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Archive for May, 2009

The Holy Spirit and The Double Portion Anointing

My fellow pilgrims,

The Paraclete - Our Helper

The Paraclete - Our Helper

In a previous post, which I titled “Releasing the Spirit”, I mentioned that The Father’s purpose for us in this world is to conform us to the image of His Son (Rom. 8:29) so that we may be an extension of His Kingdom of Love here, in this world. I also stated that in order to do this He sent the Holy Spirit to enlighten us, bring us to life in Christ (Eph. 3:13-19), and to empower us (Acts 1:8) to send us forth to minister the Good News of His Love to the Christian community and the world.

This posting is intended to clarify the distinction between the “Indwelling” of the Holy Spirit in us and an “Anointing” by the Holy Spirit. The distinction needs to be made because many of us mistakenly consider the terms to be synonymous. This misunderstanding hinders many of us from coming to a full awareness of the power of the Spirit in us and, thus a barrier to entering fully into the Father’s purpose for our lives.

Under this fairly common misconception we assume that since the Spirit of God dwells in us, no response on our part is required for the graces of the Spirit to manifest themselves in and through our lives.  After all if grace is to be grace why is there a need for us to do anything?

In response to this attitude we point out that St. Luke in his Gospel tells us that, “If you then being human know how to give good things to your children, how much more will your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?” (Luke 11:13). Since Luke was writing to Christians in whom the Spirit already dwelt we must conclude that what the Father desires is for us to freely and willingly ask for the gifts of the indwelling Spirit to be made manifest in us and through us to address the circumstances and challenges we face in each of our lives.

You see the Father sees us as His children and in bringing us in conformity to His Son, He desires that we be His willing partners in bringing forth His Kingdom in this world. By permitting us to ask, we not only are drawn into further intimacy with Him but we now have a part to play in the flow of His Love to this world.

Of Course, all this hinges on the atoning work of Jesus and His resurrection. You see, the Lord sent His Son not only to die for our sins so that we could have access to heaven, but also so that He, Jesus, would be the firstborn of many brethren.  We believers, His body, the church, are then the next-born and we are now here on earth to continue Jesus’ ministry to the world through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.

The Indwelling Spirit and the Inner Anointing

“And as for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.“ (1John 2:27)

When we are converted and baptized we receive the Holy Spirit to dwell in us and begin the work of conforming us to Jesus.  The indwelling Spirit then works through and in us by what the scriptures call an anointing. An anointing is the infusion of Divine Power for manifestation either in our “inner man” or through our “outer man”. Each anointing is manifested through a set of spiritual gifts that permit us to partner with the divine in bringing forth his Kingdom. In this way the Father Himself works through us as He worked through Jesus when He was on Earth.

The gifts associated with the inner anointing relate to the gifts accorded the Messiah in Isaiah Chapter 11, they are often referred to as the sanctifying gifts. When we become new creations in Christ, these gifts operate in our inner being to bring us into conformity with the image of the Son. When activated in our lives through faith, these gifts lead us to an intimate life of holiness, communion with the Father, and worship through prayer and the sacraments.

Now, for myself, the gifts associated with this inner anointing (see Isaiah 11: 1-6) are mainly activated in me through intimate prayer and reception of the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist. Then, as I live out the Word of God each day of my life, I have the inner assurance that my Helper, the Holy Spirit is there to infuse his Grace into my human attempts to communicate His Love to others. As I grow in loving obedience to His Word so I grow in being conformed to the Spirit of Christ in me.

Being human, I often stumble of course, but the Spirit is right there at my side to hold me up and lead me to repentance, confession, and restoration to the Walk of Love with my Jesus.  All this is in accord with the teaching of the Apostle John, who tells us,

“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.” (1 John 1:8-10)

“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense — Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:1-2)

Baptism of the Spirit and the Outer Anointing

Just as the Spirit anoints our inner man for our sanctification and enlightenment, so also our outer man needs the anointing of the Spirit to empower us for ministry (service) to the community and the world thus bringing us into total conformity to Jesus.

Jesus himself, in whom the fullness of the Godhead dwells, set the example for us when received the anointing of the Holy Spirit in order to fulfill His calling as Messiah (Luke 3:21-22).  Then, as He initiated His ministry under the anointing of the Spirit, Jesus declared that:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
(Luke 4:18-19)

Just as Jesus received the Spirit’s anointing to minister the Father’s Love to the world so to we the members of His Body, the church, receive the anointing of the Dove of Pentecost at confirmation to empower us to minister to the community and to the world the Divine love of the Father through the Spiritual Gifts described in the Book of Acts, Chapters 2, and in 1st Corinthians, Chapter 12. In anointing the outer man with the Power of the Spirit we become the extension of Jesus’ ministry in this world for building up the church and for the propagation of His Kingdom in the world.

This anointing of the Spirit is termed the “Baptism of the Spirit” because this is the term Jesus used to describe it. Remember what he said to his disciples just before his Ascension:

“And gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised,  “Which,” He said,  “you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” ( Acts 1:4-5)

The Anointing of the Spirit on the outer man is conferred on every baptized Christian at Confirmation. The Spirit Baptism is our is our legacy and all that we need to do is to activate the gifts which correspond to this anointing is by yielding to the Holy Spirit and releasing Him into our lives, asking Him to work through us and in us so that the will of the Father may be accomplished and so that He and He alone may receive the Glory for His works in us.

The  Double Portion Anointing

St. Thomas Aquinas in His  Summa Theologica (Summa Theologica, Vol XI, Nature and Grace, 12ae, Q111, Art.1, Par. 3) affirms the dichotomy of grace just stated above when he states that the graces we receive as Christians may be categorized into two main classes or types: Sanctifying Grace, which is intended to sanctify the individual who receives this type of grace and Actual or Free Grace which is not intended for the individual who receives this type of grace but rather for the community and the individuals to whom the individual ministers. The grace we receive in Baptism is the former type while the grace we receive at Confirmation is the latter. The Indwelling Spirit is above all graces, indeed, He is the source of all graces and divine power.

The Holy Spirit gives us these two types of graces with the intent that they be manifested in tandem in our lives. They are like the two seals on a coin. A coin to be authentic and of value must exhibit the appropriate seal on both of its facets. Likewise, in order for our lives to be fully authentic in Christ, have been sealed by the Holy Spirit on Both of our facets – the inner man and the outer man so that we can be His instruments to the fullest extent.

If we wish to truly enter into discipleship we cannot ignore the seal we carry on either of our facets for it is only with these seals fully active that we can truly represent the Image of the Son in this world. Without the sanctifying gifts our lives will soon be separated from God by sin. And without the empowerment gifts we deny the Holy Spirit the channels He need to bring forth  the Kingdom of the Father in this world. The choice is ours but He provides the Graces if we but accede to the leadings of His Love in us.

Elisha Asking for Elijah's Mantle

Elisha Asking for Elijah's Mantle

To conclude let me make you aware that Elisha’s receipt of Elijah’s mantle as he was taken to heaven by a fiery chariot (2 Kings 2:1,6-14) was a prefiguring of the church of God receiving Jesus’ mantle at Pentecost. And just as Elisha requested a double portion anointing from Elijah so we believers, the church that Jesus founded, have also received the double portion anointing that was on Jesus.

That is why Jesus told the apostles the night before He was crucified that:

“Now I am going to the one who sent me,
and not one of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’
But because I told you this, grief has filled your hearts.
But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go.
For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you.
But if I go, I will send him to you.”
(Jn 16:5-&)

When he appeared to them after His resurrection he promised them his mantle, telling them that:

“… you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

On the day of Pentecost the disciples received that mantle and then passed that mantle to the new converts as when the Apostle Peter proclaims to the astonished crowd  …

“Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:  “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’” (Acts 2:14-21)

Then after preaching the Good News to them and calling for them to repent He further states,

… “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And [then] you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is [also] for you and your children and for all who are far off — for all whom the Lord our God will call.” (Acts 2:38-39)

Since the promise applies to us who have been called even though we are far off, we believers, the church of God, are thus also the receptors of the mantle of Jesus.  Let us then with all urgency take up the mantle with the  double portion anointing, and, by the grace it accords, fulfill our calling to the fullest by releasing the Holy Spirit to do His work in us and through us!

May the Spirit of God be with you and may The Father and the Son be glorified as you release your lives to Him! Amen and Amen!

Bartimaeus

PS: I highly recommend your accessing the following links to receive further encouragement:

Prayer to the Holy Spirit: Come, Holy Spirit!

What Makes A Christian Charismatic?

http://www.holyspiritinteractive.net/features/charismaticrenewal/cr_john.asp

The Catholic Experience of Renewal

https://quietplace4prayer.wordpress.com/conversion-and-empowerment/charismatic-renewal/

Video: A History of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal

“Understanding The Promise of the Father” (a pdf  doc.) – Click here to go to our download section

Related Scripture for Meditation :   Acts Chapter 2, 1 Corinthians Chapter 12

© B.R.Timeo and Bartimaeus’ Quiet Place, [2008-2009].

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“… I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man; so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.” (Eph.3:13-19)

My fellow pilgrims,

Let us release the Spirit that is in us!

Let us release the Spirit that is in us!

One of the problems most of us have as Christians is that we don’t realize the immeasurable treasure we carry in our inner being, namely, The Glory and Spirit of The Christ, The Son of the Living God, in whom the fullness of the Trinity dwells!

I believe the main reason for this is that we are afraid of our own spirituality because it might change our lives and the way we live our lives. It is because of this fear that we block out the awareness of our inner man, the seat of our spiritual awareness and the place where the Spirit of the Christ dwells in us. It is also the reason that keeps the river of living waters (Jn. 7:38) that is in us from flowing out from us to our outer man and thus to those to whom we minister. It is this inhibition that keeps us from entering into a fully empowered discipleship.

We are so conditioned and blinded by our earthly existence that all that we can relate to is what we can understand with our outer being, that is of course limited by what we sense and what our intellect presumes. Similarly, when we consider entering fully into discipleship with Christ we tend to do it in the only way we know – through the self-directed efforts of our outer being, assuming that discipleship is merely our sincere determination to do something for God using our natural gifts and talents operating under our self-directed zeal.

That, my dear friends, is not what true discipleship entails! True discipleship requires surrendering all of our selves: body soul and spirit, to the direction of our Lord and master, Jesus and to the power of the Holy Spirit so that He, and He alone, can truly reign in our lives. That requires the surrender of our TOTAL being to the direction of the Holy Spirit!

Consider my friends what Scripture tells us about surrendering not only our inner man but our body and soul as well:

“ I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Rom. 12:1-2)

We should all consider the preceding as the mission statement of our walk in discipleship and daily ask the Holy Sprit to help us carry it out in your lives. And we cannot be selective about what we relinquish to the Holy Spirit. If He wishes to use us to speak the oracles of God, then we speak and prophesy. If He wishes for us to preach, then we proclaim the Kingdom of God boldly. If He wishes for us to heal the sick in Jesus name, then we lay your hands on the sick in His Name and they shall recover. If He tells us to wash our brother’s feet, then we should wash not only our brother’s feet but those of our neighbor as well.

Remember,

… the Kingdom of God can only be manifested through us to the degree we surrender to His Holy Spirit and to the degree we release Him in our lives!

Now it must also be made clear that when you commit yourself to the Father as a Holy and Living sacrifice, in order for Him to work through you as he worked through Jesus, He will anoint you with the Holy Spirit so that He is present in all that you say and do and think. For you see, you will serve at His disposal and when you serve others, in His Name it will be He working through you, just as he worked through Jesus.

Sometimes, because we have not been taught the Way of Discipleship properly, we undertake the walk of discipleship on our own strength, abilities, and vision. Unless the Lord enlightens us on the way, any such endeavor will certainly not bear spiritual fruit because what we are doing, we are doing in the flesh and not in the Spirit. Yes, you may be responding to an inner calling, with the natural abilities you have been given, but your response must be empowered by the Spirit through the inner man so that it will be God working through you, not you doing something for God. You cannot do it through the outer man without letting the Spirit of God that dwells in you be the driving and empowering force behind everything you do in His Name!.

Another thing we fail to understand is that, while our inner man is renewed in Christ through conversion and baptism, our outer man needs to be renewed and brought into submission to the Lord who dwells in our inner man. Discipleship is the process the Father uses to conform our TOTAL being (body, soul, and spirit) to the image of His Son so that His Spirit can work through us as he worked through Jesus.

Now, if our motives are sincere, the Lord does sometimes let us begin our walk in the flesh and then, through circumstances and people, He will bring us to surrender our “self” to Him. It is then that He begins the process of transforming our outer man and empowering us so that we may truly walk in discipleship with Him.

It is my intent, in the remainder of this posting to clearly summarize The Father’s Way (process) of Discipleship to you so that you may avoid some of the pitfalls that you may encounter if you neglect to understand the Father’s Purpose and Process for us as disciples of His Son. Those of us who wish to enter into a true and meaningful discipleship, must, thus, clearly and willingly come to terms with the exhortations of the Apostle Paul to “walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (Rom. 8:4) and to “ … be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and put on the new man…” (Eph. 4:24, Col.3:10).

The Purpose of Discipleship

First, let me begin by re-iterating the Father’s clearly stated, primary purpose in calling us to discipleship is that He has predestined us “ to become conformed to the image of His Son” (Rom.8:29) so that through our “new man” (Col. 3:10) in Christ Jesus we become an extension of His Kingdom here on Earth so that the Father’s will be accomplished and His Love for humanity fully expressed through our self-denying obedience to His Word and the leading of His Spirit. Praised Be His Holy Name!

We need to understand that Jesus was sent not only to atone for our sins and save us so that we could be eternally with the Father in Heaven but also to remake and conform each of us in His image (Rom. 8:29) so that His ministry of the Kingdom would continue in and for this world through us until He comes again in Glory. We, His people, His bride, the church, then are ALL called to be partakers in His Ministry here on Earth. It may be just ministering to your family but it will be HIS ministry to them through you! This can only happen through the re-creation of our inner man, the transformation of the outer man and the empowerment of His Holy Spirit so that we can truly be His disciples in all that we are called to be in this life.

Our Response to His Purpose

He prepares us for this type of discipleship first by first creating in us a “new inner man”, in Christ, through our conversion and baptism and then by working through the” inner man” begins to transform our “outer man” by “the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom.12:2). We open the door to let Him work in us and through us when we willingly release the Holy Spirit to perform the works of God through our normal, everyday actions.

When we are selective about what we release to the Spirit, we lessen the effectiveness of our service and expose ourselves to “burn out” because our human nature, by itself, is not capable of responding all of the human needs that will be brought before us for ministry (service).

As an example, take the incident recorded in the scriptures regarding the multiplication of the loaves and fishes (Jn. 6:5-11). Jesus had just completed and extensive period of ministering to the crowds that followed Him. In His compassion for the people Jesus asked the disciples, testing them, “where are we going to buy bread that these may eat? “ Phillip responded by saying (as the outer man would, not realizing the power of the Spirit that was in Jesus), that you would need two hundred days of wages to buy enough bread for the multitude. Then Andrew volunteered that there was a lad here who had brought his lunch consisting of five loaves and two fishes. Jesus, then said, “bring them to me” and He blessed them and told them to distribute them to the crowd. And all were fed and there were several baskets left over with the crumbs.

Similarly, when we try to minister to the needs of a community, our outer man, without the Spirit’s anointing, will many times be stymied because we are limited in how we can respond to the needs presented to us. It is only The Christ in our inner man, who can take the loaves and fishes of the abilities of our outer nature and, through our presenting them to Him for His Anointing, perform the ministry that The Father calls us to, and thus render our service to Him as an act of Spiritual worship.

Now, If we truly understand this, His purpose and plan for us, then it is incumbent on us to turn to Him in prayer and surrender our TOTAL selves to the Holy Spirit, releasing him to operate in any area of our lives, with nothing held back. At the same time, asking for the anointing, counsel, understanding, and empowerment that each one of us needs to fulfill the specific roles to which He has called us. This, of course, includes establishing and nurturing the personal relationship with Him that is needed, so we can clearly hear His Voice and thus be obedient to that which he calls us to be and do in His Name here in this world. Praised Be His Holy Name!

One of my spiritual director’s statements to me regarding the our need for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit was :

“The question is not how much of the Holy Spirit do we have, but how much of us does the Holy Spirit have?”

I leave you with that thought.

May the Holy Spirit enliven His Word in your heart and give you the inspiration to respond to His calling to release The Holy Spirit that is in you through baptism and confirmation!

Bartimaeus

PS: I highly recommend your accessing the following links to receive further encouragement:

What Makes A Christian Charismatic?

http://www.holyspiritinteractive.net/features/charismaticrenewal/cr_john.asp

The Catholic Experience of Renewal

https://quietplace4prayer.wordpress.com/conversion-and-empowerment/charismatic-renewal/

Video: A History of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-QDOcDGDWA

Related Scripture for Medidation :   The Gospel of  John Chapter 15

© B.R.Timeo and Bartimaeus’ Quiet Place, [2008-2009].

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Challenges to Discipleship: The Role of Suffering

“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” (1Peter 4:12-13)

One of the great barriers to entering into true discipleship with Christ is our problem in understanding the role that suffering plays in those who, through faith, have dedicated their lives to follow Jesus.

Shall we not suffer with Him?

Shall we not suffer with Him?

The first thing that hinders us about accepting the role of suffering in discipleship is that our natural selves cannot comprehend it. If Christ Suffered for us and took on our sufferings why then should believers still endure suffering as part of our calling? The second thing which hinders us is that, even upon beginning to understand the Lord’s calling for us to endure (certain types of) suffering, we cannot receive it because we lack sufficient faith to enter into and willingly receive the suffering to which we have been called.

After all, why would a good and loving God, insist that those He loves pass through the trials of suffering, especially when that suffering comes on us seemingly without cause or seeming justification. Wasn’t Jesus’s suffering sufficient?

This of course brings up the topic that the citation from Peter’s Epistle alludes to, that is, our participation in the sufferings of Christ. From this brief mention we begin to surmise that we, His Body, like the apostles, are destined to drink the same cup as he drank from, that is , the cup of suffering. That is, the suffering caused by His rejection and torture by the world and the establishment for the proclamation of the Good News of the Kingdom.

This then is the main theme of Peter’s Epistle to the suffering church at Rome. To encourage them to endure their persecution in Love, as Jesus endured His persecution in Love.

The Testing of our Faith

In the beginning of this first epistle, the Apostle Peter indicates that the primary reason that the father permits this type of suffering to enter into their lives (and therefore ours as well) is that, through their endurance, through faith, that same faith may be proven to be genuine, just as Gold in order to be assayed must be tested as if by fire.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade — kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire — may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (1 Peter 1:3-7)

Just as Jesus’ faith was tested through suffering so our faith also will be tested to determine if it is genuine. For there is such a thing as false faith and many have been deceived by their own human desires into presuming that their misdirected human zeal is the faith needed for discipleship. The Apostle Paul himself decries that, “ .. Demas has abandoned him for this present world” (2 Tim: 4:10), and in his first letter to Timothy he says: “… By rejecting conscience, certain persons have suffered shipwreck in the faith; among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have turned over to Satan, so that they may learn not to blaspheme” (1 Tim. 1:19-20).

In the Deuterocanonical literature we have the challenge for discipleship clearly stated :

“ My son when you come to serve the Lord prepare yourself for trials. Be sincere of heart and steadfast, undisturbed in time of adversity. Cling to Him, forsake Him not; thus will your future be great. Accept whatever befalls you, for in fire Gold is tested and worthy men in the crucible of humiliation”. (Sirach 2: 1-5)

Discerning the Types of Suffering We are to Endure

Peter makes it clear in his epistle that the type of suffering that he is exhorting us to endure is the unjust suffering imposed by others on us because of our faith or stand for righteousness. For this, he says, is consistent with our calling. Note that he does not include that suffering which comes to us because of our own unjust ways and sin.

“For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.” (1 Peter 2:19-23)

We also note that Illness or disease is not listed as the type of suffering we need to endure as Christians, In fact, he concludes the above paragraph as follows:

“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” (1Peter 2:24-25)

Because of Jesus’ suffering and atoning work on the cross disease is not deemed a suffering that we Christians must endure as part of our path to discipleship. For this reason we attend to medical doctors and for this reason we are exhorted to pray for each other healing. Jesus did not have any sick disciples. It is not the Father’s will for us.

No! The types of trials we are to endure as disciples is how others treat us because we are outspoken disciples of Jesus. Not those who hide in a corner and are afraid to express their faith but those who openly confess Christ not only by their confession but also by the fruit of their confession – that is, the very lives they live!

Yes! They will revile us, persecute us, censor our prayers, expel us from their fellowship. We will lose many whom we formerly called “friends” but in being bold to proclaim Christ to the world we will be drawn into a new community, a new family of brothers and sisters in Christ who are not afraid of being called Christians and who live their lives in the truth of the Gospel, empowered by the Holy Spirit!

“Baruch haShem” – Praised be His Holy Name! Amen and Amen!

© B.R.Timeo and Bartimaeus’ Quiet Place, [2008-2009].

Bartimaeus

Related Links to this Article

Assessing our Discipleship

Discipleship: Accepting the Challenge

Prayer To Receive the Holy Spirit

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