Meditation

Breaches

Abandoned HouseAbandoned homes are a sore sight – boarded windows, overgrown grass, missing doors. And when a home is abandoned it becomes susceptible to breaches. Obviously this happens because the house is not maintained and looked after. Certain areas become weak over time and simply fall apart, forming entryways for unwanted guests and pests. The damage can be costly and devastating.

Sometimes the damage can be repaired and sometimes it can’t and the only option is to tear down and rebuild. If only someone had taken the time for maintenance. Most likely the damage could have been prevented.

This can be the case with our lives and our relationships.

According to good ole’ Webster, a breach is …

  1. infraction or violation of a law, obligation, tie, or standard
  2. (a) a broken, ruptured, or torn condition or area; (b) a gap (as in a wall) made by battering
  3. (a) a break in accustomed friendly relations; (b) a temporary gap in continuity : hiatus
  4. a leap especially of a whale out of water

I believe that we are walking temples that need constant care in body, soul, and spirit. And all to often we experience signs of spiritual dehydration due to our wanton wandering. We’ve walked away from truth, from God, from covenants, from our callings, and from the destiny of our true selves.

If we fail to pause, reflect, and choose new thoughts and behaviors, not only will we suffer but those around us will as well. Taking care of our temple, what’s inside, and what it surrounds itself with is not only our right but our duty.

Breaches affect our identities, our spiritual, physical and mental health, our relationships, our churches, our cities, and our nations. Whether we’re trying to avoid or repair a breach the following four power points can help put some focus on the areas to work on.

To avoid breaches we need upkeep.

Good maintenance demands nutrition, rest, and prayer. The first two can be understood from a physical and a spiritual perspective. If we don’t take care of ourselves physically through diet, exercise, and sleep, we will not function at our optimal best and at worst, can become ill. And if we don’t take care of ourselves spiritually through an intimate relationship with God we’re setting ourselves up for a breakdown that can affect the soul (mind, will, and emotions) and the body.

To avoid breaches we need integrity.

God requires truth in the inward parts. Embracing truth keeps you sound. Lies cause division and confusion. Without truth it’s impossible to have integrity. Our integrity is guided by moral principles. And for integrity to take root we need to be consistent in godly thoughts and behaviors when we are around people and when we are by ourselves. Being a man or woman of integrity gains trust and builds and maintains solid relationships.

To avoid breaches we need security.

Someone or something is constantly influencing our minds and hearts. Either we take charge or we’ll be taking in whatever the world throws at us. Choosing what are five senses will be allowed to entertain is crucial. What we focus on will form us. Knowing what we stand for and what we want our life to be about is key. If it doesn’t line up with our principles and life goals let’s shut the door. If we are not proactive with the life we want to live, others will most definitely determine it for us. That includes our beliefs, our for-life partners, our friendships, and our callings.

To avoid breaches we need humility.

Humble hearts have followed their Master, leaned their head against His shoulder, and washed His feet with their tears. We need to humble ourselves before God and each other in a spirit of peace and forgiveness. This is the doozy because it goes straight against the human ego to be right, to be in control of our lives, and to feel a sense of superiority. Having a teachable spirit is a major key to receiving God’s wisdom.

Abandoned dwellings are a waste. But if they’re still standing there’s always hope for repair, for rebuilding, for disposing and replacing. There’s also hope for those who have breaches in their personal lives and relationships. Isaiah 61:4 says, And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations and they shall repair the former cities, desolations of many generations.

It’s time to repair the breaches and rebuild our lives!

Bible Study, Meditation, Writing

Write Your Story Again

woman-writing-in-journalAs I was studying Jeremiah 36:1-32, I realized how encouraging this Bible passage could be to aspiring writers and storytellers. Many writers struggle with telling their personal stories, myself included, especially with how much of it to tell. What may help with that is a matter of perspective. Our stories are a vehicle used to tell the bigger story.

What’s the bigger story? The redemptive story of God’s love for us.

In writing our stories, we tell God’s grander story over again. We cease to be the main character of our own story. That can alleviate some of the mental and emotional pressure associated with telling our stories.

At some point or another, we’ve asked ourselves if our stories are worth telling and how much of it to tell, and most irking, if we should air our dirty laundry. Every story with a greater purpose is worth telling. And the dirt will always be there. Telling the story of love necessitates it. Being a crafty writer will help with how it’s told.

The prophet Jeremiah was instructed by the LORD to take a roll of a book and write all the words He had spoken to him against Israel and Judah, and against all the nations from the time of the current king’s father’s reign.

I know what you’re thinking! God’s words spoken against Israel, Judah and the nations? How can this story be of encouragement to a writer? Hang tight with me a little longer! God’s hope was that in retelling his words of judgment they would turn from their evil ways so that he could forgive them. God was basically saying, This is what’s going to happen if you don’t stop all the evil you’re doing, but if you do stop, I’ll forgive you.

Jeremiah obeyed and had Baruch the scribe write down all the words God spoke to him. He then instructed Baruch to go and read the words written in the roll to the people in the LORD’s house. Did you catch that? The LORD’s house! He was talking to the people of faith on a fasting day. You know, like the folk going to church who are really not being churchy. Now, non-churchy folks weren’t off the hook either. Baruch was to read it to all of Judah as they came out of their cities. The scope of ears to hear was wide.

After the reading of the rolls to all the people of Jerusalem and to all who came from the cities of Judah, three antagonists surfaced in this story –Michaiah, Jehudi, and King Jehoiakim. Michaiah was the first snitch that went to tell the princes, Jehudi was sent by the princes to fetch Baruch the scribe so he could read the roll to them, and the princes went to the king and told him all that it said. The king had Jedudi fetch the roll and he read it in front of the king and princes.

What did the king do? He had the roll thrown in a fire on a hearth burning before him. And no one was afraid of what had been done. No one flinched at this assault against God’s words.

The story hasn’t ended but I want to share a few points we can take away from this passage in preparation for telling our own stories.

Be obedient to God’s word to you no matter what.

Baruch was asked by the princes, “Tell us now, how did you write all these words—at his instruction?” (v.17) Baruch simply answered, “He proclaimed with his mouth all these words to me, and I wrote them with ink in a book.” (v.18)

It’s that plain. There’s no need to complicate this one. Our story can only take shape when we start telling it. But also let’s be patient with ourselves. It may take us some time to tell our story. Sometimes we have to let the tears run, wait, wipe away the tears, and extract deeper meaning from our experiences. But eventually it should be told.

Let’s trust that he who began a good work in us will complete it if we stay the process of living and telling.

Not all of our words will be hopeful but they can be helpful.

Jeremiah and Baruch were obedient to God’s command to write His words in a roll of a book. Sometimes what needs to be said isn’t pretty but God’s grace always precedes his judgment. In this passage, the judgment had not occurred. It was a warning. That’s God’s grace.

Like God’s words of judgment, our stories will not be told with exclusively flowery, fragrant words. Some of our words will be like picking at scabs. Some may not be ready to hear our words. But for some, our words will be timely and that’s why we need to tell our stories.

Every day that we have lived is a necessary thread in our story. The joys, the births, the sufferings, the deaths, even the dirt and the shame. Let’s not stuff them in our mental or heart closet forever. After we have processed our pains and weaknesses, let’s pull those memories out, dust them off and use them for good.

You will have opposition but you can’t be defeated.

Many will try to silence us in an attempt to subvert our story. This is what happened when the king burned the scroll. The enemy is afraid of the content of our stories because our stories will always have God as the protagonist and the victor. He doesn’t want God to get the glory. But God’s footprints and handprints will be seen in the journey of our lives when we tell our story.

Due to the content of what was written in the roll, the princes advised Jeremiah and Baruch to hide themselves. Sure enough, the king wanted them found but God hid them from the king. The Bible asserts over and over that He is our refuge despite the circumstances around us. Let’s be at peace with our story and the telling of it even when we feel the heat around us.

You will have advocates that will protect your story.

Only three made intercession to the king to not have the roll burned but he refused to listen. Those three were El-nathan (Hebrew: gift of God), Delaiah (Hebrew: freed by Jehovah), and Gemariah: (Hebrew: accomplishment). The meaning of their names alone is inspiring.

But our biggest advocates are God the father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. These three are really all we need. They will inspire us, teach us, and guide us, so that we may tell our stories.

Our stories can be a token of peace or a balm for a troubled or hurting heart. There is not one day in our lives that’s a waste, if we tell it in light of the bigger story.

Never stop telling your story over and over again.

The passage in Jeremiah ended with God instructing the prophet with these words, “Take yet another scroll, and write on it all the former words that were in the first scroll which Jehoiakim the king of Judah has burned.” (v.28) Not only did God ask him to write it again, he even added many like words.

As I was reading this in Jeremiah, it was as if God was saying, Listen, what I told you before stands! Many will try to do away with my word, burn them like the rolls written by Baruch but write them again and I will add even more for you to write.

Our story doesn’t end until God says it ends. As long as we have breath, let’s write it and keep writing it!

 

Meditation

An Unlikely Tribe

summer-sport-bikes-bicyclesI recently attended a meeting at work with two judges, one prosecutor, one defense attorney, and two probation officers. They were telling the federal offender population I serve about a Second Chance program which offers them a support team comprised of the aforementioned individuals who would meet with them every two weeks for about a year and provide guidance and resources to aid their reintegration into society after incarceration. Their allies would be composed of unexpected people.

At first mention, the offenders were suspect of the group members. Afterall, aren’t they the ones that pointed the finger, convicted them and locked them up? Well now, that’s a matter of perspective. This is where we would have to throw our biases out the window and take a risk. If we play the blame game and refuse to budge, we’ll probably rule out potential supporters.

We can choose to surround ourselves with folk who will propel us forward or with those who will say what we want to hear and remain stuck. We need people that will challenge our faulty thinking and steer us in the right direction. We need a fellowship of people that believe in our capacity to change and succeed.

And if we want real and lasting change, we need persistence. We need accountability. We need good examples around us. Especially if we’ve been going around in circles for a long time.

We need people who will teach us that sometimes we have to face the consequences and that it won’t be pretty. We need cheerleaders who will encourage us to keep going even if we get snagged, veer the wrong way or just plain fall flat on our face. We need people who will not give up on us when we’re giving up on ourselves.

And once we’re strong enough and become who we hope to be, we must become part of a tribe for someone else. We owe it to each other. Because along the way, we’ve all crossed paths with people who have lifted us up, who have shaken us awake, and who have loved us hard.

Let’s pick an unlikely tribe to walk our journey with us and if we’re feeling adventurous, we’ll let them pick us. Either way, it’s really not about what we want, it’s about what we need. And let’s not be quick to rule people out of our inner circle. When you expect the unexpected you invite a secret array of colorful people to surround you. That is your tribe.

Meditation

The Black Oxford

black oxford appleThis isn’t about a shoe or the woven dress shirt fabric or even about an African American presence at Oxford University. It’s about an apple. Not your ordinary grocery store apple but a classic. The Black Oxford is a purple-skinned, white-freckled heirloom apple, as vintage as one can get. At first glance it looks like a plum. It’s roots go back 225 years. It was born in 1790 in Paris, Maine during a time when backyard orchards were commonplace.

What makes this particular apple special is its longevity. Nowadays you buy a fresh apple and it’ll last you 2-4 weeks in a pantry before turning to mush. Not the Black Oxford. It can keep for more than six months in a cool dark place at the right temperature with enough humidity. I certainly didn’t know an apple variety could be preserved naturally for that long.

Many of the New England orchards with these old apple trees need to be hunted down. You may want to talk to an old farmer who may be able to point you in the right direction. Once you find one you’ll want to remove a strip of live bark from those 100 or so year old trees and graft it into a healthy tree to resurrect that treasure of a fruit.

The story of the Black Oxford reminds me of another story involving a vintage fruit from a forgotten land. I see flashbacks of an abandoned garden filled with trees but no one is left to till it or eat from it. Distant echoes brush past me leaving me unsettled, cold, and naked. “Where are you?” reverberates in my soul. The past pulls me back for a few seconds and then returns me to the present with urgency. As if it’s counting on me to change something.

This time around it can be different. It has to be. We have to refuse to bite into just any apple. We should be done with modern, short-lived ideologies that try desperately to trump truth. We should be done with lies.

It’s time to search for the tree that produces precious, unadulterated fruit. Organic, deeply-rooted, mature and healthy. That tree of life. The one guarded by the cherubim. That very one that would allow us to live forever.

We bite into the fruit of that tree to be made whole because we’re an untended orchard of dwarf-sized, bitter, angry, lonely, sick trees. And our fruit is dormant. We need that ancient nourishing sap to be the blood running through our viens.

That rare fruit hung on a tree long ago for us. He beckons us to partake of Him. And this time, we’ll graft Him into our hearts. Because we’re the dying trees that need revival.

Meditation

Face the Book

lightstock_178322_BibleCoffee_Facebook. We’re either all in or want nothing to do with it. Lately, I’ve been thinking about how much time I spend on it. I’m not knocking Facebook at all. I think it’s an ingenious social media tool, if used wisely.

But I find myself scrolling for fifteen minutes at a time or more reading posts and looking at pics, “liking” this, getting upset over that. Sometimes feeling frustrated that I just wasted fifteen minutes or more. But I continue to check in periodically. Let’s tell the truth, many of us do. I’ve even vowed to stay away but when I find myself procrastinating on what I should be doing or have a little down time here and there, I tap on my Facebook app.

Facebook allows us to present our best side but it’s just a snapshot, at most. We have control over what people know and what they see. The real “us” is facing the screen, not plastered on Facebook. And we know it.

Some use Facebook to create a self they’d like to be and some are what my husband calls Facebook preachers, always telling people what they should be or shouldn’t be doing. Others are blatantly rude, publically threaten to “unfriend” anyone who sends them another Candy Crush game request or they let everybody know they’re purging people from their friend list instead of just quietly doing it. I never quite understood that one.

Facebook is making us act weird. I don’t want to be weird like that. That’s why I’m writing this post as a reminder.

But more important than acting weird to me is the question of priorities and time well spent. As I get older, the reality of the brevity of life sinks like a heavy weight in my soul.

Facebook serves as a reminder to constantly question who I really am and what I should be doing with my time, and ultimately, with my life. Spending time on Facebook isn’t going to really help me answer those questions. But sticking my face in another book will.

We can go around reading what others have to say about us, life, or God or we can go straight to the source who created us. I opt for the latter because we’re all really just searching for those honest-to-goodness answers that only He can provide.

The Bible is uncanny in reflecting an accurate image of us, and simultaneously providing the wisdom to transform that image as well.

It’s always time to face the book.

Meditation

Suddenly

snow-and-a-red-umbrellaI woke up this morning, looked out my window and was struck by the blanket of snow covering everything. Pure, milk-colored snow. I was expecting it but when I actually saw it, its beauty captivated my eyes. And it reminded me of God. The way He suddenly changes things in our lives. Suddenly, the waiting is over. Suddenly, the pain is over. Suddenly, hope shoots up like Spring in our hearts. Suddenly, God…

A few days ago a kindred spirit spoke to me of God’s “suddenlies” and to have an expectant heart. I’ve decided to keep my eyes peeled, and I hope you will too. Don’t give up on your dreams. Don’t lose hope for that miracle. Keep believing because what He promises He fulfills. Take a moment to read the messages God sends to you through nature; all those subtle reminders of God moving all around you. He’s nearer than you think. Can you feel His breath?

You may be smack dab in the middle of a storm, but a sudden move of God can drastically change the course of your life at just the right time. I know this to be true in mine. Years of waiting suddenly turned on a dime. It was over and orchestrated with so much love that when the fog of pain lifted, I was able to look back and see God’s fingerprints molding it all for my good.

As time goes by, I hope to see more clearly, but not with my eyes.

Faith is the substance of things hoped for. You don’t have to see it to believe it. You have to believe it to see it.

Wait for His suddenly. It’s coming!

Meditation

The Old Paths, The Good Way

Going-To-Pay-For-Your-DreamMeditation Verse: Thus says the LORD, Stand you in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it, and you shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk in it. (Jeremiah 6:16)

Finding our way back home isn’t always easy. We’ve wandered rather far. Actually, it’s in our nature to wander. We’ve been sidetracked. Our pride, shame, fear, guilt, anger, unbelief yanked us by the neck and veered us to the right and to the left. We’ve swerved down a lengthy, winding road, took a wild, treacherous one and even crossed some abysmal waters. We’ve even traveled down newfangled paths others have freshly carved, leading us to where we are today.

But where are we exactly? Some of us have been wandering around in circles for years and haven’t moved an inch. We’re clearly not where we’re supposed to be. Drained and dehydrated from the journey, we keep walking or running and not moving forward.

If we replay our thoughts we’d see how they guided every step we’ve taken, every stride made. Many of our decisions felt right, in their season. Some were complete dead ends. The blazing Do Not Enter sign warning us must’ve blinded us. Some were clearly marked Private Property, yet we trespassed anyway.

Whatever the case may be, here we are. But is here where we are to be? And where is here? Are you satisfied with where you are?

Most of us are just plain weary and burdened from trekking through life without some measure of purpose. We hear that promise from long ago, faintly. That there’s a future out there, a plan, a hope. We believe we can do it. We can get there. Wherever there is. Where are we going, anyway?

Are you interested in unearthing those old paths, the good way to get to where you’re supposed to be? If so, you’ll need a light for your path and a lamp for your feet. What path? The one that leads to that garden where you can hear the heartbeat of God. Where you smell His fragrance and breathe in His very love. You know. The one from once upon a time, in the land of Eden. The one where something unforeseen slithered into our lives. The one we left behind.

We may not be able to retrace our steps, but there’s a voice calling out to us that will lead us there, saying, Where are you?

Meditation

Why are the Angry Birds angry?

3d-drawing-art-angry-birds-game-funny-backgroundTruth is I’m not a smartphone game app player. In fact, I’ve never downloaded one to my phone. I mean, really. Ain’t nobody got time fo dat! {smile} I prided myself on holding out on those timestealers but my curiosity got the best of me. Which one did I gravitate towards? Angry Birds, of course. And so have over a billion other users.

I’m greedy for any information about birds nowadays. So I asked myself, Why are the Angry Birds angry? I had absolutely no idea. I decided to find out before downloading the app. In my quest, I came across a blog post by Marwa Aly, a former Muslim Chaplain. Her post, Angry Birds or Self Sacrificing Soldiers? got my wheels turning.

My answer to her question is both. The birds are angry because some blue pigs kidnapped their eggs and ate them. Now they’re out for revenge, and losing their life in the process isn’t stopping them. Aly says that when we play the game, we are the angry birds. That blew my socks off!

By playing the game we’re subconsciously agreeing to the premise of the game; self-sacrifice to achieve an end. We’re not only applauding the mission of these angry birds, we’re stepping into their shoes, or shall I say their wings? Over and over and over again, we’re going after those blue pigs.

What about real life scenarios? What do we do when we’re offended? When someone steals something of value from us? Before we put on the angry bird super-hero(ine) costume and propel ourselves with a slingshot to squash our target, let’s pause and think about why we do what we do. Where does our anger take us? Would we die for something we believed in? Is it for justice or revenge, to save another life or for something entirely vain? Is losing our life ever worth it?

I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be an angry bird. I’m attracted to the idea of a sacrificial life though. We don’t necessarily have to lose our physical life to live one either. A sacrificial life is meaningful, even if the days are shortened. Empty days trying to figure out why we’re here are drudgery. If done with a noble motive, it can be life-transforming and life-giving.

We give our lives over to something everyday, whether we’re aware of it or not. Either we lose our days to unworthy causes or we’re investing them in something other than ourselves. The latter is the kind of living that leaves a legacy. It gives us purpose.

I’m thoroughly convinced that the most widely known model of self-sacrifice in the history of history is Jesus. He laid His life down for the world. Not for the innocent either. For the guilty. For those that despised Him, rejected Him, spit on Him, and cursed Him. It was love that motivated Him to willingly lay down His life. He did it for His friends. He did it for His enemies. He did it for me and He did it for you.

Jesus teaches us that love should motivate our sacrificial lives. Not anger. Not revenge. Love for God and love for others.

Meditation

Harps Hanging on Willows

Weeping_willow_by_the_pondMeditation Verses: By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How shall we sing the LORD’s song in a strange land? (Psalm 137:1-3)

People plummet down the depths of despair when tragedies occur; a world without hope, scraping for answers to the why of evil. Christians get caught up in the whirlwind of emotions as well. Occasionally we too get blindsided by the fiery darts of the enemy.

When the dust settles and the shock wears off, we scramble to anchor ourselves in God’s peace and comfort. Yet, we hear the echoes of travailing souls stuck in pits of darkness, grasping at straws. Then they look to us.

We’re barely surfacing from the deep-sea of heartache and the world asks us for a song. How on earth are we supposed to sing when the wounds still sting? And why are they asking us to sing?

When the children of Israel were taken captive and exiled in Babylon, their captors asked of them the same thing. They asked them to sing songs of Zion and required of them mirth. Whether their intent was to taunt or satisfy their curiosity, the motive behind their request is unknown.

Regardless of the motive, it would be safe to assume that the Israelites refused to sing. How could they sing and betray their sadness? How could they sing songs and forget their desolated temple and city? It was simply inharmonious to do so. They had hung their harps on the willows by the rivers of Babylon and had no intention of picking them up.

There’s no doubt that we will continue to be eyewitnesses to the pandemonium of the forces of darkness upon the earth. We can expect the worldly system to despise us, to ridicule us, and to attempt to carry us captive into its deviant beliefs, culture and lifestyles. Yet, we’re reminded that we are in this world but not of this world.

Despite their animosity toward us, during times of crises, the world will look to us for hope. Why? Because they have no personal memories of God’s goodness. They’ve wandered far from God. Barren trees grow by the rivers of Babylon. They offer no sustenance or assurance to its people.  We, on the other hand, should have reservoirs of God’s faithfulness tucked away in our spirit’s memory closet, spilling with garments of praise of varied colors and textures.

The world will ask us to sing because they know we carry hope deep within. Will we hang our harps on the weeping willows or sing songs of deliverance to a world caught in the throes of deception and pain?

Bible Study

May God Live

Treasure Chest1 Chronicles 29:6-9; Ephesians 4:11-16.

King David captured the city of Jerusalem from the Jebusites, brought the Ark of the Covenant over from Kiriath-Jearim, trained Levitical singers and musicians and composed Psalms—all in preparation for the future temple his heart desired to build for God. As a leader, King David set an example. He gave from his own personal treasures and asked who was willing to consecrate themselves to the Lord. By this he meant, giving gifts for the construction of the temple. The leaders of the people responded joyously with gifts of gold, silver, bronze, iron—and even precious stones!

There’s no doubt that the metals were acceptable gifts, but notice in the Bible text that the precious stones were given to the treasury of the temple. They were especially guarded—entrusted into the care of Jehiel, the Gershonite. Being a Gershonite made him a descendant of Levi. The Levites assisted the temple priests. They were servants of the Lord in His temple with varied functions—singing, maintenance, construction, teaching and judging, to name a few. Let’s keep that in mind as we discuss the spiritual parallel to the physical temple.

The physical temple was a foreshadowing of the spiritual temple of the body of Christ (Church). Believers are now the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 3:16). In Hebrew, Jehiel’s name means may God live. When we surrender to the leading of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:14) and allow Him to be our teacher (John 14:26) and our guide (John 16:13), in essence, we’re saying, “May God live” in us and through us and use us. When we build up the body of Christ, the fullness of God in His Son Jesus Christ lives in us through His Holy Spirit (Colossians 2:9)!

With that in mind, what do we have that God can use for the edification of the body of Christ? Our personal treasures are nothing less than the perfect gifts God Himself has given us (James 1:17). We are to give to the service of God what He has deposited into each of us—all of His precious gifts. Believers today are entrusted with natural and spiritual gifts to edify—build up the body of Christ, just like the precious stones in Jehiel’s custody. By using our unique gifting in service to God and each other, each member of the body of Christ helps to fortify it.

Not only has God given us charismatic gifts (1 Cor. 12-14) and service gifts (Rom. 12:6-8) but the ultimate gift of Christ Himself (John 4:10), the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:18-20), eternal life (Rom. 6:23), natural abilities (1 Cor. 7:7), salvation through faith (Ephesians 2:8) and love (2 Tim. 1:6-7).

But listen, we can’t give what we don’t have—much less, joyfully. Lives running on empty—just getting by without the saving blood of Jesus and His power through the Spirit—isn’t an effective life (Acts 1:8). We’re breathing but not living the abundant life Jesus offers—a chest full of treasures waiting to be discovered to edify God’s people!

This is a repost of my Bible Study on Charisma Magazine’s website. Click LINK to view.