Jn.5:35 – He was the lamp that was burning and was shining and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light.

What makes a worshiper? Why do some people seem to get it but others just can’t seem to understand? John the Baptist was at the center of a firestorm in his day, a storm that he actually started. Why was John so out of the box? What had gotten him so disturbed? I guess it goes back to that heart thing. John’s heart had been set on fire by a glimpse of the glory of the Lord. Luke said that the word of the Lord came to John out in the wilderness. It was that word that set John’s heart on fire. His heart was burning with passion, his mind was lit up with revelation. Here is how Piper describes it quoting from Jonathan Edwards’ sermon.

“Yes, the only heat he valued in worship was the heat that comes with light. In 1744 he (Edwards) preached an ordination sermon from the text about John the Baptist, “He was a burning and a “shining light” (John 5:35, KJV). There must be heat in the heart and light in the mind—and no more heat than justified by the light!

If a minister has light without heat, and entertains his [hearers] with learned discourses, without a savor of the power of godliness, or any appearance of fervency of spirit, and zeal for God and the good of souls, he may gratify itching ears, and fill the heads of his people with empty notions; but it will not be very likely to reach their souls. And if, on the other hand, he be driven on with a fierce and intemperate zeal, and vehement heat, without light, he will be likely to kindle the like unhallowed flame in his people, and to fire their corrupt passions and affections; but will make them never the better, nor lead them a step towards heaven, but drive them apace the other way.”

So maybe that’s the cure for lukewarm worship in lukewarm churches. There may not be enough fuel to light a fire. What is the fuel that lights the fire of worship? It is revelation that comes from the Word of God. It was the preaching of John the Baptist that fueled the fire preparing the way for Jesus. Maybe its time to light the fire again.


  1. This area is of little concern where I attend, not because its not treated with every respect and reverence and priority due our best effort at every single occasion. In fact, just last Sunday night, as (47) were being baptized by part of the associate staff, our two senior pastors stood, looking like proud new parents, part of the time with their arms over each others shoulders, taking in the awe of what God was doing. Would sitting and watching have been just as fulfilling, for some, maybe, but having a portfolio invested in as much heat and light as their accounts could manage, what God was doing every second, was not to be missed. I see a time soon where this level and higher worship interrupts the lost.

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