by James Merritt

This content is part of a series.

The Fire Burns Brightly (2 of 7)
Series: Ignite
James Merritt
Acts 2:41-47


1. I am going to let you in on a little secret that very few people know about me and that is I am deathly afraid of fire. I prefer colder weather to warmer weather. If I had to choose between being in a sweater at 45° or being in a bathing suit at 95° I would choose what is called ''sweater-weather.'' I have an inordinate fear of fire and heat.

2. My mother thinks it may be because when I was just a six-month-old baby she accidently spilled hot coffee all over my stomach. She says that is the only time she heard me curse, but frankly, I don't remember it. We also know that for some reason, what we fear also fascinates us.

3. I was fascinated to learn that the largest wildfire in recorded history is known as the ''Great Fire of 1910'' which is also referred to as ''The Big Blow-Up'' or ''The Big Burn.'' If you can imagine this, it was a wildfire that burned about 3 million acres which is approximately the size of Connecticut. In two days it burned land from northeast Washington to northern Idaho to western Montana. It burned over two days and killed 87 people including 78 firefighters and is still believed to be the largest fire recorded in history.

4. Today, all evidence of that fire is gone. There was another fire that started 2,000 years ago that was a different kind of wildfire and it is still burning today and at least in some places around the world, brighter and hotter than ever before. The fire was sparked by the arrival of the Holy Spirit in the church. We are in a series called ''Ignite.'' We are taking a look at the fire that started the early church and asking the question, ''What does a church set on fire by God's Spirit look like? How does it function? How does it act? How do you know the fire is even burning?'' For those answers, we look at a passage today in Acts 2. [Turn to Acts 2]

5. By way of review, remember we are looking at the earliest ...

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