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Thursday, April 22, 2004

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Acts 5:27-33
Psalm 34
John 3:31-36

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the dove changes chickens into lions

"He does not ration His gift of the Spirit." —John 3:34

Before the first Christian Pentecost, the apostles were anything but courageous. They were fearful, insecure, and easily manipulated into abandoning Jesus, even at the time of His death. But after Pentecost, they were so courageous that they stood up to the Jewish religious leaders (see Acts 5:28ff), the Roman government, and even the devil. They were so courageous that they were unintimidated by torture and martyrdom. Without a doubt, "the Spirit God has given us is no cowardly spirit" (2 Tm 1:7).

"All who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. You did not receive a spirit of slavery leading you back into fear, but a spirit of adoption through which we cry out, 'Abba!' (that is, 'Father')" (Rm 8:14-15). The Holy Spirit makes us secure in our Father's love so that we are courageous witnesses for Jesus. Instead of giving Jesus the "silent treatment" in our cowardice, we courageously say to all the powers that be: "Better for us to obey God than men!" (Acts 5:29)

In our society, church, businesses, schools, and families, we are being defeated because we have too many people who are "chickens." To stand up for life, stop injustices, proclaim the truth, restore families, and bring down the culture of death, we need "chickens" to be changed into "lions." If you are willing to let this be done, cry out with all your hearts: "Come, Holy Spirit!"

Prayer:  Father, make me a free, courageous witness for the risen Jesus. Where I have been fearful, make me fearless.

Promise:  "We testify to this. So too does the Holy Spirit, Whom God has given to those that obey Him." —Acts 5:32

Praise:  Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Thomas no longer hides his faith at work. Now he is even able to rejoice in persecution.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tapes on Praying For a New Pentecost on audio AV 92A-1, AV 92A-3, AV 92B-1 or video V-92.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, October 9, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 14, 2003