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07-22-17 - The Holy Ghost 8 - "Waiting through the Spirit" — God's Holy Fire

For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope. — Galatians 5:5 NIV

Key Thought

Waiting is hard. Waiting for something or someone special is incredibly hard. Waiting for our transformation to be like Jesus, full of righteousness and grace, is impossibly hard without the gift of the Holy Spirit. But with the Spirit, we eagerly hope and expect to see all that God has prepared for us and all that he will transform within us!

Today's Prayer

O Father, I eagerly wait to see what your Spirit will do in me and through me. Please use me to your glory! In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

07-22-17 - The Holy Ghost 7 - "Moment of Glory" — God's Holy Fire

The moment he [Jesus] came out of the water, he saw the sky split open and God's Spirit, looking like a dove, come down on him. — Mark 1:10 MESSAGE

Key Thought

Winning the Super Bowl, winning the World Cup, winning Wimbledon, winning the British Open, winning the Daytona 500, and winning the World Series are considered lifetime achievements for those involved in the respective sports. Yet none of these victories even approaches the significance of the moment in today's verse. Jesus, with droplets of water from the Jordan River running down his face, is honored in a powerful way by God. More than just the words of affirmation that Jesus receives (Mark 1:11), heaven is torn open — surely a sign of a world changing event. The Holy Spirit of God comes in a visible way to show heaven's approval. Jesus is recognized as awesome: not awesome in the sense of some great athletic achievement, but as one who is worthy of awe and reverence. God the Father and God the Spirit show the majesty of God the Son. The new age of God's grace is signaled by the heavens opening, and the power and peace of this grace are seen in the coming of the Spirit.

Today's Prayer

O God, revealing yourself as Father and Son and Spirit, thank you for your majesty — your glory, holiness, and might. Thank you as well for your proximity — your willingness to be incarnated in Jesus and being present again in us through your Holy Spirit. Forgive us — please forgive me — for not reverencing you as you deserve. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

07-22-17 - The Holy Ghost 6 - "This Is What God Says!" — God's Holy Fire

Then the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest. He stood before the people and said, "This is what God says: Why do you disobey the LORD's commands and keep yourselves from prospering? You have abandoned the LORD, and now he has abandoned you!" — 2 Chronicles 24:20 NLT

Key Thought

Over the last several days, we have looked at grieving the Spirit and abandoning the LORD by our actions, our attitudes, and our words. The warnings not to do these things were given by the Spirit of God through many servants. We see this warning clearly articulated by Zechariah as he was propelled by the Spirit to prophesy. The call for us is to obey what we know clearly to be the will of the LORD. To disobey only brings hardship that we don't want and God doesn't want to happen in our lives.

Today's Prayer

Thank you, dear God, for proclaiming your will through your prophets and through the Scriptures so I can know your character and your will. Forgive me for my sin. Tune me to your will. I know you want to bring me your blessing and protect me from evil. I want to live fully to your glory as your Spirit empowers me. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

07-22-17 - The Holy Ghost 5 - "Where is God?" — God's Holy Fire

Then they [the LORD's people] remembered the old days, the days of Moses, God's servant: "Where is he who brought the shepherds of his flock up and out of the sea? And what happened to the One who set his Holy Spirit within them?" — Isaiah 63:11 MESSAGE
Key Thought

In their rebellion against God, the LORD's people forget that they are the ones who had left God. God had not abandoned them. They wonder why the power and influence of the Holy Spirit aren't present in the life of their community and in their nation when they, in fact, have grieved and opposed the Spirit of the Living God. God's Spirit will not abandon us, but we can grieve the Spirit of God (Ephesians 4:30), quench his influence and presence (1 Thessalonians 5:19-20), and resist his influence and teaching (Acts 7:51). The yearning we feel for God's presence in us through the Holy Spirit is a good thing. That longing reminds us of our need to return to God!

Today's Prayer

Loving Father, the holy and Almighty God, my soul yearns for your presence. I need your guidance. And I recognize that my unwillingness to listen for your voice has only caused me grief and that I have separated myself from the influence of your presence. Please forgive me. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

07-22-17 - The Holy Ghost 4 - The Holy Spirit Changes Minds

"When he [the Holy Spirit] comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness."

John 16:8, NIV

Jesus Christ was crucified as a criminal, as a blaspheming heretic, as an enemy of Rome and of God. What changed the world’s opinion of Him? Why does He go down in history as a good Man? Or a great Prophet? Why do people put their trust in a crucified Jew two thousand years after He lived on earth? The change in opinion was brought about by none other than the Holy Spirit Who convinced the world of the truth – that Jesus Christ was not only crucified, but that He rose from the dead! He’s alive! Jesus announced to His disciples that “when he [the Holy Spirit] comes, he will convict the world of guilt . . . in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer” (16:8-10, NIV). The proof of the righteousness of Jesus Christ is in the fact that God didn’t leave Him on the cross, bearing your sin and mine, but raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand, placing all authority in the universe under His feet!

by Anne Graham Lotz

07-22-17 - The Holy Ghost 3 - "Jesus Will Baptize With the Holy Spirit" — God's Holy Fire

[John the Baptist:] "I baptize you with water, but he [Jesus] will baptize you with the Holy Spirit." — Mark 1:8 NIV

Key Thought

Jesus is directly involved in sending the Holy Spirit to his followers. He did it when initiating the dawn of the church with the coming of the Spirit that first Pentecost (Acts 2:33-39). Jesus also poured out the Spirit into the hearts of everyone who came to him in faith and baptism (Titus 3:4-7). Paul taught that the gift of the Spirit is the seal of our belonging to God and of our salvation (2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Ephesians 1:13-14) and the proof that we are God's children (Romans 8:16). The presence of the Spirit is crucial, as evidenced by the fact that Paul re-baptized people who had not received the Spirit when they were baptized (Acts 19:1-7). The Spirit is the promised blessing of belonging to Christ (Acts 2:33; Galatians 3:14; Ephesians 1:13-14). The blessing comes from Jesus' own promise that the Father would send the Holy Spirit to those who asked for the Spirit to be given to them (Luke 11:13). The Spirit's presence is our source of "living water" flowing from within us (John 7:37-39). We live as followers of Jesus because the Lord has given us this great gift of grace!

Today's Prayer

Dear God, thank you for Jesus and all that he did to give us life and bring us to you as your holy children. Thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit, your holy presence within us. We praise you and thank you for your abiding grace in us and for us, and we pray that we can share this grace with others who need to know your love. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

07-22-17 - The Holy Ghost 2 - "Grieving the Holy Spirit" — God's Holy Fire

He said, "Without question these are my people, children who would never betray me." So he became their Savior. In all their troubles, he was troubled, too. He didn't send someone else to help them. He did it himself, in person. Out of his own love and pity he redeemed them. He rescued them and carried them along for a long, long time. But they turned on him; they grieved his Holy Spirit. So he turned on them, became their enemy and fought them. — Isaiah 63:8-10 MESSAGE

Key Thought

When we rebel against God, when we ignore his mercy and grace, when we do not do his will, we grieve the Holy Spirit. Immoral behavior and social injustice in Isaiah's day grieved the Holy Spirit. Paul also said that the way we use our speech and the ways we treat and interact with others could grieve the Spirit (Ephesians 4:29-31). The key message from God that I hear in this passage is powerful and plain: When I sin, when I am not compassionate, and when I am careless with my words, I am not just breaking the will of God, but I am also breaking the heart of the Holy Spirit of God.

Today's Prayer

O God, Abba Father, gracious Son, and abiding Holy Spirit, please forgive me for my reckless words and rebellious behaviors that break your heart and wound your people. Amen.

07-22-17 - The Holy Ghost 1 - "The Holy Spirit Says" — God's Holy Fire

So, as the Holy Spirit says: "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness..." — Hebrews 3:7-8 NIV

Key Thought

God has spoken to the hearts of his children over the centuries inviting them back into relationship with him. These Spirit-inspired messages came in many and various forms, but the clearest came through Jesus (Hebrews 1:1-3). Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus speaks to us and to those around us, inviting us to come home to the Father. We must respond, or our hearts harden, and we lose any possible sensitivity to the message of grace. The message from the Holy Spirit, uttered over and over through the centuries, now comes to you and me today: "Hear his voice! Do not harden your hearts!" How will we respond today?

Today's Prayer

O Father, I want to have a tender heart that responds to the Holy Spirit's invitation to hear your voice and respond to your grace. I ask that the Holy Spirit convict me of my sins, help me take notice of and avoid my vulnerabilities, strengthen my weaknesses, and empower me to be like Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.

The Thoughts and Prayers for God's Holy Fire are written by Phil Ware.

07-21-17 - Today's Verse 7

A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked. For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholdeth the righteous. — Psalm 37:16-17 (KJV)


What is your most important capital; your money or your character? I can assure you, this question will be asked of you a myriad of ways; quite often at the worst of all possible times when you are most vulnerable. Martin Luther supposedly said that the last thing to get converted in a man was his wallet. So will you choose the little of the righteous over the wealth of many wicked? Hmmm! Tough question in a pinch. So let's make that decision now before the circumstances change. God, his Kingdom, his will, and his righteousness come first, right?


Almighty God, creator and owner of everything, please give me a love for righteousness and a disdain for greed and covetousness. I want to serve you with an undivided heart that cannot be swayed by the material value of a decision. Please help me make my decisions based on what is pleasing to your will. Amen.

07-21-17 - Today's Verse 6

As thou [God] hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. — John 17:18 (KJV)


We are not here by accident! God has a purpose and plan for us. Jesus has sent us into the world to touch it with his redemption and make a positive impact on it for him.


O LORD God Almighty, please give me wisdom and courage to see your will for my life. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

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