March 3 – Today’s Readings – Luke 11-12 and Psalms 63
Please have a quick second look at the following verses from today’s reading; “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 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 11:11-13]
“I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.” [Luke 12:49 &51]
Now take a quick peek at the following passage from the Book of Acts; “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. [Acts 2:1-4]
If I read this correctly, God’s child is guaranteed the gift of the Holy Spirit if he asks sincerely, like a son asking his father for a loaf of bread or an egg for breakfast. When we receive the Holy Spirit however, “fire” comes into our lives and it upsets the apple cart of our personal world. We become separated from the world and all that belongs to it. All of a sudden we realize that we are no longer part of the old systems and patterns because something all-consuming has taken over. When the Disciples received the Holy Spirit, they literally exploded onto the world stage. They couldn’t help themselves – upon them came fire and out of them came fire – so much so that they turned the then-known world on it’s ear.
You and I are no different. Fire has come into our lives and we can’t help but be witnesses because the “tree of life” is in us (Genesis 2:9) – and out from our lives flow streams of living water [John 7:38] – the power of God is in us [Acts 1:8] – the gifts of the Holy Spirit are upon us [1Corinthians 12:7-11] – and we are producing the “fruit of the Spirit” [Galatians 5:22-25].
Give me one of these people who walk in the Spirit (you) and I’ll give you someone who will influence and change their world. Fire has come to the earth in the form of Spirit-filled saints of God and the fire brings plenty of good things but it also brings plenty of “reaction” from the world. They have no clue what your life is about so they lash out at you. This division is also a product of the fire of God. Sometimes people who are close to you become separated from you because they can’t understand the “new” you. We are a sweet fragrance to God, but to the world we sometimes don’t smell so good. There is something eternal about us that confronts them in their sin and brings them to a place of facing Jesus as Lord. Some run to Him and some run away. Our job is to stir up the fire of God within us.
1. How can you be both a “sweet fragrance” and a “bad smell”?
2. What other things does the “fire of God” do in your life?
3. If you have not yet asked the Father for the “Gift of the Holy Spirit” – do so! He will change your life.