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Is Not My Word Like Fire
"Is Not My Word Like Fire..."
A. Jeremiah 23:21-32 is found in a context speaking against the false prophet.
"I did not send the prophets,
yet they ran;
I did not speak to them,
yet they prophesied.
But if they had stood in my council,
then they would have proclaimed my words to my people,
and they would have turned them from their evil way,
and from the evil of their deeds.
"Am I a God at hand, declares the LORD, and not a God far away? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the LORD. I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, 'I have dreamed, I have dreamed!' How long shall there be lies in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart, who think to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they tell one another, even as their fathers forgot my name for Baal? Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? declares the LORD. Is not my word like fire, declares the LORD, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, declares the LORD, who steal my words from one another. Behold, I am against the prophets, declares the LORD, who use their tongues and declare, 'declares the LORD.' Behold, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, declares the LORD, and who tell them and lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or charge them. So they do not profit this people at all, declares the LORD.
1. Verse 21 ... God said that there were some prophets who He did not send, nor spoke to, and yet, they RAN to prophesy.
a. More true prophets need to run to prophesy
b. Jonah ran away
2. Verse 23 ... God said that He was not a far off, but was close at hand.
a. Omniscience ... omnipresent
b. This should have made an impact on the false prophets
3. Verses 24-25 ... God said that no one can hide from Him
a. He knew of their false teaching
b. He knew deceit was in their heart
c. All of this cause God's people to forsake Him
4. Verses 28-29 ... The true prophet was to speak God's word faithfully, because it was like fire and a hammer. "Is not my word like fire..."
5. Verses 30-32 ... God is against the false prophet, who takes the word of God from the people and causes them to err.
B. God's people throughout the Bible were continually departing from Him, and one of the major reasons was the false prophet
1. They were teaching man's doctrine, as are many today .....Matthew 15:9
2. God commanded them then, as He does today, to preach HIS WORD, because it is like fire (Jeremiah 23:29).
C. God's word will work like fire in our lives today if we will only allow it to.
1. It's difficult to explain fire
2. But we do know the things that it does
D. Let us consider the ways in which God's word is like fire, and what it can do in our lives.
DISCUSSION: "IS NOT MY WORD LIKE FIRE..."
A. God's word is like fire because it gives LIGHT.
1. Think, for a moment, how valuable light is to us
a. Helps us to see in darkness
1) Gives direction
2) Keeps us from stumbling
b. Helps us to feel secure
1) Fear of things that go bump in the night
2) Things that seem to something in the night are really nothing when seen in the light ... deer ... stump
2. The light that is set forth from God's word is even more important
a. "Thy word is a LAMP unto my feet, and a LIGHT unto my path" (Psalm 119:105).
1) God's word sheds light in our lives
2) It allows us to see the direct we should follow
b. 1 Peter 2:9 - But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
1) A Christian is depicted as one taken from darkness into light
2) Jesus tells Paul that he was chosen to go to the Gentiles and to ..... Acts 26:18
3) Those in darkness are under the power of Satan and those in the light are under the power of God
4) Today there are many walking in darkness and going in the wrong direction
c. "The entrance of thy word giveth LIGHT; it giveth understanding to the simple" (Psalm 119:130).
1) Gives light, therefore security
2) Things seem one way in the dark, but another way in the light
3. God's word is like fire because it gives light:
a. To see
b. To understand
B. God's word is like fire because it COMFORTS
1. There is nothing more comforting than sitting by a warm fire on a cold day
a. A fire causes cheer, comfort and serenity
b. The farther one gets away from the fire the less he is warmed and comforted.
2. So it is with God's word ... it comforts
a. 1 Thessalonians 4:18 - Therefore encourage one another with these words.
b. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 - Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
1) God's word is our comfort in time of trouble
2) We can then comfort others
c. "This is my COMFORT in my affliction, for thy word hath quickened me" (Psalm 119:50).
3. How does God's word comfort us?
a. Salvation .....
b. Persecution .....
c. Sorrow .....
d. Stress .....
4. It is comforting to know that we have a God who cares and gives all we need, remember the farther we get from God word the less comfort we will receive.
5. God's word is like fire because it gives comfort.
C. God's word is like fire because it is PENETRATING
1. Fire has the power to burn right through metal
a. Fire is powerful
b. Fire that is hot enough can penetrate anything
2. As fire is able to penetrate, so can the word of God
a. Hebrews 4:12 - For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
1) Able to pierce through the hardest hearts
2) Like a two edged sword, able to cut a going and a coming
b. Ephesians 6:17 ..... "sword of the Spirit"
1) Notice that it is not the Spirit that penetrates
2) It is His sword ... the word of God
3. When the word of God penetrates the hearts of man, one of two things will occur:
a. Acts 2:37 - Pricked
b. Acts 5:33 - Hardened - Wanting to kill Peter when he stood up for God.
4. God's word is like fire because it penetrates the heart of man.
D. God's word is like fire because it PURIFIES
1. Precious metals are separated from the dross by fire
a. Burns the impurities away
b. Fire is a purifying agent
2. As does fire, so does the word of God purify
a. John 15:3 - Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.
1) It cleanses
2) Removes the filth of sin
b. Ephesians 5:26-27 - that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
1) The church is purified by the word of God
2) Produces a spotless church
c. 1 Peter 1:22
1) Not simply the word that purifies
2) But obedience also
3. We need to use the word of God to burn the impurities from lives.
4. The word of God is like fire because it purifies.
E. The word of God is like fire because it DESTROYS
1. The same fire that can warm our homes, can burn it down
a. The fire that cooks your meals can burn you up
b. Fire can help and it can destroy
2. God's word is much the same way
a. If you obey it, it will save you
b. If you disobey it, it will destroy you
3. 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 - and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,
a. God is going to take vengeance in the Day of Judgment
b. The disobedient will be punished eternally
4. Mark 16:16
a. The obedient are saved
b. The disobedient are lost
5. John 12:48
a. We will be judged by God's word
b. The word can save or cause us to be lost, depending upon our response to them
CONCLUSION: "IS NOT MY WORD LIKE FIRE..."
A. How are you responding to God's word?
1. Are allowing it to do all it can?
2. Or, do you give little or no attention at all?
B. God's word can do great things for us if we will but accept it.
1. Will you accept God's word?
2. Will you allow it to so what it is able to do?
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