February 14th 2010

Breathing

 “The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.”

Job 33:4 (NIV) 

Several years ago, a stand-up comic, famous for his delivery of “one-liners,” celebrated his 91st birthday. The occasion brought all of his friends and relatives together, and it was well attended by news reporters. During an interview at the party, the predictable first question asked was, “To what do you attribute your longevity?” 

Without missing a beat, the comic replied, “Breathing!” 

Who can argue with that? We could say the same thing in a spiritual sense. Just as physical life depends on breathing physical air, so all spiritual life depends on the Holy Spirit, or the Holy “Breath.” The Greek word for “spirit” is pneuma, which can be translated “wind” or “breath.” 

The apostle Paul describes life in the Holy Spirit: “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace” (Romans 8:5-6). 

The Holy Spirit makes his home in those who believe the gospel, Paul says, and the Spirit bears fruit in a person’s life: “The fruit of the Spirit is love,” we read in Galatians 5:22. “…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

This fruit not only describes how we live when the Spirit lives in us, it describes how God treats us. 

God is love, the apostle John assures us, and the degree to which we understand and live in God’s love is the degree to which we walk in our life’s purpose. We’re here to bear that fruit, to be a blessing to everyone around us. 

When we’re living in the Spirit, that’s when our lives are the most fulfilling and rewarding. That’s when we feel the most alive, the most invigorated. To what do we owe our spiritual longevity? To breathing the Breath of God. To life in the Spirit, the life that is lived by faith in the Son of God. 

Prayer

Holy Father, thank you for life. Thank you for the opportunities of life. And most of all, thank you for the opportunities of spiritual life, developing your mind in our minds. Only made possible through the sacrifice and love shown to us by Jesus Christ, through whom we pray.

Amen 

Study by Joseph Tkach

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