It is so hot today! When I rolled one of our carts through the loading dock outside to load it on the trailer, the heat smashed into me, it was like walking into a furnace. Standing outside for 2 minutes is all it takes to be drenched with sweat. Although I am thankful it was pretty cool this morning, so I didn't sweat too much before church.
I also think I'm on fire as a preacher, too. I started noticing it a couple weeks ago. The Spirit has been filling me with a fire and passion when I'm preaching. I'm not sure what's happening, but God's doing something through me.
As people were leaving today, a guy that's from out of town but has been with us for several sermons on Revelation told me, "You may feel small, but I can tell God's going to be doing great things through your church!" He's always had questions for me after my message and he also told me "I've loved listening to this series, you're on fire!" Yeah, I really feel like God has lit me up. My hero, John Wesley, once told a young preacher "if you set yourself on fire, people will come from miles around to watch you burn." God is doing something through me and I think it's spreading.
Today's message was on Revelation 17-19:10, the Fall of Babylon. Rome (Babylon) committed three sins Unholy patriotism, Economic oppression and Widespread violence. I think I "brought it" today in a way I've never "brought it" before. It was almost comical how my mic screw ups made me stop for a second, but I was able to get right back on track.
Here's how we live above those temptations.
Unholy patriotism - by making sure our allegiance to the flag never takes precedence over our allegiance to the cross.
Economic oppression - Rather than working hard to protect the American way of life, we become generous by using the privileges of our nation to bless the poor of the world.
Widespread violence - By calling our nation to a higher standard, whether it's protecting the life of the unborn or the civilian in an enemy nation.
And check out this quote from Colin Powell “The US cannot win the war on terrorism unless we confront the social and political roots of poverty. It’s very hard to be angry with someone who just fed you, it’s very hard to want to drop a bomb on someone who just built you a village. No nation, no matter how powerful it is, will ever be safe until it has dealt with ‘economic desperation.’”
We live in the modern version of John's Rome. We have a privilege and a responsibility.
If you missed it, you've gotta hear this message. Click on our website and then listen to the sermon "Revelation 17-19, the Fall of Babylon.