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Thursday, June 27, 2002

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St. Cyril of Alexandria

2 Kings 24:8-17
Psalm 79
Matthew 7:21-29

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pick on me

Jesus said: "None of those who cry out, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of God but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven." —Matthew 7:21

Why does the Lord "pick on" Spirit-filled people? Billions of people are not doing God's will, but the Lord focuses on those with spiritual gifts of prophecy, deliverance, and miracles (Mt 7:22). He even threatens to declare solemnly to charismatics: "I never knew you. Out of My sight, you evildoers!" (Mt 7:23)

The Lord also picks on Spirit-filled people in the famous passage about love. Many people in this world lack love. In some way, everyone is unloving, but the Lord once again focuses on those with spiritual gifts of tongues, prophecy, knowledge, faith, ministry to the poor, and martyrdom (1 Cor 13:1-3). People with these gifts are extremely blessed, but the Lord calls them "noisy gongs," "clanging cymbals," and even "nothing" — unless they have love (see 1 Cor 13:1-3).

The Lord picks on Spirit-filled people because He has given them so much. He expects much from those who have been given much (Lk 12:48). The power of those who have accepted their spiritual gifts is so great that the Lord especially challenges them to repentance, obedience, and love. When the Lord picks on you, that's a sign you're extra special.

Prayer:  Father, "pick on" me.

Promise:  "Help us, O God our Savior, because of the glory of Your name; Deliver us and pardon our sins for Your name's sake." —Ps 79:9

Praise:  St. Cyril, a Doctor of the Church, lived during a period of Church history when certain heresies were popular. His writings brought clarity to the doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation.

Reference:  (Presentation Ministries offers Discipleship Retreats: "Building a New Life in the Spirit," July 5-7; "Call to Holiness: Life-Style in the Spirit," July 8-10; "Holy Spirit, Prophecy, and Renewal," July 15-17; and "Using Our Spiritual Gifts..." July 19-20. To register, call 937-587-5464 or e-mail retreats@presentationministries.com)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, December 4, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 10, 2001