Keep Yourself Fuelled and Aflame

John Wesley – a priest of the Church of England – Anglican Church – went to a prayer meeting one night

He had been preaching for a number of years

He had recently returned from a trip to the 13 colonies to convert the indians – a trip which failed miserably

No one was saved – but John came to the end of himself discovering he was not smart enough, strong enough, powerful enough … to accomplish what God wanted him to do

“Go into all the world and make disciples…” (Matthew 28:19)

Upon his return to England a defeated man in need of God, he went to a prayer meeting

In 1727 a group of people – Moravians – had started to pray 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in Saxony, France

A prayer meeting that lasted 100 years and sent hundreds out to the nations to win the lost

A branch of these meetings was functioning on Aldersgate Street, London, England and John went to an evening prayer time…

On May 24th, 1738 he was born again … 10 years after he began to preach

Shortly after he was baptized in the Holy Spirit and began to powerfully minister to those whom the Church neglected

Shortly after he was no longer ministering for the Anglican Church but had begun what was later to be called the Methodist Church …

He preached 40,000 sermons – sometimes five times a day

He road 250,000 miles on horseback

He trained many disciples to preach and teach

He equipped followers of Jesus to do the work of the ministry

He did the work of an apostle

He once said that all his workers had to do was, “Set yourself on fire and the world will come out and watch you burn.”

And, of course, tell them about Jesus when they come out to see what the fuss is all about

Setting yourself on fire for Jesus… That’s my topic for tonight…

Jesus said:

Mark 12:30 (The Message) “So love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.”

“So love the Lord God with all your passion, all your prayer, all your intelligence, and all your energy”

Love God so much that He is your very life

He is all that you live for – All that you want – All that you need

Love Him with:

ALL your passion… love Him with everything you are – He is your focus on the inside

Love Him with:

ALL your prayer… Prayer is a way to come to know Him better – not to get you needs met. It is you discovering the heart of God and being passionate about who He is

 

Love Him with:

ALL your intelligence… Put your brain in gear and learn all about Him and His plan and His purpose for you life

Love Him with:

ALL your energy… Love Him with everything you are – emotional energy, mental energy, relational energy… give Him everything you are

Paul wrote – the Holy Spirit stated:

Romans 12:11 “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your fervour, serving the Lord.”

“but keep your fervour” … passion, zeal, giving your all and your best

Another version:

(The Message – Romans 12:11) “Don’t burn out; keep yourself fuelled and aflame … cheerfully expectant.”

Then we would not have to deal with things in the church like:

Indifference

Apathy

Lethargy

Poor attendance

Lack of funds

No workers for the current projects

Then people would come to the assembly all fired up and ready to encounter Jesus in a fresh and new way … “cheerfully expectant”

They would come excited

They would come expectant

They would come interested

They would come open to whatever God wanted to do

They would be ready, willing, able to engage with what was happening…

They would be focused – front and centre ready to go

They would not need to be reminded to be on time

They would not need to be encouraged to worship

They would not be more interested in their friends than in Jesus

They would enter in and engage is the life flow of the assembly

They would not find their minds wondering

They would have their whole heart engaged

They would be full of life

They would be ‘on fire’ for God regardless of their current situation or circumstance

On a daily basis they would be living with PASSION for the Lord Jesus

Reading and studying the Bible

Obeying God’s Word

Seeking God’s face daily

Growing and maturing in the things of the Lord

Telling others about Jesus

Fulfilling the call and destiny that is on their life

Let’s look at the verse….

(The Message) “Don’t burn out; keep yourself fuelled and aflame … cheerfully expectant.”

Notice the word: “keep”

It tells us that passion is something we can lose if we don’t work at it

The stresses and pressures of life can steal our passion

Our passion for God and the things of God can also simply and slowly fade away from neglect

And, we won’t even know it until it has happened

Revelation 2:4 The Church in the city of Ephesus … “You have abandoned the love you had at first.”

AND, they were not aware of it … gradually seeped out

So, we need to “KEEP” our PASSION

Extreme love

Utter enthusiasm

Total excitement

Serious anticipation

Powerful zeal

We need to get it and protect it once we have it…

So, how do you get this PASSION in the first place?

PASSION is the result of loving something or someone a lot…

Passion for horses

Passion for ice cream

Passion for hockey

PASSION for God (Jesus) starts with encountering Him personally

Encountering means coming to personally know Him

Not a casual friendship or acquaintance

Not an on-again off-again relationship

Not a sort of know Him and hang out with Him when convenient or necessary

A powerful encounter with Him and a daily experience with Him

If you know Him – you know true love

You have met your one true love

PASSION flows… naturally supernatural

The Bible states: “God is love” [1 John 4:8]

Encountering God = encountering love

Experiencing God = experiencing love

“God is love”

So, as we encounter Him – We encounter true love and know passion

So, as we experience Him – We experience real love and know passion

And, we only know Him and thus know love …

“Because He first loved us” [1 John 4:19]

So, Jesus says:

Matthew 22:37 He said to him, “’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’”  

Not new or original with Jesus

Deuteronomy 6:5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. 

This is the basis of your relationship with God in Old and New Testament … love

 

His love for you

Your loving Him in return

PASSION flowing between you and Him

PASSION for God and the things of God is a direct result of…

Encountering God

Knowing Him personally

Resulting in experiencing Him daily

John 3:16-18  “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.   God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.   “There is no judgment awaiting those who trust him. But those who do not trust him have already been judged for not believing in the only Son of God.  

God loved

God gave

I believe (trust in)

I receive

The gift: “eternal life”

When you accept this gift = Born Again

Born once physically

Born Again – spiritual

You now have encountered His love and are currently experiencing it every day – A growing PASSION for Him

This is just the beginning of the journey

Matthew 22:37-39 He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment.   And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’  

Starts – we love Him because He first loved us

We now experience a deep and growing PASSION for Him

Continues – we now need to love ourselves

This means the “new you” forgiving the “old you”

This means the “new you” accepting the “new you” for you

2 Corinthians 5:17 What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun!  

This means the “new you” loving the “new you” for who you now are…

New creature in Christ

Righteousness of God in Christ

Ambassador of Christ

The salt of the earth

The light of the world

A child of the living God

I am chosen and called

I am the temple of the Spirit

I am a member of the Body

I am an heir of God

I am God’s workmanship

I am a saint

I am a citizen of Heaven

I am a living stone

I am a member of a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation….

I am loved

I am PASSIONATE about Jesus

I can validly feel good about myself and who I am

I am to love myself because Christ loves me…

This is where the bottleneck happens

If we cannot love ourselves as Christ loves us we build a dam and the “love stops here” and actually backs up

PASSION ends…

If we can love ourselves as God loves us and because God loves us and we are experiencing that love daily – then it continues to grow and flow

God continues to pour in more of His love and it eventually overflows onto others

Philippians 1:9 “…that your love may grow and overflow – splashing onto others…”

Matthew 22:39 “…love your neighbour as you love yourself”

Love = Treat them with dignity and respect

Love = Accept them as Jesu accepts you – just as they are

Love = Forgive them when they hurt and offend you

Love = tell them about Jesus who is love

Love = live a life that points people to Jesus

Love them enough that you want them to go to Heaven and not go to Hell

Love God

Love yourself

Love all others …. PASSION

If you have all of this then you will have PASSION

Passion for God / Jesus

Passion for His Word

Passion for worship / Weekend service

Passion for prayer

Passion for fellowship

Passion for His work (evangelism)

Mark 12:30 (The Message) “So love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.”

Romans 12:11 “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your fervour, serving the Lord.”

(The Message) “Don’t burn out; keep yourself fuelled and aflame … cheerfully expectant.”

If you have never responded to His love

Not born again (saved)

Religious but still on your way to Hell

Not passionate about Him – yourself – others

Not passionate and excited about real life

If you have responded to His love

Saved / Born Again

BUT you are still missing the PASSION

Enthusiasm

Excitement

Anticipation

Zeal

Not “…cheerfully expectant”

Then here is the TROUBLE …

You do not understand God’s love and who you now are …

New Creature

Loved

So, not loving yourself = DAM

When you don’t honestly like and love yourself

Drains PASSION

Drains emotion

Drains excitement

Drains expectation

Drains life

You go through the motions without the emotions

Eventually no visible PASSION for God

Then no actual PASSION for God

For the things of God

For Church

For fellowship with other believers

For teaching / learning

For prayer meetings

For evangelism

No PASSION?

Solution … Need to know and experience God’s love

Come to love and accept the new you and forgive the old you

Love yourself as God loves you

This will allow PASSION to grow in your life

This PASSION will grow and overflow as you love others …

Others will see this PASSION and want to know about the cause of your love…

Listen…

PASSION is what gives life to life!

Otherwise you are just existing and not living

Jesus said we are to celebrate life – to live it passionately

To have life and have it more abundantly

PASSION

Mark 12:30 (The Message) “So love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.”

Romans 12:11 “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your fervour, serving the Lord.”

(The Message) “Don’t burn out; keep yourself fuelled and aflame … cheerfully expectant.”

And so, as true disciples of Jesus, we are to be:

Living with PASSION

Living life to the fullest

Loving completely

Learning humbly

Leaving a legacy that will have eternal impact

Squeezing every second out of life

Celebrating every minute of life

Enjoy the “abundant, passionate life”

Not the safe, easy, and comfortable – yet boring – life

Enjoy the abundant life that God has promised

Romans 12:11(The Message) “Don’t burn out; keep yourself fuelled and aflame … cheerfully expectant.”

Each one of us has this obligation to “keep yourself fuelled and aflame”

APPLICATION:

How do YOU keep yourself “fuelled and aflame”?

What is keeping you from being consistently and constantly “fuelled and aflame”?

Are you “cheerfully expectant”? If not, why not?

What do you need to change to be constantly “cheerfully expectant”?

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