Friday, May 2, 2014

Sometimes We Forget--But The Fire Still Burns

In 1906, a major earthquake hit San Francisco.  It was estimated at 7.8 and 8.3 magnitudes.  Aftershocks persisted and fires broke out in the city destroying many of the remaining buildings.  This event caused widespread destruction.  It created a surface rupture that extended continuously for 200 miles.  Infernos swept the city for three days.

In 1988, Yellowstone National Park saw the largest wildfire in the recorded history of the park.  Flames from individual fires spread out of control and burned for several months.  Drought and winds were other factors that affected the fires.   More than 793,000 acres were affected. 

Revival fires of the Holy Ghost have occurred over the centuries, such as Azusa Street revival, in California in the early 1900’s, and many revivals and outpourings of the Holy Spirit in many countries around the world.

We find use of fire by God in both the Old and New Testament.  Sometimes it is constructive and sometimes it is destructive.

“Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.  And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.” Exodus 3: 1-2.

“And the Lord went before them by day in the pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way: and by night in the pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night.”  Exodus 12: 21

“Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven.” Genesis 19:24

“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.”  Matthew 3:11

“And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”  Acts 2: 3-4

“And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”  Revelations 20: 10

From Genesis to Revelations, we see the power of God used through fire.  The fires in San Francisco and Yellowstone were extinguished; however for those of us who have received the baptism of the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of God within us still burns.   Sometimes we let the flame die down and forget to stir up the gift that is within us.   Sometimes we lose sight of our goal and forget the goodness of God.

Apostle Paul in writing to Timothy admonishes him to remember and stir up the gift.
“Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of hands.  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”  (II Timothy 1: 6-7)

 Peter also called the church to remember and to be established in truth and not to follow after fables. 
“Wherefore, I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the truth.  Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting in remembrance; Knowing that shortly I must put off this tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ has shewed me.”  (II Peter 2: 12-14)

Yes, let us remember where we have come from, what we have received, and stir up the Spirit within. Let us keep the flame ever burning. Study the Word of God, build up our faith, be kind to others, and spread the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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