Hearts on Fire

heart-on-fireIn the Old Testament when Jeremiah attempted to quit the ministry he said, Jeremiah 20:9 But if I say, “I will not mention him or speak any more in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.

When the French philosopher, Blaise Pascal was converted, he described his conversion experience as one word, “Fire”

James Stewart, one of the greatest Scottish preachers in this century once said, “When all is said and done, the supreme need of the church is the same in the 20th Century as it was in the first: that men be on fire for Christ.

The apostle Paul was a man like that.

In Romans 1:14-16 he describes this fire that was in him and gives us the reason why we exist to communicate the grace of God.

Romans 1:14-16

I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish.  15That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are at Rome. 16I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.

What Paul is speaking about here is a fire that is burning within his heart. This may not be immediately apparent from this passage, but if you study the content a little more closely, you will discover that Paul is a man with a Holy heartburn.

In vs. 15. “I am eager to preach the gospel.”

This phrase is really two words in the original Greek text. prothumon euangelitzesthai. The first of these words is a very active word, and it comes from the same stem as a Greek word for “fire” or “burning” The second word means to share the gospel. It is the word from which we get our word, “evangelist”. In other words, Paul is saying, “I have a burning within my heart to tell the good news. There is a fire that ablaze within my being that compels me to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

All who profess to be followers of Christ have had that ignition spark applied to our hearts when we were filled with the Holy Spirit. I pray that today we would not suppress that spark, but that we would allow the Holy Spirit to fan it into flame until it becomes a roaring fire of passion for a lost and dying world.

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