A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Tuesday, June 22, 2021
"A Consideration Of Being Hot"
Message summary: The challenge in the spiritual life is to "keep your spiritual fervor".
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"Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord" (Romans 12:11). "Do not put out the Spirit's fire" (1 Thessalonians 5:19). "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 God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control" (2 Timothy 1:6,7).
It's been very hot in our area with temps in the mid-nineties yesterday here in Lancaster County with the RealFeel® even higher. David, a friend from Texas, wrote that he and his wife Sabra were talking Sunday on the way home from church, and how happy they were that the days are getting shorter because that means they are heading to Fall when the high 90 and 100 degree days they are experiencing right now will end in Texas. This was in response to Brooksyne's sense of sadness as the days get shorter. Well, that's a good way to look at it!
But the hottest temps here in the US have been out west with record breaking high temps in the Death Valley. We visited there several years ago in late September before it is recommended that tourists visit (which is mid October at the earliest). It was very, very hot although I have also been to Phoenix in the middle of summer with similar temps 110° and above. There's a point when it's just unbearably hot!
In yesterday's text we noted following the great flood that God promised, "As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease" (Genesis 8:22). So, both the cold and the heat are a part of God's design and essentially a fulfillment of His promise. That, we feel, is a good way to look at it!
Hot not only describes the outside temperatures but also the foods we eat that contain capsaicin. Yesterday Brooksyne bought some sushi on sale and brought me a plate with several pieces and sat it in front of me at my desk. She customarily places a very small dab of Wasabi sauce on it making it even tastier. Well, in my food world a little more is usually even better, so a few minutes later I went upstairs and helped myself to some more sushi and overdid it with the Wasabi sauce. My, o my, did I ever pay the price! That stinging heat sure went up my sinuses and I think into my brain. I still don't know if I'm quite back to normal yet.
Even after my personal, rather unpleasant experience, I want us to consider being hot as a positive and desirable spiritual condition.
"Being on fire" is an expression used to describe a real sold out, committed believer. The daily Scripture texts teach that this is how Christians ought to be, to "keep your spiritual fervor". The underlying Greek word for "fervor" in our first daily text is "zeo", which means, "to be hot." It's used to describe the preaching of Apollos in Acts 18:25 who "spoke with great fervor".
The challenge in the spiritual life is to "keep your spiritual fervor", that is to stay on fire. I sure find a tendency for my fire to wane so I need to regularly heed Paul's words to Timothy "to fan into flame the gift of God" (2 Timothy 1:6).
We also need to heed that short word of exhortation expressed in the second verse and "not put out the Spirit's fire". Many of us are familiar with the way the King James Version words this phrase, "Quench not the Spirit". The word for "quench" literally means "extinguish" and although I am thankful for fire extinguishers, as well as the extinguishing effect lots of water can bring after eating too much Wasabi sauce, we need to be very careful that we do not extinguish the Spirit's fire!
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, help us to stir up the fire of the Holy Spirit in our lives through faithful reading and application of the Scriptures. Though there are daily temptations and experiences that seek to extinguish the fire of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we thank You that Your abiding presence in our hearts grants us power to defeat the foe that seeks to deter us. May we always be attentive to Your still small voice and the convicting power of Your Holy Spirit so that we keep our spiritual fervor in serving You. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
Faces of Daily Encouragement:
Sunday is a Nigerian reader who periodically writes us. In fact yesterday he shared that they also celebrated Father's day in Nigeria on Sunday. He lives in Lagos, Nigeria with his family and describes himself as a "lover of God, and a follower of Jesus Christ". "The world around us is filled with darkness which allows evil to thrive, and this can be discouraging most times. But with the help of the Holy Spirit, we have been able to stay in God's love, and shine God's light from our small corner of the world."
We want to encourage Sunday and his family and all the believers in Nigeria, many who are suffering persecution in an oddly way under-reported story. Dennis Shelley, a long-term missionary to Nigeria, is part of our Adult Bible Fellowship (Sunday School Class). He often expresses his love for the Nigerian people and calls them regularly to encourage them in the faith. Dennis explained the likely origin of Sunday's name is a common custom among Nigerians to name a child after the day they were born.
Today we share a song that has attained world-wide popularity and has blessed millions during this last year that originated in Nigeria. "Way Maker" Video Sinach
The song has been translated to over 50 languages and covered by many artists all around the world.
"Way Maker" Video An exuberant and worshipful choir from Christ Church in Nashville
"Way Maker" Video BBSO (Romanian)
"Way Maker" Video SaRang Brothers (Korean)
"Way Maker" Video (Spanish) We devote this to Marvin and his family in Guatemala.
"Way Maker" Video (Indian)
"After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, 'Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!'” (Revelation 7:9,10).
In many cases we become friends with the people we visit in the course of our chaplaincy ministry since we are there weekly. For many years we have been visiting Curtis at White Oak Design and Display in Palmyra, PA. Curtis is a coach in numerous youth sports and often shared of his desire to not only win but to instill lifelong character on his team members. Yesterday I said farewell since he is taking a position at a Christian School here in our area and will have the perfect opportunity to instill those spiritual virtues of which he was alluding to.
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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