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Saturday, January 10, 1998

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1 John 5:14-21
Psalm 149
John 3:22-30

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don't ruin your appetite

"The Son of God has come and has given us discernment to recognize the One Who is true. And we are in the One Who is true, for we are in His Son Jesus Christ." —1 John 5:20

We must thirst for and strongly desire to receive the Holy Spirit, to have living waters flow from within (Jn 7:37-38). Two baptisms prepare us for the baptism in the Spirit: first, the baptism of repentance, then the baptism of new life in Jesus. These baptisms should make us more strongly desire the Holy Spirit.

However, the devil tries to ruin this process by causing confusion about the first two baptisms. For example, the scribes and Pharisees refused to accept the baptism of John, and Herod arrested and murdered John (Mk 6:28). There was also conflict surrounding the baptism which Jesus' apostles practiced. "A controversy about purification arose between John's disciples and a certain Jew. So they came to John, saying, 'Rabbi, the Man Who was with you across the Jordan — the One about Whom you have been testifying — is baptizing now, and everyone is flocking to Him' " (Jn 3:25-26). These conflicts leave a bad taste in our mouths and can turn us off to the next baptism, the baptism in the Spirit. What's the devil trying to do now to prevent you from receiving a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit tomorrow on the feast of the Baptism of Jesus? Don't let the confusion influence you. Thirst all the more for the Holy Spirit.

Prayer:  Jesus, there's always been controversy before, during, and after the outpouring of the Spirit. May I fix my eyes on You and be immersed in and filled with the Spirit.

Promise:  "Anyone who sees his brother sinning, if the sin is not deadly, should petition God, and thus life will be given to the sinner." —1 Jn 5:16

Praise:  Lorene prayed and quit smoking completely. She had smoked four packs a day.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, June 1, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 9, 1997