February 06, 2007

Keeping the Fire Burning

Leviticus 6:8-14

"The fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must not go out." Leviticus 6:12


Can you keep the flame of your faith burning? Keeping faith alive twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week is fulltime work.

Is keeping the faith only a question of time or energy? Of being smart or old enough? It's true that time, energy, intelligence, and age can be helpful in matters of faith; yet often the greatest saints confess that believing gets tougher as time goes by. Let's face it: none of us can keep the faith without God's power to help us.

God provided his Old Testament people with priests who had to keep the fire of the burnt offering going. The aroma that pleased God (Leviticus 1:9) rose into the heavens twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. This was an ongoing sign that the people's sin was covered by these sacrifices.

Ordinary Israelites had to plow fields, tend vineyards, prepare meals at home, raise children--all according to God's will for them. Such work in the presence of God was a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1), and these people would also bring sacrifices and observe the Sabbath.

As it was then, so today the glow of faith does not depend on our hard work. The Holy Spirit wafts the fragrance of Christ's one sacrifice into God's presence and keeps the fire burning for all his people (Hebrews 10:10). Believe it, and depend on it.

I believe, heavenly Father; help me depend on the work of the Holy Spirit to purify my efforts at living for you, and to keep me rooted in true faith for Jesus' sake. Amen.

About the author — Arie C. Leder

Dr. Arie C. Leder is the Martin J. Wyngaarden Senior Professor of Old Testament Studies at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He previously served as pastor at Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church, Trenton, Ontario, and with Christian Reformed World Missions in Latin America. He teaches courses on the Pentateuch and on historical books of the Old Testament.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!