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Sermon Illustrations: Enthusiasm

Adolph Hitler was a lunatic, but he was an enthusiastic lunatic. That's how he could move people. Duane Vanderklok

There are lots of barns in fields at the side of a country road, and you'd probably never even notice most of them. But if one of those old barns caught fire, you might even stop to watch it burn.

In the early gold rush days in Australia in the 1850s, the discovery of gold had a profound effect on the country. It transformed it. People got excited. And in two years the population of Victoria exploded from 77,000 to 540,000.1 The treasure generated enthusiasm and excitement.

Gen 18:1-7 Abraham is out on the back porch watching the cricket on TV. He dozes off for an hour or two, because you can do that watching cricket and not miss anything. And when he wakes up he sees three men. But he's spiritually sensitive, and senses that this is a visitation from God - what theologians call a theophany. He jumps to his feet, runs over to them, invites them to lunch, runs back to Sarah and tells her to make some cakes quickly, runs to the herd. He selects a calf and tells his servant to hurry to get it ready for lunch. At 99 years old (Gen 17:1), where did he get all that energy? He got excited because God turned up at his place. One of the wealthiest men of his time, Abraham had stacks of gold and silver and herds, but what made him enthusiastic was when the Lord turned up.

Tend to the fire because it's in the nature of fire to go out. William Booth