Can You say, Burn Baby Burn?

images-22The early summer morning smelled with the fragrance of mowed grass and wild flowers as we entered the ally behind our house. The cartoons had just gotten over and now it was time to begin living out the adventures of the super heroes we had just watched. Like most young boys my brother and I had adventure oozing out of every thought and opportunity that lay before us. This day it was a stroll through the alley full of imaginary villains. As we cautiously moved forward we saw the open door of a neighbors garage wooing us as if with a magical pull. Moments into this spontaneous-crafted adventure, jumps from behind a pile of cardboard boxes a bigger than life “German Shepard” with three inch teeth barking and snarling at our intrusion.

This gigantic dog that was tied up behind the boxes was now barking as to sound the alarm of the trespassers. Being scared out of our wits and committed to

Jesus is not only the Lord of the Harvest but comes as a fire to purge us and make us better. (tweet)

defend our 8 year old heroic honor as seen on TV, we grabbed the box of wooden matches that seemed to be divinely placed on a counter in hands reach. It was a natural response to begin striking and throwing these perfect weapons at the man-eating dog to seal our victory.

Well… as if in seconds the smoke and flames began to dance from the pile of boxes between the dog and us. The increased barking signaled the owner to come running and rescue the ferocious pet and yes you guessed it, the two juvenile neighborhood super heroes from the burning garage. As the crowd assembled and the fire trucks roared down the alley I knew our season of becoming the cities next super heroes seemed to fade as our father sternly walked us away to our house, which was to become a dungeon of torture for two little rambunctious boys who were grounded with what seemed to be a life sentence. But with skilled parents who knew how to pray we were saved from becoming arsonists.

Let me say up front, there is never a time that Arson is O.K. Yet, God often in His word describes Himself and His acts with fire. John the Baptist, who was a prophetic voice and a forerunner to Jesus, says concerning Jesus in Matt 3:11-12 “…

God’s fire in our lives isn’t bad, but is for clearing junk out so He can restore and rebuild us better for His work.      (tweet)

He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire… He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” In other words John is letting us know that Jesus is coming for and committed to a harvest that will be purged from any hindering thing. Christ is coming for a unblemished bride. (Eph. 5:27) Jesus is not only the Lord of the Harvest but comes as a fire to purge us and make us better.

Not justifying our actions as kids by no means, but the end of this story is the Continue reading

Fire isn’t All-Bad; it’s how you look at it.

20150615_131836I love to walk along the famous “magnificent mile” along Michigan Avenue in Chicago. The people are always rushing about in business as well as the many visitors that come to shop and tour the great city. One of the most intriguing sights amongst the beautiful architecture is the nearly150 year old historic water tower on the northern end. Presently it is surrounded with a beautiful park and carriages as well as the hustle and bustle of people. But history has engraved this building as a memorial of one of the greatest tragedies in the nineteenth century. After the Chicago fire burnt for nearly three days and the smoke cleared the devastation that remained was unconceivable. It was estimated that one third of the great city’s valuation was destroyed, miles of buildings, roads and infrastructure was gone. Hundred’s of thousands of people were displace and many became homeless losing everything. Yet, what seemed to be irreplaceable destruction from fire became the catalyst for the re-building of an even greater and economically important international city.

I would say fire is probably one of man-kinds greatest discoveries. It warms, it melts, it brings light, and it produces energy and clears away the old. When we respect and acknowledge fire for what it is and can do, we are better and blessed. Would Chicago or the world be as blessed or as impacted if there wouldn’t have been

Let the God of Fire warm your heart, purify your lifestyle and empower your life’s journey. He definitely loves you and wants to make you better!   (tweet)

any fire? I am definitely not minimizing the great loss by any means, but bringing out the end result of the actual fire. Loss can bring scars but it can also make this better in many cases. Fire isn’t all bad its all how you look at it.

Scripture is full of descriptive language revealing God as fire and His acts with fire. In Heb 12:28-29 we read, “by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.”(NKJ) The author quotes from Deut. 4:24 where it also says that He is “a jealous God” The word consuming means to devour, and to burn up. And the description of a jealous God isn’t revealing an insecure psychopath but a Holy loving God that will not allow His people to be anything but whole hearted and committed as He is towards them. He is tenaciously protective towards anything that tries to take our attention and passion away from Him.

Jesus says in Luke 12:49, “I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!(NKJ) Jesus came to shake things up… to make us uncomfortable…to bring conviction toward sin. He came to reveal and deal with our sin. He came to make straight our wayward path. He wants things to be better for His people. You can’t be comfortable and passive when the fire of God comes. Yet it will set us on a course of blessing or if we are not willing to follow Him then we might get burned.

In Matthew’s Gospel Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. (Matt 10:34) To often we think Jesus came and is coming again not to disturb anything but to make everything beautiful. No, that isn’t totally correct. He is truly the Prince of Peace” but is coming to set things right and will come against everything that distracts and puts His people in bondage. Let the God of Fire warm your heart, purify your lifestyle and empower your life’s journey. He definitely loves you and wants to make you better!