Fire in my Bones
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Fire in My Bones
Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2012

The birth of Jesus was a Spirit-filled event. I pray your Christmas will be filled with the Spirit, too.

We Christians are notorious for downplaying the Holy Spirit. Many churches confine Him in a box of tradition or just ignore Him. Some Christians treat the Third Person of the Trinity as if he magically materialized in the book of Acts, like a genie out of a bottle, and then vanished after the early church was established.

But the Holy Spirit is first mentioned in the second verse of the Bible! The same Spirit who brooded over the waters at Creation (see Gen. 1:2), inspired the Old Testament prophets and empowered the first disciples at Pentecost also was involved in every step of the Christmas story. We should pay closer attention to the Spirit’s work in the miracle of the incarnation.

"If I am to attempt any task for God, I must do it in the power of the Spirit. I cannot just come up with a good idea and ask God to bless it. It must be God’s idea, and it must be soaked in the Holy Spirit’s anointing from the moment of conception!”

Luke, the author of the book of Acts, pays close attention to the work of the Holy Spirit in his gospel. Luke’s account of the birth of Jesus is the most detailed, and he highlights the Holy Spirit’s activity in the lives of five people in the first two chapters.

We tend to look down on Zacharias, John the Baptist’s father, because he doubted God’s ability to give his barren wife a child. But Luke reminds us that after Zacharias was struck dumb, he was filled with the Spirit when his son was born (see Luke 1:67) and he began to prophesy. Humbled and chastised by God, Zecharias gained new strength from the Spirit and uttered one of the richest Messianic promises in Scripture. He made a mistake in the beginning, but he finished well!

Zacharias reminds me that the Holy Spirit refines and corrects us, and ultimately uses us in spite of our failures and weaknesses. We must never grow weary of God’s discipline—because in the end, we will emerge with a message from Him.

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