“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 did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” — 2 Timothy 1:6-7 (NIV)
Paul loved Timothy and trusted him with the most difficult of tasks. He wrote to the Philippians that of his entire staff, only Timothy was like-minded. Like Paul, Timothy suffered persecution, but it seems to have gotten into his mind.
In his second letter to Timothy, Paul reminded him that the spirit God has given Christians is of power, love, and a sound mind.… Read the rest
In the Old Testament, Pentecost was the offering of first fruits, a memorial of the establishment of the Mosaic Covenant. Along with Passover and Tabernacles, it was one of three times during which the Law required Jewish men to present themselves at the Sanctuary.
By New Testament times, hardly anyone was able to get to Jerusalem for all three festivals. The largest number of foreigners came for Pentecost (Greek, by the way, for “fiftieth,” because it started fifty days from Passover).
The year of our Lord’s death and resurrection, Pentecost began ten days after the Ascension. The disciples had been waiting in Jerusalem for the promised empowerment of the Holy Spirit.… Read the rest
“Is not my word like fire,” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?” — Jeremiah 23:29
From the heavenly fire that consumed Sodom to the lake of fire in Revelation, fire serves as a powerful symbol in Scripture. I suppose most people, on associating fire and God, think of hell. Let’s not neglect other meanings.
Christians read, or ought to read, God’s word every day and think about it regularly even without an open Bible nearby. If God’s word is like fire, the Christian certainly does not experience it as hellfire. So what kind of fire is it like?… Read the rest