Passage for Study: Acts 18: 1 - 17 … Acts 18 linked for study …
2nd Passage for study: 2nd Corinthians 4: 7 – 15 … [self search and study in 2nd Cor. 4 required for study …]
My Journal for Today: Paul’s faith was a fire within his heart which burned for Christ no matter what the world could dole out trying to quench the flames of his burning hot desire to share the Gospel with anyone who’d listen, especially the Gentiles in Greece and Asia Minor. And Swindoll closes his devotional for today by quoting from Hebrews 11: 1, which says, ”Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.“
What burns in your heart? Is it faith in Christ; or is it the desire to please the world or worship its idols? For as Christ said (in Matt. 6: 21), “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Is Christ your treasure, as it was for the Apostle Paul? Is your heart burning for the One Who saved you; or does your faith in the world drive you to seek after worldly things?
When I read through the passages above for today, I again see Paul doing whatever it took, wherever he was, to share Christ because his heart was filled with the faith implanted within him by God’s Spirit; and this flame burned brightly so that others could see Christ burning forth from his words and deeds. Paul was that shining light of Matt. 5: 16, which glorified God as Paul shined Christ brightly to those he contacted.
I have to ask myself, “Does Christ burn in my heart, driving me to witness as God’s word exhorts in Acts 1: 8? Am I the light Christ commanded me to be in Matt. 5: 16? Do I have a faith worthy of the calling of being a “Christian?” [see Eph. 4: 1] As Paul exhorted the Corinthians in 2nd Cor. 13: 5, now and again, it’s healthy to examine our faith and see if it’s really burning from our love of the Lord; or does it burn for the things of this world (see also 1st John 2: 15-17).
I hope you’ll go back through those passages and examine your heart as I have mine this morning. And if you do, as it was for me, perhaps you’ll see that our faith could stand a relighting and refocusing on the things of Christ as opposed to the drives which come from following the world. Again, as I sit here, this morning I am drawn to use my Ipod to listen to Alisa Dishong singing the one hymn I quote so often here, the chorus burning in my heart …
Turn your eyes upon Jesus;
Look full in His wonderful face.
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.
I don’t know about you; but for me it’s time to refocus my heart and my faith upon the One Who saved me; and to go forth, shining His light from my heart as brightly as I can.
My Prayer for Today: Lord, burn in me that others may see You and be lit for eternity by seeing You burning in me. Amen