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Are You on Fire?

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   ...Or putting Fires out?

You know Jesus came to this earth over a thousand years ago. And with Him He brought change! ...Radical change!!
The idea, that God wanted to show His deep infinite love in a way in which the world would absolutely be floored!!       
                                                                ...And it was!!!
  "Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” This He said, signifying by what death He would die.  The people answered Him, “We have heard from the law that the Christ remains forever; and how can You say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this Son of Man?”
                                       (John 12:31-34 NKJV)
That He would send His own beloved Son to die for us!
 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."
                               (John 3:16 NKJV)
So that each and every one of us could receive, the wonderful gift of being called children of God (JN 1:12).
And with this gift. We are all called not only to become His children. But also, to help spread the awesome gospel message of His love!
  "And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
                          (Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV)
Whatever our part may be!
But what most often happens?
Instead of being filled with His Spirit? On "fire" for the Lord?
We often end up putting out fires! In ourselves!! ...And others!!!
What fire is that?
The Holy Spirit that dwells within us:
  "the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you."
                              (John 14:17 NKJV)
Who teaches and guides us:
  "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you."
                                       (John 14:26 NKJV)
  "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come."
                                          (John 16:13 NKJV)
And empowers us for ministry:
  "And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness."
                                             (Acts 4:31 NKJV)
An how do we this? Put out fires?
Both within ourselves ...and others?
By our negative attitudes. Our complacency. And our lack of love and enthusiasm for others to come to Christ! Basically? Our own selfish natures!!
And how do we put it out in others? By putting them down for trying!
We would rather take time to ourselves, than surrender any to God!
We get so caught up in our own, "little worlds" that we do not have much time for others. Let alone our own time we need alone with God (but of course this is another subject for another time!)!
We continually ignore the voice of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us. The Lord's "fire".
When we are called NOT to quench the Spirit!
  "Do not quench the Spirit."
                  (Thessalonians 5:19 NKJV)
And we do our "own thing". With little, to no regard for what is in God's heart for us to do!
You see God has a plan for each and every one of us in our lives! We all play a part in God's plan.
No matter what that part may be:
"There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills."
                               (1 Corinthians 12:4-11 NKJV)
We all have our parts! Whether it to teach, exhort, preach, evangelize, minister to others (the poor, less fortunate, the sick, the hurting, etc.). Or whatever our part (ministry) may be. We all have our, "parts"!
But instead of being "heavenly minded"? Focused on what God has for us to do? Many of us are earthly minded!
We do not wish to take our personal time to serve God! Or reach out to others!! We think things such as, "I work hard all week I want to relax". Or, "Im too tired, besides someone else will do it".
But guess what? Many others say the same kinds of things! And much is left undone!
So what happens? Well, its like the old saying, "20% of the church end up doing 80% of the work!" While the rest are no where to be found!?!
Now, it is understandable that there are times when we cannot do everything! And there are times when we need to rest. But you have to ask yourself, "how do I spend my time?"
Do I spend any time serving God? Maybe one day out of the week? Maybe.......a half a day? Maybe...just a couple hours, maybe just an hour? ....A few minutes? .......Or not at all?
 ...And just in case you may be wondering? Attending Church on Sunday, or any given night?

Does not consitute serving!
You see whatever is important to us? We will invest our time in! Whether its our jobs, families, hobbies, sports, etc. Whatever that may be!
The question for all of us here is this. How much time do we spend on helping to advance the kingdom? Is it important to us?
And where do you personally invest your time? What is important to you? Watching your favorite TV show, going to sports games, etc.? Or seeing others come to Jesus?
Afterall, as we read earlier in Matthew 28. We are ALL called to spread the gospel!
And it does not have to be preaching. Or traveling to another country doing missionary work. But it can be right here in your own backyard!
You see if we do not carry the gospel to others? Who will:
  "How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?"
                                     (Romans 10:14 KJV)
Now, could God just do it Himself?
Of course He could! He is MORE, than capable!! But this is not how He does it? Is it now?
Afterall, He uses people:
 "How beautiful upon the mountains
       Are the feet of him who brings good news,
       Who proclaims peace,
       Who brings glad tidings of good things,
       Who proclaims salvation,
       Who says to Zion,
       “ Your God reigns!”

                   (Isaiah 52:7 NKJV)
But we have to ask ourselves, "am I willing to be used by God? Am I willing to sacrifice any of my time?
And I would venture to say that you already know that answer within your heart!
  "Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin."
                                    (James 4:17 NKJV)
Remember what scripture says?
We are called the, "salt of the earth":
  “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men."
                                 (Matthew 5:13 NKJV)
So ask yourself, "has my salt lost its flavor?"
Only you and the Lord know the answer!
You see it's good for us that God is not like us! We are fickle. We change our minds often. And we basically are all out for, "numer one"! Not the real, "number One" (God)!!
Now, some of us may be a little scared to be used by God. To let our lights "shine before men" (MT 5:16). But we have to remember that we are NOT perfect. We WILL make mistakes (click here for more info: Think that God can't use You?).
But the important thing here is this! Not to give up!! But keep getting up when we make mistakes!!! God is not looking for "perfect" vessels to use....but willing!

He expects us to make mistakes now and then!!
Remember? If we could have been perfect? Then Jesus would NOT have died on the cross for us. He was that "perfect" sacrifice!
And He "perfected" us by His sacrifice:
  "For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified."

                                       (Hebrews 10:14 NKJV)
So when we come to Jesus we are "set free" to work for Him!
We do not, and cannot earn our salvation:
 "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast."
                                     (Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV)
So ask yourself today! Am I on fire for the Lord? ...Or am I putting someone else's fire out?
Only you and your Lord know!
And it's a good thing for you? That someone else did not feel the same way that we do sometimes......that they were "too busy" to share Jesus with us!

And here's some food for thought:
   “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."
                                (Matthew 5:14-16 NKJV)
  "He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad."
                                         (Matthew 12:30 NKJV)
So where do you stand?
Afterall, it's NEVER too late to begin serving your Lord!
The question for you though is this, are you willing to be used?

Rev. John Heintzman
Evangelist Non-Denominational
Any questions, comments, prayer requests?

POHOM Columbus, Ohio
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