“Burning and Shining” (John 5:35)

“John was a burning and shining lamp, and for a time you were willing to enjoy his light.” vs35

pic truth fireWe must be “burning and shining” lamps. We can’t have heat without truth, and we can’t have light without fire! We must have the gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit: this is the most important thing in the world – to see Christ in a way that we live to know true doctrine in a way that it inspires us to live in the Spirit.

Many have the truth, and they are as dry as dust, having no life. They can talk about sovereign grace, but they can’t live for His glory. They know doctrine, but the Spirit hasn’t made them rejoice, so they boast in the flesh and rely on self (Phil 3:3). We can’t be that way. The Spirit is the promised gift, and He will be given to all who ask, but if we rely on ourselves, then we won’t have Him because we don’t need Him: We think ourselves sufficient and rely on our knowledge. We preach in the power of self, and nothing happens but dreariness to the congregation and grievous burdens upon ourselves! I’ve been there – preaching accurate, dry sermons, that benefitted few people. I’ve also been on the other side, preaching in the Spirit’s power and walking therein.

Choose not to go, unless He goes with you, and trust Christ. Moses said, regarding the Promised Land, “If Your presence does not go’, Moses responded to Him, ‘don’t make us go up from here (Ex 33:15).’” Before, he was willing to go without God, thinking he could do it himself; now, he’s unwilling to go, even if it is the biggest church, the best job, and the best marriage! He must have God, or else he knows that he has nothing.

The Spirit will come for Christ’s sake! DO NOT try to pull Him down from heaven. You are not strong enough or good enough! The Father gives Him freely because Jesus Christ is risen – because He did all things required of Him to fully justify us by faith. He said, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. He is the Spirit of truth (John 14:16).” He is the Father’s gift, not what we deserve or merited, and He will help us do His will.

The Spirit will not assist us living our way! John the Baptist had Him because he was sent to make Christ known: If you live for yourself, peace and comfort won’t happen. One man posted a long list of things to avoid sexual lust, and I tried to shorten it, having been there myself. One, you need the fear of God. You must know that your will is miserable. Two, you need faith in Christ. He is the righteousness AND strength that you need (Isa 45:24). Three, you must, and again I say must, live for His will all the time! You cannot live for yourself during the day and overcome lust at night. You can’t watch what you want, go wherever you want, and then expect to overcome this demon! It doesn’t work that way. Consecrate yourself to Him, give yourself to Him by prayer and temperance, and He will  be with you. Believe His help is all you have and all you need.

Brothers, John burned and shined: He had the light and the heat, the truth and love – the passion that comes from Jesus to make Him known. What greater gift could there be than to see your Lord and live for Him in power?

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