Saturday, June 7, 2014

The Spirit gives assurance

June 7: Saturday of the 7th week of Easter:
A thought for those who want to reveal the risen Jesus in their lifestyle.

Acts 28:16-20, 30-31; Psalm 11:4, 5, 7; John 21:20-25

“It is on account of the hope of Israel that I wear these chains.” Acts 28:20

Paul in prison had the assurance of a clear conscience. He knew he was suffering for what he believed, and he knew that what he believed was true. There is peace and strength in that.

By the “Gift of the Spirit” our religion becomes an experience of inner, personal identity. We don’t just profess what we have been taught; we know what we know. The light of the Spirit gives us conviction in our hearts. Our moral choices are based on a firmness and freedom of personal, individual conscience.

Paul had written earlier, “I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Why? Because he could say with certitude, “I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience confirms it by the Holy Spirit” (Romans 8:38).

Those who just “conform” to the beliefs and practices of their religion will also conform to their culture. They may “draw the line” at some things, but basically they will live by the light and values of this world. Conformism doesn’t produce non-conformists.

The Spirit does.

PRAY: “Holy Spirit, make me free.”

PRACTICE: Renew the Church and the world through nonconformity.

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