BURNING AND SHINING LIGHT
He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.
Jonathan Edwards preached a message called THE TRUE EXCELLENCY OF A GOSPEL MINISTER at an ordination service in 1744. In this message we see the qualities that are evident, not only in ministers, but in Christians who have been touched by the fire of God’s Spirit. This verse of scripture is part of some remarks Jesus made about the prophet John the Baptist. Jesus said that John was a burning and shining light. What did He mean by that statement? Can I be a burning and shining light in this season of darkness that we live in today?
In Edwards sermon he explained the burning and shining that Jesus spoke of. Here is something Ewards said of the burning nature of a man of God.
“That his heart be full of much of the holy ardour of a spirit of true piety. We read of the power of godliness. True grace is no dull, inactive, ineffectual principle; it is a powerful thing; there is an exceeding energy in it; and the reason is, that God is in it; it is a divine principle, a participation of the divine nature, and a communication of divine life, of the life of a risen Saviour, who exerts himself in the hearts of the saints, after the power of an endless life. They that have true grace in them, they live; but not by their own life; but Christ lives in them: his Holy Spirit becomes in them a living principle and spring of divine life; the energy and power of which is in Scripture compared to fire.”
Powerful words, a man or woman effected by the touch of God will begin to carry that burning nature in their hearts. Like Jeremiah, it will become like a fire shut up in your bones. Today, our world is in need of Christians who, not only speak about spiritual things, but also have this fire burning in their hearts.
We have heard the teachings, we have seen the orchestrated ministries but where is the fire? Mankind is in need of the fire of God that burns with strong affection in our soul. How can we become burning lights in our modern world? There is only one way. If you want to catch on fire you have to get close to the flame.