September Message From Pastor Gary “The Flame of the Spirit”

I can’t believe how fast this summer is flying by; it seemed like I just got the marigolds in the ground and found a pair of shorts that actually fit.

I’ll soon need to go look for some mums and try to remember where I put my sweatshirts. For many of us, individually and as a church, not only this year has flown by and been a little out of sorts –so have the past few years. Many “Christians,” if they care to even look, could easily find themselves drifting through the motions. Church has moved from an accepted necessity to becoming, at best, just a Sunday morning decision.

In last Sunday’s sermon (as I am writing this), I asked everyone, Are you fired up for Jesus? and, How can I – we, get you fired up?

I knew it was going to be small attendance, with summer, the heat, and our air conditioning being down, but I had to preach to the choir that was there!

We discussed what Jesus, the Prince of Peace, said in Luke 12:49: “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!” We looked at how, on the first Easter, two disciples walked with the resurrected Jesus on the road to Emmaus. They didn’t recognize that it was Jesus because they were certain He was dead and buried. After Jesus revealed Himself and disappeared, they said, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us?” (Luke 24:32)

When your heart is on fire for someone; that means you are passionate about that person. Jesus came to give us that kind of burning, passionate, love relationship with the God of the Universe. Jesus said, “You will receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon you.” (Acts 1:8)

The Holy Spirit living in you is like the fire of God that generates the power you need to live the Christian life. He gives you power to share your faith or to forgive people who have hurt you. In your own strength, you can’t live the Christian life without Him, as Jesus said, “Without Me you can do nothing.” (John 5:5)
Is there a fire still burning in your heart, or has it – or could it – soon burn out?

On the day of Pentecost, a group of Christians got on fire for Jesus and the crowds came to check it out. Acts 2 says “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues.”
God gave each believer a little flame – and when the folks in Jerusalem heard what was happening, they came to check out the fire. Three thousand were saved and baptized that very day, while 5,000 others were saved a few days later.

Once God’s fire is lit in your heart, you can’t keep it a secret, but you can let your fire smolder or go out. Are you known as a glowing witness for Christ? Or are you more concerned with the business of church than walking in the newness of Christ’s fire in you? Paul wrote to young Timothy: “I remind you to fan into flame (stir up) the gift of God, which is in you.” (II Timothy 1:6) We all confess Jesus Christ as our Savior and promise to follow him as Lord. If we truly believe this then we are to cultivate communities of worship committed to prayer, preaching, and study of the Word. If you want to see our church grow……

Fan your flame, in your commitment to come to church.
Fan your flame to read your Bible.
Fan your flame to get rid of the negative in your life.
Fan your flame to talk to God.
It is time to worship with joy in your heart and to count your blessings.
It is time to put the fire back in this place.

It is time to give people a reason to come to check out our fire. It is time to want more of God and less of ourselves. It is time to have faith that we can’t contain. It is time to let faith and the Giver of faith control our lives. Because God has answers to all of our questions. Because Jesus has the words of eternal life. Because the Holy Spirit empowers us for abundant living.

In Christ, Pastor Gary

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