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Summary: Jesus wants to baptize His people with the Holy Spirit and fire. It’s time to get ignited, and allow the refiner’s fire to burn away anything in us that’s not of the Lord!

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THE SCHOOL OF PRAYER #3: FIRE FROM HEAVEN

OPENING TEXT: This summer, we are going to Jesus and saying, “Lord, teach us to pray!”

“Now it came to pass, as Jesus was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, teach us to pray.” (Luke 11:1).

KEY TEXT:

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

• The original Greek word translated “send” is ballo, which means to throw or to cast.

• Why did Jesus come to the earth? To throw fire!

FIRE = is mentioned over 500 times in the Bible

• Gen. 3:23 - sent an angel and a flaming sword to guard the Garden of Eden

• Gen. 19:22 - set a couple of cities on fire (Sodom & Gomorrah)

• Ex. 3:2 - set a bush on fire when He appeared to Moses

• Ex. 19:28 - set a mountain on fire

• Leviticus - God told his people to set things on fire (offerings)

• Numbers - fire by night

INTERESTING NOTE: The only books in the Bible that don’t talk about fire are Ruth & Esther (girls books). See – boys like to play with fire.

There’s something significant about FIRE in the Scriptures:

• Fire represents the very presence of God! “Our God is a consuming fire!” (Heb. 12:29).

• People are fascinated by fire! Stories of FIRE.

• Last week we were camping, my boys especially wanted to build and play with fire.

STORY: In a little town unknown to many, there was a small church. One night smoke and flames consumed this little church. People from all over town stood in the streets and watched the church as it burned. The local preacher drove up and noticed several people that he hadn’t seen in a while. Walking up to one man he asked "Where you been, I haven’t seen you around here in a while." The man responded, "That’s because I’ve never seen this church on fire!”

QUOTE: Leonard Ravenhill

“You never have to advertise a fire. Everyone comes running when there’s a fire. Likewise, if your church is on fire, you will not have to advertise it. The community will already know it.”

THE BIG IDEA: Jesus wants to baptize His people with the Holy Spirit and fire. It’s time to get ignited, and allow the refiner’s fire to burn away anything in us that’s not of the Lord!

“John answered, saying to all, "I indeed baptize you with water; but (Jesus) will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” (Luke 3:16).

BACKGROUND TO THE BIBLE STORY: (1 Kings 18:17-19).

• God had called for a draught in the land because of the wickedness of the king.

“17 Then it happened, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said to him, "Is that you, O troubler of Israel?" 18 And he answered, "I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father's house have, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and have followed the Baals. 19 Now therefore, send and gather all Israel to me on Mount Carmel, the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal, and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel's table.”


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