When Peter first encountered Jesus, he was fascinated. Jesus said, “Follow me,” and Peter went easily. Then he denied Jesus three times, his heart broke, and fascination turned to shame. When Jesus called to him again, Peter could go only because he’d received the Holy Spirit. The first time Peter followed, there was nothing mystical about it. The second was based on a supernatural change, an internal martyrdom made possible by the Spirit (John 21:18).
Between these two moments, Peter denied Jesus with oaths and curses. He came to the limits of himself, the end of his human power. Destitute and empty, realizing he could no longer trust himself, he was finally ready to receive the gift of the Spirit. “[Jesus] breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’” (20:22). Now, when Peter looked to Jesus, all he saw was Jesus: not the dreams that had enchanted him before, not a vision of himself playing the devoted follower. God had changed Peter, awakening shame and self-knowledge inside him. Yet even these changes Peter knew not to count on. He’d learned to count only on a person—on Jesus himself—and on the Spirit he gives.
Receive the Holy Spirit”: it is an invasion, one that cannot happen until we come to the end of ourselves. We must come to this end not just in our imaginations but really. When we do, we realize that, in fact, we never did have any power of our own. That’s why all our vows and resolutions ended in failure.
Now, on the other side of that failure, we see clearly. Only one star shines in our sky—our lodestar, Jesus Christ.

Wisdom from Oswald

Am I learning how to use my Bible? The way to become complete for the Master’s service is to be well soaked in the Bible; some of us only exploit certain passages. Our Lord wants to give us continuous instruction out of His word; continuous instruction turns hearers into disciples.  Approved Unto God, 11 L