Archive for the ‘Zeal…Energy to Burn’ Category

Day Four: Spiritual Fervor - the Burning of the Spirit

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

Romans 12:11 (NIV) - “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.”

Romans 12:1 (NIV) - “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God-this is your true and proper worship.”

Philippians 1:18-21 (NIV) - “But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

Every aspect of Christian life is the result of the work and ministry of the Holy Spirit, and Paul is exhorting us to keep our spiritual fervor. The meaning of the word translated as “fervor” conveys the idea of being boiling hot, burning; the image in mind is of something that is being set on fire. What does this image remind us of? A sacrifice offered on the altar and God setting it aflame and burning it up because it pleases Him. When you put it all together - “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord” - Paul is painting a beautiful picture - one of a people who have already received the mercy of God, and therefore are already pleasing to God. A people who belong to God and have been given the urgency to serve the Lord because there is much Kingdom work to be done, and who know that the work can only be done by God’s provision of the Holy Spirit.

In Philippians 1:18-21, it is clear that whether or not conditions were favorable or not didn’t matter. Paul’s hope was in the power of the Gospel. And Paul assures and urges his readers and us today to keep praying and asking for more of the Holy Spirit because being truly alive and the whole of Christian service and work is accomplished by the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. So we ask for the Spirit. We welcome the Spirit’s fervor - His burning to set us on fire with God’s love so that we may be burned up so that Christ will shine. When Christ shines, we are filled!

The same spiritual fervor that took a hold of Paul’s heart and life is being produced in us. The fervor and cry of the Spirit - “To live is Christ!” Why are we given the Spirit? Why are we to be burned up with His fervor? Because we are to become “to live is Christ” in overflowing measure. I imagine Paul praying this and believing this whenever he faced challenges and obstacles that tried to get him to lack zeal - “To live is Christ!” We are given the Spirit’s fervor so that we can be burned up with hearts aflame with God’s love so that we get used up for His Kingdom, that is, we become less and less, so that Christ becomes and overflows more and more.

Today, let’s pray that God would bring and increase his Spirit’s fervor of “to live is Christ” in our church and in our lives. We can also pray for the specific ministry groups and fellowships we are participating in. Let’s respond with trust and thanksgiving and ask the Spirit of Christ to increase and strengthen the fruit of “never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor” in our lives and church today.

- CH

Day Three: The Gospel advances…

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

Day Two: What has happened to me…

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

Day One: Display of Devotion

Monday, July 27th, 2015