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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

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1 Kings 18:20-39
Psalm 16
Matthew 5:17-19

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light my fire

"The Lord's fire came down." —1 Kings 18:38

Recently, my house caught on fire. The sight of the raging fire was simultaneously terrifying, awesome, dramatic, and life-changing. God has used the fire as a catalyst for many positive changes in my life. Though initially devastating, this fire might end up being one of the best things God has ever done for me.

We all accumulate junk in our lives which smothers our desire for the Lord. We need Jesus to burn away and divide us (Lk 12:51) from possessions, complacency, confusion, strife, unforgiveness, the desire for money, and all our sins, which suffocate our spirit. Then, freed from the clutter which stifled the Holy Spirit in our lives (1 Thes 5:19), the cycle of new, abundant life can begin in us (Jn 10:10).

"Our God is a consuming Fire" (Heb 12:29). "He will sit refining and purifying" us (Mal 3:3) until our faith shines brighter than pure gold (1 Pt 1:7). When the Refiner's fire is hot enough, the dross in our lives, that is, our sins, burns away.

We put a needle into a hot flame to sterilize it. The fire burns away germs which could bring infection and death. Likewise, Doctor Jesus cannot tolerate the infection of sin enslaving us (Rm 6:16) and leading us to death (Rm 6:23). The fire of His love will not allow Him to stand idly by while we poison ourselves with sin and "stuff" which lead us away from Him. Jesus has to ignite the blaze (Lk 12:49) and set our life on fire. "Stir into flame the gift" of the Holy Spirit (2 Tm 1:6). Catch fire for Jesus.

Prayer:  Jesus, it's either burn for You now or burn without You for eternity. Set my life on fire, and consume me in Your love.

Promise:  "Whoever fulfills and teaches these commands shall be great in the kingdom of God." —Mt 5:19

Praise:  Fr. Jerry frequently gave away earthly treasures so as to insure he never held on to material goods too tightly.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 12, 2005

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