Psalm 11:6 Wickedness Has A Price

Upon the wicked He will rain coals; fire and brimstone and a burning wind shall be the portion of their cup. Psalm 11:6

Every nation and community has set up laws against certain crimes. If a person commits a certain type of crime, there is a punishment that can be severe. It may just be a small fine but can go all the way up to federal prison time depending upon the severity of the crime and the rules that are set in place. Most people have accepted the results of committing a crime and paying the price for it.

David points out that God will rain coals, fire, brimstone and a burning wind upon the wicked as a portion for their wickedness.

People have no problems with there being some type of severe punishment against someone who does something wrong that they see as wrong. Laws are allowed to be in place to punish crimes against those who do wrong.

Yet, many do not believe that God should punish anyone for doing anything wrong. People often see God as just love and never punishing. The world does not see anything wrong with sin and even has made laws promoting and allowing sinful behavior to occur.

Although the world appears to get by with sinful behavior, God will pour out judgement upon them in the end. While on this earth, God’s judgement may occur in sickness, death or loss of something. He pours out coals, fire and brimstone upon the wicked to get their attention to look to Him for salvation and turn from their wickedness.

Jesus has provided a way out from that judgement by dying on the cross and raising from the dead to remove all sin. God, in His infinite love, calls all people to turn from wickedness so that may have an abundant and eternal life.

As a believer, you have been forgiven of your sins and all sin has been removed. Do not allow yourself to be like the world and turn towards the wickedness that God hates and will judge.

Love the righteousness and holiness that God loves and desires of you. Turn from sin and live the holy life God has called you to live so that God will not have to pour out punishment and judgement upon you in the end. Let the world know what is coming if they continue to live in sinful ways.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that you will live the holy life God has called you to live; that God will give you strength to turn from wicked ways; and that you will be a witness of God’s true love for the world.

Picture by Dave Hoefler under Unsplash

Are You On Fire?

One of the things my wife and I love to do is sit in front of our fireplace and watch it, during the few days it is cool enough to run in Texas. Although our fireplace is a gas fireplace and does not consume anything other than gas, it is great to watch. When we can, we also love to have an outside firepit to watch and roast marshmallows on.

Fire is something that many people love to watch. It can be mesmerizing and can do good for many. Other times it can be a horrible and very scary thing to watch.

During times that a fire is good are when one is cooking over it, watching a campfire and when one is being warmed up by the fire. Others like to sit in front of a fireplace watching the flames and being relaxed by it. There are probably hundreds of different ways in which fire is used that is useful.

The flip side is when a house is on fire, or when there is a forest or field fire threatening a home. Burning cars or other vehicles are scary and extremely dangerous.

God is often seen as a fire throughout the Bible.

For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God. Deuteronomy 4:24

One of the things that fire does is consume. It will eat up and destroy anything and everything if it is hot enough. Fire will burn up houses, trees, grass and much more. Nothing is safe from a fire that is hot enough, including every type of metal.

In the end anyone who does not believe in Jesus will be tossed into a lake of fire:

And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:17

Not having one’s name is the Book of Life is one who has chosen to not believe in Jesus and repent of one’s sins. This is an eternal punishment of death and separation from God for rejecting Jesus and the salvation He offered.

His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. Matthew 3:12

God, as a consuming fire, also consumes and burns up things. Throughout the Old Testament, God had destroyed people by fire from Him. Through Jesus, sin is burned up, tossed out and forgotten in the fire of God.

The old person is done away with, and a new creation is made by the consuming power of God. Old ways of doing things, old attitudes, old habits, old thoughts are burned up and cast out by the faith in the blood of Jesus. Life of the new believer is consumed and taken over by God.

Along with the fire of God being consuming it is also empowering.

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 2 Timothy 1:6 (NIV)

God has given every believer some type of gift in which one can minister to others. Most versions say ‘kindle’ the gift, while the NIV says to ‘fan into flame’. This is to get hot, burning with desire to use whatever gift God has given to reach others for Jesus.

Matthew recorded John the Baptist saying:

I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. Matthew 3:11

Once a person is baptized, that person is filled with the Holy Spirit and fire. This fire is the excitement and burning desire to do what God wants one to do. It is what motivates a believer to do things that may endanger one’s life in the process of spreading the gospel message and living for God.

Solomon wrote:

Do not let your heart envy sinners, but be zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day. Proverbs 23:17

Physical fire will heat up water and get the molecules excited and moving about, until they turn into steam and float away. This verse that Solomon wrote does not say anything about a fire, but being zealous for something is being on fire for that something. It is burning with excitement and energy for God.

God is a fire that consumes and also enflames. He can destroy the sin in your life and fill you with fire to do His will and be His witness on this planet. Or He will be the fire that destroys you for eternity if you have chosen to reject Him or to not do His will.

Make your choice today as to how you want God to be a fire for you–to destroy you or to empower you. Allow God to burn up and remove the sinful habits in your life. Allow God to set you on fire for Him, to do what He has called you to do each and every day. Let His fire consume you with Him.

Picture by Tom Arn

Leviticus 6:13 Keep The Fire Burning

The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not go out. Leviticus 6:13

While physical forest fires and fires burning buildings are given every attempt to stop, there are some fires that must be kept burning. Some of these required fires are for providing heat or to run some required equipment.

Along with various physical fires, there are fires in the soul, mind and heart. People get fired up about various issues, both for the positive and for the negative. Some of these need to be kept going to accomplish something good for all people.

God said the fire for the burnt offerings must be kept burning and never go out.

The burnt offering in the Old Testament was an offering symbolizing the dedication to God. Whatever was offered was completely burnt up, giving it to God with no takebacks. It was to symbolize the person dedicating his life to God.

After Jesus rose from the dead, physical sacrifices on physical altars were no longer required, but there was the sacrifice of self. One needs to dedicate his life completely to God, being on fire for God and His mission.

Many people, when they first become believers, are excited and on fire for God. They are going around telling everyone about Jesus, praying and reading the Bible. Later they let that fire die down and they stop witnessing, praying and reading the Bible. There is no longer any excitement to be a follower of Jesus.

God had sent His Holy Spirit to be in the believer to keep him on fire for God. The Holy Spirit gives strength, power, comfort and helps to keep sin out of the life to the believer, all things that a physical fire can do in the natural realm.

Believers must keep that fire burning constantly and never let it go out.

God wants a spiritual fire in your life, one that will not go out and keep you as a light in this dark world. Think back to the day you first chose to believe in Jesus. Think about how excited you were. That was God’s fire in you.

Feed that fire daily with the word of God–the Bible, communication with God–prayer and doing the work of God. The more you do these things, the hotter the fire will be and the more the world will see Jesus in and through you.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that you will be on fire for God’s purpose on this earth; that you will be filled with the Holy Spirit strengthening you and keeping you on fire; and that you will feed the fire of God on a daily basis to keep it burning.