At Pentecost, Christians celebrate the arrival of the Holy Spirit. For many this celebration is unknown even though it is a highlight in God’s story with us. He created men to have a personal relationship with him. In paradise he had relationships with men. Unfortunately, sin destroyed this harmony.
Through the perfect sacrifice of Jesus a loving relationship with God is possible. Those who accept the gift of forgiveness offered by Jesus and regret their sins will be given the Holy Spirit. He comes into our life. Through him we grasp God and are led by him. He frees up the connection to God.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
What change did the Holy Spirit provoke in Jesus’ disciples! He made them fearless witnesses of the Gospel. Finally God was a big step ahead with his plan. A new people of believers was born – the church. It doesn’t live in buildings, rules or taxes. It isn’t an organisation it is an organism.
Scripture of the week: John 14:15-21, John 16:7
I leisurely got off the train. The sun greeted me and I was looking forward to my workday. Oh no, I forgot my smartphone on the train! It would be unthinkable if all my personal data, appointments, contacts and pictures would be lost! I did everything to get it back. It was so wonderful that I could claim it at the lost and found!
Jesus encourages us to look for God eagerly. The kingdom of God is compared to a treasure and an expensive pearl for which it is worth it to let go of everything else. A personal relationship with God is not just given to us – do you want it?
What does it mean to you to be on good terms with God, to be accepted by him and to trust his lead? What would happen if this relationship would be taken from you? How would you react?
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
Try and see what is more important to you: smartphone, credit card and keys – or a clear conscience before God?
Scripture of the week: Mathew 13:44-46
“Shame on you!” Those were his mother’s words that he heard most often. They got him into drugs, later in prison and ultimately near death. Shame is a feeling that puts us down, accuses us, pains us and is almost unbearable. Therefore, many find rescue in emotional paralysis or aggressive or self destructing behaviour. To brush over our shame, we shame others, ridicule them, embarrass them, take their dignity or harass them. This way, shame survives generations.
The Pharisees embarrassed an adulteress publicly and wanted to stone her. Jesus said “Those who are without sin, throw the first stone.” Touched by his words, they ran away. Jesus responded with a freeing answer: “I do not condemn you either! Go and sin no longer!”
Jesus stood up and asked her, «Woman, where are they? Hasn’t anyone found you guilty?»John 8, 10
Jesus does not condemn regretting sinners! With forgiveness, we get back our dignity! He wants us to live reconciled and free.
Scripture of the week: Isaiah 42:1-9
As a young and mischievous climber, I wanted to climb an 800m wall without rope or security all the way up to the top. Shortly after, I noticed a thin ice cover which I hadn’t seen until then. Every move was a fight for life. In my mind I fell already. When I reached a clif where I could rest for a moment, there was one piercing question: “Which place does God have in my life?”
I realized how arrogant I was not only when climbing but also towards our Creator. What would happen if I was dead? In my hopeless situation, God came in his love. In this indescribable moment, I knew that God meant well for me.
With new strength, I made the last stretch to the top. An easier way brought me back into my newly given life.
Anyone who believes in Christ is a new creation. The old is gone! The new has come!2 Corinthian 5,17
H.S., Mountain-Guide, Hospital at the Pyhrn, Austria
Scripture of the week: James 4:10-16
The music scene is full of love-texts. Our heart longs for love. Because he loves us, God gave his only son into the world. Generations waited in trust for God’s commitment. In God’s time, the Saviour was born, a helpless child, human like we are.
God becoming human in Jesus is a critical point in God’s story with us. The Almighty comes down from the heavens and becomes needy and vulnerable just like us. In his family-tree, we find a number of people. There are Israelits and foreigners, successful and losers, men and women of various reputations. He wasn’t embarrassed because of it. Jesus experienced being human with all its facets.
But then the right time came. God sent his Son. A woman gave birth to him. He was born under the authority of the law.Galates 4:4
In Jesus, God shows us the way he is: Pure love. They nailed Jesus to the cross where he gave his life for our salvation.
Scripture of the week: Philippians 2:5-11