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World Aflame!

Fire!

What do you think of when you hear
that word? Does it set off an alarm in your
mind, warning of danger, destruction,
possibly even death from roaring, angry flames?

Or perhaps you envision the cheery
warmth of a fireplace, or the gentle glow of
the kitchen cook stove at breakfast time.

Fire can be either negative or positive, a
fearsome force or a blessing with hope.
Harnessed properly and handled carefully,
flames can bring comfort, joy, and peace.
Unrestrained, flames ruin and destroy
everything they touch.

A campfire is built to provide warmth
and light, and to prepare food. But left
unattended, the positive power of the flames
can quickly become a death-dealing menace.

We all remember the dreadful devastation
in Yellowstone Park. Several small fires
spread and burst into an inferno that roared
across thousands of acres of forest, leaving
only smoldering desolation behind.

Certainly the world is aflame today with
destruction and devastation. The eyes of
the world were riveted to the live television
coverage of the explosive situation in China
as students demonstrating for freedom
clashed with government troops in Beijing’s
Tiananmen Square.

During the conflict, in which hundreds
were ultimately killed, a train was set on
fire, and students poured flaming gasoline
inside the turret of an army tank, horribly
burning those inside. The crackling flames
and billowing smoke were unmistakable
evidences of hostility, hatred, and death.

Sin burns out of control

The personal worlds of multitudes of
people are aflame today. Sin is burning out
of control. Drug abuse is rampant. The
flames of alcoholism, divorce, pornography,
sexual abuse, and crime of every kind rage
tumultuously. Tragically, these killer fires
often are first started deliberately. “This is
just a little flame, like a match,” says an
unwitting individual. “Surely this couldn’t
hurt me. I can handle a little drink, a little
dope, a little illicit sex, a little dishonesty.”
But after a while, the flame spreads, then
explodes. What was meant to be simply
bright and exciting rages into an uncontrollable,
hellish nightmare.

These victims of sin’s explosion can be
rescued only by another fire — the flaming
power of the Holy Spirit, proclaiming the
redeeming salvation of Jesus Christ. This
flame brings light and hope to their dark
world.

The Lord has so beautifully laid on our
hearts to use the world aflame as the
logotype of our ministry. This attractive symbol
is both a reminder of the world’s urgent
need and an eloquent testimony to the light,
hope, and power of the gospel.

As Christ’s ambassadors in these last
days, our mission and purpose is clear — to
light new fires of revival, redemption, and
reconciliation…across America and around
the world. Oh, how our neighbors and
friends need the purifying, cleansing,
healing flame of the Holy Spirit in their
blackened, scarred, and ruined lives today.

On fire for God

There was a time when Christians spoke
of being “on fire for God.” By this they
meant that they were eager to share the
transforming power, the light and hope of
Christ’s gospel, with everyone around them.
Too few are still “on fire” today.

Sadly, many actually have been afraid
of God’s power, backing so far away from
its vital force that they have become
impotent and ineffectual. The flames of faith
have died down, and in too many cases,
even the embers have turned cold and dead!

I heard about a church that had a real
revival among their youth. These young
people were excited and passionately
enthusiastic about their salvation and sharing
the good news.

Someone went to the pastor and said,
“These kids are about to overdo this. Aren’t
you afraid this enthusiasm will get out of
hand and we’ll have some wildfire?”

“That doesn’t concern me a bit,” said
the wise old minister. “If any wildfire should
break out, there are always plenty of ‘wet
blankets’ around to put it out!”

Oh, it’s time we stopped going through
the motions of being religious and really
begin shining for Jesus!

A flame of fire

During our Celebration of Faith banquet,
when we officially opened the World
Outreach Center, my husband, Jack, delivered
a tremendous prophetic message the Lord
had laid upon his heart. Now, over the
years, I’ve heard him preach hundreds and
hundreds of times. But this night was really
special.

As I watched and listened to him speak,
suddenly he appeared as a flame of light,
hope, and power, proclaiming the Truth of
Revelation! God’s anointing was upon him
in such a marvelous way; the power and
warmth of the Spirit flowed through him
and filled the hall. It was a glorious
experience…and many who were there
commented about this special message.

Truly, God maketh his angels spirits, and
his ministers a flame of fire
(Hebrews 1:7).

Lamplighters

I love the illustration often used by my
dear friend, Mary Dorr, head of International
Religion in Media. Her organization has
awarded several “Angel” awards to Jack and
me for our television ministry.

She tells of the young Robert Lewis
Stevenson, peering out the window as a
workman came by and lit the gaslights along
the street. When asked what he was
watching, the lad said, “I see a man making
holes in the darkness!”

Thank God, each of us can be gospel
lamplighters. We can harness the force of
fire to do God’s work, God’s way. Individually,
we can be a flame for the Lord in
whatever sphere or circle He has placed us.
And working with other believers, we can
help send the light to the darkest corners of
the world by supporting those ministers who
are “flames of fire.”

If your heart burns within you with a
sense of urgency, as mine does, take my
hand and let us work together. We must
reach the world with the gospel — quickly —
for the Lord is coming back again…perhaps
today!

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