Tag: fire

“Don’t do this wicked thing”

January 8th Scripture Reading: Genesis 18-20

An ongoing debate and cultural war is going on in our society concerning gay and lesbian rights and gender identification.  From today’s reading, we get insight into how God feels about this sort of activity in a city or country.  He has ordained marriage between a man and a woman.  He made them male and female.  But disobedience to the clear command and purpose of God, always brings consequences.  He is merciful to all who will listen and obey but will judge unrepented sin and rebellion.  Sin’s outcry reaches heaven and God’s ears.  The righteous cry out for deliverance and justice and God responds!

In response to the reports of wickedness that had reached heaven, God sent two angels to Sodom to rescue Lot and his family before judgment fell.  As these angels were visiting with Lot, the men of Sodom came knocking on Lot’s door, demanding to have those visitors (the angels appearing as men) for their own sexual pleasure.  Lot pleaded with them, “Please don’t do this wicked thing.” (Genesis 19:6) But they violently began to break down his door.  The angels intervened, pulled Lot inside, and struck the men outside blind.  They warned Lot to gather his family and leave because God would soon destroy that city.

The saddest note in this story is when Lot tried to warn his son’s-in-law about the coming destruction and they thought he was joking! (Genesis 19:14)  Lot had moved to Sodom with great riches.  He apparently tolerated the wickedness and even failed to help his own daughters find believing mates.  When the angels warned of the coming destruction, he delayed.   As they finally left, his own wife looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt! Jesus used this as a warning to His disciples and us!  {Luke 17:32)

Are you aware of the warnings from God’s Word?  Are you warning those involved in the “sin of Sodom?”  Are you careful to vote for godly men and women who will listen to God’s Word on this subject? 

“Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah–from the Lord out of the heavens.  Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those living in the cities and also the vegetation in the land.  But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.” Genesis 19:24-26

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“The Day of Judgment”

January 3rd–Genesis 6-9

As we read the story of Noah and the flood, let’s listen for God’s heart.  God saw that the man that He had made in His own image had turned to rebellion instead of the intimate walk of faith God had planned for him.  God’s heart was grieved and filled with pain because of man’s choices.  Every thought of mankind was evil and God’s wrath and His judgment would result. But one man found grace! .

“But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.” (Genesis 6:8)  God’s eyes are always looking for a way to show favor and mercy!  His eyes are looking for any who would humbly believe His Word. He would much rather save and bless them. God revealed to Noah His plans for judgment of a wicked mankind and a polluted earth.  He gave specific instructions for saving Noah, his family, and the animals.  Noah did everything just as God commanded Him.” (Genesis 6:22)

“In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the 17th day of the second month–on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of heaven were opened.” (Genesis 7:11)  God did exactly what He said He would do on a specific day in Noah’s life!  Jesus taught that it would be just like the days of Noah when God would again judge the wicked of the earth.  (Matthew 24:36-39)  This final future judgment would be by fire! The only way of salvation is to believe in Jesus Christ!

Do you find it hard to believe in the account of the flood and God’s judgment? Why do you think that God emphasizes this story through the prophets, apostles, and Jesus Christ Himself? Does your heart burn to know Him better through this story of Noah and his amazing salvation?

“By these same waters the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.” 2nd Peter 3:6-7

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The future is guaranteed!

Scripture reading for November 28th: 2nd Peter 3, Psalm 87, Proverbs 20

2nd Peter 3:`10-13 “But the Day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming Day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to His promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”

Peter’s closing letter to the Church of Jesus Christ was a bold statement of what the future ‘Day of the Lord’ would be like. No one of the world would know its coming–like a ‘thief’ was the description. But believers can be assured of what will happen because God has decreed it in His Word. The heavens and earth will be dissolved and renovated by fire at that appointed Day. Because of the certainty of this day coming and it’s destruction, believers should be motivated to live holy and godly lives while they wait for the promised ‘new heavens and new earth’, the home of eternal Righteousness in Jesus’ reign as King of Kings on Mt. Zion, the eternal City of God in the New Jerusalem. Only through God’s Word can man know with certainty the future!

Psalm 87:1-3 “On the holy mount stands the city He founded; the Lord loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwelling places of Jacob. Glorious things of you are spoken, O city of God.” (Selah)

Prayer: Father God, thank You for the settled certainty that comes through trusting Your Word concerning future events. Your amazing plans are eternal and settled in heaven by Your Word and glorious power. Thank You for directing our steps into the Way of Christ and faith. We as believers are looking forward to Your rule as King of Kings in the City of God and enjoying the new heavens and new earth for ever!

Proverbs 20:24 “A man’s steps are from the Lord; how then can man understand his way?”

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Good news: mercy and justice!

Scripture reading for June 30th: Luke 3, Psalm 130, Proverbs 6

Luke 3:15-18 “As the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ, John answered them all saying, “I baptize you with water, but He Who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of Whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in His hand, to clear the threshing floor and to gather the wheat into His barn, but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.” So with many other exhortations he preached Good News to the people.”

John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin, created a stir among the people and religious authorities. His preaching called people to repentance and to baptism or washing of filth in expectation of the coming Messiah. This Messiah, according to John, would baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. He would come to bring in the harvest of souls from the earth, symbolized by a winnowing fork, a tool that was used to harvest the wheat. The wheat would then be beaten on the threshing floor to remove the chaff. The Messiah would baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire, cleansing all sin and creating a new life. Sins would not only be forgiven, but consumed completely because Christ paid our penalty for sin. This message was “Good News” for sinners who were humble enough to repent!

Psalm 130:3-4 “If You, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But with You there is forgiveness, that You may be feared.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your great mercy in sending Your Son to take the fire of judgment for broken law on our behalf on Calvary’s cross. Thank You for Jesus Christ, our Messiah, providing us with an inner baptism of the Holy Spirit and cleansing us with Holy Fire from Your altar of mercy. But for Your mercy, we would be consumed in the fire of judgment as chaff instead of gathered into Your Barn!

Proverbs 6:27-29 “Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned? Or can one walk on hot coals and his feet not be scorched? So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife; none who touches her will go unpunished.”

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Preaching ‘Good News’

Scripture reading for March 15th: Numbers 30-33, Psalm 35, Luke 3

Luke 3:15-18 “As the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ, John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but He Who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of Whose sandal I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire, to clear His threshing floor and to gather the wheat into His barn, but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.” So with many other exhortations he preached good news to the people.”

John the Baptist was Jesus’ cousin, born slightly before Him. John was called by God to be a prophet and to prepare the way for Jesus Christ. In doing so, He confronted the sins of the people and called them to repentance and to baptism as an act of cleansing. This preparation was not the end, but the entrance into a new relationship with God. Jesus Christ would complete the work necessary for the cleansing of all mankind from sin and its power on the cross through offering His body and blood. He would take the keys of death and hell from Satan and open the curtain for all who would believe to be in God’s presence. He would baptize His followers with the Holy Spirit, the gift of the Father, and fire to deeply cleanse and empower them. This all was amazing ‘good news!’

Numbers 31:21-23 “Then Eleazar the priest said to the men in the army who had gone to battle: “This is the statute of the law that the Lord has commanded Moses: only the gold, the silver, the bronze, the iron, the tin, and the lead, and everything that can stand the fire, you shall pass through the fire, and it shall be clean.”

Prayer: Father God, I thank You for preparing the way for Your Son to bring salvation to me and all mankind. I know that my faith through Your grace has brought salvation. Repentance too is a gift of grace received humbly by faith. Help me to share the ‘good news’ with those headed for the fire of Your judgment, that they might receive the gift of eternal life and be filled with the Holy Spirit and holy fire.

Psalm 35:27-28 “Let those who delight in my righteousness shout for joy and be glad and say evermore, “Great is the Lord, Who delights in the welfare of His servant!” Then my tongue shall tell of your righteousness and of your praise all the day long.”

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The Cloud of Glory and Fire!

Scripture reading for March 7th: Numbers 8-11, Colossians 1

Colossians 1: 9-13 “And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, Who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.”

When you love someone, you want to please them. Pleasing the one you love requires that you get to know them. When the One you love is God, getting to know Him Who is infinite, is a daunting task and knowing how to please Him is challenging. Paul’s way to help the believers at Colossae, was to pray for them to be filled with a knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. This kind of understanding can only come by revelation through the Holy Spirit. This is the light of God’s Truth. This is the only path to pleasing God and bearing fruit in good works. God supplies the knowledge of His will and then empowers us through the Holy Spirit to grow and produce fruit. This is the fire of God’s glory in us. To God be all glory for qualifying us to share the inheritance of the saints in light!

Colossians 1:15-17 “He is the image of the invisible God, the Firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities, all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”

Prayer: Father God, as Your child, I want to please You! Fill me today with a deeper knowledge of Your will and give me spiritual wisdom and understanding to bear fruit for Your glory. Strengthen me with power in my inner man so that I might have patience and endurance as I run this race of faith. In You all things were created and they all hold together. Lead me with Light and Fire!

Numbers 9:15-17 “On the day that the tabernacle was set up, the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of the testimony. And at evening it was over the tabernacle like the appearance of fire until morning. So it was always: the cloud covered it by day and the appearance of fire by night. And whenever the cloud lifted from over the tent, after that the people of Israel set out, and in the place where the cloud settled down, there the people of Israel camped.”

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Taming the tongue!

Scripture reading for October 7th: James 3

Key Scriptures: James 3:5-8 “So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.”

James understood the power of the tongue. He instructed the church in helping to bring the tongue under God’s control. Just as a bit is placed in the horse’s mouth to bring the beast under control of the rider, so we need a bridle on our tongues. A ship is a large vessel but it is guided through the waters by a small rudder. Our tongues can only successfully guide us if they are under the control of the Holy Spirit. But the untamed tongue is like a fire that can quickly spread to set on fire a whole forest or a deadly poison that poisons all it touches. Behind this untamed tongue is the fire of hell itself, says James. The deadly poison is hatred, envy, jealousy, partiality, cursing and strife. Human effort has tamed every bird and beast, but not this small entity called the tongue. Only God can bring it under control and use it to bless others and guide us through life.

James 3:9-10 “With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.”

Faith confession and prayer: Father God, forgive me for the fires I have ignited by speaking unadvisedly and hastily. Fill me with the Holy Spirit and use me to be a blessing in my worship of You and my ministry of teaching Your Word to others. I realize the great responsibility and stricter judgment that comes from teaching Your Word.

James 3:1 “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.”

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Fire will test our works!

Scripture reading for August 27th: 1st Corinthians 3

Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 3:11-15 “For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid–which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw–each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.”

The Corinthians were very spiritually minded in some ways, but were carnally minded in others. Paul pointed out the divisions in the church body around certain teachers. He pointed out that this was worldly thinking for each person has an assignment from God and works to do. God is looking for those who are faithful in obedience. The Church is like a house with one foundation and cornerstone–Jesus Christ! Each person must be careful to follow Christ alone, and not idolize church leaders or any man. Our works will all be judged one day–on the Day of Christ at the judgment seat of Christ, where each person will receive reward (or suffer loss) for the deeds done in the body. This is not to determine salvation, but eternal reward in God’s Presence.

1st Corinthians 3:16 “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.”

Faith confession and prayer: Father, forgive me for any division or harm I may have caused Your Body by exalting men or criticizing those in leadership. Give me grace each day to accomplish Your prepared works in a spirit of humility and grace. Help me to build with gold, silver or precious stones!

2nd Corinthians 5:10 “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”

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This beast is not tamed!

Scripture reading for October 7th: Jeremiah 25, 35, 36, 45, Psalm 133, James 3

Key Scriptures: James 3:6-10 “And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.”

James knew the power of the small tongue. He likened it to a fire, starting small but soon spreading to cover a whole life. He told how this fire was started in hell and by Satan. This fire is also like a beast that cannot be tamed. All creatures have been put under man’s dominion, but the tongue cannot be tamed. Evidence of this is that we can use our tongue to bless God and then in the same breath curse people made in God’s image. Only yielding our tongues to the Holy Spirit will tame the beast and put out the fire bringing peace and unity.

Psalm 133:1-2 “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes!”

Faith confession and prayer: I thank You that I can give my tongue to You as an instrument of unity and worship. Fill me with the Holy Spirit to bless Your Name and those made in Your image!

Jeremiah 35:13 “”Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Go and say to the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Will you not receive instruction and listen to My Words? declares the Lord.””

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John’s Prophetic Word!

Scripture reading for July 20th: 2nd Chronicles 19-20, 2nd Kings 1, Psalm 20, Matthew 3

Key Scriptures: Matthew 3:11-12 “I baptize you with water for repentance, but He Who is coming after me is mightier than I, Whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will clear His threshing floor and gather His wheat into the barn, but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.”

John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin, was called by God to a prophetic ministry in Israel similar to that of Elijah. John, dressed in camel’s hair with a leather belt, called all people to repentance in preparation for the coming Messiah. The repentance was acted out through water baptism by all who received his message. But John spoke of the One coming after him, Who would be greater than him. This One would baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire! He would gather His wheat into the barn but burn the chaff with unquenchable fire. The Messiah would be judge of all!

Psalm 20:6 “Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed; He will answer Him from His holy heaven with the saving might of His right hand.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire. Purify my heart and life today and empower me to proclaim Jesus as Messiah and Lord.

1st Kings 1:8 “They answered him, “He wore a garment of hair, with a belt of leather about his waist.” And he said, “It is Elijah the Tishbite.””

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