The Promise is to You

Living in the Graces of This Jubilee Year

“To grow in love is to grow in the Spirit.
To grow in the Spirit is to grow in holiness.
Holiness is the will of God for us.”

2017-02-18 19.56.01cWith these words, Bp. Sam Jacobs reminded us at the “50 Years of Amazing Grace” conference of our fundamental call as disciples of Christ. We are to receive God’s love and respond with love for Him and for everyone around us. This is the dynamic that gets activated when we are baptized in the Holy Spirit. This is how we live out the proclamation at the heart of everything, that “Jesus is Lord!”

The “50 Years of Amazing Grace” conference was an important reminder of our identity, and a call to further growth in the power of the Holy Spirit. Why? Because the world needs Jesus. And as the relatively small number of people from outside CTK at the conference revealed, if we don’t live this out, who will?

Throughout the conference, some of the main points stood out to me as a sort of examination of conscience.

  • We must want to be empowered by the Holy Spirit. It sounds basic, but do we really want this? Are we willing to allow Him to direct us? Each day? One of the prophetic words at the end of the conference called us to stop saying, “Yes, but….” So often we want to say “yes” to the Lord, but on our terms. Who is on the throne in our  hearts – us or Jesus?
  • Repentance is key. In order to receive all that God has for us, we must be willing to get rid of those things in our lives that are not from Him. Have we squandered the gifts He has tried to give us? Have we ignored our call? Are we living in the past, content to know that we were once baptized in the Spirit, or are we seeking what Jesus has for us today?
  • Listen to God. Can you imagine how wonderful it would be to live in a world where everyone is listening to God and living in His powerful love? We all want this, and the Holy Spirit Himself put this desire in our hearts. Each day we should ask, “Lord, how can I bring your love to the world today?” Let the Holy Spirit inspire you!
  • Several different speakers referenced Acts 4:23-31, in which the apostles respond to the threats of the chief priests and elders, not by being silent out of fear, but by praying for boldness. How many times do we hesitate to obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit for fear of what others will say or do? Let’s be alert to those moments, and in those moments, pray for boldness! The Lord will provide all we need, empower us, and bring good out of all things (Rom 8:28).

Being charismatic isn’t about praying in tongues, going to prayer meetings, or worshiping with our hands up at Mass. Those are all wonderful and important parts of life in the Spirit, but at its core, being charismatic is about the indwelling of the Holy Spirit who unites us to Jesus and the Father in personal relationships, makes Jesus the Lord of our lives, transforms our lives into holiness, and gives us gifts to enable us to bring others to Christ.

We can have great expectations for this Jubilee year. Just as the Year of Mercy was filled with special graces, the Holy Spirit has great plans for this year!

Let’s enter into these graces following the example that Bp. Earl Boyea gave us at the end of the conference. He led us in a series of petitions, praying, “Come, Holy Spirit!” Let’s make this our prayer each day…and see what happens when the Holy Spirit comes!

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, with the Host in the middle of at stained glass dove in the monstrance

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, with the Host in the middle of at stained glass dove in the monstrance

Christ the King has many resources to cultivate our lives in the power of the Holy Spirit. Prayerfully consider participating in the Life in the Spirit Seminar. And don’t forget that Upper Room’s Praise & Worship each Friday is aimed at enabling you to Encounter Jesus and be Equipped for Evangelization!

By Christy Whiting, Upper Room Director

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