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Hearts on Fire: Igniting Our Fire

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Introduction

Last Lord’s day, we began a series title, “Hearts on Fire: Every Christian a Zealous Christian.” Our goal in this series is to help us as soldiers of Christ to face our spiritual battles each day with a burning desire in our hearts to draw near to Him and to be victorious.
We defined zeal last week as, “having a burning desire to please God which leads us to action - to love and serve others with courage, diligence, and wisdom” and we saw a great example of the zeal that we need as we go out into battle - the LORD. Isaiah described the LORD who prepares Himself to go out to war by stirring up His zeal, and as a great soldier, how he puts on His armor with zeal. Hopefully as we go through this series of lessons we can grow to have zeal for God’s will that is more like His.
1. Purifying Our Environment
For our lesson today, we are going to talk about how we can light our fire - or our zeal - for the LORD. So if you have your Bible, and I always hope you do, please turn to . Titus chapter 2.
(Removing Sin & Depending on God's Grace - God's power to overcome sin..). ()
There are a few points I would like to make in the context of to show us things that we need to consider in order to ignite our zeal for the LORD.

CONSIDER GOD’S MERCY

One of the
Remembering who we were w/o God's mercy... ()
In talking to the lukewarm christians in Laodicea, Jesus told them that instead of thinking that they needed nothing, they needed to see their need to come to Him to receive what they need.
Whether we have obeyed the Gospel or not, we are in need. We need humility in order to see this fact. Without the Lord’s mercy and grace on a daily basis, we would be lost.

CONSIDER THE CROSS

Paul reminds Titus why the Christians needed to be zealous for good works in . All throughout this section of chapters 2 and 3, there is a focus on the good works that Christians need to be doing. In , Paul instructs Titus regarding the things that he needed to teach different groups within the church to do in the area of good works.

Make yourself an example of good works

It is in the midst of this large section on doing good works that we have the passage that we closed on last week: .
Remind them to... be ready for every good work” (, CSB)
It is in the midst of this large section on doing good works that we have the passage that we closed on last week: .
Jesusgave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for himself a people for his own possession, eager to do good works. (, CSB)
Titus 2:14 CSB
He gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for himself a people for his own possession, eager to do good works.
I made the point from this passage last week that Jesus redeemed us, cleansed us, and made us His people so that we could be zealous for good works. But what else do we see in this passage? What did He do in order to make us a zealous people: He gave Himself for us. He gave His life as a sacrifice for us on the cross. The great news that Jesus came to this earth to give His life for you and for me so that we would have life should be news that stirs up our fire to want to do good works in showing our gratitude to Him.
If someone gave their life for you, what would your response be? Let’s say that you were crossing a road and all of a sudden you heard your cell phone ring. You get your phone out of your pocket. You look down to see who is either calling you or texting you, and then all of a sudden, as you are crossing the road, someone tackles you. You were walking out in front of a car and were distracted by your phone, and this person, at the risk of their own life, saved your life.
What would your response be to this man? How grateful would you be. What would you be willing to do for this person? You may make some sacrifices for a short amount of time to show this person how thankful you are for their good deed. How much more should you be willing to show your gratitude to Jesus after what He has done for you?
He Purchased You
Jesus purchased you with His precious blood. He knew His mission would bring Him to Cavalry, but He came anyway because of the incredible value He places on your soul. He “gave Himself” to purchase you and all people.
Jesus purchased you with His precious blood. He knew His mission would bring Him to Cavalry, but He came anyway because of the incredible value He places on your soul. He “gave Himself” to purchase you and all people.
These facts should stir us up if our fire is burning low or going out. These facts about what Jesus did should light a fire in us if there is not one yet.
He Purified You
Jesus doesn’t leave you in a sin-stained condition. He purifies you. Jesus cleanses His people like He is restoring a priceless work of art. He gives every Christian a new and pure life. He makes each one of them a temple of His Spirit! In Jesus, all your sins are washed away so that you stand before the Lord with a clean slate.
Jesus doesn’t leave you in a sin-stained condition. He purifies you. Jesus cleanses His people like He is restoring a priceless work of art. He gives every Christian a new and pure life. In Jesus, all your sins are washed away so that you stand before the Lord sparkling and new.
He Took Possession of You
“…a people for His own possession…”
Because of the excess of American culture, it is common for people to purchase things they never fully use. It is not so with your Lord. His mission took Him beyond payment and purification. When Jesus saved you from sin, you became one of God’s most prized possessions that He desires to use for His glory.
These facts should - theses facts MUST stir us up or ignite our fire if it is burning low or going out. These facts about what Jesus did should light a fire in us if there is not one yet or if our fire has gone out. Remember the cross. It can ignite your zeal.
Our second point goes along with this point.

CONSIDER GOD’S MERCY

In this passage, Paul reminds Titus that God’s mercy and grace needs to be what motivates us to do good works.
First in , after giving all of these teachings about the good works Christians need to be doing, he says,
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people... (, CSB)
Why do you need to do good works? Because God has been merciful. He gave you life - life to one who was unworthy of it. His grace appeared… His grace was willing to send Jesus to this earth to die. He, by His grace, is willing to do what He has promised. He gives us a hope to live for. His grace is the reason why we can, as verse 13 says, “wait for the blessed hope, the appearing of our great God and savior Jesus” with any confidence.
Also, look at . In verses 1 and 2, Paul tells Titus to remind his brethren about their need to submit to and obey their rulers and authorities and to not slander them or anyone else. They instead were to show kindness and gentleness to ALL people. Then Paul gives the motivation behind doing these things in verses 3-7:
For we too were once foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved by various passions and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, detesting one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and his love for mankind appeared, he saved us—not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy—through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit. He poured out his Spirit on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior so that, having been justified by his grace, we may become heirs with the hope of eternal life. (, CSB)
What is Paul saying here to Titus? Why should God’s people do good works and submit to and obey their authorities? Because you and I were shown God’s kindness and mercy. We may look at what our governing authorities do and what people who live around us do and decide not to be gracious towards them. We may decide to slander them and be unloving and unkind. Paul is showing us here that this kind of mentality and these kind of actions are contrary to the mentality one should have who has been shown God’s kindness.
Remembering who you were w/o God's mercy... ()
Yes, people in this world may do foolish and wicked things. They may do things that show they are deceived. They may be hateful and living for themselves. But guess what, you and I used to also. No matter how good we think we have been in the past, we all fall into category of the type of people Paul mentions in v3. Whether we were raised by Christians and brought to church every Sunday or if you were one who was as worldly as they come, you were in desperate need of God’s grace, and because you received it, you need to show his kindness to others. You were lost and dead in sin before becoming a Christian. But God was kind and gracious towards us. He washed us. He poured out His Spirit on us abundantly through Christ. He saved you by His grace so that you would be made zealous and be more like Him.
We need to keep these things in mind even after becoming Christians also. It can often be the case that after we become Christians that we don’t think enough about God’s mercy and grace that we are still desperate for. We may think that now that we are God’s children that He in some way owes us now. He has to take care of us.
Another problem may come about that we may think that, for some reason, once we become Christians, that now we need to earn God’s love, and that if we make the slightest misstep, he is going to cut us off from His promises.
These kind of mindsets can strip our zeal away from us. They can make our fire go out because they can make us think that our hope can only continue to be ours merely by our own power and righteousness.
Whether we have obeyed the Gospel or not, we are in need. We need humility in order to see this fact. Without the Lord’s mercy and grace on a daily basis, we would be lost.

Connecting to the zealous God through either repentance or obeying the Gospel...
Jesus told the lukewarm church in Laodicea what they needed to do in order to stop being lukewarm as Christians.
First, he told them that they needed to be zealous!
Second, they needed to repent
Third, they needed to open up the door so He could come in…
We must be connected with the Zealous God so we can be renewed into His image and share in His zeal for His will.
If you want to ignite your fire for the LORD or make your zeal burn hotter, you need to remember the cross and you need to remember God’s kindness and grace.

CLEANSE YOUR ENVIRONMENT

(Removing Sin & Depending on God's Grace - God's power to overcome sin..). ()
(Removing Sin & Depending on God's Grace - God's power to overcome sin..). ()

CONNECT OR RECONNECT TO GOD

And our third and final point. If you want to ignite or stir up your zeal: You need to connect (or reconnect) yourself to the God who is zealous.
If your fire as Christian has gone out, you need to reconnect to the LORD. If you not become a Christian or you feel like you have never been zealous for the LORD Jesus, you need to connect to the LORD. AS I said last week, if we don’t have this fire within us to please God and to love and serve Him and our neighbor, then there is a problem.
Turn your Bibles to would like us to look for just a few moments at .
In this section, Jesus is talking to the church in Laodicea. This is a church, that as they examined themselves, they came to the conclusion that they were ok. They believed they were rich and needed nothing, but Jesus rebukes them for their worldliness and their unwillingness to see that they were desperately in need of mercy. He calls them lukewarm. Their zeal had disappeared. Now you may ask, how do you know their zeal had disappeared? Look at what Jesus calls them to do in verses 19-20:
As many as I love, I rebuke and discipline. So be zealous and repent. See! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. (, CSB)
We see here a contrast between being lukewarm and being zealous. Their trust in their wealth and in themselves led them to disconnect from the LORD. Look how disconnected they are: The image we are given in verse 20 is that Jesus was on the outside of the church meeting place looking in, knocking on the door, just waiting for someone to let Him in.
Jesus told the lukewarm church in Laodicea what they needed to do in order to stop being lukewarm as Christians.
First, he told them that they needed to be zealous!
Their call from the LORD was “be zealous and repent.” He wanted His word to light a fire within them and lead them to reconnect with Him. And this may be the case for you and I if we are lukewarm also.
There were attitudes and actions in their lives that needed changed!
????Third, they needed to open up the door so He could come in…????

Conclusion

Conclusion

Can we help you?

If there is anything we can do for you today in order to help you become a disciple of Jesus Christ who is zealous for good works, whether that be helping you to come to repentance - helping you gain victory over sin in your life, or if we can help you obey the Gospel today - to receive God’s kindness that comes through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, why don’t you make your need known as together we stand and sing?
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