Faith Messages to build your faith

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

#3 The Holy Spirit will Set You Ablaze

Dr. Wesley L. Duewel: The Holy Spirit loves so tenderly, cares so personally, and ministers to us so faithfully. How amazing that perhaps the most common symbol of this beautiful Person found in the Bible is flaming fire!

   Why does Scripture choose fire to illustrate His presence and role? What blessedness does this suggest for us when we are Spirit-filled?  (Google image, praying crowd

   An important symbolical message for us in the fire of the Spirit is undoubtedly His work of purifying. This is the central reality in the experience of being filled with the Spirit (Acts 15:9). However, there are other significant truths taught by the fire-symbol of the Spirit. Let us look at these.

   John the Baptist had prophesied of Jesus that "He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire" (Matt. 3:11; Luke 3:16). The coming of the Spirit is to have the effect of fire.

   Christ desired that all the fiery ministry of the Spirit be active in the life of His own. He kindled the holy flame of God in the hearts of His followers as He began His earthly ministry.

   Only on the day of Pentecost, as visibly symbolized by the descent of the holy flame of the Spirit, did Christ so empower by His fiery baptism that the 120 began to spread God's holy fire across the world.

   Jesus had said,"I have come to bring fire on the earth" (Luke 12:49). While not all commentators are agreed as to the meaning of this fire which Christ so longed to have arrive, yet over the centuries a host of noted scholar-leaders of the church have seen it as referring to or including reference to the mighty ministry of the Spirit.

   Zeal for accomplishing God the Father's purpose was burning in Jesus like an unquenchable fire. He had a "burning readiness to do all the Father's will, even though it cost Him his blood." Our flaming-hearted Savior should have disciples with hearts similarly aflame.

   Bishop William Quayle, speaking of a leader, said he "stands at the center of a circle whose entire rim is fire. Glory envelops him. He is a prisoner of majesty." He says that even the speechless should become ablaze on such themes as the gospel compels us to grapple with. "We must not be insipid. There is not a dull page in all this age-long story of the redeeming of the race."

   Quayle pleads with us not to be apathetic but to be vigilant

      We "are burdened with a ministry which must be uttered 
      lest we die, and, what is more of consequence, which must 
      be uttered lest this wide world die."

   Let your heart be kindled with his further words: the minister

     "has his own heart strangely hot. Love girds him. The Christ
     applauds him. Eternity becomes his tutor. Heaven owns him
     as its ambassador. With him is God well pleased. A thousand
     points of fire leap along the horizon of his loving thought
     and design."

   Benjamin Franklin confessed that he often went to hear George Whitefield because he could watch him burn before his very eyes. We have forgotten the root meaning from which we get our word "enthusiastic."

   It is from en theos, ie., in God. When God gets His flaming Spirit into our personalities He naturally burns within us with holy dynamic. We become ablaze and we set others ablaze. It is a sin for a Christian leader to be drab and uninspiring. 

   The prince of English preachers, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, insists, 

  "Preaching is theology coming
through a man who is a fire . . . I say again that a man who can speak about these dispassionately has no right whatsoever to be in a pulpit;
and should never be allowed to enter one. What is the chief end of preaching? I like to think it is this. It is to give men and women a sense of God and His presence.

      (Lloyd-Jones, Preaching and Preachers, 97).

   The Salvation Army and many other evangelicals in the British Isles love to sing this hymn written by William Booth, the Army's founder: 

"Thou Christ of burning, cleansing flame,
   Send the Fire!
Thy blood-bought gift today we claim,
Send the Fire!
Look down and see this waiting host; 
Give us the promised Holy Ghost.
We want another Pentecost!
   Send the Fire!

'Tis Fire we want, for Fire we plead.
   Send the Fire!
The Fire will meet our every need;
   Send the Fire!
For strength to ever do the right,
For grace to conquer in the fight,
For power to walk the world in white
   Send the Fire!

To make our weak hearts strong and brave,
   Send the Fire!
To live a dying world to save,
   Send the Fire!
Oh, see us on thy altar lay
Our lives, our all, this very day.
 To crown the offering now we pray,
   Send the Fire!

   God said to Jeremiah, "I will make my words in your mouth a fire" (Jer. 5:14). On that occasion God was referring to fire as a judgment. But God similarly makes our words fiery in order that His people may become aflame with holy love, zeal, and obedience.

   When the Holy Spirit sets our heart aflame He will cause our words to be aflame. When our personality is aflame with commitment to Christ and with a burning vision of what He purposes to do for us, our whole leadership comes alive with life and becomes vibrant with power.

   We must constantly maintain our consecration, even as the priests maintained the fire on the altar of the temple. God honors when we make repeated occasions to renew our commitment, confess our total dependence upon Him and appropriate and implore anew His gracious Spirit's ministry within and through us.

   Let us note more fully this fiery ministry of the Spirit.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    Used by permission of the author and Duewel Literature Trust, Inc., Greenwood, Indiana. Creative reading style by Jean.

Ablaze for God
#3 The Holy Spirit will Set You Ablaze
by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel
(pp. 20-23) ZondervanPublishingHouse


   Father, because Christ desired His disciples to have active lives, kindled with the holy flame of the Holy Spirit, we are also encouraged to have this in our lives as well.
   Zeal for accomplishing Your will and purpose needs to be like an unquenchable fire within us.
   Our flaming-hearted Savior should have disciples today with hearts similarly aflame.
   As You get Your flaming Spirit into our personalities, we can naturally burn with holy dynamic, and become ablaze. We then can influence others to be ablaze too.
   May our leaders in our churches become inflamed with the Holy Spirit, so they won't be found uninspiring! 
   May they come alive with life, vibrant with power to accomplish all Your will through their personalities, ministries and lives.
   It is our desire to also be filled with the Holy Spirit, so we can also be used more effectively in the kingdom's work in our local churches.
   We ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Today's Bible verse-

     "But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly

      for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him
     (Ps. 4:3 KJV).

     "Every good gift and perfect gift is from above, coming
      down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does
      not change like shifting shadows" (James 1:17 NIV).

      "For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods
      upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed,
      and my blessing upon thine offspring(Is. 44:3 KJV).

Today's quotes-

~ Del Fehsenfeld, Jr.-"Desperate times demand God's personal intervention, and on the stage of history that has always been called a revival. The only hope that God will be exalted, the only hope that He will be lifted up once again as the Lord over this nation, the only hope for survival as a free people, the only hope for our children and our grandchildren, is an old- fashioned, Holy Spirit-empowered revival that will sweep back the tide of sin and restore the basic principles of God and His Word that made her great."

~ Maureen Longnecker- "The world knows suffering exists. They don't need to see people go through tremendous trials, insisting that they are perfectly peaceful and don't experience any discomfort. They know that isn't real. What they need to see is authentic living that expresses the painful casualties of living in this fallen world and to see God's answer to it being fleshed out in the members of the Body of Christ as they reach out to minister His love and compassion to those in pain. 

   When that happens, others are drawn to our God. They're able to see the sweetness of His Spirit in the actions of His follower." (Taken from p. 164 of her book, The Other Side of the Tapestry).

Today's popular post-

Jean Oathout seems to think that there is a real need to understand there is a difference between worry and concern, and we need to know what it is.

Let's take Worry first . . .

Today's question-

   Is the Word of God safe in You? 

   Our lives reflect our relationship with Christ Jesus. His Word instructs us to carry His message to a lost and dying world. We're to submit to His authority and represent the Living God in our various ministries He's given us. What we think and believe about Him and the Bible, influences everything we say, do and think.

Upcoming posts-

#4 He Sets You Aflame
26th- Thursday's post by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel

Why Pray
28th- Saturday's post by Lee Forbes

#5 He Provides You Gifts
31st- Tuesday's post by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel

#6 Wanted: A Burning Heart!
11/2nd- Thursday's post by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel

Jean's blog 
(Click to see snippets of the 7 recent posts)
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