Power, Love & Self Control
Author: Fr. Abraham Dsouza SVD 16 Feb 2021
“For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline” (2Timothy 1:7). As we begin the New Year 2021, the Lord says, …. “See, I am making all things new.” (Revelation 21:5). When the Lord leads us, He makes us people of power, love and self-control.
Power of God: In the Old Testament, Samson was filled with the power of God. He used the jawbone of a dead donkey and slew a thousand people. “Then he found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, reached down and took it, and with it he killed a thousand men” (Judges 15:15). Young David tears a lion and a bear into pieces as he was anointed with the Holy Spirit. Though Goliath was more than 9 feet tall and was armed with all the best of armor, fifteen year old David could put him down and cut off his head (1Sam 17:51). Joshua ordered the sun and moon to stand still and they obeyed him (Joshua 10:12-13). Calling on the name of the living God, Moses raises his staff, ten curses come upon the Egyptians one after the other. With the same rod, he commanded the red sea to part into two. In the name of the Lord God, Moses made the heavenly food, Manna, to rain down from heaven. Even the dry rocks yielded fresh drinking water. Great things happen when God mixes with people.
Power of Jesus: Power of God was bestowed upon Lord Jesus. “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him” (Acts 10:38). He turned water into wine, healed the lepers, gave eye sight to the blind, made the paralytic walk, commanded the demons to get out, ordered the violent sea and storm to calm down. At the voice of his order, dead persons came back to life.
Lord Jesus promises his followers to be anointed with His Holy spirit. “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever” (John 14:16). “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria,
and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). During the Pentecost, the believers received the promise anointing of the Holy Spirit. Then the disciples of the Lord went all over the world and performed similar powerful miracles and much more than that. “Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father” (John 14:12).
During Covid 19 pandemic, a person affected with HIV/AIDS became very ill and was taken to the hospital. There he was diagnosed with Covid-19. The doctors gave up all hope. The person was unconscious for ten days. He started listening to Bible based preachings on YouTube on hospital bed then telephoned me to pray over him. He felt the Lord is speaking to him all through his period of coma. He was surrounded by Mother Mary and angels. When he became conscious, he became completely healthy. The doctors were surprised and exclaimed that it is a divine miracle.
Gifts of the Holy Spirit: The power of God manifests as the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The gifts are Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude Knowledge, and Divine Fear Piety. The divine wisdom helps us in turning our enemies into benefactors. “When they came to Jesus, they appealed to him earnestly, saying, He is worthy of having you do this for him, for he loves our people, and it is he who built our synagogue for us” (Luke 7:4-5). The Romans and their soldiers were very cruel to Jews and therefore, Jews hated them. The Romans were very strict with them. But this centurion had become a friend of the Jews. He built a synagogue for them. Jesus helps him by healing his slave. Divine power is not to fight with our enemies but rather win them over to Jesus.
Do not think that all your enemies are for your destruction. When God is with you, they become a stepping stone for your growth and prosperity. Goliath becomes an opportunity for David what he can achieve by the power of the Holy Spirit. The divine wisdom leads him to keep away from King Saul, who tries to kill him. But David becomes soul friend of Jonathan, the son of King Saul. Let the Divine Wisdom enlighten us to make use of all oppositions to use them as stepping stones of spiritual and secular prosperity.
Right decisions at Right Time: Divine Wisdom leads us to take right decisions at the right time. When the tax collects came to collect tax from Simon Peter, he goes to Lord Jesus. “However, so that we do not give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook; take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a coin; take that and give it to them for you and me.” (Mathew 17:27). The divine wisdom leads Simon Peter to strike gold in his daily profession of fishing. As we allow the Holy Spirit anoint us & lead us, we will be blessed financially to meet all our needs and much more. In the New Year 2021, let us do our jobs, businesses and professions with great dedication and commitment.
A person went through great financial crisis as he lost his job because of Covid -19 lock down in March 2020. He had just started to construct his new house. He had even borrowed lots of money as loans. He even contemplated suicide. Then he came across Word of God preached through YouTube media. The word of God consoled him, strengthened him and filled him with great hope that God will do miracles to uplift him financially. Accordingly, he started trying out online jobs and local business. He struck a jackpot. He got an online job with a very good day. His business also flourished. He quotes, “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” (Rom 8:28). His house construction progressed faster than his earlier plans. More than his financial prosperity, he is reads Holy Bible daily and worships God thrice a day.
“……My grace is sufficient for you…” (2 Corinthian12:9) God provided enough grace for St. Paul to lead a glorious life. As you call on the Holy Spirit every day to fill you with power, love & self control, God’s grace provides for all your needs.
Spirit of Love: We are given Holy Spirit of love. 1 Corinthians 13 explains us about Divine love. Whatever we good we do is futile like a noisy going without the ‘divine love’. This divine love is also called ‘agape’, which makes Jesus our Lord to shed his last drop of blood for us. With ‘agape love’ our lives become meaningful and wonderful. Without love, all our gifts, talents, charismas achievements and sacrifices amount to nothing (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)
The characteristics of this ‘agape love’ are beautifully explained by St. Paul Love is patient, kind, not jealous, not boastful, not arrogant, not rude, not irritable, not resentful, does not rejoice over wrong rejoice over right, not selfish, not self centered, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things(versus 4-8). This divine love is above knowledge, prophecy, hope and faith (versus 9-13). Hope is regarding the future faith is about here and now, where as divine love is about having intimate relationship with God. The purpose of all programs & activities of Divine Call Centre is to have such intimacy with God the father. Let us prosper in this ‘divine love’ in this New Year2021!
Spirit of Self Control: We are given the Holy Spirit of self-control. God has gifted us with Body, mind and heart. These are to be controlled, formed, directed and put to best of use “Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh” (Gal 5:16). Many are destroyed because they have not formed their conscience well. Obedience to our parents, elders and wise people, help us in forming a holy conscience. This holy conscience disciplines our mind, heart and body. Then we do not follow desires of the flesh (Gal 5:19-21). Rather we hear the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). “So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:1-3). The divine message makes it clear to us that we are dead to sin and are raised with Christ. Therefore focus on heaven and be glorious like Christ.
I saw a Chinese circus. In that circus, a young girl throws a dozen cups in the air and placed perfectly on her head one over the other. The performance needs tremendous concentration & calmness of mind. Then she continues to carry those twelve cups on head and performs on a platform rolling over a cylinder. When I met personally a lady in Hong Kong, who was part of such circus group in China. She went through all the rigorous discipline, training, diet and hard work because her focus was on feeding her hungry and sick parents and siblings. What is our focus? Let our focus be God and our eternal life with Him “For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; (2Tim1:6) “Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Phil4:8).
I assure you my personal prayer for each one of you. Have a Spirit filled prosperous New Year 2021!
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