“From the Hart” Devotional for Feb. 1, 2024

“Kindle the Fire”
by Julie Hart, Director of Connectional Ministries

“I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of timidity but of power and love and discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:6-7

Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking at the United Women in Faith’s enrichment training event. The theme of their event was Invite, Excite, Ignite! I spoke about rekindling the flame, just as Paul encouraged Timothy to “kindle afresh” that which the Holy Spirit had placed within him. The Greek word “anazwpurein” means to stir up the fire, add fresh kindling, or revive the spark into a flame.

I am not a fire expert, but thanks to Smokey Bear, I learned as a child that just because a fire looks like it has gone out, doesn’t mean that it has died. I learned that with the right combination of elements, it can be brought back to life — and even become a raging forest fire. We need to do three things to rekindle a fire: find the hotspot, add fuel, and add oxygen.

So, let me pause here to ask you a question: Are you on fire for the Lord? I mean like REALLY on fire? Do you wake up every morning feeling energized and excited to see how God is going to show up? And how God is going to ask you to show up? Is your spiritual flame a flicker or an inferno? I’m guessing that for most folks, it’s somewhere in between.

So how do we go about kindling afresh that flame? The same way we bring back the campfire — find the hotspot, add fuel, and add oxygen. Where’s your hot spot you ask? These are the spiritual gifts that the Holy Spirit placed in you, gifts to build up God’s kingdom. We are all a part of the Body of Christ, so we each have different spiritual gifts. Some of mine are faith, hospitably, and mercy. If you aren’t sure what yours are, l highly encourage you to find out.

Okay, now that you have found your hot spot and remembered the gifts that you have been given, it’s time to add some kindling. Where do you go about gathering kindling for your fire? Take a look around you on Sunday morning. Notice the people sitting in the pew in front of you, talk to the parents picking up their kids from Sunday school when you are, chat with the person sitting next to you in Pastor David’s Bible study. There’s kindling all around you in the Body of Christ.

Finally, blow life back into your fire. Spend time in prayer, read God’s world, serve others, and hang out with other Christians. I think you will find that it will not take long to rekindle the fire — a fire that will surely spread across the land.

So just a few questions for you to ponder this morning:

When was the last time you used your Spiritual Gifts to do the work of God? How did that feel?

What sets you on fire? Hint: what do you care deeply about? For me, it’s helping vulnerable people (both young and old).

Who do you see around you that might have the same passions that you do?
How might you invite them to be a part of your fire?

What are you doing to blow life back into your fire? Is there one thing you might commit to doing more of this week? Prayer, reading your Bible, serving others, being in a Christian community?

I don’t know what sets you on fire, but I do know that there is a fire burning inside of you. And I have seen what happens when God stirs up the fire. That is how ministries are born, people’s lives are changed, and God’s Kingdom grows.

Dear Lord,
Stir in me the fire of the Holy Spirit.
Stir in me the desire to please you.
Stir in me the passion to love you and love others.
Stir in me the discipline to pray, to serve, to study.
Stir in me the courage to invite others to build up the fire.
Just as you first breathed life into me, breathe a new life into me now.

Now and then, Pastor David teaches a Spiritual Gifts/Discovery workshop. I’m not sure when the next one will be, but here is the link to get to the list of spiritual gifts and the spiritual gifts inventory. If you aren’t sure what your gifts are, you might want to check it out:

Spiritual-Gifts-Inventory.pdf (desertspringchurch.com)