Summary: Are you on fire for God or just something like it?
07, January 2002
Dakota Community Church
The Fire Alarm
5Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you--unless, of course, you fail the test?
Five Quick Self-Exam Questions:
1. Did I gain or lose spiritual ground in 2001?
2. Did I read any books that impacted and changed my life in 2001?
3. Did I contribute to the Body in 2001?
4. Did I stay focused in the pursuit of my calling in 2001?
5. Did I pick up any baggage in 2001? (Unforgiveness, Hurts, Score keeping)
The main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing.
6For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
Deuteronomy 4: 23-24
23 Be careful not to forget the covenant of the LORD your God that he made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the LORD your God has forbidden. 24 For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.
Jeremiah 20: 9
9 But if I say, "I will not mention him or speak any more in his name," his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.
Revelation 3: 15-16
15I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
Let’s look at four stages of fire that may describe your life as we enter this New Year.
1. YOU MAY BE SMOKING!
This is not a good spiritual condition to be in.
- Smoke gives no heat.
- Smoke gives no light.
- Smoke smells bad.
- People move away from it because it is unpleasant to have in your face.
How do Christians get into Smoking shape?
a. They have wet wood.
Has someone rained on your fire? Peed in your Cornflakes? Thrown a wet blanket on your excitement in Christ?
b. Watchman asleep at the post.
Fire has a soothing effect that tends to lull to sleep. Have you fallen asleep and let your passion burn out?
Matthew 25: 1-13
1"At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
6"At midnight the cry rang out: ’Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
7"Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8The foolish ones said to the wise, ’Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’
9" ’No,’ they replied, ’there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’
10"But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
11"Later the others also came. ’Sir! Sir!’ they said. ’Open the door for us!’
12"But he replied, ’I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.’
13"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
Jesus is telling us to keep it going, to live ready!
But wait; if this describes you I have good news:
3 A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice.
2. YOU MAY BE HANGING AROUND THE FIRE.
John 18: 15-18
15Simon Peter and another disciple were following Jesus. Because this disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard, 16but Peter had to wait outside at the door. The other disciple, who was known to the high priest, came back, spoke to the girl on duty there and brought Peter in.
17"You are not one of his disciples, are you?" the girl at the door asked Peter.
He replied, "I am not."
18It was cold, and the servants and officials stood around a fire they had made to keep warm. Peter also was standing with them, warming himself.
Peter wants to see what will happen but doesn’t want to commit. Sound familiar?
People who do this:
- Attend church as spectators.