Text: Jeremiah 20:9 "Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak anymore 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."
Concerning the latter clause of this verse A Translation of OT scriptures from the Original Hebrew By Helen Spurrell "Then there was in my heart like as a burning fire/ pent up within my bones:/And I laboured to refrain myself but I could not."
The New English Bible "Then his word was imprisoned in my body,/ like a fire blazing in my heart,/ and I was weary with holding it under,/ and could endure no more."
Hebrews 4:12 "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
The Pulpit Commentary Vol.11, pages 475-476 "THE INHERENT PROPERTY OF THE WORD OF GOD AS A LIVING POWER IN THE SOULS OF MEN "A burning fire" All Divine truth possesses a quality that may justly be thus represented. The Law that came by Moses was a "fiery Law" of which the thunders and lightings of Sinai were the appropriate associations(Exodus19:16-20). And even the inspiration of the gospel truth was fitly symbolized by "cloven tongues of fire"(Acts 2:3). There is not only light but heat, not only a flame but fire. The moral effects are manifest. 1.MELTING. Icy coldness, hard indifference, stubborn self-will, impenitence, ect,-- all these are softened by the fire of God when it really enters into the soul. A tender sensibility is thus created that prepares it to receive all Divine impressions. 2. KINDLING. Heaven-tending affections are awakened by it that did not exist before. Latent germs of nobler and better feeling are quickened into new life. There is no limit to the holy energies that may be developed in our nature by the inspiration of the truth of God. In this good sense we may say, "Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!" 3.CONSUMING. It destroys everything in us that is destructible. All that is, false, selfish, sensual,-- all that is" of the earth earthly"--- has in it the elements of dissolution and decay, and cannot resist the purging, purifying force of Divine truth. The dross is consumed that the precious gold may come forth in all its beauty and purity. The solid grain is quickened into fruitful life, the chaff is burnt up as with unquenchable fire.
Four Issues in our Main Text That are of Concern To Us
1. NEGLECT OF DUTY-- Psa. 119:10-11 "With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. (vs11) Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." James 4:17 "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doth it not, to him it is sin" Heb. 2:1 "Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip."
2.ZEALOUSNESS (passionate eagerness, intensely earnest, actively enthusiastic) Psa.119:139 "My seal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words." Isa.62:1 "For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake i will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth." Eccl. 9:10 "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest."
3. INSPIRATION (A divine influence directly and immediately exerted upon the mind or soul of man, to carry out his will.) ISA.50:4 "The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned." Jesus said in St. Luke 21:15 "For I will give you a mouth and wisdom , which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay or resist."
4.THE TESTIMONY Psa. 66:16 "Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul." Isa.63:7 "I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the Lord , and the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses." 1 Peter 3:15-16 "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:(vs16)Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as evildoers, they be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ."
TO KEEP GOD'S WORD BURNING IN OUR HEARTS SO THAT THE FIRE WILL NOT GO OUT WE MUST:
A. RECEIVE GOD'S WORD AS GOD'S WORD--1 Thess.2:13 "For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe."
B. RECEIVE GOD'S WORD IN A GOOD AND HONEST HEART-- St. Luke 8:15 "But that on the good ground are they, which, when in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience."
THEREFORE IF WE KEEP THE FIRE OF GOD'S WORD BURNING IN OUR HEARTS IT WILL CONTINUE TO:
A. CLEANSE US--- St. John 15:3 "Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you."
B. PURIF US--- 1 Peter 1:22-23 "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned(sincere) love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently(showing warmth of feeling):(vs23) Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
C. FREES US--- St.John8:31-32 "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;(vs32) And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
D.SANCTIFY US--- St. John 17:17 "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth."
Concerning The Church: The Body Of Christ Eph.5:26-27 "That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,(vs27) That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."