Sunday, October 8
Approaching God Silence yourself in God’s Presence. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you as you reflect on the following verses and meditation. The most common symbol of the Holy Spirit found in the Bible is flaming fire. John the Baptist prophesied that Jesus “will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” (Matt. 3:11; Luke 3:16.) What does that mean for us as the Church of Jesus Christ?
Listening to God We cannot accomplish the Great Commission given in Matthew 28:18-20 without this gift of the baptism of the Holy Spirit which Jesus promised. God in His infinite wisdom has already given us everything we need to be hot burning fires with hearts ablaze for God.
“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!” (Luke 11:13).
Talking to God Consider a piece of coal. It is cold and alone with little value or purpose. When a flame is applied that coal burns and becomes a hot ember, full of potential; however, if it remains alone it will not burn to its potential or cause other coals to burn. It remains lukewarm or dies out. But if several hot embers or coals are piled up together, working together, doing what they were created to do, they can make pretty good hamburgers, steak, fish, or veggies.
A soul that does not yet know Jesus is like that cold piece of coal. When that person makes Jesus Lord of their lives, the Spirit ignites that cold charcoal into a hot burning coal. The now-burning coal needs the close proximity of other hot burning embers (their fellow Christians) to do lots of good things for God. But even these embers will become tired, exhausted, and weary, losing their fervor and passion. They need a fresh gust of wind to re-invigorate them and make them a raging fire that cannot be contained.
We need the ongoing fresh wind of the Holy Spirit to keep us ablaze, hot, and on fire for Jesus. Unless you are in daily contact with the fire of God’s presence, you will soon be cold and powerless. Ask again and again, even daily, for the flame of the presence of the Holy Spirit to burn afresh in you.
Responding to God We must prepare the way of the Lord by remaining cleansed, obedient, consciously dependent upon Him, and hungering for His manifested presence and power. The church must be ablaze, led by leaders who are ablaze for God. How hot is the fire in your soul? Are you burning with unquenchable zeal and fervor for the Kingdom of God? Or do you identify with a cold solitary lump of coal? Perhaps you once burned hot, but now your coal is burned out? Is anything standing in the way of you asking the Holy Spirit to breathe His breath upon you and baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire? Talk with God about it.
Surrendering to God “Fill me Holy Spirit. I surrender my all to you, and I ask you Holy Spirit to take over all of me. I choose to die to myself. It is not my will but your will Oh Lord. Use me, use even me.”
By Rev. Mary Sterenberg[/fusion_text][fusion_text]
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This devotional is called “Always Reforming: Celebrating 500 Years of Being Made New” and will culminate in a combined service at Cutlerville East CRC on October 29 at 5 PM. Rev. Stan Mast is scheduled to preach at that service.[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_3″ layout=”1_3″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” hover_type=”none” link=”” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”#f9f9f9″ background_image=”” background_position=”left top” undefined=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding=”20 20 20 20″ margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” animation_type=”slide” animation_direction=”right” animation_speed=”0.6″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_imageframe image_id=”9308″ style_type=”none” stylecolor=”” hover_type=”none” bordersize=”” bordercolor=”” borderradius=”” align=”center” lightbox=”no” gallery_id=”” lightbox_image=”” alt=”” link=”” linktarget=”_self” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=””]http://onefaithmanyfaces.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/AlwaysReformingLogoARTZ-2000×2000.png[/fusion_imageframe][fusion_text]
A HISTORICAL SIDEBAR
Menno Simons (1496–1561) was a Roman Catholic priest who later became a leader of a group of Dutch Anabaptists (his followers became known as Mennonites). His aim of unity, and others, can be seen in Simons’ statement: “No one is excommunicated of the brethren but those who have already separated and expelled themselves from Christ’s communion either by false doctrine or improper conduct. For we do not want to expel any, but rather to receive; not to amputate, but rather to heal; not to discard, but rather to win back; not to grieve, but rather to comfort; not to condemn, but rather to save.”[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]