Acts 28:1-6
28:1 And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called Melita. 2 And the barbarous people shewed us no little kindness: for they kindled a fire, and received us every one, because of the present rain, and because of the cold. 3 And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand. 4 And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live. 5 And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm. 6 Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god. KJV

Paul gathered sticks to help them help him. It is hard building a fire for people who won’t gather sticks. If we see someone helping us, we’ve got to help them help us. I’m not a victim, I’m a victor. 

Paul brought the sticks to the fire. Because of the heat, the snake came out to bite him. We don’t know what we have in our hands until we get it close to the fire. Everything that looks like a stick isn’t a stick. Everything we pick up along the way doesn’t always attach itself to us to help us. Some things attach themselves to us to kill us. 

The snake didn’t come out until it got close to the fire. The fire will make the snake come out. That old snake will come out in the fire. That’s why the devil wants our faith to be cold and our joy to be cold and our worship and prayer life to be cold because he is always around when it is cold. As long as it’s cold, the snakes can hide. But when we get hot and the Holy Ghost begins to fall, the snake has to come out because he can’t take the fire. 

Tell someone to put some fire on it! If we’re trying to figure out who our friends and who our enemies are, put some fire on it. We’re trying to figure out who we got going to school with us or who we are working with at our jobs, put some fire on it. If we’re trying to figure out if this is a good relationship or not, put some fire on it. If this is the right music I’m listening to, put some fire on it. 

Leviticus 6:8-13
8 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 9 Command Aaron and his sons, saying, This is the law of the burnt offering: It is the burnt offering, because of the burning upon the altar all night unto the morning, and the fire of the altar shall be burning in it. 10 And the priest shall put on his linen garment, and his linen breeches shall he put upon his flesh, and take up the ashes which the fire hath consumed with the burnt offering on the altar, and he shall put them beside the altar. 11 And he shall put off his garments, and put on other garments, and carry forth the ashes without the camp unto a clean place. 12 And the fire upon the altar shall be burning in it; it shall not be put out: and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order upon it; and he shall burn thereon the fat of the peace offerings. 13 The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out. KJV

The burnt offering literally means “The Holocaust”. It’s not the offering of incense, a pinch here and there. It’s not a grain offering where we toss a few handfuls on the fire. It’s not like the peace offering to be waved and then shared. It’s not like the sin offering which is occasional and shared with the priest. The burnt offering is the holocaust, where we throw something on it in the middle of the night, and then we leave. We say I’m not touching it again and I’m not worrying about it ever again, because the fire on the altar is always burning. Shake loose of that worry or fear and shake it off into the fire. 

The fire is burning all day and all night. The Lord told us that there are two parts of the day, twelve hours of day and twelve hours of night. We are commanded to praise God during the day, from the rising of the sun, to the setting of the same, the name of the Lord is to be praised. What about from the setting of the sun, to the rising of the same? This is where the fire comes in. If we’ve got the fire burning and never put it out, it will be burning in the night time and in the dark. I’m not talking just about physical night. When our life has turned for the worst and we are in those dark valleys when we think nobody can see us and our faith is tried and we feel like giving up, light that fire again. Keep the fire burning all day and all night and never let it go out. 

Keep adding sticks to the flame. Let’s make sure we are throwing the right sticks down. Don’t throw down a stick that says, “Well, I’m only doing this because my Pastor says to do it,” or “I’m only doing this because it might keep me from going to hell.” We should stop trying to live as close to the world as we can and still be saved. I want to live as close to God as I can and do what pleases Him. If the Pastor tells us that something is wrong and we say, “Well, are you sure that will send me to hell?” It doesn’t matter if it sends you to hell or not. He knows if it does not please Jesus Himself, then we shouldn’t be doing it. 

Just keep this in mind: the next time we sit down to watch that movie, think to our self, “Would Jesus Christ Himself sit down beside me and grab a bag of popcorn and watch it with me?” Would Jesus bang His head to that music in our iPod or radio? Would Jesus give me a high five and tell me, “Man, those are some awesome words and symbols on your shirt,” or “Wow, girl, that skirt shows off how attractive you are.” Would Jesus Christ Himself ride along with us when we go with our friends to that place we always hang out at? Would He just have the time of His life?

We need to put some fruitier sticks on the fire that the fire will engulf quicker, some sticks with some leaves and fruit on them. In the middle of our darkest hour, we need to start adding some sticks that will build the flames. Because in the world we live in now, the vipers will not back down. We’ve got to be careful who we hang around with. Boys, if there are some friends you hang with in your group that are limp wristed, pray for them and find some different friends, because that viper will bite you and not let go, and in today’s world they have more power than ever before, not just spiritually, but in the public’s eye. Girls, if the ones you are hanging out with are acting tough like nobody can mess with them or they’ll kick everyone’s butt and try to act more like a boy than some actual boys, pray for them and find some different friends, because the viper on your side is just as evil.

Jeremiah 20:9
9 Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay. KJV

Matthew 3:10-12
10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: 12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. KJV

Some of us when we got the Holy Ghost only got half full. When we get the Holy Ghost, we are suppose to get the Spirit AND the fire. Some of us need the fire. When we get baptized with fire, we get past the just saved part.  

What happens when a fire occurs? It engulfs everything in its path. Only a small spark can start an unquenchable fire. An unquenchable fire is one that is so big and so wild that not even the biggest amounts of water can stop it. It might put out a spot here and there, but it is a wildfire and it doesn’t discriminate on who or what it will set ablaze. Everything and anything that is in its path will be burned. 

That is how we need to be. We need to get that Holy Ghost spark, and once we are lit, not let any water make us cold again, but keep growing into a wildfire and set your church ablaze, your home ablaze, your school ablaze, your work ablaze, your shopping centers ablaze, your fishing boats and hunting cabins ablaze, and eventually these wildfires will join together and set your city ablaze. 

Psalm 1:1-6:
1Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. 4The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. 5Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

This is how our fire needs to be. Our fire will stay kindled if we are rooted like the tree planted by the rivers of water, we are bearing fruit that is not bitter and we don’t wither or waiver. Our fire is not hot if we are wavering, that is why God will spew us out of His mouth if we are lukewarm. We cannot be like chaff b/c not only will the wind drive us away, but Jesus will also burn the chaff up in unquenchable fire, as stated in Matthew 3:12

If our fire is blown out during every little breeze that comes along, our fire will not stay lit. The ones that are chaff are the ones when every little thing that happens or is said bothers them or offends them, and then they are driven away by the wind. But if the wind blows and it disrupts us, but it doesn’t dislocate us, then we know we are not chaff, but strong and vehement flames. A strong fire can withstand very strong winds. The flames still flicker in the wind but they don’t fade.

Storms will come and rains will fall because the rain falls on the just and the unjust. Stuff just happens. Sometimes we don’t want to deal with things but we just got to deal with it. Someone asks, “Why did God let them die,” or “How could God let that happen to them.” We have to realize that things just happen sometimes. God is only powerful where we let Him be powerful. When we praise Him and give Him glory and honor and POWER and praise, we are not giving Him more power because He is already all power, we are giving Him permission to have power over our lives. If we don’t grant Him that, He refuses to force it on us and that is how things just happen sometimes. We have to grant God access to our lives so He can have power to make our fire storms more effective where it counts, which is upon this world that doesn’t know Him by name.

We have got to build this fire together. 

Proverbs 26:20-21
20 Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth. 21 As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife. KJV

We have to build this fire together. When you start a fire and you surround it with rocks, the fire stays within the rocks. When you take away the rocks or you put sticks and logs on top of the rocks, the fire will catch on the sticks and go outside of the rocks and start a fire around the rocks. 

Matthew 16:18
18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. KJV 

When we get baptized with the Holy Ghost and with fire, our fire is started inside of the church and it is burning inside of the church. Sometimes when we get out of the church our fire is let out temporarily because we don’t have sticks to keep it going. We need to take put some sticks on top of the rocks. We need to put some prayer around the church so we can build a fire outside of the church. Our fire that is set inside of us burns brightly and if we are on fire for God outside of the church, people can’t help but see it. When there is a fire, people notice. If a house is on fire, people come from all over the neighborhood to see it. When the fire department comes to put it out, even more people come to see it. 

Let’s be sure our fire stays burning all day and all night because not only do people notice when we are on fire, but when our fire goes out, they will notice even more and think, “I thought they were a Christian, I can’t believe they just did that.” We have to keep that fire burning constantly.