John 5:35 “He was the lamp that was burning and was shining and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light.
I don’t want to be characterized as lukewarm, I want to be white hot, on fire for God. This world has way too many “Christians” that could be labeled as “lukewarm”, that is a horrible reflection of our perception of spiritual things. I love the comment that Jesus made about John the Baptist, “John was a bright and shining light”. Religion had become, well, religious, at that time in Israel. The hand of God came upon John which caused him to stand out in his world. Instead of dry, ritualistic services or sermons filled with political agendas, or teaching which incorporated the latest pop philosophy from Athens, John was on fire. Something, or better, Someone had lit him up. He was prophesying and baptizing out in the wilderness of Judea. He was turning his world upside down because he was a lamp burning and shining in the wilderness. Jonathan Edwards spoke often about a Christian being both a burning and shining light, just like Jesus had said about John. We should have our hearts burning with a passion for God and our minds shining with a divine revelation. Listen to Edwards’ powerful words.
“Ministers (as well as Christians), in order to their being burning and shining lights, should walk closely with God, and keep near to Christ; that they may ever be enlightened and enkindled by him. And they should be much in seeking God, and conversing with him by prayer, who is the fountain of light and love: and knowing their own emptiness and helplessness, should be ever dependent on Christ; being sensible with Jeremiah that they are children, should sit as children at Christ’s feet to hear his word, and be instructed by him; and being sensible with Isaiah that they are men of unclean lips, should seek that their lips may be, as it were, touched with a live coal from the altar, as it were by the bright and burning seraphim.”
In this place of intimacy with God, the fire will fall on us, just as it did on the disciples in the upper room. When Peter stood up to preach that day, he was an example of what Jesus said about the prophet John. Peter had fire on his head and a flame in his heart. His love for God was overflowing and came out of him that day in a rushing stream of prophetic preaching. His mind was flooded with fresh, divine revelation that he began to boldly declare in that first Pentecostal sermon. Peter had become a burning and shining light. His heart was bursting with affection for God and his mind was exploding with spiritual revelation. This is why the early church had such a profound and dramatic impact on their world. They turned the world upside down with their passion and their revelation. Two thousand years later, the people in our world are still the same. Their hearts are crying out for love and their minds are thirsting for divine revelation. Where can this desperate generation find this burning and shining that they desperately need? Why, in you of course. You are the Lord’s plan after all is said and done. Maybe today there is a new stirring in your heart. Where does that holy desire come from? It comes from God Himself. He is awakening another generation to prepare the world for the coming of the messiah. Just as He poured His fire on John, today He is lighting up another generation to burn and shine in this dark, dark world.