“I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished! Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law” (Luke 12:49-53).
Jesus came to ignite a fire in your heart. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the baptism of fire that will set ablaze the hearts of those who believe in Him with a passion to obey Him and teach others to do likewise (Matt 28:20). This baptism sets apart His children from the world, such that even families will be divided because of Him! Why? Because you either love Jesus or you hate Jesus (Matt 6:24, Matt 12:30). There’s no in-between. If you love Jesus, you will obey Jesus (John 14:15, v23). And when you do so, those around you who do not love Jesus, will be offended by you and hate you, just as they were offended by Him and hated Him (John 15:18)!
In another place, it is written: “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household” (Matt 10:34-36).
What strong words Jesus uses here. He said that our enemies will be those in our own household! That is unless, they actually not only claim to believe in Jesus, but love Him enough to obey Him too. It is interesting here that Jesus said He didn’t come to make peace, but to bring a sword of division. That is the sword of truth, the double-edged sword which “…is quick, and powerful…piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb 4:12). This is also the sword by which all nations will be judged (John 12:48).
“And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God” (Rev 19:15).
Too many of us are sitting comfortably, sleeping in the light, rather than moving with the passion that faith in Jesus ought to provoke. We heard Him say He chose us, and we didn’t choose Him (John 15:16), so we cross our hands and say “it is done”. We proclaim with our lips, “Lord, Lord”, while we continue to disobey Him, saying “because we are not saved by works!”(Eph 2:8-9, Luke 6:46, Matt 15:8).
But do you know what else He said? Jesus said: “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth“(Rev 3:16). He also said: “Every branch in me that beareth not fruit [God] taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, [God] purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit” (John 15:2). I really don’t know how much clearer it can get… Bear fruit or else! We shall be known by our fruit (Matt 7:16-20), if our faith and repentance are genuine or not (Luke 3:8-9)! Anyone who has the Spirit of Christ will bear His fruit, and anyone who doesn’t have the Spirit is not His (Rom 8:9)!
We don’t need world events to spark the fire in us to preach the word, or to live the word (2 Tim 4:1-2). We don’t need tragedy in our lives to remember that life is more than food and the body more than clothes…(Luke 12:23) When the Spirit of God is our daily companion, we cannot slip into complacency and mediocrity. We cannot shut our hearts to the poor, in preference for prayers (Jam 2:16, Jam 1:27). We can no longer conform to the pattern of this world, but to the wisdom of God (Rom 12:2).
I don’t know about you, but like Peter and John, “[I] cannot but speak the things which [I] have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20). And still, I pray for more boldness!
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