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The Fireproof Test

Part of any firefighting school involves a basic review of the 4 stages of fire.  Beginning with incipient, fires grow until fully developed, eventually decaying over time due to a lack of energy.  A fire needs 3 components to form: an ignition source, oxygen and a fuel source.  Sparks trigger the initial flame, but the classification of each fire depends upon the amount of fuel which is available and degree of oxygen inside.

From a spiritual point of view, Christians have another test to determine their condition.  As kindling begins to catch, a lukewarm fire is born.  If consistently maintained, a fire can blossom into poppers, bursting out of comfort zones, consuming any liquid or sap within wood.  Once mature, raging fires blaze, spreading from person to person, as new logs are added.  However, if not properly supervised, fires can burn outsiders and lead to flickering embers, prior to dying out.

The Bible contains 3 elements which magnify the amount of spiritual heat a person gives off.  First, one must ask, have you seen the light of God’s Word, Acts 9:1-2, while hearing or reading the Bible?  Second, have you received the life of God’s Spirit, Acts 9:17, ignited and filled by the power of the Holy Spirit?  Finally, have you been compelled to display the love of Jesus, Acts 9:20-22, by sharing your testimony with a person?  This assessment, The Fireproof Test, seeks to ascertain whether or not your faith is on fire.  If your soul is not consumed by a raging fire, may you see the light, rise to new heights and flourish with God’s might!

by Jay Mankus

ps – The inspiration for this blog came after listening to a sermon from James Merritt, founder of Touching Lives, a ministry on TBN.  For music lovers, U2’s The Unforgettable Fire album contains several songs to ignite your journey.

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Flirting with the World

The term flirt is an intransitive verb which means to behave in a playful or alluring manner.  At the high school and college level, flirting is a method used to ascertain whether or not another individual shares any interest in you.  Like a scientific experiment, probing, tickling or winking either stimulates a mutual connection with another person or results in a cold rejection.  Unfortunately, flirting with the world is like playing with fire, often leaving deep scars from where your soul got burned.

Eve introduced the world to flirting in Genesis 3.  Flirting begins in Eve’s mind, questioning the boundaries God had set in Genesis 2:16-17.  As Eve’s thoughts began to wander, her eyes enter the fray, lusting over the beauty of the fruit on the Tree of Knowledge.  Cain had a similar problem in Genesis 4:6-7 as God tries to intervene to prevent free will from being exercised in the form of murder.  According to Jesus in Matthew 5:21-22, the jealousy within Cain’s heart, led to immense hatred, ultimately planting the seed to kill.  When you flirt with the ways of the world, death and destruction often follow, Deuteronomy 30:17-18.

In his book entitled Flirting with the World, John White reaches a scary conclusion about the impact flirting is having on the church.  According to White, “the sexual behavior of Christians has reached the point of being indistinguishable from that of non-Christians”.  In an attempt to blend in, trying not to offend others, the salt of faith has lost its flavor and the light of Jesus is experiencing nation wide power outages, Matthew 5:13-16.  As godly role models continue to fall from grace, an “everybody’s doing it” mindset has led saints toward a pit of despair, James 1:13-15.  Intervention, public confession and accountability is essential to break free from the bondage to sin, James 5:16.  Therefore, if you think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, think twice before you actually flirt with the world.

by Jay Mankus

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