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Give Heed to What God’s Spirit Says

One of Jesus’ common expressions is “let him who has ears hear.” Jesus understood that human beings tend to have a short attention span. Rather than take the ability to hear for granted, Jesus wanted his audience to remember his teaching by putting it into practice. One of Jesus’ former disciples takes this one step further by paying close attention to what the Holy Spirit is calling you to do.

He who is able to hear, let him listen to and give heed to what the Spirit says to the assemblies (churches). To him who overcomes (is victorious), I will grant to eat [of the fruit] of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God, Revelation 2:7.

In the first century church, illiteracy was rampant. Subsequently, church leaders would read out loud letters received from the apostle Paul. If you weren’t able to read, you had to pay careful attention to the message being passed on. Perhaps this explains John call to give heed to what the Holy Spirit is trying to express daily. If you tune out for a moment, you’ll miss what God’s Spirit has to say to you.

If we live by the [Holy] Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. [If by the Holy Spirit [g]we have our life in God, let us go forward [h]walking in line, our conduct controlled by the Spirit,] Galatians 5:25.

The apostle Paul explains the benefits of listening to the Holy Spirit in the passage above. Developing keen listening skills enables a Christian to actually keep in step with the Holy Spirit. Just like pet owners who take their dogs for a walk each morning, the Holy Spirit has the ability to pull you in direction God wants you to go. As human minds learn to follow the spiritual fruits mentioned in Galatians 5:22-24, you will begin to give heed to what God’s Spirit says.

by Jay Mankus

Suppressed Anger

If you slow down enough to take a look around, suppressed anger lingers deep inside the human heart.  The tension within the bullied builds until a spirit of revenge is born.  Once this seed is implanted inside of  troubled minds, the stage is set for the next school shooting.

During my sophomore year of high school, I was introduced to another form of suppressed anger.  A friend from my cross country team began to punch me in the arm every team I saw him in school.  This scenario repeated itself for 6 months until I took the time to find out why.  Carl, who became my best friend, hit me to express his frustration as he helplessly watched his mother slowly die of cancer.

Today, some of the cruelest people you encounter often possess a secret that motivates their behavior.  Just watch the Breakfast Club, paying close attention to John Bender’s character played by Judd Nelson.  Whether its a bad family life, negative influences or low self-esteem, each plays a factor in determining which person you will meet.  May a clear understanding of Galatians 5:19-22 allow you to discern suppressed anger from those who are simply evil.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

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