Word of the Day: Pneuma

Meaning: Spirit

Greek: πνεῦμα

Pronounced: “noo-ma”

Copy the word at the top of your page. Say it aloud three times.

Have you heard this word before? If so, what do you know about it?

Look up the following references where this word is used. What do you learn about the word Pneuma?

John 14:25-27

1 Corinthians 5:4

Acts 4:25

Acts 1:8

Romans 8:26

Galatians 5:22-23

1 Corinthians 6:19

Where are we in the meta-narrative of Scripture (or, the story of Redemption)? 

It wasn’t long ago that our little town was preparing for hurricane Florence to strike. For days, Florence whipped through little Kinston, tearing down trees, dumping rain, flooding the streets, and damaging homes. Florence dumped a lot of rain, but one of the most damaging aspects of the storm was the wind. It didn’t stop for days. Austin and I hunkered down in the living room and, for hours on end, we’d listen to the wind as it whipped leaves and sticks against the house, and shook the shutters outside.

Wind is powerful, and sometimes we can forget how powerful it is simply because we cannot see it. The Greek word Pneuma, in its most basic form, means wind or breath. It’s the general word that we find throughout the New Testament to describe the inner man (Paul references having no peace in his “spirit”) and for the breath that gives man life. And when Jesus ascended into heaven He promised that He would leave His disciples with a Helper. He said that He would send His Spirit to be their comfort and counselor – and, that once He did, it would be somehow mysteriously better than if Jesus were to stay on earth Himself.

Just like the powerful wind we underestimate, the Pneuma of God is powerful, though unseen. He is the breath of God, giving life to all humanity – from the day of our creation when God breathed His Pneuma into the first humans, until today as He gives life to His people. The Pneuma of God is what gives us life, breath, and power in our Christian lives. Ever since Pentecost (when the Spirit first took up permanent residence in followers of Jesus), the Pneuma of God has made His home in His people. The very Pneuma of Christ, the Pneuma who hovered over the waters of creations, that Pneuma lives inside everyone who calls Jesus their Lord and King. 

How does this move the story forward?

Pray & Reflect: Thank God for sending His Pneuma. Ask God to give you a heart that is tender to His Pneuma, learning and listening to His voice as you seek to follow Him today. 

Author: amygannett

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