Biblical Meditation – John 20:22

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John 20:22: And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

For the second time in scripture in John 20:22, God breathed on man. The first time in scripture that God breathes on a man is when the Creator breathes on Adam in Genesis 2:7.

When God breathes life into you, it’s not possible for you to die.

Adam, from creation, was immortal. Something profound and spiritual had to take place for death to enter the picture. Later in the Edenic story, we learn that Adam and Eve ate the fruit that would lead to death – and it wasn’t necessarily the fruit, but the disobedience that opened the door to death.

Rebellion is dangerous.

When Adam and Eve rebelled, the death process began. And it wasn’t just a physical process, but a spiritual one as well. Mankind was left to die – not just in his body, but also in his sin.

And then Yeshua came.

When Yeshua came He did something profound – He breathed on His disciples. Yeshua was giving them the Holy Spirit, but I also believe that Yeshua was breathing spiritual life back into mankind. I think he was correcting the brokenness that occurred when man was disobedient.

The Greek word for Holy Spirit is pneuma – which means wind, breath or spirit. I think that the breath of life in Genesis 2:7 was also HOLY. Logic dictates that God’s breath is Holy because He is HOLY, HOLY, HOLY.

When God made man, man was Holy because God had breathed on Him – man had an impartation of God. You cannot have a piece of God within, without having some holiness in you. When Yeshua breathed on His disciples, He was imparting the Holy Spirit.

When you’re filled with the Holy Spirit, you are filled with the Breath of Life. It’s our duty to be filled with the Holy Spirit and be filled with life. We are to be life in the midst of darkness.

I used to think that if I prayed more, fasted more, read more scripture, recited the Psalms and the Lord’s Prayer more I would have more of God’s spirit within.

Can you image the relief I felt when I learned in the Bible that the way to be filled with the Holy Spirit is to simply ask God and walk in obedience to Him.

We need to ask for the Holy Spirit.

The Bible clearly says you’re supposed to ask for the Holy Spirit. God gives the Holy Spirit to those who ask. Ask God to fill you with His Breath of Life.

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Baptism: Dying to Self

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Baptism is one of the most memorable events in my life. I was baptized at age seven, and it was something I’ll never forget. In our Southern Baptist church it was traditional for a person to wear white from head to toe – I even wore a white turban on my head. When I stepped into the baptismal pool, (which wasn’t designed for children, but for adults) the water was almost up to my neck.

There was no need to tip me backwards. I was so small that the pastor could have pushed a small wave towards me. However, I was dipped backwards and came back up again. I felt clean and tingly – there were all these emotions stirring within. I knew that I had done something spectacular, and I knew that the angels in heaven were having a party. I knew that something profound had occurred that I didn’t truly understand.

Baptism is one of the most profound aspects of Christianity. It’s an enigma. It’s an esoteric mystery of renewal and cleansing. There are two things that occur when you are baptized. You go under. And then you rise again.

You are submerged and what’s left in the water are the fragments of who you used to be and what rises from the water is a brand new person. Baptism symbolizes dying to self.

When God Breaks, He Multiplies

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On Daystar, I heard a minister preach on the miracle of Yeshua feeding the 5,000. The preacher pointed something out that I had never noticed before. He pointed out that Yeshua blessed the bread and broke it, but the miracle didn’t materialize until it was in the hands of His disciples. His point was clear – We need God’s blessing for the miracle, but the miracle is in our hands – we have to take action. There are times when we should actively participate in the miracle and not just be passive observers of what God is doing, but actually act – with His Blessing.

However, I believe that the miracle of feeding 5,000 was twofold.

Throughout the New Testament, we watch God incarnate heal and fix everything that He touched. And now, finally, He breaks something – a loaf of bread. But, then we discover that God wasn’t actually breaking the bread, but rather multiplying it. Here is another beautiful mystery of the Father – that even when He seems to break – He is really multiplying.

Only God can bring abundance from that which is broken.

When God takes away something, we often writhe in pain, not knowing or understanding what He is doing. We don’t realize that when He breaks, He is creating something new. When God took away a rib from Adam, it was because he was going to multiply people upon the earth. Is it possible for God to divide without simultaneously multiplying? I think Job understood this concept when he said “The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” I think Job understood that although it seemed like God had broken him and taken everything away, God could restore even more… and this is precisely what occurs at the end of Job. By the end of Job’s book, we read: And the LORD restored the fortunes of Job when he had prayed for his friends. And the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.

When Peter Recognized Yeshua as God

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In Matthew 16, when Yeshua came to the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Yeshua answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Amazing things occurred when Peter recognized Yeshua as God.

First, he was blessed.

Next, he gained a new identity. When Peter confessed that Yeshua was Christ and recognized his divinity, God gave Peter a new name.

Finally, Peter gained authority. Christ gave him something that he hadn’t given his other disciples nor anyone else – the ‘keys of the kingdom of heaven’. With those keys, came a divine authority from God Himself.

Our Daily Bread (The Lord’s Prayer)

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The Lord’s Prayer is complete. It is whole and it is Holy. There is nothing that needs to be added, and there is nothing that needs to be taken away from it. It is the pinnacle of perfection, and the exact words that we need to say to our Father when we bow down to pray.

Give us this day our daily bread.

The verse above lingered in my head, and then crystalized when I meditated on the scripture that tells us that God will not give us a stone if we ask for bread.

However, George McDonald says something curious about this verse – He says that God will sometimes give his children a stone if they are insistent on trying one. And, I can personally testify that I have asked God for many stones…

Sometimes we want things that bring great sorrow, not knowing what the outcome will be. In our blindness and lack of discernment we believe it will bring us joy.

Our desires can be our demise.

But Jesus also knew that our desires can be our demise, which is why He taught us how to pray… Give us this day our daily bread. He knows that it’s bread we need – not stones. And when we ask for bread…. God will not give us a stone.