1. Can it be said of us that we have a burning desire to serve the Lord?
A. The Psalmist wrote: Ps 39:3 My heart was hot within me; While I was musing the fire burned; Then I spoke with my tongue:
1) The FIRE BURNED in David's heart
B. Jeremiah wrote: Jer 20:9 But if I say, "I will not remember Him Or speak anymore in His name," Then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; And I am weary of holding it in, And I cannot endure it.
1) The FIRE BURNED in Jeremiah's heart!
C. Luke wrote: Luke 24:32 And they said to one another, "Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?"
1) The disciples developed a burning spiritual passion upon learning the resurrection story.
2. Most of us have had that fire in the heart. We have had a burning desire to work for the Lord and to advance His cause. But sometimes we let the fire go out as they did back in the first century.
A. In Revelation 2:1-3, when the Lord addressed the church at Ephesus. (Read) He observed many commendable attributes regarding it. They:
1) Were working in patience
2) Abhorred Evil
3) Tested their teachers for the truth
4) Had borne hardships
5) Had not grown weary in these good things
B. However, Jesus said: (Rev 2:4).
C. It is estimated that the church at Ephesus was more than 40 years old at the time this was written.
1) From its beginning it had manifested a spirit of enthusiasm, activity, and devotion to Christ.
2) But Jesus perceived a decay or deterioration in their love! Remember Laodicea? Rev 3:15-16 Not hot anymore.
3. May we learn a lesson from these examples. Maybe we all need to work on rekindling the fire.
HOW TO RECOGNIZE WHEN THE FIRE IS GOING OUT:
1. Reduction in involvement (quit teaching, quit being a part). I can see when people slack off. Not involved in the Lord’s work like they should be. But it is hard to see it in ourselves
A. Spiritual energy cannot be replenished by less involvement.
2. Reduction in Spiritual
hunger ("I have to" instead of "I want to"). “Do I
have to go to worship every Sunday?” “I’m not allowed to do
that. I’m a Christian.
A. Blessings only come to those that hunger & thirst!Matt 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
We MUST hunger in order to grow and be involved.1 PETER 2:1-3. It is SOUL food. W/o that regular food, our soul dies.
B. When worldly things choke
the word, and the hunger is gone, then you know that you have drifted - the
gospel dies out. Mk 4:19. Note 3 things.
3. Lack of Will and Motivation.
A. When you no longer feel motivated, then you know that the fire is going out. You are drifting. We don’t simply fall. Heb 2:1
WHY WE NEED TO REKINDLE THE FIRE:
1. We desperately need it
A. Our past performance will not count in judgment if we quit now. 2 Cor 5:10
B. The fire is needed to endure the race before us. If our fire goes out easily, how will it endure trials and tribulations?We must run the race with ENDURANCE! Won’t endure if we don’t have the DRIVE, the motivation!
2. We need to energize the local church here.
A. This church and every church needs energy.
1) Are we givers or takers - ideally we should be both. Many are only takers. That makes others work harder as givers.
3. We need to influence the salvation of our family.
A. Children need good examples.
Quitters are not
respected. Quitters cannot lead people to heaven. Your children will definitely imitate you.
B. Children do not naturally drift toward heaven - but rather hell. The pressure is constantly on children to blend in with the world. Satan never quits.
1) It is the Christian family
unit that continues to inspire them to reach toward heaven - as the example
of parents show. 2 Tim 1:5-6. “Kindle afresh.” Do you teach your
HOW TO REKINDLE THE FIRE?
1. Fuel the fire!
A. The source - the Word of God. We MUST study! When was the last time you studied on your own? That is a signal of how much you love listening to God.
Look what Corinth did when they heard the word of God. 2 Cor 7:11-12a “Wrote”
B. Meditation on it. Phil 4:8.
C. Prayer. Pray to endure. Eph 6:13-14, 18-19; 3:14, 16, 17, 20. David. Ps 119:25-28, 48, 97-99.
Pray for strength. I Pet 5:6,7 (Prayer). 10 “establish”
When was the last time you went off and prayed to God just by yourself? This shows your spiritual side.
2. Involvement with God’s people.Heb 10:24-25
A. One must walk with the wise to be wise. Look to the heroes of faith to ignite the fire again. (Heb 11:32-40 & our Own members). How do you feel when you missed one or two weeks w/o the brethren? Weaker, losing our faith? The more we meet together, the stronger we get.
3. Returning to our first love (Rev 2)
A. "Repent and do the first works...." (V5).1) Repentance is a change of mind that results in a change of one's life. Look to the cross again & return to your first love. Renew your appreciation.
2) The corn flake commercial: "try it again for the first time." “Revive us again” #37. Think about these things! How special! How wonderful!
4. Examine yourself daily. 2 Cor 13:5
A. Learn to catch yourself before you enter the dying stage. Don’t wait until you are so far out and hard to get back. Examine yourself daily.
1) Measure the fire, press for the mark - keep the fire burning!
PHILIPPIANS 3:13-14. “One thing I do!” One thing you need to do.
1. May we all keep the fire of faith, hope, and love burning within us. “Cleanse me.” #408. The more we learn of and know of Jesus, the closer we will become to Him - we will love Him.1 John 4:19 "We love Him because He first loved us."John 15:13 "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends."
A. Jesus did that for us - what have we done for Him?
1) May we all rekindle the fire and return to our first love! Brethren, think on these things carefully!
SONG: "I Gave My Life
For Thee" #340
By Robert Raif
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