Word of the Month

Fervent in spirit

August 2004

If a fire is to burn continually, it must constantly be supplied with new fuel or it will go out. It is no different spiritually. Without an uninterrupted supply of God's word and grace the flame of our faith would die. The fire of God's love can only blaze up in our hearts if we give the Holy Spirit room. Our anticipation of Christ's imminent return will also continue to fuel this fire and keep it alive.

Apostle Paul's appeal to the congregation of Rome: "[Be] fervent in spirit, serving the Lord," (c.f. Romans 12:11) indicates that those who are filled with the fire of divine love will gladly serve the Lord. This includes seeking the last elected souls so that they may be added to the work of the Lord and that the number of those called to the marriage of the Lamb will finally be fulfilled.

Let us not forget that God serves us in a variety of ways. He serves us in the divine service and through His angel protection. He grants us peace for our souls. He gives us new strength, comforts us, blesses and preserves us. Let us therefore also serve Him!

Our service is a fruit of faith. So let us produce works of faith, follow loyally, and gladly bring our offerings. Then we will be serving the Lord in the right manner, not out of obligation but out of love and joy, according to the words of Psalms: "Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing." (Psalms 100:2).

A joyful spirit is also a fervent spirit in which the fire of the first love still burns. Despite all that we might encounter, let us complain less and not lose courage, but rather display even more joy in the Lord and His work. We will succeed in this if the fire of faith and hope burns brightly within us.

Let us not allow it to go out. Instead let us feed it again and again by maintaining our connection to God, His Son, and the Holy Spirit - as well as to those whom the Lord has sent for our salvation - in sincere fear of the Lord. Serving the Lord in the right manner - humbly and with a loving, fervent spirit - will contribute to our worthiness and completion. That is what it is all about after all: that we can finally reach the state of worthiness required for the Son of God to come, and that we are ready to receive Him and enter into eternal glory.

(From a service by the chief apostle)