Saturday, November 2, 2019

An Excerpt from my latest Devotional

Below is an excerpt from my current NaNoWriMo Work In Progress, 365 Names of the Believer.
My latest publication, 365 Names of God, is available now on Amazon and Kindle.

365 Names of the Believer
Day 102 – Fire
"I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! (Luk 12:49 NKJV)

Read: Luke 12:49-53
As I write this, there are raging fires across California, which have destroyed a combined 91,000 acres. The fires have caused the State to issue electric blackouts, in an attempt to prevent additional fires from breaking out due to electrical sparks in equipment.

Two decades ago, I worked with a couple of guys who were volunteer firefighters with the Eudora Fire Department. It would set their hearts to racing as they saw smoke anywhere. Not because they enjoyed a good fire, or wanted to go set one, but because they considered it a challenge to put one out. One of them confided in me that they felt often like they were at war with a monster, one that consumed all in its path, one that had to be outsmarted.

Fire doesn’t really have any brains. It’s a natural reaction to fuel, air, and heat. If you remove one of them, the fire dies. A fire break removes the burnable fuel, so the fire burns itself out. Fire extinquishers remove the air. Water removes the heat.

As the multitudes began to throng around Jesus, He began to speak to them in parables – short stories with a meaning behind each. But as He was speaking these, He paused for a moment to make a string of disturbing statements recorded in Luke 12:49-53. He stated that He had come to set a fire on the earth. This fire is us, carrying the light of the gospel message around the world. The heat this fire spreads is the gospel message. The air it requires is the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit. The fuel is those who will hear the good news, and respond in faith, and in turn pass it on to those around them.

When Paul and Silas arrived in Thessolonica, they brought this good news to the Jews and Gentiles living there. But the Jews who would not believe raised up a rabble to chase them out of town, declaring that these men who ‘turned the world upside-down’ had come there. This phrase is fairly accurate. But it isn’t us that actually does anything. We carry the message, but it is the heat of the message and the wind of the Spirit that ignites the heart and converts the soul.

Unfortunately, as Jesus said, this message does not bring unity, but division. It turns a man against his wife, a child against her parents, brother against sister. For wherever the wood is wet, the message will not convert, and all that happens is a great deal of smoke. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had friends who refused to continue to be my friends because I’d taken on the mantle of a genuine Christian. Even my old pastor, Brother Bobby, said his father rejected this message, telling him, “There’s nothing to that, Bobby.”

When we get to heaven, there will no longer be division. No factions, not even denominations. All there will believe fervently. But in the meantime, we are here to spread this fire abroad. Burn brightly and set your city ablaze with the transforming message of God’s great love.