Let the Fires Burn

Anyone who has heard me teach has definitely heard me say this phrase, “This is my favorite scripture.” Each time I say it, I hear a few chuckles from those who know me best. They chuckle, because I say this about a lot of scriptures. However, there are a few scriptures that I have not said this about. Here is one of them.

And the love of the great body of people will grow cold because of the multiplied lawlessness and iniquity. (Matthew 24:12, Amplified)

This scripture speaks of love growing cold. The Greek word translated love is the Greek word agape. Agape is the God-kind of love that only Christians have abiding in them. When it speaks of love growing cold, it speaks of the love of Christians growing cold.

I have studied this verse a lot in an effort to not be one whose love grows cold, in an effort to help others watch for the pitfalls that could lead to this. One phrase that I came across in my studies was “waning love”.

It’s not something that goes from hot to cold in an instant. It’s a gradual process. I think of a boiling pot or a hot stove. When you turn the heat off neither become instantly cold. They gradually cool down until what was once hot is now cold.

This verse not only tells us the problem, but also the cause, “because of multiplied lawlessness and iniquity”.

I was thinking about this verse just the other day while driving on a very busy freeway. Cars were passing me going way above the speed limit. Cars were cutting me off where it seemed I barely had time to avert an accident. I’ve been flipped off a few times for going the speed limit. Honked at for not letting the tailgater behind me go around me so he could tailgate the car less than twenty feet in front of me.

This is lawlessness. This is iniquity. In a minor form, but this is where little by little our love could grow cold, if we are not watchful.

[Love]… takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. (1 Corinthians 13:5, Amplified)

I had this thought as I drove that day. The people speeding and the people cutting me off and mistreating me, have a problem indeed, but if I take account of it, if I pay attention to these suffered wrongs, I too have a problem.

God told us there would be multiplied lawlessness and iniquity in these times. He also told us that this is the very atmosphere that can cause our love to grow cold. And not only out there on the highway, we most have to watch those little subtle things between us, that would cause our love to grow cold towards our fellow believer.

How do we keep our love from growing cold? Stay close to the source that started the flame in you to begin with. Yes, stay close to Him by reading His word, praying and spending time in His Presence. But also stay close to Him by forgiving, by taking no account of the evil done to you, by believing the best of one another. Yield to His love in your heart every chance you get and let those fires burn.

Fullness of Joy

You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore. (Psalms 16:11, Amplified)

Live in Me, and I will live in you… (John 15:4, Amplified)

Today as I look back on my Christian walk, I see times of great joy and times of great sorrow. Whether they were joyful times or sorrowful times doesn’t seem to have been based on my circumstances. What I realize now is that it was based more so on whether I was abiding in Him… or not.

I have found great joy at the best of times and I have found great joy in the worst of times. How? By finding it in Him. In His Presence is fullness of joy. With Him are pleasures forevermore. But apart from Him… I have never found true and lasting joy in good times or in bad.

Then will I go to the altar of God, to God, my exceeding joy… (Psalms 43:4, Amplified)

…I came that they may have and enjoy life… (John 10:10, Amplified)


So, how many of you were excited when you read the title of this post?

Why is it that the word obedience causes many to cringe or maybe choose not to read a post entitled Obedience? I think it’s because obedience may mean you may have to do something you don’t want to do. Or you may not get to do something you’d really like to do. But I believe for many, a change of perspective may make it a lot easier to obey.

Let’s take a look at a passage of scripture found in the book of Leviticus.

If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments and do them, I will give you rain in due season… you shall lie down and none shall fill you with dread or make you afraid… you shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you… For I will be leaning toward you with favor and regard for you, rendering you fruitful, multiplying you, and establishing and ratifying My covenant with you. (Leviticus 26:3, 4, 6, 7, 9; Amplified)

For time and space sake, I did not include the entire passage, so I encourage you to go back and read it all. In my Bible the heading just above this passage reads The blessings of obedience. There are blessings that come when you obey. Yes, Jesus paid the price and made the way, but one of the things He made possible for us was the ability to now obey God’s Word by His grace in our lives.

But He gives us more and more grace (power of the Holy Spirit, to meet this evil tendency and all others fully). (James 4:6, Amplified)

Now, let’s talk about children and obedience. Most children if allowed to do whatever they wanted would play video games and not go to school. They would choose chips, sodas, and anything with sugar in it over vegetables, water and anything without sugar in it. But we as parents make good choices for them as they grow and require obedience because we love them and want the best for them.

When I hear the word obedience in God’s Word, I’m eager to hear what it is He is asking of me. Why? Because whether I understand it or not, whether I like what He’s asking of me or not, I know that the only reason He requires obedience in that area is because He loves me and wants the best for me.

I trust my heavenly Father. If He says do this, I know there is a blessing in it for me. If He says don’t do that, I want to avoid it, because I know He is simply watching out for me.

If you [really] love Me, you will keep (obey) My commands. (John 14:15, Amplified)

When you read that scripture, don’t think about a god who is somewhere-out-there and whose ways you just don’t understand. Instead, hear the heart of a Father Who loves His child and Who wants to bless His child.