God’s flaming love
Reading: Luke 12:49-56
Blanks: baptism, completed, present
Do you like campfire?
I guess in the ancient time, people started to make a little campfire so that they cook what they caught or they sleep at night at a warmed environment.
They must have gathered woods.
They must have tried to spark the fire and try to make a fire going.
When they get their fire going, they add woods to make the fire become big enough to cook or stay warm at night.
Jesus also wanted to start a different kind of fire.
When his fire is going, the whole world may experience God.
So Jesus wanted to spark the fire.
In order to spark the fire, Jesus had to finished his story.
When his story is finished, he could spark the fire.
So Jesus said something like this:
“I have come to bring fire on earth.
I wish I have already kindled it!
I wish it is already blazing!
“But my spark is the story of Jesus.
I need to complete my story.
Thank God, I am near the end.
But this is the most difficult part.
I have to suffer and die on the cross.
Then I will rise again.”
His story will explain the love of God.
So when people understand the story, they understand how God loves them.
When people understand the story of Jesus, they understand God’s love.
Then they experience God’s love.
Then they have God’s fire in their hearts.
For this kind of result, Jesus wants to share his story.
So Jesus gathered his woods.
His woods are the hearts of people.
He want to spark his fire on the hearts of people.
Then his story will change people’s hearts.
But then Jesus said something like this:
“I am not trying to use my story to bring peace on earth.
I am going to use it to bring division first.
It will disrupt and confront!”
That means, at first, his fire would not bring people together:
Jesus would divide people and separate those who believe what is right.
Those who believe in the truth and obey what Jesus teaches will be united for the truth.
Jesus will separate them from those who do what is wrong.
Jesus will separate his people from those who lie and deceive.
There is another reason that Jesus made this decision.
Two thousands years ago, Jewish people had been waiting for the coming of the Messiah.
Some wise people sensed that the time has come.
But they thought that the Messiah would come and remove the Roman Government to establish a Jewish state.
They got it wrong.
Because they got it wrong, they noticed nothing.
The time of the Messiah had come.
But they would not know.
So Jesus said something like this:
"You look at the sky and tell very well whether it is going to rain.
Then look at your generation and try to tell what is happening.
Is it now the time of the Messiah?
How do you read the Bible?
“The Bible prophesies over the time of the Messiah.
What do you think?
Is it the time of the Messiah?
John the Baptist came and taught about me.
I performed miracles and healed people.
I teach and challenge wrong theology, wrong authority, and wrong ideas about God.
I preach the truth.
I explain what is right and pure.
Are these signs of God’s Messiah?
What is God doing?”
Jesus asks people to decide whether they want to follow him or not.
Because Jesus wants to divide people into two groups: those who follow the truth and those who don’t.
As Jesus continually stood up for the truth, his students understood the right path of life.
They were gaining wisdom to know what is true.
Then because of the words of Jesus, they also become pure.
They started to understand that Jesus is God.
They wanted to obey him their Messiah.
They took risks and stood up for Jesus the Messiah.
So they stood up for his way of life.
So Jesus said something like this:
“I am going to divide people first.
You need to decide whether you are going to follow me or not.
You need to make a decision.
“If you follow me, your family may not like it.
Your family may disagree and don’t understand it.
Is ok with you?
Will you still stand up for the truth?
I know this is a big challenge for many people.
Can you follow me when you experience a division in your family?
Can you stand up for the truth before your family and friends?
Will you follow me, trusting that I provide everything?”
If they say yes, Jesus wants to set them apart, since they commit their life to follow him.
Jesus wants to set them apart for God as they get ready to do God’s will.
Then one day, they will be able to carry God’s fire.
But this God’s heavenly Fire is also Refiner's Fire:
Every gold goes through a refining process.
Then it becomes a pure gold.
Then it is true gold.
Like this, God’s fire purifies our hearts.
God’s fire cleanses us from our sin.
God’s fire cleanse us from deep within.
God’s fire makes us holy and holy and holy.
Through his words, Jesus is purifying our hearts.
Then our hearts become holy.
Our mind changes.
We experience a transformation of our emotional life.
Our appearance will change.
Our faces and skins change and become beautiful.
Our thoughts changes.
And we live a new life.
When people get to know God, they change, because Jesus will mold them and make them beautiful in the eyes of God.
With his words, he does this process.
So the more we know Jesus, the more our hearts become pure.
Then we live in God’s presence as we choose to be holy.
As we desire to be pure before God, we experience God.
God’s fire is God’s love.
When we experience God’s love, we are on fire.
When we understand God's love, we are on fire.
We change and become a holy fire.
But some people may refuse God’s fire.
They may refuse God’s love.
They may not give their lives to God.
They may not spread God’s love.
They may come to church but don’t listen to Jesus or obey Jesus.
They may not forgive another person.
These people may be pastors.
They may be elders.
They may deacons.
They may be missionaries.
But they may try to do their own things, instead of seeking to do God's will.
They may try to make their church grow in their own way.
They may try to have a church with a lot of money.
So other people may watch them and follow their examples.
Then Jesus will pray:
“God, forgive them for they do not know what they're doing.”
Then Jesus will try to show God’s true love to them.
Jesus may ask them:
“Have faith in me.
Choose God over anything and everyone.
Desire to obey God's words.
Desire to live a holy and pure life.”
God may also give them many opportunity to repent until the last day.
But if they don’t repent, Jesus may say to them on the last day:
“I don't know you anymore.
You don't know me.
We don’t know each other.
Get out of here.”
So we will see one day, who has been listening to God and obey.
One day everybody will know.
Everything will be revealed.
If we listen to God and obey, we don't need to worry about that.
We don't need to worry about other things.
As long as we listen to God and obey, we are fine eternally.
God will welcome us into heaven.
But of course, we are not perfect.
We need to repent and try to listen and follow Christ.
But as long as we want to listen and learn to obey God, we are fine.
When we read the story of Jesus, we are dealing with God’s fire.
Then God’s power shows up when the story is known.
When the story of Jesus is known, people experience God’s love.
Then we know Jesus is the most important person in the world.
Then we may have enough faith to choose Jesus, and move with Jesus and carry on his mission in the world.
So we choose Jesus over our family and friends.
When we experiencing God's love, our minds changes.
Then we will have less doubt and more faith.
Then we become like Jesus.
We use holy and pure words.
We pray a holy and pure prayer.
Then the whole church will experiences God's presence together.
The whole church will be grateful and be kind with each other.
The whole church will be patient with each other.
The whole church will be able to pass on God’s love.
The church will be able to spread God’s love.
Then through us, God will change people’s hearts.
Jesus will change many people around us.
Many people around us will get to know Jesus and follow him.
This is a miracle.
John the Baptist said:
‘Jesus would baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.’
So we thought about that.
We know that God’s fire is God’s love.
The Holy Spirit is like the flame of God’s love.
When we open our hearts to receive the Holy Spirit, we will experience God’s Heavenly Fire.
Then we are changed, as we experience the Holy Spirit and God’s power.
Then the Holy Spirit will use us to explain God’s true love.
The Holy Spirit will use us to help other people to find God.
Then the whole world could receive the Holy Spirit and experience God.
Jesus wanted to start this God’s Heavenly Fire spreading all over the earth.
And this God’s Heavenly Fire will last forever.
So when the Holy Spirit is working in our hearts, we experience God's love.
Then we may be on fire for God.
We may be fully committed to Jesus.
Then because of God’s love, we may live differently.
Then in the moment of decision making, we choose God over our family and friends.
We love God more than them.
In the moment of decision making, we choose God above all.
We love God more than any others.
Then God will also decide to use us and work with us.
God is interested in helping us making good choices for our life.
God is helping us to make good choices.
If we obey, God can bless us.
If we choose what God wants for us, God can bless us.
And nothing can stop God.
If we live like this, making holy choices, one day, our family and friends may also find God.
They may also choose God over us, and live peacefully as God blesses them.
Then Jesus may bring his peace into our family and friends.
As as we follow Jesus, we may become one in God.
Jesus may bring us together and help us live in peace.
Jesus may help us to become one with God.
May this blessing be ours.
Jesus, thank you for your story of love.
We want to understand you and believe in you.
We want to love you.
We want to have a pure and holy heart.
Help us to have your mind.
Help us to love you as you love us.
Help us to spread your love.
Help us to be part of your team.
In Jesus name, we pray.