Set the World on Fire
by Joanne Ellison
02.24.20
02.24.20

A few years back I went on vacation with my husband to Yellowstone National park. There were fires everywhere that had started when a camper had not fully extinguished their campfire. It destroyed much of the park. As we drove through the desolate forest, you could see the destruction first hand that a fire of that magnitude could produce. But as we drove along, my husband reminded me that burns such as this actually would regenerate the forest. Looking at the fire as we drove, I could hardly imagine a lush forest returning, but it did and even more beautiful.

The first century church set the world on fire in ways unimaginable for that period of history. 12 ordinary men who had been with Jesus were on fire for Him. They carried his message into a world which at that time didn’t even have what we call “snail mail” let alone texting, Facebook messaging and the like. We can communicate in a second with anyone anywhere in the world. But the fire in their soul set other hearts on fire and before you knew it there was a movement that began and was out of control. The fire began to burn…

Friends, my daily prayer is “set me on fire” so that others can see your light. Jesus told us before He left this earth that we are called as Christians to be a city set on a hill; to not hide our light. But sometimes others try to snuff it out. Who is this God you serve? Is it worth it? Why serve a God you cannot see? Do you believe really that Jesus came to die for our sins.. .and on it goes. Much of Scripture seems radical and unbelievable, but the movement persists and continues to grow. Where the need is greatest, where the church is marginalized, and the church must go underground– those are the places where the church is growing the fastest; their light blazes a path even in the darkest of times.

Now to my point. If each of us were to embrace the beautiful person that we are, created in God’s image, living the purpose filled life for Him, we would join the 1st century church and set ablaze the world with His goodness, mercy, and glory. All sounds too strange but it’s true. People who cannot get in touch with who they are, recognizing that their identity is in Christ, live lives that are flat and meaningless. The early believers were willing to be persecuted and die for their beliefs. They were fire starters. The more the church was persecuted, the more it grew. The more the church was pushed back, the more fires were started.

Fast forward to today. We too must embrace who we are in Christ- glory carriers, raising the standard of righteousness for his name’s sake. It isn’t always easy in a culture that prefers a lush forest to one that is burning for Christ and may not look so lush. But God…. He has ordained that we become trail blazers, together becoming the city on the hill.

You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. (Matthew 5:14)

So shine brightly my friends. The world needs your light.

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