“He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
Fire can be terrifying or comforting. It can be destructive and deadly if it gets out of control, or it can be a great source of warmth, heat, and light.
John the Baptist was known for his fire; he burned for God, bringing the light of God’s Word into a dark, troubled time and urging people to repent as he prepared the way for Jesus’ coming. Jesus said of him, “John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light” (John 5:35).
What caused John to be set ablaze? He was filled with the Holy Spirit from birth (Luke 1:15), lived a life of self-denial, and spent time in the wilderness, where his relationship with God grew.
People were impressed with John, but he pointed them to “one who was more powerful”—that is, Jesus, who is actually “the light of the world” (John 8:12). John prophesied this about Jesus: “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
God’s will is for all his followers to have a burning spiritual passion for him. The question is whether or not we will yield ourselves to him so that he can fill us with that kind of passion for him. As the fire of God enters into us, people and nations will be changed.
Lord, let the fire of your Word enter us so that we will burn for you. Fill us to bring your light into this dark world, that people may see your goodness and have the light of life. Amen.
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