Biddulph Sunday am 27th April 2008 The fire and the knife
Place: Biddulph AOG. Date: Sunday am, 27th April 2008.
Text: Theme: The fire and the knife.
I want this morning to look at the Old Testament picture of the altar of God. An altar is made up of FIVE things:
1. The base stone. A type of the hardness of our hearts, do we truly love the Lord our God, or when it is suitable to us, in times of need etc?
2. The wood. Here is the type of God’s great love to us, when He laid down His son on a cross of wood.
3. The living sacrifice. This speaks of you and me this morning.
4. The knife. This is the means of taking the life of the sacrifice, or for cutting away the things of the flesh.
5. The fire. The final part of the sacrifice, when the sacrifice was fully consumed.
I want to look at the last TWO this morning, the knife and the fire. See before God can truly bless us with the fire of heaven, I believe we MUST ALLOW God to cut away the flesh, to remove those things that stop the blessings of God. SIN comes in many forms. The greatest of all sin, is to say we are followers of Jesus, then to live a life in many ways that is total opposite.
1ST POINT: THE KNIFE THAT CUTS AWAY THE FLESH.
This is why I want to look at the cutting away of those things that stop the blessings of God flowing through our lives today. When I look in God’s word I find many a picture of testing. In Daniel 3, we have the familiar account of three Hebrew young men who were cast into a fiery furnace because they would not worship the image of gold which the king had erected.
We discover here what it is to take a stand for the Lord and refuse to compromise with the gods of this world. If we careful examination Scripture you will have to come to the conclusion that every redeemed one must pass through the knife and the fire of testing. But “Fear not” is the Saviour’s word of cheer, for, “I am with you.” Testing is always for: Blessing.
Then Abraham put Isaac on the altar with tears in his eyes, he picked up the knife ready to take his son’s life. Look more closely at this knife:-
a. It was a knife of obedience, (The act of obeying; submissive behaviour with respect to God, agreement, and duty) sometimes we are called to obey God which may cause us some pain, but after all we are called Disciples of Christ, disciplined ones who obeyed God at all cost.
b. It was a knife of sanctification, (dedication to make one holy) we are set apart to do God’s work, the same is true of us we are called to be holy.
c. It was a knife of separation, (set apart) in this sacrifice it would have separated Abraham and Isaac forever.
Just as we too must be separated. Paul says “You are in the world but not of it, come out from among them and be separate.”
d. It was a knife of consecration, (A solemn commitment of your life or your time to service or a goal), it would have taken Isaac’s life from him, let me ask are we willing to give our all for God.
Both Abraham and Isaac were willing to obey God whatever the cost.
We too must put God first in everything. God told Abraham to offer his son that he loved, let me ask you what you consider the dearest to your heart. Jesus could ask you the same question that He asked Peter “Do you love Me more than these?” The sacrifice you may be called to give may hurt, but if it does hurt it maybe not good enough for God.
Be careful when you tell God you love Him, for He may say as He did to Abraham ‘prove it.’ Let me ask you a question, how many times have we told God we want to give our whole lives to Him and yet the altar remains empty. Let us never forget God wants all of us upon the altar so that He can send the fire.
Are we willing this morning to allow God to cut away the things that stop His blessings flowing in our lives, well come to the altar of God today, and lay ALL on His altar, body, soul and spirit! Then the fire will truly fall!
2ND POINT: THE FIRE OF GOD.
The fire was an emblem of worship, of praise, supplication, prayer, and service that ascended to the most High from his faithful people. It was to be a passionate worship to King everyday. That it was done on a regular basis indicated God’s desire to be worshipped on a regular basis.
This fire burned from generation to generation and it was supplied with fuel until it went out. The fire went out because they fell into sin; sin quenches the fire of God! This should tell us how important it is to obey the Lord and tend our fire that He place in us.
If we do not keep it clean and feed the fire with fuel it will go out.
1. We keep this fire burning by regularly attending worship.
2. By daily praying to the Lord.
3. By continually serving Him with out time, talents and money.
4. We keep this fire burning by studying and reading His word.
5. We keep this fire burning by keeping out the ways of the world.
6. We keep this fire burning by repenting quickly of sin and turning from it.
7. We keep this fire burning by holding on to our holiness.
Are we willing this morning to allow God to cut and burn away the things that stop His blessings flowing in our lives, well come to the altar of God today.
Lay ALL on His altar, body, soul and spirit! Then the new fire of God will truly fall upon us all!
WHEN REVIVAL COMES:
1. ALL THE SLEEPING FOLKS WILL WAKE UP.
2. ALL THE LUKEWARM FOLK WILL FIRE UP.
3. ALL THE DISHONEST FOLK WILL CONFESS UP.
4. ALL THE DISGRUNTLED FOLK WILL SWEETEN UP.
5. ALL THE DEPRESSED FOLK WILL LOOK UP.
6. ALL THE GOD-ROBBERS WILL PAY UP.
7. ALL THE DIVIDED FOLK WILL MAKE UP.
8. ALL THE GOSSIPERS WILL SHUT UP.
9. AND ALL THE TRUE SOLDIERS OF JESUS WILL STAND UP!!!
Come now to God’s altar again, and lay down your life afresh to His love and service, “here I am wholly available.” Let the Lord God deal with you this morning that His holy fire will burn again in this place and in your life. Oh! For a new anointing.