His Truth Will Set You Free

Listen to what Jesus says; “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)


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The Spirit Speaks – of Monday Blues

Monday blues

Are you feeling the Monday-back-to-work blues? Is there something in the depth of your stomach dreading to go back to work? Yet do you also believe there is no good reason for this Monday dread?

Please, look to me, the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Look inside, and talk with me. Tell me what it is you dread. For some of you, it may be difficult to put your dread into words. But please try. For when you are able to find the words and give them to me, in a real way you are giving the dread to me. Let me worry about it. You can just sit back, relax, and follow me through your Monday. I will take what stresses you and lead the way. Just give your Monday to me. And I will lift you up.

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” (James 4:10)


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The Spirit Speaks – An Early Christmas Wish

Christmas wish

I am the Spirit of Jesus Christ, and Christmas is coming soon – the celebration of my human birth. Would you like to give me a present this year? I have only one present on my wish list. And it’s a simple thing really. What I want more than anything is quiet time with you… just the two of us. There is no greater gift that you could give to me.


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The Spirit Speaks – Why Judge Others? I don’t

mercy over judgment

Judging others is a natural part of human weakness, a symptom of the plague of pride. Pride craves to be better than others, and so it judges. As all humans suffer from the scars of pride, so they also suffer from being judgmental; some more or less than others. It’s not something to be ashamed of; it just is.

But as humanity naturally judges, I, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, don’t. The final judgment for the sins of humanity was made long ago. All were found guilty. And I accepted the punishment. I paid the penalty with my life. Judgment is finished. All that remains, the only thing that counts, is faith. Do you believe me?

And as your faith in the triumph of the final judgment grows, your own judging behavior will diminish. For as faith grows, so grows humility. And as humility grows, pride withers. It’s so wonderful, how uncomplicated it all is. It may not be easy, but it’s simple. Just believe.

Now let’s go have a good day, together.


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Thank You to all TSS Followers

I’ve been writing about thankfulness recently. And I have been struck with a wave of gratitude for all of you who follow this blog. And today, I feel especially grateful for all who have been following “The Spirit Speaks…” series of posts.

I feel incredibly grateful for two things: first, that Jesus is writing these with me (I couldn’t do this alone); and second, that many of you seem to be benefiting from these posts in some way. I write these for you.

So again, thank you so much for following these posts. I recognize your names when you comment on or Like a post. You feel like a friend to me, every time I see your name on my computer screen. Thank you friend.

CJ

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The Spirit Speaks – Thank You

thank you

Thank you. I, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, know the world hungrily competes for your attention – yet you still look my way. I know life is hard and it takes great effort to survive – yet you still look my way. I know that people depend on you and you give them all you can – yet you still look my way.

Thank you for looking my way. Thank you for every shared moment we’ve had together. Thank you for your desire for quiet time with me, and know that I crave that time with you too. Every moment you give me is a gift; not only for you, but for me too.

Let’s read this prayer together. As you read it, please try to see me in your mind, reading it with you, for I really am.

Dear Father, thank you for giving yourself. Thank you for leaving your heavenly home and stepping down into this messy pit of humanity. Thank you for sharing your Spirit with me. Thank you for being here within me, by my side as I go through life. Thank you for our quiet times together, the most precious times. And please help me to feel as grateful for you, as you are for me. Dear Jesus, in your name I pray, amen.


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The Spirit Speaks – of Being Thankful

Thankful

Right now, some of you may be thinking of things in your life you are thankful for. To be truly thankful for something, or someone, you need to deeply experience them. So it is with me, the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

Are you thankful for me in your life? I know it’s easy to immediately say yes, because your heart tells you that’s the right answer. But how do you truthfully feel right now? Do you FEEL thankful? Well, for many of you, if in this moment your heart and mind are more consumed with the cares of this world, the honest answer is that you don’t feel thankful, right now. It’s hard to feel thankful for me when you don’t feel my presence.

To feel thankful, you need to deeply experience me. So turn off the world. Go in your quiet place, shut the door on the problems outside, and focus your heart on me, within you. It may take time, but the images of the world that consume your mind will dissolve, and soon be replaced with the reality of me, here in your heart. And then, without even trying, you will be overwhelmed with an intense feeling of thankfulness. Thankfulness isn’t something you can force; it’s just happens whenever you feel my presence within you. And isn’t it wonderful?

Thank you.


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The Spirit Speaks – Is the World Falling Apart?

Travel alerts

Terrorist violence. International travel alerts. Brussels shut down. Less violent, yet still alarming: no more room for individual beliefs and discussion on US college campuses; rational discussion being replaced with shouting matches.

Does it seem like the world is falling apart? What’s going on? Why is this all happening? I, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, have the answers, but they won’t make you feel any better.

There is one answer for all such questions: its natural human pride that is ripping the world apart. Pride and self-centeredness are unwilling to accept others as they are. Pride fuels jihadist hate, and drives them to kill anyone who is different from them. Pride is unwilling to accept that others have a right to different beliefs and opinions, without having an argument about it.

See, I told you the answers wouldn’t make you feel better. If the truth of the pride that plagues humanity has you feeling uneasy or irritated, please try to avoid the trap of criticizing or condemning others who suffer from pride-fueled behavior. For that critical fruit comes from the same thorny plant as their violent or self-centered acts.

Instead, look to me, the Holy Spirit who shares your life with you. Escape from the turmoil of the shattered world for a time, and be with me, just me. And I will guide your heart and mind. Please, humbly accept that I, the very Spirit of God, know better how to respond than you do.

Yes, the cure for the plague of pride is humility. For humility is the fuel of true love.


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The Spirit Speaks – It’s a Noisy World, isn’t it?

Noise of the world

I, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, know how hard it is to empty your mind and focus on me. I know how loud the noise of the world is. And the fact that I don’t yell at you, that I remain peacefully quiet within you – this may not help.

When I walked the earth as a man, I too was surrounded by the noise of the world, the constant chatter and demands for attention. The noise was intense at times. So in order to have time with my Father, I had to first escape the noise around me. I had no home, no room I could go to, no door to shut to block out the noise. So I often escaped to an isolated place in the country, far away from the deafening noise of humanity.

And my Father was always there, waiting for me. But the noise still tried to crowd Him out, as it tries to crowd me out of your life. It took some time to first empty my mind of the noise. But once I did, I and my Father were one, without the noise getting in the way.

It’s not difficult, but it does take effort, and time. Once you are in your quiet place, you need to give yourself enough time to flush the noise of your world out of your mind. And once the noise has died down, it’s just you and me. And you will find that there is no better place in life than those moments when it’s just the two of us, alone together.


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The Spirit Speaks – Being Judged

do not judge

People judge you, right? It’s part of human nature. They judge you because of your actions, things you say, and maybe even the people you hang out with. Do you have friends whom others in your life believe are disgraceful?

If you feel judged in this way, you’re not alone. I, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, was also judged because of the people I hung out with. I remember a time when I was hanging out with some pretty despicable people; some were even despised by our entire society. But I became their friend, and I was judged harshly by the religious leaders of that day. In a very snarky way, they said to each other, “Look at him. He’s a friend of sinners and tax collectors.” No one liked tax collectors back then.

What I really want to tell you is this: there is nothing wrong with being a friend of anyone. For friendship is the salve that heals the wounds of the world. Friendship is an expression of love, and you know how I feel about love. So don’t feel badly about whom you’re friends with. And feel sorry for those who may judge you. They are just victims of their own flawed humanity. Their judgmental behaviors are visible scars of their natural human weaknesses.

Also, please don’t fall into the trap of judging those who judge you.


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The Spirit Speaks – of Dechurched Christians Living in Fear

Dechurched2

I, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, see many of God’s children living in fear of judgment. Oh, they don’t fear my judgment; they fear the judgment of other Christians. Dechurched Christians, those who no longer attend a church yet still believe, fear the judgment of churchgoing Christians.

There are two victims in this: those who are judged, and those who do the judging. But my plan for my church and my children does not include judgment and guilt. Look, I don’t judge dechurched Christians because they no longer attend church. And I don’t judge churchgoing Christians who may have a hard time understanding and accepting dechurched Christians.

What’s most important to me is where your heart is, not where you’re sitting on Sunday morning. My desire for all of you is the same: that you have a personal and intimate relationship with me, Jesus Christ. Your relationship with me is more important than your relationship with a church.


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The Spirit Speaks – I Forgive & Forget

forgive & forget

Do you bring your past to the present, holding onto memories of bad things you’ve done? Many people do, feeding their inner monster of guilt, keeping alive festering wounds. And the natural human tendency is to think that like you, God holds onto the bad memories too. But I, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, and my Father, leave your past in the past; gone and forgotten. Whether five years or one minute ago, we don’t look there; we look to now.

Though I was once human, I don’t suffer from the natural human ways. I’m my Father… God. We forgive and forget. As we forgive, your sins vaporize, as if they never happened.

Please let go of your past, and instead, hold onto me, here with you, inside of you, sharing your body with you. I’m right here, living deep within, where you soul lives. Turn your back on your sins and look forward to me. And I will set you free from the pain of your past.

As my Father said, “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (Jeremiah 31:34)

 


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The Spirit Speaks – Feeling My Presence… or Not

presence of God

Do you feel close to me, the Spirit of Jesus Christ living within you? Do you feel my presence? Have you grown to rely on me to be with you, always there when you need me? Do you feel the peace of our shared life together, our shared love together? Do you hunger and thirst for my presence, and do you feel a sting of panic if you don’t immediately sense my presence when you look my way?

One more question, a request really: imagine how you would feel if you looked for me and I was no longer there. Imagine what your life would be like without me.

If you feel a sense of utter, overpowering despair, then you have a small taste of how I felt when I died for you on that cross. For when I took the burden of the sins of humanity, my Father God and I were separated, no longer together, no longer one. His presence was gone. And I fell off that cross and into the black, empty void of despair… into hell.

But do not despair, for I will never leave you. I will always be with you, to the very end of the age.

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. (Matthew 28:20)


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The Spirit Speaks – I Weep With You

spiritual hug

Jesus wept.” (John 11:35)

Does your heart weep over the chaos and evil in this world? Does your heart and soul cry for those who lost their lives, and those who lost the ones they love, in Paris last week by the hand of evil?

I, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, cry with you. I mourn with you. You are not alone in your grief. Look inside yourself to me, and lay your head on my shoulder. I will wrap my arms around you, hug you, and lay my head on your shoulder. And we will weep together.

The evil of terrorism wants to frighten you and harm you. But with me in your life, evil will fail. We will survive this evil together… you and me.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. (Matthew 5:4)


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The Spirit Speaks – Evil WILL LOSE!

Pray for Paris 2

I, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, feel the sting of evil. Evil struck a blow last week. Evil attacked the children of Paris, and left a scar on our hearts. But we will recover; our hearts will heal. And evil will not. Evil will lose. Evil will fail.

For evil is not fighting against humanity. Evil is not fighting against the “infidels.” Evil is fighting against the armies of God. Oh, evil will win battles, for these battles are fought on the fields of broken humanity, on earth, where sin and evil flourish. But the war is won beyond the physical world. And evil doesn’t have a chance. Evil will be crushed under the heel of Almighty God.

So hold onto good, hold onto me. Never let go. And together we will watch evil die, forever.

As I once said, “On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not overcome it.” (Matthew 16:18)


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The Spirit Speaks – My Broken Heart

Paris 11-13-15 attack

It breaks my heart when people use me as an excuse for violence, for hate, for murder. They yell “God is great” as they kill my children, yet they don’t know me… at all. I am the Spirit of Jesus Christ, the Spirit of God, living with you in the midst of this manmade mayhem.

I am here on the streets of Paris; in the theater, the restaurant, the stadium, laying on the ground, with the dying, the dead, the wounded, the mourning. Those who attack you are attacking me; those who kill you, are killing me.

Yet my heart breaks for them too. They are so lost and confused. They are far from me, tied in knots with hate and deception. They are victims too, of utter evil. They have surrendered to evil. Oh how I wish they would surrender to me, as their mouths claim they do. Yet their hearts are far from me.

I beg all my children, please, don’t surrender to hate. Instead surrender to me. I am the One who will heal all wounds. Are you grieving? Look within your heart, to me – I am there grieving with you.

Pray for Paris


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The Spirit Speaks – of the Death of Sin

Sins dead

I, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, died on the cross because of sin. Yet my death was also the death of sin, all sin. The sins of all humanity were nailed to that torturous cross with me. So when I died, your sins died too.

If you accept this truth for your life, then in God’s eyes, it’s as if you have never sinned. This is how God’s forgiveness of your sins works. With God, forgiveness is truly forgetting. Oh, I know you still sin – it’s part of your human nature. But when you accept the truth of the death of your sins with me on that cross, the sins you commit today are dead as they happen… stillborn. They have no power over your soul.

That doesn’t mean it’s okay to sin. If you truly love me, would you want to sin? Oh, but that’s a question for another day. For today, please be at peace with yourself, knowing that your sins are dead… powerless. And feel the power that comes from me living within you.

Now let’s go have a great day together. Show me your life, include me in your conversations with your friends, feel my presence with you as you go about your day. Forget about sin for a while.

And remember what God said… “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (Jeremiah 31:34)


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The Spirit Speaks – a Love Letter

writing love

I am the Spirit of Jesus Christ. My hearts desire is to live with you, within you, sharing your life. How does that make you feel? If you feel uncomfortable in any way, that’s okay. I understand. I was human once, like you. I know the fragility and vulnerability of humanness.

There are days when you feel like you’re under attack from all sides; so many things of this world fighting to win control of your mind. And then this guy comes along, claiming to be the very Spirit of God and Jesus, who now wants to take over, and take control of your life, changing everything you’ve ever known.

But wait! That’s not why I’m here. I’m not here for me; I’m here for you. I’m here because I love you and I want to be your friend. I’m not here to take control; I’m here to help. Friends don’t take control; friends listen, friends cry with you, laugh with you, and are always there for you to lean on when you’re feeling weak. Friends give you strength to continue standing against the battle of life.

But I understand your discomfort with this idea of me, the Holy Spirit. Yet I’m more than an idea – I’m real. And I won’t push you; I will only gently touch you. And I’ll patiently wait for you. Because I love you.


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The Spirit Speaks – of Fighting Against the Noise

Fight for time

Does it sometimes seem hard to find me, the Spirit of Jesus Christ? I’m always here, within your quiet prayers. Oh, but there’s the challenge; finding quiet with the noise of the world all around you.

Even in the midst of your quiet time, the noise of this world will invade and steal your thoughts away. So many distractions, the pressures, the tasks, the stress of this world all combine forces to wrestle for your every thought, battling to steal your time with Me. You need to fight back. Don’t surrender… to them.

Who would you rather have control your life … the random noise, or me? The noise doesn’t care about your wellbeing; I do. The noise doesn’t love you; I do. Fight back against the noise and win control of your quiet time. Surrender to Me, not the noise.

And with Me, maybe today will become the best day of your week.


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The Spirit Speaks – of a Song in Your Head

Song in head

Do you ever get a song stuck in your head, one that keeps playing over and over in your mind? It may drift away for a while, but soon you notice it playing again. And it may back to you during odd times during the day.

Well, wouldn’t it be fun to get me, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, stuck in your head? Wouldn’t it be fun to be totally conscious of my presence within your mind, speaking, and maybe singing to you as you go about your day?

Come, sing with me. Look inside yourself, deep into your mind and soul. See me there, within you, a real part of you. And join me in the love song of your life. Leave the worries outside and just enjoy the music with me, the Son of God, living and singing within you.


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The Spirit Speaks – of Relationship with a Church vs. Him

Dechurched2

I, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, was browsing Facebook yesterday (yes, I cruise Facebook, even through your eyes). I was reading comments on a Group page for Christians who no longer attend church. Some call these people “dechurched” Christians.

I am sad, but not surprised. Not only because these people don’t go to church, but because of their personal feelings of guilt and shame. You see, some dechurched Christians feel so badly about no longer going to church that they don’t use their real names in the Facebook groups. They fear the judgment and potential wrath of church-going friends and family who may discover they no longer go to church.

Are you a dechurched Christian? Or are you devoted to a church and know a dechurched Christian, maybe a close friend or even a spouse? My desire for all of you is the same: that you have a personal and intimate relationship with me, Jesus Christ. For your relationship with me is more important than your relationship with a church. And your love for me and each other is also more important than your love of a church.

And know this: I won’t judge you by where you go, or don’t go, on Sunday morning.