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Monday, May 11, 2015

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Acts 16:11-15
Psalm 149:1-6, 9
John 15:26—16:4

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called to the witness stand

"A time will come when anyone who puts you to death will claim to be serving God!" —John 16:2

The Holy Spirit witnesses for Jesus and calls us to do the same (Jn 15:26-27). This is one of the main reasons why many Christians don't want the Holy Spirit to be very active in their lives. Although they realize that witnessing is an act of love which will lead people to Christ, they also know that witnessing will result in personally suffering and being persecuted. Jesus' witnesses will be expelled even from Church and, moreover, may be put to death (see Jn 16:2). In Greek, the word "witness" is "martyr," someone who physically lays down his life for Jesus and is violently put to death.

We all want life in the Holy Spirit, or we at least want the emptiness of life without the Spirit to be filled. However, we often don't want the Holy Spirit enough to suffer. The cost of Pentecost is the cross, and not many want to pay such a high cost.

Ask the Lord to give you a desire to receive the Holy Spirit that is even greater than the desire to avoid pain. Only love is stronger than our natural desire to avoid pain (see Sg 8:6; Ps 63:4). Look at a picture of Jesus hanging on the cross. Ask for and receive love. Strongly desire the Spirit. Thirst for the Spirit (Jn 7:37). Receive the Spirit. Receive an even greater love. Receive a new Pentecost.

Prayer:  Father, may I consider Your love a greater good than life (Ps 63:4).

Promise:  "She already reverenced God, and the Lord opened her heart to accept what Paul was saying." —Acts 16:14

Praise:  Jesus delivered Jack from alcoholism early in his marriage. He now leads a small Christian community and also leads his family in daily prayer.

Reference:  (To help you to receive a new Pentecost, order our booklet, Praying For a New Pentecost.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 21, 2014

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