Fire - OCD Church
Monday, April 23
“I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
Fire is one of the oldest most utilized tools that mankind has. Like a lot of things there can be as many dangers to fire as there are benefits. It can be as destructive as it is helpful if it is abused or mishandled. Everyone has experienced the warmth and comfort of a fireplace. That same fire that is providing protection from the cold, if you were to get too close or pick up something that has been sitting near it, can result in some serious damage. Also, if not properly handled and maintained, could escape and a house fire could occur. Sadly, the fire of God with all of the benefits and blessings that come with it can be misused and misunderstood. Many claim to have or want the fire of God in their life. But, because their heart is seeking the attention that it can bring more than they’re wanting to use it to bless those who need it’s power, it get’s misused or counterfeited resulting in deep spiritual hurt. Are you asking for more of the fire of God in you life? You should be…seek it with humility, for the purpose being a light to those who are in darkness. The Holy Spirit’s fire will not only change you, but it will give you the boldness to share Him with others. Your personal flame may just be the thing that God uses to light someone else’s.
Tuesday, April 24
2 Timothy 1:6
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.
How hot is your fire? Is it burning hotter and brighter than ever or has it been smothered by the cares and concerns of life. What you have to understand is that without oxygen, a fire will quickly burn out. So when the trials and issues of life come…and they will, you need fire then more than ever. When your fire is properly maintained and hot, the struggles and issues will become fuel for your fire, not extinguishers. Have you ever tried throwing too much material on a fire that is not burning very well? The same material that you’re trying to burn will actually snuff out what little fire is there. But, if you’ll fan the flames that are there, giving them more oxygen, therefore making them burn hotter and higher, they’ll burn up the very thing that was putting them out before. What effect are the issues of life having in your fire? Are they fueling or smothering it? If you feel like your fire is being smothered, spend some time fanning it back into a flame. Ask the Holy Spirit to breathe His life on you and set you ablaze with the fire of God.
Wednesday, April 25
Ezekiel 1:28 (NLT)
All around him was a glowing halo, like a rainbow shining in the clouds on a rainy day. This is what the glory of the Lord looked like to me. When I saw it, I fell face down on the ground, and I heard someone’s voice speaking to me.
It’s not uncommon in Christian circles to hear people praying, “Oh God! Show us Your glory!” Often times, those same people are the ones who seem to get very skittish when something they haven’t seen before happens during a church service. The church by and large is really not seeking God’s glory, they’re seeking what they, in their finite mind, have pictured God’s glory to look like. If you’ll read the entire first chapter of Ezekiel, you’ll see that when Ezekiel saw the majesty and glory of God it reads more like a C.S. Lewis book than something you might find in the Bible. But Ezekiel makes it very clear that he saw God’s glory. Why then do so many people pray for God’s glory and expect to see something that they’ve seen before. When you go to deeper depths in the ocean you are going to see different types of life than what you’d see in shallow water. The same is true wit the things of God…as you go deeper you can and should expect to see things that you’ve never seen before. This shouldn’t frighten you, it should encourage you. As long as you are following the Holy Spirit’s leading, you can trust that what you see is of Him. What has He been showing you lately? Are you going deeper and seeing more? Or has it been a while since you’ve received anything from Him? He is always wanting you to take you into places Him that you’ve never been. Are you up for the journey?
Thursday, April 26
6 Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man's eyes with the mud 7 and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.
Have you ever stopped to consider the oddity of the miracle in today’s text. Odd in the sense that the Son of God Himself made mud out spit. Odd in the method that all He had to do was say, “Be healed.” and it would’ve been done. Odd in the reasoning that He had a blind man walk with mud in His eyes to a destination that he couldn’t see to get to. Jesus was never one to fit into the mold that mankind had made for Him to fit in. Sometimes it seemed like He did things completely out of the norm just to make people ask questions. This is where you as a believer must trust Him in your personal walk of faith. Sometimes you’ll feel Him leading you in a way that seems odd, to say the very least. You must trust Him to get you to where He’s promised even if that means that you take a route that seems like it’s going in the exact opposite direction than what it should be. Sometimes you have to let Him put mud in your eyes so that you can see. When you get on an airplane you don’t sit next the pilot and question every button he pushes. No, you sit in your assigned seat and wait for the plane to land…right where it is supposed to. Are you feeling Him leading you in a direction that feels contrary to where you should be going? If so, have faith to follow. He knows right where you need to be and He’ll have you there right when you need be there.
Friday, April 27
Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.
Modern church culture has become very cut and dry. Most church services are scripted and followed to the letter. This is fine, and order definitely has it’s place, as long as the Holy Spirit has within the script. But, when man’s script carries more weight than the Bible the Holy Spirit’s leading ‘order’ has been taken from God and He has been put in a box. The true reasoning behind this ‘order’ is that too many times believers are not wanting to get their hands dirty and truly be the Church. “Things might get messy if more hurting people were brought in." “Lost people just don’t know how they’re supposed to act in church.” All of these excuses may not be spoken out but they are the underlying reason why more believers don’t attempt draw in the lost and hurting. You weren’t called to be clean, you were called to produce. You can’t get any cleaner than the blood of Jesus has already made you and there is no way that being in the presence of the unclean will stain the cleanliness that He has imparted to you. It’s time that the Church stopped ‘having church’ and started being ‘the church’. How are you going to get your hands dirty for the Kingdom today?
Saturday, April 28
1 Corinthians 2:8
None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
The cross. The very picture of God’s way not falling in line with man’s ideas. If the plan of redemption would have been left up to man, Jesus would have come down from Heaven with His legions of angels and wiped the Earth clean of anyone who opposed Him. Salvation shouldn’t look like the cross. Redemption shouldn’t have had to be beaten and whipped out of the back of the Son of God…but it was. As unsightly and vicious as His crucifixion was, the King of Glory walked into to it without reservation or regret. Not the way most people would have scripted it but God the Father new that for it to fulfill the demands of Heaven’s law it had to be done this way. Even more, the enemy and those who were under his control didn’t think it should happen that way either. Had he known what would have come from killing the Son of God he would have never done it. Jesus’ death was the spark that ignited the most influential and powerful army in history…His Church. Today, thank Him for the sacrifice that empowered you to walk in victory. Thank Him for the willingness to take on a death that was far below what the dignity of a king demands. It wasn’t the way anyone else would have done but it was the only way that would bring you into His eternal Kingdom.
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