"I have come to light a fire on the earth." —Luke 12:49
When we use the word "fire," we think of light, warmth, or even of being "fired-up," that is, enthusiasm. However, when the Bible speaks of fire, it usually means sufferings resulting in purification (see 1 Pt 1:7). So when Jesus said He came to light a fire on the earth, He was indicating His desire to suffer so as to purify the whole world. He did this by receiving a baptism (Lk 12:50), an immersion in the fires of Calvary's purifying sufferings.
Although Jesus on Calvary has already received the baptism in fire to purify the whole world, He wants us to share in His sufferings of purification (Col 1:24). He wants us also to be baptized in fire and in the Spirit (Lk 3:16). When we receive the Spirit, this will cause us to suffer rejection, pain, and persecution, even from our family members (see Lk 12:52). These sufferings are part of Christ's purifying fire. Would you pray: "Holy Spirit, come with Your fire, purify our hearts"?
Prayer: Father, like Jesus, may I learn obedience and be perfected by what I suffer (Heb 5:8-9).
Promise: "I kneel before the Father from Whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name." —Eph 3:14-15
Praise: Sarah used the time recovering from surgery as a time of reflection and an opportunity to give Jesus her sufferings for His Kingdom.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape Redemptive Suffering on audio AV 75-1 or video V-75.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 6, 2010
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