God's Holy Fire: 'Strong in Spirit'

Thursday, December 22, 2022

ToGather: Our Father's Grace Becomes Our Mission

Few truths are more important to us than Jesus' promise to intercede for us.

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And the child [John the Baptizer] grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the wilderness until he appeared publicly to Israel.
— Luke 1:80 NIV

Key Thought

This verse doesn't speak directly to the work of the Holy Spirit. Luke does contrast the Spirit's work in John and the Spirit's work in Jesus. "And the child [Jesus] grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him" (Luke 2:40). While Jesus grew in every way like any other little boy, Luke is careful to make sure there is no sense of his growing in spirit or Spirit because there is no need for him to do so. The Holy Spirit is active in Jesus from his miraculous conception through the rest of his life. That may not seem like a major concern, but Jesus is Immanuel, God with us, from the moment of his conception through his death and his resurrection (Matthew 1:23). Jesus is God in human flesh, experiencing everything we as humans face and getting himself dirty with the realities of life that we endure as mortals. This truth reminds us of the sacredness of our humanity and the graciousness of God in Jesus, "Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness" (Philippians 2:6-7).

Today's Prayer

Almighty God, my Abba Father who lived among us in Jesus and who lives in us through the Holy Spirit, I thank you and praise you for your grace. Thank you for choosing to be near us: near us in Spirit and also in mortal flesh through Jesus. Thank you for such kindness and redeeming love. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

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Illustration

Illustration of Luke 1:80 NIV — And the child [John the Baptizer] grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the wilderness until he appeared publicly to Israel.

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.