Pursue love and strive for the spiritual gifts. (1 Corinthians 14:1 NRSV)

When we sneeze, what do people say? That's right, they say, "Bless you" or "God bless you." Why do they do that? Well, hundreds of years ago, no one knew what caused sneezes. People back then thought that when you sneezed, your soul came out of your body, or they thought that when you sneezed an evil spirit would come into your body. In order to protect themselves from evil spirits, they would say "God bless you." This was supposed to be a blessing that would keep the evil spirits away. We still say "Bless you" today, even though we know that evil spirits can't come and go with a sneeze.

The things people used to call evil spirits, we would probably call bad feelings--feelings like anger and hatred. There is a way for those kind of evil spirits to go away, though. In the Bible it says that there was a man who had evil spirits inside of him. He went to Jesus in order for Jesus to heal him of the evil spirits. Because Jesus was the son of God, He was able to heal the man. As soon as Jesus spoke to the evil spirits, they left the man and he was healed.

Jesus can still heal us of any evil we might have on the inside of us. He does it by giving us his Holy Spirit. There's not room in the same heart for love and hate, fear and peace, good and evil. He wants us to open our hearts so that His spirit of love can come in.


Dear God, fill me with your spirit of love, as you also root out the evil in my life. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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