Posts Tagged ‘fire’

 

FIFM

 

“The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed.”  Exodus 3:2

There is a fire that comes as a gift from God.  It is a fire of empowerment.  It is a fire generated from the unlimited love that God has for mankind.  God presents this fire to man as a guide, as inspiration and as an internal power to effectively serve Him.

“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through.   the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:6

Power, love and self-discipline are the hallmarks of this fire.  It is a fire that sets God’s people on a path of redemption, for themselves and for those to whom God sends them. It is in fact the very fire of redemption for those who believe.  The fire redeems with a view to service.

“Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar.  With it he touched my mouth and said,’See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.’  Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send?  And who will go for us?”  And I said, ‘Here am I.  Send me!” Isaiah 6:6-8

It is not a fire that is a once and done event in our lives.  It needs to be cultivated and nurtured.  We fan that flame as we develop our relationship with God.  I think of all that has transpired in our lives since God spoke 2 Timothy 1:6 into our lives in 2005 and gave us the name “Fan Into Flame Ministries”.  It is in the difficulties of life that we are able to build the flames of the Holy Spirit inside us.  Paul goes on to say, “That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.” 2 Timothy 1:12.  

Yesterday was the third anniversary of my wife Allana’s bone marrow transplant.  It was both a moment of life and the beginning of one of the most difficult periods in my entire life.  As I look back I can see the Holy Spirit working through the difficulties, stripping away self-reliance and providing opportunity for me to grow in Him.  Timothy was experiencing incredible difficulties in his work in Ephesus.  Being one in urban ministry I can appreciate his experiences and understand his desire to throw in the towel.  Even more so as we walked the path of Leukemia there were times that I felt like I simply could not continue.  However it was at those moments that God provided Paul’s in my life, to uphold me in prayer, wisdom and love.  It creates an interesting cycle.  As one fans into flame the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit enables us to guard the very relationship that fans into flame the gift.  “What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.”  2 Timothy 1:13-14

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Yes FM Morning Munch

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January 5th

 

Make it New!

Day 1

 

Of course we all know as we go into the New Year there are those pesky New Year’s resolutions.  All the things that we are going to change…all those things that we are going make new in our lives.  Results of an University of Scranton study done a few years ago indicate that only 8% of New Year’s resolutions are brought to a successful conclusion (yeah I know what else do they have to do in Scranton…).

Paul the Apostle knew a young man who was struggling to succeed in his New Year’s resolution to faithfully serve God as the shepherd of a new church plant in the tough, tough city of Ephesus.  In fact Timothy just a couple of years earlier  wanted to quit and rejoin Paul but in response to this request Paul says “As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines” (1 Timothy 1:3).  What follows is the first of what we call the Pastoral Epistles as Paul lays out some tenets for his young protégé in effective ministry.

Fast forward a couple of years and we see that Timothy is still struggling.  Moreover Paul knows that his mentoring days are coming to a close.  An unstable emperor will soon send Paul home to be with the Savior he loves above all else.  It is with this in mind that Paul opens up this second letter with a New Year’s Resolution that would carry Timothy into his old age and even to martyrdom.

“3 I thank God, whom I serve with a clear conscience the way my forefathers did, as I constantly remember you in my prayers night and day, 4 longing to see you, even as I recall your tears, so that I may be filled with joy. 5 For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well. 6 For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.”

The New International Version says:  6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.

From the burning bush to the pillar of fire to the flames of Elijah Water Soaked sacrifice to the flames of Acts 2, fire has represented God’s active presence in the lives of men for thousands of years.  Paul reminds Timothy that the gift of God’s active presence in his life is the key fulfilling his commitment to serve God in Ephesus.  This active presence is the Holy Spirit and it is a gift made to each and every person who comes into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, accepting Him as Lord and Savior of their lives.  Fan this gift into flame, kindle it afresh and see what God will do in your life in 2015.

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