April 25, 2024

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KEEPING YOUR SPIRITUAL FIRE BURNING NONSTOP

IN THE DAYS OF HIS POWER SERIES.

TOPIC: KEEPING YOUR SPIRITUAL FIRE BURNING NONSTOP

COMPILED/EDITED BY:-
Rev. Innocent Peace-Udochukwu
President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM

“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.”
2Timothy 1:6

INTRODUCTION:
We need more Christians to get on fire today. What we need more than that is for Christians to get on fire, and stay on fire! It seems that so many today get fired up and two weeks later, they are in the dumps, doubting their salvation, giving in to temptation, vulnerable, weak, and discouraged, thinking about quitting on God. We need to GET ON FIRE, AND STAY ON FIRE!

The Bible is very clear about having an active pursuit of Jesus and keep this fire burning inside of us. Apostle Paul, remembering the passion of Timothy’s grandmother and mother, persuades Timothy saying, “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.” 2 Timothy 1:6

However the problem with many Christians is that they are forever depending on someone to come and fan their flames. Fanning your flame is not just your worship leader or pastor’s responsibility. It is our active responsibility too.

Let us set apart special seasons for extraordinary prayer. For if this fire should be smothered beneath the ashes of a worldly conformity, it will dim the fire on the family altar, and lessen our influence both in the church and in the world.

The text will also apply to the altar of the heart. This is a golden altar indeed. God loves to see the hearts of His people glowing toward Himself. Let us give to God our hearts, all blazing with love, and seek His grace, that the fire may never be quenched; for it will not burn if the Lord does not keep it burning.

Many foes will attempt to extinguish it, but if the unseen Hand behind the wall pour thereon the sacred oil, it will blaze higher and higher. Let us use texts of Scripture as fuel for our hearts fire –they are live coals; and above all, let us be much alone with Jesus.

“David’s life was a torrent of spiritual desire, and his psalms ring with the cry of the seeker and the glad shout of the finder. Paul confessed the mainspring of his life to be his burning desire after Christ. “That I may know Him,” was the goal of his heart, and to this he sacrificed everything. “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but refuse, that I may win Christ.” – A.W. Tozer

The Lord said to Moses: “Give Aaron and his sons this command: ‘These are the regulations for the burnt offering: The burnt offering is to remain on the altar hearth throughout the night, till morning, and the fire must be kept burning on the altar. The priest shall then put on his linen clothes, with linen undergarments next to his body, and shall remove the ashes of the burnt offering that the fire has consumed on the altar and place them beside the altar. Then he is to take off these clothes and put on others, and carry the ashes outside the camp to a place that is ceremonially clean. The fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must not go out. Every morning the priest is to add firewood and arrange the burnt offering on the fire and burn the fat of the fellowship offerings on it. The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not go out.
Leviticus 6:8-13

“My fear is not that our great movement, known as the Methodists, will eventually cease to exist or one day die from the earth. My fear is that our people will become content to live without the fire, the power, the excitement, the supernatural element that makes us great.” – John Wesley

“I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!”- Luke 12:49.

OUR Lord was here certainly alluding to the opposition and persecution which the Gospel would excite. This is clear from the context, in which He declares that He is not come to send peace on the earth but a sword, and from the parallel passages in the other Gospels, where our Lord is forewarning His disciples that they must look for persecution. Albeit, that this was the first direction of the Savior’s thought, He here delivers Himself of a Truth of God of a far wider application and reveals a great peculiarity of the Gospel which causes men to oppose it. He bears witness that the Gospel is an ardent, fervent, flaming thing—a subject for enthusiasm, a theme for intense devotion, a matter which excites men’s souls and stirs them to the lowest depths—and for this reason, mainly, it arouses hostility.
If the Gospel were a mere propriety of ceremonies, a truth which would slumber in the creed or lie entombed in the brain. If it were not a spiritual principle which lays hold upon the innermost nature, rules the emotions and fires the affections—if it were not all this it would remain unopposed. But because it is so living and forcible a principle, the powers of evil are in arms to stop its course.

“Leave not off reading the Bible till you find your hearts warmed. Read the word, not only as a history, but labor to be affected with it. Let it not only inform you, but inflame you. “Is not my word like a fire? saith the Lord”: Jer 23:29. Go not from the word till you can say as those disciples, “Did not our hearts burn within us?” Luke 24:32.” – Thomas Watson

Brothers and Sisters, these three Truths—the love of God, the atoning death of Christ and of justification by faith—are doctrines which cannot sleep! They must be active! Like the sword of God, they cannot be quiet. They are a seed which must grow, a leaven which must spread, a fire which must burn on forever! Take any other Truth of the Gospel and you will find it to be of the same energetic character—as, for instance, that of the universal priesthood of all Believers. Priestcraft, throughout all its domains, is stirred to bitterest hate by this Truth of God. How cardinals and bishops gnash their teeth! How priests and friars revile this teaching, “You are a royal priesthood”!
This does away with the pride of a clerical caste—the commerce in pardons and confessions. Every man who believes in Jesus Christ is at once a priest and as much a priest as any other of the saints, so that no man has any right to arrogate unto himself in particular the title of priest, or to suppose or imagine that there is any sacerdotal rank in the Church but such as is common to all Believers in Christ Jesus! This Truth of God coming into a man’s soul makes him blaze and burn with zeal! Am I consecrated to God, ordained to stand as a priest between the living and the dead and to offer acceptable sacrifice through Jesus Christ? Then I will purge myself from uncleanness and diligently serve my God!
“Am I and all my Brethren priests?” asks the Believer. “Then down with priestcraft! We will be no longer duped by pretenders who claim to be channels of Divine Grace and anointed dispensers of the Divine favor.” If the Gospel of Jesus Christ had been a mystic philosophy which only a few could comprehend, it would not have been a matter of fire! If it had been a mere pompous bunch of ceremonies which the people could only look upon and admire, it would have had no ardent influence! If it had been a mere orthodoxy, to be learnt by heart and every jot and tittle to be accepted without consideration, or if it had been a mere law of civilities and legalities, a mere ordinance of propriety and rule and regulation, it would never have been what Christ says it is! But, inasmuch as it is a principle which affects the heart, which takes possession of our entire manhood, changes, renews, uplifts and inspires us, making us akin with God and filling us with the Divine fullness, it becomes in this world a thing of flame and fire, burning its way to victory! “I came to send fire on the earth.”
I have commenced the history of the Gospel with the Bible, but remember, the Gospel does not long remain a mere writing—it is no sooner thoroughly read and grasped than the reader becomes, according to his ability, a preacher. We will suppose when a preacher whom God has truly called to the work, proclaims this Gospel, you will see for a second time that it is a thing of fire. Observe the man! If God has sent him, he is little regardful of the graces of oratory. He counts it sheer folly that the servants of God should be the mimics of Demosthenes and Cicero. He learns in another school how to deliver his Master’s message. He comes forward in all sincerity, not in the wisdom of words, but with great plainness of speech and tells to the sons of men the great message from the skies!
The one thing of all others he abhors is to deliver that message with bated breath, with measured cadence and sentences that chill and freeze as they fall from ice-bound lips. He speaks as one who knows that God has sent him—like a man who believes what he says, and moreover, feels that his message is a burden on his own soul—a burden which he must be delivered from—a fire within his bones which rages till he gives it vent, for woe is unto him if he preach not the Gospel! I would not utter too sweeping a sentence, but I will venture to say that no man who preaches the Gospel without zeal is sent of God to preach at all.

The Holy Spirit sent down from Heaven anoints all true evangelists and is the true power and fire. The more we believe in the Presence and power of the Holy Spirit, the more likely shall we be to see the Gospel triumphant in our
ministry. Brethren, there is nothing in the Gospel, apart from the Spirit of God, which can win upon man, for man hates the Gospel with all his heart. Though the reasonableness of the Gospel of Jesus ought to make the belief of it universal, yet its plain dealing with human sin excites deadly antagonism, and, therefore, the Gospel itself would make no progress were it not for the Divine power. There is an invisible arm which pushes forward the conquests of the Truth of God! There is a fire unfed of human fuel which burns a way for the Truth of Jesus Christ into the hearts of men!

But Christianity did not happen to be a thing that would so soon be frozen. The Gospel of Jesus was a thing of fire! Jerusalem, alone, would not serve its purpose. All Judea and Galilee could not escape from it—
“More and more the kingdom grows, Ever mighty to prevail.”
Asia Minor is set upon a blaze by that fanatical firebrand, Saul of Tarsus, and even that is not enough! The fire burns so fiercely in Asia that the sparks fly across the Bosphorus! Paul is working in Macedonia. He is heard of in Athens, he is talked about in Corinth—and even that is not enough—that restless soul must cross the sea and is found in Rome thundering at the gates of Caesar’s palace!

If the Gospel is thus like fire, LET US CATCH THE FLAME! If this fire shall really burn within us, we shall become from this very moment fearless of all opposition. That retired friend will lose the strings which bind his tongue—he will feel that he must speak as God shall bid him. Or if he cannot speak, he will act with all his might in some other way to spread abroad the savor of Immanuel’s name! That coward who hid his head and would not own his profession, when the fire burns, will feel that he had rather court opposition than avoid it. There may be some young man here who is about to take up his cross—it has come to this—he must decide which it shall be. Let him do so without fear, for the Master whom he serves will bear him through all opposition!

The spirit of Christianity is unselfishness and love to others, care of other’s souls, a devotedness to the increase of the Master’s kingdom.

O lovers of Christ, come and bow at His feet and ask Him to let His love supply you with fire this morning! Come to the Pierced One! Gaze upon the crown of thorns! Look into the hole which the soldier’s spear has made! Gaze into the nail prints and say unto your soul—
‘Now, for the love I bear His name, What was my gain I count my loss. My former pride I call my shame And nail my glory to His Cross. Yes, and I must and will esteem All things but loss for Jesus’ sake. O may my soul be found in Him, And of His righteousness partake.” God bless you for Christ Jesus’ sake. Amen.

SHALOM!

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