Sermons

Summary: Through repentance, prayer and thanksgiving we can keep the fire of Pentecost from burning out in our lives.

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A STORY HAS BEEN TOLD ABOUT HOW DWIGHT L. MOODY ONCE CALLED ON A LEADING CITIZEN IN CHICAGO TO PERSUADE HIM TO ACCEPT CHRIST.

THEY WERE SEATED IN THE MAN’S PARLOR. IT WAS WINTER AND COAL WAS BURNING IN THE FIREPLACE. THE MAN OBJECTED THAT HE COULD BE JUST AS GOOD A CHRISTIAN OUTSIDE THE CHURCH AS IN IT.

MOODY SAID NOTHING, BUT STEPPED TO THE FIREPLACE, TOOK THE TONGS, PICKED A BLAZING COAL FROM THE FIRE AND SET IT OFF BY ITSELF. IN SILENCE THE TWO WATCHED IT SMOLDER AND GO OUT. “I SEE,” SAID THE MAN.

OUR PASSAGE IN LEVITICUS THIS EVENING GIVES US A SIMILAR LESSON. IT TELLS US THAT THE FIRES ON THE ALTAR OF OUR HEARTS AND LIVES MUST NEVER TO GO OUT.

THIS STATEMENT, IN ITS ORIGINAL HEBREW WRITING, MEANS "CONTINUING SOMETHING WITHOUT INTERRUPTION." ALTHOUGH THIS APPLIED TO THE PRIESTLY DUTIES, WE ARE NOT "OFF THE HOOK" BECAUSE IT APPLIES TO US TOO.

THIS HEBREW PHRASE ALSO WAS USED FOR PERSONAL ACTS OF DEVOTION. THIS MEANS OUR DEPENDENCE UPON GOD MUST NEVER STOP.

WE MUST WAIT AND HOPE CONTINUALLY ON GOD. HOSEA 12:6, "SO NOW, COME BACK TO YOUR GOD! ACT ON THE PRINCIPLES OF LOVE AND JUSTICE, AND ALWAYS LIVE IN CONFIDENT DEPENDENCE ON YOUR GOD."

WE ARE TO PRAISE HIM CONTINUALLY! PSALM 34:1, "I WILL PRAISE THE LORD AT ALL TIMES. I WILL CONSTANTLY SPEAK HIS PRAISES." PSALM 71:6, "YES, YOU HAVE BEEN WITH ME FROM BIRTH; FROM MY MOTHER’S WOMB YOU HAVE CARED FOR ME. NO WONDER I AM ALWAYS PRAISING YOU!"

AND WE ARE TO KEEP HIS LAW CONTINUALLY. AS THE PSALMIST AGREED IN PSALM 119:44, I WILL KEEP ON OBEYING YOUR LAW FOREVER AND FOREVER."

SO, JUST AS THE PRIEST DID IN THE TEMPLE, WE ARE TO DO OURSELVES. THE PRIESTS WERE TO KEEP THE FIRE BURNING CONTINUALLY ON THE ALTAR SO THAT THE PEOPLE MIGHT BE IN CONTINUAL FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD.

NOW, BECAUSE OF JESUS CHRIST AND THE RECEIVING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD AT PENTECOST, WE ARE NOW THE PRIESTS FOR THIS GENERATION.

WE MUST ALLOW THE FIRE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT TO CONTINUALLY BURN WITH LIFE UPON THE ALTARS OF OUR HEARTS AND LIVES.

JUST LIKE AN ELECTRICAL APPLIANCE CANNOT RUN IF IT IS NOT PLUGGED INTO AN ELECTRICAL POWER SOURCE, SO TOO, WE CANNOT FUNCTION OR WITNESS WITHOUT THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN OUR HEARTS AND LIVES.

THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IS MADE CONTINUOUS BY CONTINUALLY FELLOWSHIPPING WITH GOD THROUGH A CLOSE, PERSONAL AND INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST.

THESE DEMANDS THAT WERE PUT UPON THE PRIESTS ARE THE SAME DEMANDS PLACED UPON US. YES, THE DEMAND REQUIRES OF US TO MAKE AN EFFORT OF DAILY PREPARATION TO FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD SO THAT THE FIRE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL NOT BE QUENCHED.

1 THESSALONIANS 5:19, "DO NOT QUENCH THE SPIRIT." IN OTHER WORDS, WE MUST NOT FORSAKE THE SPIRIT’S CALL UPON OUR LIVES TO PUT GOD FIRST IN OUR LIVES. IT MEANS WE SHOULD NEVER ABANDON THOSE THINGS GOD HAS REQUIRED OF US.

ANYTHING WE DO THAT INTERRUPTS OUR CONTINUAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD IS NOT ONLY IDOLATRY, BUT ONE OF THE WAYS WE QUENCH THE SPIRIT.

THE WAYS FOR US TO KEEP THE FIRE OF THE SPIRIT FROM BEING QUENCHED IN OUR LIVES IS TO DO THE THINGS THAT WILL MAINTAIN THAT PROPER RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD. THOSE THINGS THAT MAINTAIN OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD ARE REPENTANCE, PRAYER, AND THANKSGIVING.

IN ORDER TO KEEP THE FIRE FROM GOING OUT ON THE ALTAR OF OUR HEART WE MUST REPENT OF OUR SINS. ALTHOUGH GOD FORGAVE US OF ALL OF OUR SINS WHEN WE ACCEPTED JESUS CHRIST AS SAVIOR THE FACT IS WE STILL SIN!

BECAUSE WE STILL SIN WE MUST STILL REPENT OF THOSE SINS! WE CANNOT DENY THAT TRUTH THEREFORE WE MUST ASK FOR FORGIVENESS WHEN WE SIN AGAINST GOD.

1 JOHN 1:8-9, "IF WE SAY WE HAVE NO SIN, WE ARE ONLY FOOLING OURSELVES AND REFUSING TO ACCEPT THE TRUTH. BUT IF WE CONFESS OUR SINS TO HIM, HE IS FAITHFUL AND JUST TO FORGIVE US AND TO CLEANSE US FROM EVERY WRONG."

CONFESSION AND REPENTANCE OF SIN IS A CONSTANT MARK OF THE PERSON WALKING IN THE LIGHT OF FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD. TO KEEP THE FIRE FROM GOING OUT ON THE ALTAR OF OUR HEART WE MUST REPENT OF OUR SINS.

ANOTHER WAY WE KEEP THE FIRE FROM GOING OUT ON THE ALTAR OF OUR HEART IS TO PRAY. PRAYER, IN ITS SIMPLEST DEFINITION IS COMMUNICATION WITH GOD.

THERE ARE MANY BLESSINGS FROM SCRIPTURE THAT CAN ENCOURAGE US TO LOOK AT PRAYER AS TWO-WAY COMMUNICATION, RATHER THAN A ONE-WAY CONVERSATION.

PSALM 9:12, "…[GOD] DOES NOT IGNORE THOSE WHO CRY TO HIM FOR HELP." PSALM 145:18, "THE LORD IS CLOSE TO ALL WHO CALL ON HIM, YES, TO ALL WHO CALL ON HIM SINCERELY."

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