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I came to send fire on the earth

Jan Smith – 01/20/2008

Jesus said, “I came to send fire on the earth…” (Luke 12:49). That verse came to my mind this morning.

I begin each day with my Bible. Sometimes I lose track of time and discover that an hour or more has gone by. When I was working every day, I’d get up extra early because giving the “first fruits” of the day to God is essential to me. It’s a form of stewardship.

The next thing is my morning workout, which includes time pedaling my exercise machine. In 2001 I bought a Life Fitness machine like the ones at the gym. It’s one of the best health investments a person could ever make. I ride it every morning. The only exceptions are when I am not at home (extremely rare) or when I’m sick (even more rare).

This morning being Sunday, I was thinking about how I’d soon be going to church. As I thought about the people there, and how apathetic I used to be, a thought suddenly came to me. On a morning like this (-12 degrees F.), people come in [into church] from the cold, but many leave just as cold as they came in. There is no fire there [in church] to warm them.

Jesus wanted us to be on fire with zeal for doing His work. Why is it, then, that people are so indifferent? In this morning’s paper (Star Tribune), there was an article about someone who had to choose between attending a church ceremony wherein he would be installed in a key leadership position, and attending the Green Bay Packers game in Green Bay. He chose to go to the game.

Can you imagine the meeting some day, when that guy has to stand before the Creator of the universe and give an account of his life? We’ve been left alive another day for one purpose: to glorify God; to make Christ look good.

It’s so obvious that most people — this fellow is just one that happened to make the front page — do not take that appointment seriously. Why is that?

I can think of only a few possibilities.

  1. Ignorance – it’s possible people don’t know. I was in that category for decades.
  2. Unbelief – if Jesus Himself were to appear to you — and you knew it was Him — and urge you to spend more time learning Biblical principles, most people would do it. But… He hasn’t appeared to them, so they’re not going to do it. That’s unbelief.
  3. Disobedience – when you know the truth, and you believe it, but still don’t do what you know you should, that’d disobedience.

Why aren’t churches setting us on fire to become Jesus’ disciples and do His work?

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