Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Holy Spirit Truth Divine"1 (Lyrics)
When we lived on the outskirts of town, every spring, I would go to our bush at the back of the property, gather up dead branches, and cut down and cut up at least one or two trees. In the fall, when the wood was dry, we would split it and bring a winter's supply into the garage. Then, the great Canadian pastime of trying to keep warm in the winter started in earnest. We had a wood stove in the den, and with an old newspaper, some kindling, and a match in hand, I would start the fire. As soon as I held the match to the paper, I would start to feel the heat. In a few minutes, after the kindling had started to burn, I would feel more heat. Why is that? Have you ever thought about that? What is fire? I have trouble explaining it, so I looked it up in my dictionary. Fire: (n.) the phenomenon of combustion manifested in light, flame, and heat; (v.tr.) to give life or spirit, to inspire, to fill with passion.
During the many years when I led Bible discussions at the local Long Term Care Centre, we looked at the Book of Acts several times. Dr. Luke, the writer of this book, describes so well the events of the beginning of the Christian church and the enthusiasm of the early believers, as well as the hardships that they endured. One of the first significant events was the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the amazing time when they saw tongues of fire above those present.
Acts 2:2-3 – And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. (NKJV)
If we continue to read the events of those early days, we will see that the disciples were filled with passion to fulfill the mandate that they had received from Jesus. But I am also sure that at times they were discouraged.
At the time of Jesus' ascension, He had told them that they were to go out and spread the gospel, and they did. But we know that there were times when their teachings were rejected and times when their lives were threatened. From a human point of view at least, there were times when they must have felt that they were failing the Lord. But then as they gathered, as they prayed, they would feel the Spirit moving them, and they were again filled with passion.
After we had lit our wood stove, we would have to look after it continually. When the fire died down, we had to poke the smouldering embers and put in more wood. Then, it would roar back to life again.
That is the way it is with us as well. When our spiritual fires are almost out, then it is time to be replenished with the words of Scripture, the words of the hymns of the church, and with prayer. Then we, too, can get fired up again and carry on with passion.
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, when we experience times of inadequacy, we pray that the fire of Your Spirit will enter our hearts and that we will be able to do what You want us to do. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.
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Thanks, Joel. Absolutely right!
Great analogy, Joel. So true. Blessings!
Great analogy, Joel. “The great Canadian pastime of trying to keep warm in the winter” made me smile!
Hi Joel: I always enjoy your messages. The descriptions in today’s message are particularly vivid and apt. Thank you. Blessings to you.
In these troubling times we need to listen to the still, small voice of the Spirit more than ever.
Thanks for sharing.
Amen, Joel! May God the Holy Spirit fill us and take control of our words and deeds that all we say and do becomes a reflection of His love! Thanks for sharing and may you be blessed as you’ve been a blessing! Blessings.
May God stoke those fires in all of us when we need that encouragement in our lives to spread the good news. Thank you for your inspiring devotional and the wonderful picture you pain of tending to keeping warm in our cold Canadian winters.
I laughed at your statement “the great Canadian pastime of trying to keep warm in the winter…” We are starting on the great Central Texas pastime of trying to keep cool in the summer!
As always, your words are meaningful and very appropriate. Thank you.
Joel, I appreciated this piece that you wrote. I remember when we had a wood stove which heated our home and cooked or baked our food.
I remember visiting a Pentecostal Church in the summer on vacation many years ago. When worshiping there I felt in an overwhelming physical mode the warmth of God’s love. It was amazing and hard to describe. I wanted to weep it was so overpowering!
Thank you for this timely devotional, Joel. I felt happy when I realized, as well, that you are also a senior like my husband and I, serving the Lord, relatively close to us here in Ontario. Your words matter even more in that regard. I just finished participating in our virtual church service. Thank God for them. These virus-ridden days, being a senior is a special category, especially still in our own homes. Thank you for writing.
Oh Joel, you did it again!! Wow! A Spirit-led and Spirit-filled message indeed! I just loved the definitions of fire and who of us have never held a match to a piece of paper and observed the fire ‘catch’ (and spread) and then those around (the kindling) catch on too! Just like the work of those filled and led by the Holy Spirit, those around us should warm up in the glowing… and catch the ‘fire’ as well.
On this chilly again day outside, I feel warmth from the fire you just started in me again! My head and heart are bursting with songs of praise! After all, “It Only Takes a Spark”
Thanks for sharing this today!
Thanks for your submission of the Spiritual fire within us.
I kept it and reread it today.
I enjoyed your thoughts and writing.
Please do not give up your submissions.
I have been enjoying them.
Thanks for your devotion. Good reminder that we are constantly needing to be replenished and filled with the Holy Spirit. Blessings on your week.