SCRIPTURE TEXT: “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”— Acts 2: 2-4  

Come, Holy Spirit, Heav’nly Dove
With all Thy quick’ning pow’rs;
Kindle a flame of sacred love
In these cold hearts of ours.

Look, how we grovel here below,
Fond of these earthly toys;
Our souls, how heavily they go,
To reach eternal joys.

Come, Holy Spirit, Heav’nly Dove,
With all Thy quick’ning pow’rs;
Come, shed abroad a Savior’s love,
And that shall kindle ours  

(Isaac Watts, 1674-1748)

Isaac Watts was disturbed with “business as usual” Christianity. He knew that the only way Christians could be shaken out of their lethargy was if they had a fresh touch of the Spirit. Just as Jesus is described both as a Meek Lamb and a Fearsome Lion, so the Holy Spirit is described as both Dove and Fire.

Sometimes Christians need to experience the Holy Spirit as a gentle Dove, but often we need to know Him as a Roaring Fire.

One stanza that is often omitted from this hymn is: “Father, and shall we ever live at this poor dying rate, our love so faint, so cold to Thee, and Thine to us so great?” It was this contrast between our love for God and God’s love for us that disturbed Watts. He knew that only the fire of the Spirit could kindle our hearts into deeper love.

PRAYER: Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to kindle your heart to deeper love. 


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