God's Holy Fire: 'Before He Is Born'

Monday, December 18, 2023

[An angel said, "John the Baptizer] will be a joy and delight to you [his parents], and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born."
— Luke 1:14-15 NIV

Key Thought

Some of the Old Testament prophets — Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Joel — had spoken of God's coming time when the Holy Spirit would be present and active for all the faithful. Luke is the gospel that most clearly picks up on this theme and tells the story of Jesus with a strong emphasis on the work of the Holy Spirit. As those of us in many places move this next week through the Christmas season, listen to Luke's emphasis on the importance of the Holy Spirit in Jesus' coming. From his forerunner, John the Baptizer, through every step of his conception, birth, and ministry, Jesus' life is tied to the power and blessing of the Holy Spirit. John the Baptizer is the promised forerunner who prepares the way for Jesus. John is filled with the Holy Spirit even before his birth. Jesus' coming is the work of God. This work begins even before Jesus is conceived in the womb of Mary. We are reminded that greatness in God's kingdom is defined by our willingness to live for Jesus and be filled with and led by the Holy Spirit.

Today's Prayer

Almighty God, you have revealed yourself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. While I do not claim to comprehend the depth and fullness of this truth, I thank you that you have worked in our world in marvelous ways to reveal yourself and make your presence known. I thank you, Abba Father, for creating me and knowing me and revealing yourself to me in Jesus and living within me through the Holy Spirit. I offer myself to live for you and be filled and led by your Holy Spirit. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.


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Illustration of Luke 1:14-15 NIV — "John the Baptizer] will be a joy and delight to you [his parents], and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord."

About This Devotional

God's Holy Fire is a daily devotional about the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

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

Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
Scripture quotations marked MESSAGE are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.