Feel the Chill, Stoke the Fire!

June 18, 2009

Have you ever noticed how cold the world around us seems to be getting? It seems as though there is very little love in the world, like it’s in short supply. Reading Matthew 24 is like reading the news paper, verse 12 is the verse I woke up thinking about today and it says, “Because of the increase in wickedness, the love of most will grow cold…” (NIV). It was also very interesting to me to read this verse from my Complete Jewish Bible which says, “And many people’s love will grow cold because of increased distance from Torah (God’s written word).”

Each day seems like an ever increasing battle to fight the chill that wants to paralyze our hearts. Many days we don’t even realize the slow effects of it. The further we get from the word of God the colder we become. The love and word of God are like a cozy fire that melts the icy affects of the circumstances around us.

Our family loves camp fires; we love to sit around a warm fire and share stories and laugh and roast marshmallows. The warmth of the fire seems to bond us together. It is interesting to me the influence that the red-orange glow has on us but even that doesn’t last forever. My husband and son are usually the ones who keep the fire nice and toasty.

It’s almost like they were instinctively made for the job, they know just when to take the poker and stir the fire or when it’s time to add another log or two. If they neglect it, the fire goes out. Our walk with God is much the same. He knows when to take the poker and stir our hearts and he is very good at making the fire hotter!

Although God is skilled at stirring the faith fire that is within us Jude 1:20-21 (NIV) indicates that we have a part in the growth and development of our spirit. It says, “But you, dear friends, build yourself up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.”

In reading this verse I asked the Lord, “How do I keep myself in your love?” and I heard the word abide (from KJV) and instantly thought about John chapter 15:1-13. What does it mean to “abide”? The Greek word used in this scripture is “Meno” meaning…

to remain, abide
in reference to place
to sojourn, tarry
not to depart
to continue to be present
to be held, kept, continually
in reference to time
to continue to be, not to perish, to last, endure
of persons, to survive, live
in reference to state or condition
to remain as one, not to become another or different
to wait for, await one

So, now I saw what I must do but how? How do these instructions make it from words written on a page into real life? Into my life? How do you live life going to work or doing the things that life requires and yet never leave the Lord’s presence?

Jude 1 gives us a clue to this question. Who is it that is the golden thread throughout the New Testament? He does his work from the background, intricately working behind the scenes to accomplish the will of God through man. He is the Holy Spirit. He is the one who keeps us on track and fellowships with us every minute of every day.

There are many verses that reveal his invaluable part in our lives such as: John 14:26, Acts 1:8, Acts 9:31, Acts 10:38, Romans 5:5, Romans 14:17, Romans 15:13 and so on.

All throughout the New Testament his name and workings in the human heart are testified to and we won’t get far without his presence in our lives. 1 Corinthians 6:19 reveals to us that the Holy Spirit lives inside of us but how does he get there? Luke 11:13 gives us this answer directly from the mouth of our Lord… “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

So, if we ask God, we will receive from God the Holy Spirit and he will cause us to remain or abide in God which we so desperately need to stoke the fire of God’s love in our hearts to keep us burning brightly for his glory until the end!

Thank you, God, for your provision for all who call upon your name and receive salvation from your son Jesus. Thank you, Holy Spirit, that you teach us all things, keep us abiding in the vine and keep the fire of God’s love burning warmly in our hearts. Thank you, Jesus for bringing us salvation through the shedding of your blood on the cross and for baptizing us with the Holy Spirit so that we can endure to the end. AMEN, AMEN, AMEN!

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