The Word: The Cleaning Agent – Part 1

Ref. Scripture: Psalm 119: 9-16

‘Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way Psalm119:9?’

Is there a way to be done with sin and to follow the way of the Lord more wholeheartedly? How can I purify, or so cleanse my walk so as to be free from every stain of sin, and to maintain the purity of my walk?

This is one of the most pressing questions for young Christians – indeed, for all Christians. The battle with the flesh is a battle that is fought each day, with its battle lines renewed each morning, and the sound of conflict resounding into the night. As a Christian you cannot withdraw from this battle with the flesh, and with the world, and with the Devil – how can you live for God when the way ahead is marked by the field of daily and recurring spiritual warfare?

There is only one way to successfully pilot the Christian life – God’s way. There is only one way to cleanse your way, and only one way to grow as a Christian. It’s God’s way.
And what is God’s way – it is the Bible, ‘by taking heed thereto according to thy word (119:9).

It is only by a prayerful reading of, study of, memorising of, meditation of, and practice of God’s Word, that you can cleanse your ways, and grow as a Christian.

If you are to take heed to your life, then you must take heed to your Bible, for it is there alone that you will find God’s way of growth,- it is there alone that you will find God speaking to you, teaching you, explaining to you, directing you, commanding you, and mobilising you in the way you should go.
The Christian havr a heart for God, as we have seen in this Psalm. God is his life, his passion, and his desire – everything else is secondary. With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early (Is 26:8,9).’

If the Christian is to cleanse his/her ways and to live for God, then he/she needs God, for he/she is to ‘Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. The Christian therefore needs the enablement of God to be able to take heed to the Word of God.

If you apply yourself to the Word of God, and to your life without the enablement of God, you will fall flat on your face. I know that you know that by experience.
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Fire of The Holy Ghost – Part 4

Ref. Scripture: Acts 2

If we are to be an irresistible force for God where He has placed us, we need the Spirit’s baptism of fire. If we are to awaken our sleeping church, we need the holy flame that came upon each waiting believer in the Upper Room to descend upon us today. You need it and I need it.

“It is fire we need: fire to stir our cold and flat emotions, fire to drive us to do something for those who are going into Christless graves. Untold millions today are dying untold because we as Christians have no fire. We need fire – the fire of the Holy Ghost.” We do not need wildfire; wildfire does not glorify our holy Christ. It is holy fire, the fire with which the Holy Spirit baptizes us. We need the fire and zeal of the early Church when almost every Christian was ready, if need be, to be a martyr for Christ.

Can the Shekinah fire that set the desert bush ablaze set our hearts aflame until we are burning bushes for God? (Ex. 3:1-3). The Shekinah fire on Mt. Sinai suffused the whole being of Moses till his face radiated the glory of God (Ex. 34:29-30). Can we draw near enough to God until that Shekinah fire begins to transfigure our vessels of clay and our people see glimpses of the glory of God upon us and in us?

Can the Shekinah fire that Ezekiel saw depart stage by stage from Israel return to us today? (Ezel.. 10-11). It returned on the 120 in the Upper Room (Acts 2:1-21). If it took fourteen days of seeking God’s face on our part, it would be more than worth it if we too could be set ablaze for God.

It is not to be earned, worked up, or simulated. Only God can baptize with fire. Only God can send Shekinah fire. Only God can meet your need and mine. We have labored too long without it. We have come far short of God’s glory without it. We have left our people too largely unmoved without it.

We cannot light this fire. In ourselves we cannot produce it. But we can humble ourselves before God in total integrity and honesty, confessing our need. We can seek God’s face until His holy searchlight shows us what in our hearts and lives prevents our infilling and empowering.

God’s holy fire only descends upon prepared, obedient, hungry hearts. Perhaps the need that underlies all need is that we are not hungry enough, not thirsty enough, not whole-souled enough in our desire. “If ye 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).

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Fire of The Holy Ghost – Part 3

Ref. Scripture: Acts 2

God has created our spirits flammable. We are spiritually combustible. Our nature is created to be set ablaze by the Spirit. We are spiritually most blessed, most victorious, most usable when we are ablaze. We are most Godlike when we glow with holy flame–the flame of the indwelling Spirit.The fire of God gives an unforgettable attraction to the personality of God’s messenger and to the content of his message. It imparts a sacred authority that cannot be counterfeited by human efforts. It so seals with the mark of God that others are unable to ignore it. It gives a holy authenticity and assures of integrity. It impresses with the obvious involvement and partnership of God.

Whatever the cost, we must keep the flame of the Spirit burning on the altar of our hearts. The Greek word in “fan into flame” in 2 Timothy 1:6 refers to the use of a bellows to cause a smoldering fire to flame up. This takes effort. Timothy was to do all in his power to intensify the manifestation of the flame of the Spirit. Our cooperation with the Spirit is essential to consistency of flowing ardor, spiritual radiance, and flaming zeal. Everyone needs such personal revival again and again.

We have the great gift of God, the Holy Spirit, but we need to hunger more for the manifestation of His presence, and open our hearts constantly in faith’s expectancy for His working, His empowering and constant enabling in our life. God gives us capacity and the Spirit wants to imbue our whole being with His reality, making us His channels of expression that His holy fire may be constantly visible in us. We must choose whether we will neglect the Spirit, quench the Spirit, or fan into flame the Spirit’s presence.

There is no greater need in our churches and schools today. It is not enough to be evangelical in faith and heart; we must be utterly possessed by Christ, utterly impassioned by His love and grace, utterly ablaze with His power and glory. Every earthly part of our being, in the words of the great hymn, must glow with God’s fire divine. The wood is not enough, the altar is not enough, the sacrifice is not enough – we need the fire! Fire of God, descend upon us anew! Set us ablaze, Lord, set us ablaze!

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Fire of The Holy Ghost – Part 2

Ref. Scripture: Acts 2

On the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit visibly descended in holy flame upon the men and women gathered in the Upper Room. Empowered by the Spirit, they began to spread God’s holy fire that very day. For decades the Spirit’s fire kept burning and spreading. Persecution could not quench their fire, it only served to fan the flames. Pentecost lit a flame that by God’s grace will never go out.

He sets you aglow with His fiery radiance and zeal. Romans 12:11 urges, “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor.” You have spiritual zeal when you are spiritually ablaze. 

The Holy Spirit revives your spirit, fills you with abundance of life, love and zeal, and sets you aglow so that you manifest the vibrant, radiant life of God. He will revive your devotion, accelerate your obedience, and fan into fame your zeal. As a Spirit-filled believer you should be marked by the intense devotion, eager earnestness, and the loyal bond-service which characterizes the heavenly angels. Apollos (Acts 18:25) was thus ablaze. The literal translation can be that he was “burning in spirit,” or “glowing with the Spirit.”

When the Spirit burns within you in freedom and fullness, your inner life becomes radiant, your zeal intense, and your service dynamic. You, in the words of Ephesians 5:16, are “making the most of every opportunity.”

The Spirit desires so to fill you with burning, glowing agape love that your life is constantly radiant with His presence. “Fan into flame the gift of God which is in you,” Paul urged Timothy (2 Tim. 1:6). Notice the gift was “in” him. The Holy Spirit primarily works from within, not upon in some external sense. He does not manipulate us, He enables by His indwelling presence and power.

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Fire of The Holy Ghost – Part 1

Fire attracts. Fire motivates. Fire kindles fire; it is the nature of fire to set ablaze….

John the Baptist had prophesied of Jesus that “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire” (Matt. 3:11; Luke 3:16). The coming of the Spirit is to have the effect of fire. Christ desired that all the fiery ministry of the Spirit be active in the life of His own. He kindled the holy flame of God in the hearts of His followers as He began His earthly ministry. Only on the day of Pentecost, as visibly symbolized by the descent of the holy flame of the Spirit, did Christ so empower by His fiery baptism that the 120 began to spread God’s holy fire across the world.

Jesus had said, “I have come to bring fire on the earth” (Luke 12:49). 

God said to Jeremiah, “I will make my words in your mouth a fire” (Jer. 5:14). On that occasion God was referring to fire as a judgment. But God similarly makes our words fiery in order that His people may become aflame with holy love, zeal, and obedience.

When the Holy Spirit sets our heart on fire He will cause our words to be aflame. When our personality is aflame with commitment to Christ and with a burning vision of what He purposes to do for us, our whole leadership comes alive with life and becomes vibrant with power.

We must constantly maintain our consecration, even as the priests maintained the fire on the altar of the temple. God honors when we make repeated occasions to renew our commitment, confess our total dependence upon Him, and appropriate and implore anew His gracious Spirit’s ministry within and through us. Let us note more fully this fiery ministry of the Spirit.

He sets you aflame with His fiery baptism. “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire,” said John the Baptist of Jesus (Matt. 3:11; Luke 3:16). This refers to “the fiery character of the Spirit’s operations upon the soul–searching, consuming, refining, sublimating–The inner fire of the Spirit sets the Spirit-filled person ablaze with His divine presence.

He empowers you with His fiery divine energy. The fire of God speaks also of His divine energy constantly ready to empower His own who are totally surrendered to Him. Christ desires that all the fiery ministry of the Spirit be active in our life. “I have come to bring fire on the earth” (Luke 12:49). He kindled the holy flame of God in the hearts of His followers as He began His earthly ministry. But He knew they needed more of the Spirit.

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Live Like Christ

Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did. I John 2:6 (NLT)

How true is this? How often we hear the word, “hypocrite” in association with Christians? Why, because we follow a high standard. We claim to follow Christ so people assume we are going to live like Him. Why not? Isn’t that what Jesus expected? He said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.” Isn’t that what Paul meant when he wrote to the church in Corinth, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.”

Peter wrote, “Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.” It is a tall order. Sure we will fail, but in humility we confess and ask for His strength to help us to try again. The good news is He hasn’t left us empty handed. He has given us the Bible. Paul wrote, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.”Today, let us live like Christ.

Dear Lord Jesus, I try to live like You but I fall so short. I cannot do it by myself. Please help me, through the power of Your Holy Spirit and Your word, to live like You. AMEN

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