This is an example of what the Bible means when it takes about the wages of sin. You cannot sin and get away with it forever. Be sure your sin will find you out. This is true of kings and paupers alike. David now faces a dilemma. He has to find a way to cover up his sin. The easiest way is to somehow trick Uriah into thinking he is the father of the baby. That’s a problem because Uriah is off fighting with the army–where David should have been all along. So David calls for Uriah who leaves his army, comes back to Jerusalem, and then refuses to sleep with his wife while his buddies are on the front lines. That didn’t work so David is now left with only one alternative. If Uriah dies, he can lawfully marry Bathsheba. So he arranges for Uriah to be placed on the front lines while the rest of the Israeli army withdraws during battle, ensuring he will be killed. When that eventually happens, David marries Bathsheba and she gives birth to the son conceived in adultery. All seems to be well until you get to the final verse of II Samuel 11, “But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD” (v. 27).

Eventually Nathan the prophet comes to the king and confronts him with his sin. He informs him that the child just born will die as part of God’s judgment. Despite David’s prayers, the child eventually dies.

Think of what David has done:

  • He has committed adultery.
  • He has committed murder.
  • He caused sorrow and shame to come to his own house.
  • He caused bloodshed and turmoil to come to the nation.
  • And the child is dead.
  • All because of his sin.

That is the background of Psalms 51. It is a portrait of a man with an unclean heart coming back to God.

II. An Honest Heart

How do we know his repentance is real? Because he recorded it for us. Proverbs 28:13 declares, “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.” The hardest words you’ll ever say are, “I have sinned.” A while back, I received a letter from a prisoner who had committed a terrible crime. Now behind bars, he felt deep remorse and feared that he had committed the unpardonable sin. I wrote him back and told him that he had definitely not committed the unpardonable sin. How could I be so sure? The one certain mark of the unpardonable sin is that you would never care that you had committed it. It’s not just any sin; it’s a hard-hearted, persistent, deliberate and final rejection of the Lord. Such a person takes the key to heaven and deliberately throws it away. He says, “I’d rather go to hell,” and then laughs about it. Anyone who worries about committing the unpardonable sin shows that they still have a conscience.

  • It’s hard to admit that you’ve done wrong.
  • It’s hard to admit that you’ve hurt someone.
  • It’s hard to bow your knee and say, “O God, forgive me for I have sinned.”

I John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins …” That’s a big if in there. Until we confess our sins, the last part of the verse doesn’t apply to us.

See how clearly David makes his confession.

He uses three different words to describe his sin in verses 1-2: “my sins … my transgressions …. my iniquity.”

  • In verse 3, he says, “I know my sin.”
  • In verse 4, he says, “I have done evil in your eyes.”
  • In verse 5, he says, “I’ve been a sinner since I was conceived.”
  • In verse 6, he says, “I know you want the truth in my inner being.”
  • In verse 7, he says, “Only you can make me clean.”
  • In verse 8, he says, “Only you can give me joy again.”
  • In verse 9, he says, “Please wipe away the record of my sin.”
  • In verse 10, he says, “Create in me a clean heart, O God.”
  • In verse 12, he says, “Give me back the joy I once had.”

If you want to know what confession looks like, read Psalms 51. Study it. Pray it out loud. Memorize it. Tattoo its truth to your soul.

III. A Hopeful Heart

And that brings us to verse 11. “Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.”

When Charles Spurgeon preached on this verse (A Most Needful Prayer Concerning the Holy Spirit, October 9, 1870), he said that these are fitting words for any Christian who has fallen into sin. It may be gross sin like David’s or it may be a kind of slow, casual backsliding. Small sins are often more dangerous than big sins because big sins startle us into repentance, but just like the frog in the boiling kettle of water, we may gradually become so used to sin that it ceases to bother us at all. Or, when it finally does bother us, we are too far gone to do anything about it. Many small sins may produce a worse effect than one big sin. “White ants will devour a carcass as surely and as speedily as a lion.” Then Spurgeon asks a long series of questions, which I have paraphrased and updated:

  • Have we taken God’s grace for granted?
  • Has our love for God grown cold?
  • Are we careless about prayer?
  • Have we slowly grown lukewarm in our Christian faith?
  • Do we love the world too much?
  • Have we been slothful in the Lord’s service?
  • Do we harbor a root of bitterness?
  • Do we let resentment linger?
  • Have we spoken unkindly of other Christians?
  • Are we careless in our words?
  • Have we become spiritually cold?

Spurgeon says that if these things are true, then we ought to be praying David’s prayer most fervently: “Cast me not away from your presence, and do not take your Holy Spirit from me!” He goes on to say something that I found very encouraging: Only a true Christian could pray like this. An unbeliever won’t care about being cast away from God’s presence because he was never close to God in the first place. An unsaved person won’t care about losing the Holy Spirit that he never had anyway. The ungodly flee from God’s presence and hide from the Holy Spirit. Only the child of God feels the pain of the Lord’s discipline. Those who have dwelt in the sunlight of his love shiver in the cold darkness of his displeasure. If all you have known is darkness, how can you miss the light you never had? So to pray like this is a sure sign of spiritual light.

What an encouragement this ought to be to all of us. Are there any great sinners in our midst today? Any Christians who have grieved the Lord again and again? Any adulterers? Any murderers? Any slanderers? Any liars? Any lawbreakers? If you feel the pain of your sin, it surely means that you must know the Lord. The guilt that you feel is a severe mercy God gives to his erring children. Your tears are signs of life within. Your pain and your shame and your frustration are signs that you are a true child of God.

After I preached this sermon, I received an email from someone who wondered how I could square this teaching with the doctrine of eternal security. I replied that we must not try to read too much of the New Testament into David’s words. He was not thinking in those categories. David knew enough to realize that he was successful because of the Holy Spirit’s blessing on his life. If that blessing were removed, he could no longer lead his people. Spurgeon (who believed fervently in eternal security) even argued that we ought to pray this prayer precisely because we believe the Holy Spirit will not be taken from us:

“I venture to say it is not right to pray for what God will not give; the promise is not a reason for not praying, but the very best reason in all the world for praying. Because I earnestly believe that no real child of God will ever be cast away from God’s presence, therefore I pray that I may not be. And because I am well persuaded that from no really regenerated soul will God ever utterly take his Spirit, therefore, for that reason above all others, do I pray that he may never take his Spirit from me.

The promise is the reason for the prayer. And to pray like this saves us from spiritual presumption. Remember, David prays from the depths of a heart broken because of his own foolish sin. Better in those moments not to take anything for granted. We might view the prayer this way (from a New Testament perspective): “O Lord, I have sinned greatly and am no longer worthy to be called your son.” (Recall the words of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:19). “Please do not take your Holy Spirit from me lest I be found not to be among your family. I freely confess my sin, cry out to you for mercy, and pray that I might be found to be a true child of God.” If we feel uncomfortable praying like that, perhaps it means that we have not taken our sin as seriously as we ought.

What was David thinking when he cried out, “Cast me not away from your presence"? Perhaps he was thinking of Adam, who was cast out of the Garden of Eden. Perhaps he thought of Cain, who killed his brother and was sentenced to wander the earth. Perhaps he thought of wayward Samson, who knew the Spirit’s power and then squandered it in anger and unbridled lust. But more than any of those, he must have been thinking of Saul, the man who preceded him on the throne. We are told repeatedly that the Spirit came upon Saul to enable to lead his army to victory. But because of his disobedience, David was chosen as king in his place. I Samuel 16:13 says that once David was anointed, the Spirit of the Lord came upon him. And what of Saul? The very next verse is one of the saddest in the Old Testament: “Now the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul.” He who had started with so much promise and so much potential is now abandoned by God. And when the Spirit left him, his natural paranoia took over, leaving him filled with anger, resentment and envy. The once-great Saul attempted to kill David again and again.

David knew what it was like to lose the blessing of God and to have the Holy Spirit taken away. He saw it happen before his eyes. And so he says, “Lord, don’t let that happen to me!” This is the heart of his prayer: “Lord, without your Holy Spirit to strengthen me, I have no power. Without your Holy Spirit to guide me, I cannot find my way. Without your Holy Spirit to give wisdom, I cannot lead these people.” It is a prayer that he would not lose the Spirit’s blessing upon his life.

We need the Holy Spirit or we cannot pray. We need the Holy Spirit or we cannot understand. We need the Holy Spirit who brings us every divine blessing. The Holy Spirit gives us access to the Father through Christ. Let us no longer take the Spirit for granted. If the Holy Spirit were removed from us, we might as well be lost. We cannot sing or pray or worship or serve or come near to God without him. We are told to pray in the Holy Spirit. If he were gone, then our words are mere babbling. He is our Teacher, our Guide, our Helper, and our Comforter. He brings God near to us. We cannot live without him. Spurgeon goes on at great length and in very convincing fashion that Christians have every right to pray this prayer.

Two Important Applications

There are two important applications I would press upon your heart this morning. First, if you are aware of some backsliding in your life, then now is the time to come back to the Lord. Begin by praying this prayer. Cry out to God and do not stop crying until God hears and answers you. You need not live with a guilty conscience forever. Seek the Lord. Kneel before him and confess your sins. He will abundantly pardon. There are times when a Christian must seem to pray like a sinner. Spurgeon says it very well:

“The lower down we get the better. I frequently find that I cannot pray as a minister; I find that I cannot sometimes pray as an assured Christian, but I bless God I can pray as a sinner. I begin again with, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner,” and by degrees rise up again to faith, and onward to assurance.”

If you have been sinning, do not be ashamed to pray like a sinner. That’s not a bad place to start.

Second, this is a word from the Lord to the whole church. God may take his presence from a church because of sin in the congregation. The Lord, himself, may come and remove the lampstand as he did in the book of Revelation. Let me share one final thought from Spurgeon that speaks to us today:

“In your own time you yourselves have seen churches flourishing, multiplying, walking in peace and love, but for some reason not known to us, but perceived by the watcher who jealously surveys the churches of God, a root of bitterness has sprung up, divisions have devoured them, heresy has poisoned them, and the place that once gloried in them scarcely knows them now. Existing they may be, but little more; dwindling in numbers, barren of grace, they are rather an encumbrance than power for good. Recollect, then, beloved, that the power of any church for good lies in the presence of God, and that sin in the church may grieve the Lord, so that he may no more frequent her courts, or go forth with her armies. It is a dire calamity for a church when the Lord refuses any longer to bless her work, or reveal himself in her ordinances; then is she driven of the wind hither and thither like a ship derelict and castaway. The Lord may, because of sin, take away his Holy Spirit from a church. The spirit of love may depart, the spirit of prayer may cease, the spirit of zeal and earnestness may remove, and the spirit which converts the souls of men may display his power elsewhere, but not in the once-favored congregation. Let me impress upon you that all this may readily happen if we grieve the Holy Spirit as some churches have done.”

I believe this is a good word for us. It matters not what they say about us in the newspapers, for good or for ill. The plaudits of the world matter not at all compared to the blessing of the Holy Spirit.

Let everyone who hears these words take them to heart. Let every Christian search his own heart. The best way not to lose the Holy Spirit in our midst is to watch and pray that it might not happen. Take nothing for granted. And do not live on past blessings or dwell too long on yesterday’s victories. Seek the Lord while he may be found. When the Holy Spirit departs, the church becomes a museum full of spiritual mummies. May we never come to that! Let the whole church lift up the prayer, “Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.” Amen.

© 2019 Keep Believing Ministries

A Prayer to the Holy Spirit

by Emily Hall, Editor - Salem Web Network

  • Who is the Holy Spirit? and
  • What role does He play in the Christian life?

In John 15, Jesus tells his disciples about the persecution they will encounter by following him. “If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.” (John 15:20) As he went on about what life would be like after he eventually left to be with the Father, they naturally grew sorrowful (John 16:6). They didn’t know the wonder that God had planned next. Jesus comforts them in John 16:7, “I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you.” This “Helper” is the Holy Spirit.

Alistair Begg wrote, "Five Truths About the Holy Spirit," on He explains the meaning of the word “Helper,” which is translated from the Greek word, parakletos. “It has a legal dimension; it refers to one who would be an advocate,” Begg said. “In its wider context, it speaks of comfort, of protection, of counsel, and of guidance.”

In her article, "Who the Holy Spirit Really Is (and Why It Matters to You)," Rachel Dawson wrote three things from Begg’s article that we should remember about the identity and importance of the Holy Spirit:

Who is the Holy Spirit?

1. “The Holy Spirit is a unique person and not simply a power or an influence.”

I remember thinking as a child that the Holy Spirit was more like a ghost than a real, concrete being, but that kind of thinking can damage how we relate to the Spirit and interact with him. “We have to understand that the Spirit of God, the third person of the Trinity, is personal,” Begg said. “As a person, He may be grieved (Eph. 4:30), He may be quenched in terms of the exercise of His will (1 Thess. 5:19), and He may be resisted (Acts 7:51).”

2. “The Holy Spirit is one both with the Father and the Son.”

This is the most powerful and baffling thing about the Trinity -- each third is unique, but all three are united. “In theological terms,” Begg explains,” we say that He is both co-equal and co-eternal. ...So the activity of the Spirit is never given to us in Scripture in isolation from the person and work of Christ or in isolation from the eternal will of the Father.”

3. “The Spirit is the author of the Scriptures.”

We read in 2 Timothy 3:16 that “all Scripture is God-breathed” and in 2 Peter 1:21 that “men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” These verses illustrate the divine work of the Holy Spirit through men to record what we know now as the Bible-- “this is a book that exists as a result of the out-breathing of the Holy Spirit,” Begg says.

What is the Role of the Holy Spirit?

Dr. Roger Barrier discusses the role of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers in his article, “What is the Holy Spirit?”

• The Holy Spirit Convicts and Regenerates Our Spirit

“Our first encounter with the Holy Spirit is when He convicts us of our sin, shows us that none of us can live up to the righteousness of Jesus, and reveals to us the judgment that is coming to those who die without a Savior (John 16:8-11).

As we repent, confess our sins and receive the gift of Salvation the Holy Spirit regenerates our dead inner human spirit, which now becomes sensitive to the spiritual things of God (John 3:1-16; and Acts 2:38). This is referred to in the Bible as the New Birth.”

• We Receive the Whole Spirit, Not a Piece

“At the same moment the Holy Spirit baptizes or immerses us into the family of God--the world-wide followers of Christ past, present, and future. This is known as the "baptism of the Holy Spirit.” It occurs once and for all at our conversion and is not repeated. When we received the Holy Spirit, we received all the Holy Spirit we will ever receive. He does not come in pieces and parts. He is either in us or not (Acts 1:4-5; and 1 Corinthians 12:13).”

• The Holy Spirit is Our Comforter

“He brings peace in the midst of storms. He is our encourager and comforter when we are hurting and discouraged. Sometimes the only place we can go is to the Spirit of Jesus--the Holy Spirit who give us peace and comfort. (John 14:16-17; and 16:7). (Ephesians 2:14; and Philippians 4:7).”

• He Empowers Believers to Live for Christ in Righteousness

“He pours in the power for victorious living. When I'm in the hospital awaiting a surgery, instead of fear and fretting, I find peace and contentment through the Holy Spirit who pours into me the grace and power that I need (Romans 8:26; and Philippians 4:10-13). He also empowers and inspires us for evangelism.

• The Holy Spirit Helps Us Read the Bible and Pray

“He teams with us in studying and in understanding the truths of the Bible. After all, who better to teach and interpret the Bible for us than the one who wrote the Book (John 14:25; and 16:12-15)? Every passage in Scripture has only one, true interpretation. The Holy Spirit guides us to figure out what the Bible writer had in mind when he wrote what he wrote.

And not only does the Holy Spirit guide our prayers, He steps in to intercede for us when we can't put our feelings into words (Romans 8:26). Sometimes when our pain is so deep that we can only groan, He turns our groans into prayers.”

A Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit,

You are God. I praise you because you are holy, and I thank you for dwelling in my heart. Thank you for working in my life. You guided me into salvation, renewed my dead spirit, and you opened my eyes to the Truth. Thank you.

Help me to see you more clearly – to recognize your movement in my life. Make me more sensitive to you so I can follow you more closely. Still, I know that I am selfish and rebellious. I need you to help me be obedient when I recognize your leading. I need you.

I ask you for your help and comfort today. You know my pain and anxieties very well. Thank you for praying over me. Help me to rest in your comfort today.

Help me to walk in you, the Spirit of God. Grow good fruit in my life. You are the one who produces these in me: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. I cannot live out these things on my own; I need you.


Bible Verses about the Holy Spirit

Genesis 1:1-2, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 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.”

John 16:7, “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.”

Acts 2:1-4, “When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

Galatians 5:22, 23, 25; “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.”

Revelation 2:7, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

Source:, (c) Salem web network

The 'Harvest of The Spirit'
Scripture: Galatians 5:13-26

"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." (vv.22-23)

We begin today a detailed study of the fruit of the Spirit -- the nine ingredients which go to make up Christian character. These nine qualities are the natural outcome of the Holy Spirit's indwelling -- not a manufactured one. When Paul speaks of the manifestations of the flesh, he describes them as "works," but when speaking of the manifestations of the Spirit, he describes them as "fruit." "Works" suggests something that is an effort: "fruit" suggests something that is effortless.

Some translations use the term "harvest of the Spirit" rather than "fruit of the Spirit," pointing to the finished product, the outcome. Most people, myself included, prefer the word "fruit" to "harvest," but there is a special truth locked up in the word "harvest" that we must not miss. You see, it is what we finally reap as the result of an attitude or course of action that is important. What happens along the way, such as good feelings, are part of the Spirit's purpose but not the greatest part. It is the end result that matters.

And what is that end result? It is a quality of being. Jesus once said: "Love your enemies, do good ... and your reward will be great ... you will be sons of the Highest" (Luke 6:35, NKJV). Note the phrase, "you will be." The reward is more than just having -- it is being. Remember, the goodness or badness of an act is determined, not just by what it does to others but by what it does to you. So having the Holy Spirit within us is not just being the recipient of pleasurable emotions -- it is being a better person.


O God my Father, help me right here at the beginning to get my focus right and yearn, not so much for better feelings, but to be a better person. In Christ's Name I ask it. Amen.

For Further Study

Psalms 1; Ephesians 5:9

1. What is the key to producing good fruit?
2. What does "prosper" mean in this context?

Source: Every Day Light

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