A flame of fire can be such a dangerous and destructive thing. It can destroy the forest and it's wildlife. It can destroy a family home, and it's most precious possessions. But of course it has many benefits, and many times in the scriptures it describes a heart full of zeal for God.
Jesus envisioned John the Baptist as "a burning and shining lamp" (John 5:35 ). Paul wrote in Romans 12:11, "Be aglow…with the Spirit".
St. Augustine vowed, "To my God, a heart of flame; to my fellowmen, a heart of love; to myself, a heart of steel."
It was a flaming heart in George Whitefield which caused him to cry out, "Believe me, I am willing to go to prison and to death for you. But I am not willing to go to heaven without you!"
John Wesley’s sister described him as "out of breath seeking souls!" To awaken his Methodists, Wesley wrote in his 78th year, "You have nigh lost your zeal for works of mercy, as well as of piety. You once pushed on through cold or rain or whatever cross lay in your way to see the poor, the sick and distressed. You went about doing good, and found out those who were not able to find you. You cheerfully crept down into cellars and climbed up into garrets…. You found out every scene of human misery, and assisted according to your power…. Do you now tread in the same steps?"
Jim Elliot, missionary martyred by the Auca Indians of Ecuador in 1956, prayed: "Am I ignitable? O God, deliver me from the dread asbestos of other things! Saturate me with the oil of the Spirit that I may be aflame. But flame is transient and short-lived. Can’st thou bear this, my soul – short-lived? In me there dwells the Spirit of the Great Short-Lived, whose zeal for God’s House consumed Him. And He has promised baptism with the Spirit and with Fire. ‘Father, take my life, yes, my blood if Thou wilt, and consume it with Thine enveloping fire. I would not save it for it is not mine to save. Have it, Lord, have it all. Pour out my life as an offering for the world. Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God.’"
It was at a conference of youth evangelists in 1949 that Billy Graham was discussing the Second Coming and the end of time with his friends and said, "Oh, somehow, if the Lord could use me a little bit." The men agreed to pray and all knelt on handkerchiefs to protect their trousers from the wet grass when Roy Gustafson heard a strange, muffled voice. Billy lay full length in wet grass, oblivious to the soiling of his suit, with face into the ground, and Mr. Gustafson heard the plea that placed him on his preaching career: "Lord, trust me, trust me, Lord, to do something for You before You come."
Burning, shining, aglow, flame, ignitable, enveloping, fire, fuel. Lord I want there to be no room in my life for such things as boredom or mediocrity.
God bless you today, and remember that you are loved!!!
Henry D. is from Southern Indiana and writes these wonderful daily devotionals to encourage those at the Dogwood Community Church located in Paoli, Indiana. Henry has graciously agreed to share these wonderful devotionals here at Without Excuse Ministries to encourage you our valued guest!