The New Church Lady

Weightier Matters

THE ROOF IS ON FIRE

I hope you had a blessed and spiritually nourishing day of Pentecost. After all, you counted off, waited and marked 50 long days to get there. Imagine the New Testament church waiting with expectation for the promise of the power of the Holy Spirit!

At my house, we celebrated the beginning of the day of Pentecost with fireworks. It was an exciting and dramatic way to bring in the day that pictures the first pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon the church of God – an event that included tongues of fire coming down from heaven.

The event at my house was exciting for sure – especially the strips of Black Cats going off under my porch awning and the pieces of rockets and mortars raining down on my garage. Not one to skimp, my husband had purchased enough fireworks to put on a 40 minute show. Thankfully, neither the roof nor anything else caught on fire. 

But, as exciting as it was, our celebration was not so life changing – not so world changing – as the one that is recorded in Acts 2

Acts 2:1-4 [NIV] 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.

Our God likes fire. From raining hail fire down on the Egyptians [Exodus 9], to leading the Israelites with a pillar of fire [Exodus 13:21], to consuming Elijah’s water soaked offering with a blast of flame [1 Kings 18], to tongues of fire coming down at the giving of the Holy Spirit as outlined in Acts 2, He has used fire to get His message across.

No wonder, for He designates Himself as a consuming fire. Twice in the Old Testament and once in the New Testament it says that God is a “consuming fire.”

Hebrews12:29 [KJV] For our God [is] a consuming fire. See also Deuteronomy 4:24 and 9:3. 

This is as good a time as any to be asking myself if I am “on fire” for the gospel, for the work of God, for the service to which He calls me. Or I could put it this way: is my passion for the work a consuming fire? Or is it just a little heating up, there on the back burner of my life? Maybe just like having a little warmth around my heart, like when I have some hot tea on a chilly evening.

If warmth for the work is all I have, then I need to remind myself that warmth for the work, for the gospel message, for service to God is repugnant to our “Consuming Fire” God. Revelation 3:15-16 [NIV] I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

I hope this Pentecost lit a fire under you to do more with the gifts God has given you – to be more, give more and serve more – whatever “more” you can do. 

It is easy to get wrapped up in day-to-day life. The world distracts us. Our jobs wear us out. Single parenthood – any parenthood – exhausts us. There will be times when five minutes of prayer really is all you can do on a given day. Make it five minutes of focused, passionate prayer. Call a friend and pray together. 

And that is really the thing I want to close with – that two or more gathered in His name thing [Matthew 18:20]. You see, on our own we can have a spark, even a flame. But, as we were reminded at the fireworks display at my house, when one form of combustion (say the flame from a Bic lighter running up the length of a wick) meets with another (say the gun powder of rockets and mortars), something amazing, awe-inspiring and explosive can occur. 

So, I hope this Pentecost lit a fire under your entire fellowship group to do more as a group – to set the roof or your fellowship on fire – to more passionately serve each other, to strive to show more love, to find new ways to preach the gospel, feed the flock or help the poor (or all three).

Because, when the people of God, consumed with passion for the job, come together to do the work with power and joy and faith and strength, get ready for some pyrotechnics!

I welcome your thoughts, comments and questions. You can write me at Nancy@DynamicChristianMinistries.org.