“Is not my Word like as a fire.” Jeremiah 23:29
Fire and Ice
Bumping into an old acquaintance, I asked him about his church. I had heard he had been attending a church well known for its faithful and engaging teaching. “Oh, I don’t attend there anymore. I couldn’t stand it any longer”. Asking about the problem, I received this response, “The sermons were way too long and the pastor was always harping about ‘spiritual growth’ and ‘getting rid of sin’. I needed to take my family some place that was more positive.”
Hearts that refuse to be set on fire by Scripture have never been warmed by Christ. Far too many people attend churches that tickle their ears or give them a message that is little more than sanctimonious truisms. “Encouragement” has come to mean we tell people they are already on the right tract and that God is pleased with them. The Bible’s repeated theme of holiness is left by the wayside. Such churches will tell people that Christ came to save them, but refuse to say what Christ offers to save them from. Thomas Watson once said “it is almost better to be under no preaching as to be under such preaching as will not set us on fire.”
The Bible is not meant simply to inform, but also to inflame. It is designed to thaw frozen hearts and to make us burn with a hatred of our sin and a love for Jesus. Scripture tells us that God is a “consuming fire” (Deut 4:4; Hebrews 12:29) who commands His people to “fan into flame” (2 Tim 1:6) their faith and dedication to Him. We should allow every sermon we hear and every passage we read to warn us, rebuke us, convict us, encourage us, and equip us to burn passionately in our love for God.
We are either fire or ice. Either we are inflamed with a love of God, or we are frozen solid in spiritual apathy. What is the spiritual temperature of your heart?
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