Summary: We have relegated fire...works to once a year. We have made certain fire...works off limits. This series will take us back to where we began (Acts 2) and see how the fire...works in our lives.
Pt. 1 – I Want A Fire…Works Display
It is that time of year. July. The month of fireworks. We all seem to love and want a fireworks display. It has become an annual ritual at our house and I am sure the same is true at your house. We grab blankets, bug spray, our kids and fight the throngs of people and the hot weather to get a good seat to watch the bombs go off. We hold our breath waiting for the unexpected bang. We long for the unusual shower of sparks we have never seen before. We love fireworks.
That is until it comes to church. We don’t like explosions and the unexpected at church. However, I want you to understand that church without Fire…Works is not really church!
I am here to declare to you that I want a fireworks display. I think I am in good company. Paul wanted a display as well. We discover this in 1 Corn. 14:1 – desire spiritual gifts. He was used to fireworks displays at church.
We see the first one in Act 2. You have read this many times, but I want us to read it again to remind ourselves that this is what church is supposed to be like. Fire…works in our midst.
1And when the day of Pentecost was now come, they were all together in one place. 2And suddenly there came from heaven a sound as of the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3And there appeared unto them tongues parting asunder, like as of fire; and it sat upon each one of them. 4And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
If you have the time you should read through the book of Acts again. It reveals that there was a constant fireworks display in the church and in the lives of the people. That is what I long for again. We need fire. . .works.
I am challenging you to help me pray for and participate in fireworks in our church. However, I do want you to understand some things about fireworks displays before we go further in this pursuit of fire…works.
a. Fire. . .Works display takes a lot of work and preparation.
We won’t just show up and have one. We have to prepare with prayer, praise, personally. I will keep hitting this until we get it. We must prepare. We can’t just roll in and expect there to be fire…works. Fire…works take hours of preparation and planning. We need you to show up each week with your gifts prepared. Your heart prepared. Your spirit prepared. Why?
The truth is that you have fire. . .works (gifts) inside of you that we need to operate in our services.
Paul clearly states that each one of us have gifts that are needed. In 1 Corinthians 12:7 he says, “7Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people!”
If the only gifts that operate each week are the gifts of the preacher and the worship team we will be relegated to a fire…works display that will be poor, won’t be very balanced, and won’t have much pop. We need you to begin to operate in your gift!
That means that each gift must be exercised! Interesting use of word there! Definition of exercised is “to use repeatedly in order to strengthen or develop.”
Our gift must be built up. Made stronger by use. Just like a natural body must be exercised your gift must be exercised. You can’t show up here and expect there to be fire…works if you haven’t prepared your gift, your spirit, your heart. Exercise and prepare! If you don’t exercise the gift it will be weak and underdeveloped.
Why is this so crucial? Because Fire. . .Works take investment.
Think about the investment people have to make to put on a fireworks display. Money, time, energy, planning. No one just shows up at the park and the fireworks set themselves up. The fire trucks don’t drive themselves to the park. The chorography of the show doesn’t just happen by coincidence. Investment is made. I am saying to you that we must invest in our times together. We must invest in this church. We must invest in our desire for fire…works.
I want you to change the way you come to church so that we can experience a change in the way that we have church.
Don’t just stroll in with no investment or preparation made. We will experience fire…works when we prepare and invest!