Sunday, January 1, 2012

Kindle Afresh the Gift of God

"I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled" Luke 12:49
     As many of you know, I am a list maker.  In January as the calendar turns, I sit down and make a list of things that I want to accomplish in the coming year.
     In 2009, I changed it up just a bit.  Instead of a list, I choose an over arching phrase to frame my year.   I decided that “make room” would be my priority.  Make room for Jesus in my heart, my marriage, with my family & friends, in my home and in my job.  I had vague thoughts about cleaning the house and getting organized. Instead God answered my prayers with a diagnosis of breast cancer and I found myself “making room” in very unexpected ways.  I flung myself into the arms of faith and was caught and held ever so gently by my Lord.  I began to look at everything with new eyes.  I discovered as I sat in doctor’s offices, went for treatments, and even took naps that some things weren’t as important as I had previously thought they were.  I appreciated my family more and fell in love with my husband all over again. After all, the really important things, aren’t things at all - they are the people God has given us to love.
   When 2010 was ushered in, I embraced making room again as my focus for the year.   
     When 2011 arrived I held onto the important people and I narrowed my theme to One Word - Kindle.  I was inspired by my husband’s Christmas gift to me.  He gave me a new Kindle.  I have had one for years and I absolutely love it. 
     Synonyms for the word Kindle are: to blaze, burn, light, inflame, ignite, glow, excite, set fire, arouse, awaken, challenge, stir, provoke, stimulate, inspire, thrill, energize, enliven, impel, and animate.
     In Luke 3, John the Baptist told his followers this of Jesus,  “I baptized you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire”.  Jesus gives us a fire of love that kindles a decision to turn our hearts to Him.
     Paul wrote this in 2 Timothy 1:6, "For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you (NIV)."  Another Bible version says, “I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God.”
     We are to kindle afresh the gift of God. We need to revive the fire.  Arouse it.  Ignite it. Make it glow!    
     General Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army once sent a message to those under him.  He wrote, “The tendency of a fire is to go out; watch the fire on the altar of your heart.”  Kindle afresh.  Fan into flame the gift of God.  Revive the fire.
Isaiah 6:1-8
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:
   “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; 




   the whole earth is full of his glory.”

At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.”  
Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
     Jesus came to bring fire to the Earth.  How do you Kindle afresh the gift of God?
Tomorrow I will share my word for 2012.
-Donna
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