Keeping the Fire going
When I mention fire, what comes to mind? We all know what the word means and that often a picture comes to mind before an actual meaning of the word, but I was curious anyway so I looked it up. Some of Webster’s definitions for fire are the phenomenon of combustion manifested in light, flame, and heat OR one of the four elements of the alchemists OR fuel in a state of combustion AND a destructive burning. So, we can easily see that fire is a destructive force
When we talk about fires, we tend to think of the destruction caused by a house or building fire. Some may even conjure up images of forest fires and the devastation that can be caused by them. But let me ask you this, have you ever started a friendship or even strengthened one with someone while sitting in front of a campfire? Have you ever seen the joy in a child’s eye when the makings of smores are brought out by the fire? What about the sprouting of new plant life within the charred remains of a prairie. Have you ever tasted the wonderful things that can be cooked over a fire?
You see, good things can and do come from the destruction caused by events such as fire. Did you know that God, in His infinite wisdom, created plants such as the shore pine that need the destruction of a fire to spread their seeds so that more trees can grow. What about the power to prosper despite destruction and adversity that God has blessed us with? But there is one of God’s creations that stand out the most as having grown from the ashes of the destruction of hatred, Jesus Christ.
Hatred and fear destroyed the body of Jesus Christ. True grace and unconditional love rose from the grave on the 3rd day so that our sins could be washed away. As we prepare our hearts for communion, remember the suffering that was endured on our behalf by our Lord and Savior.
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, we thank You for this day and the opportunity to come together to give thanks and worship You today. We ask that You grant us the strength and courage to rise up from our distractions or disasters to bring new life and hope to this world just as Jesus did. We thank You for the Sacrifice that You have given on our behalf. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen
Psalm 107:8 8Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
2 Timothy 1:6
English Standard Version (ESV)
6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands,
People who drive by the church every day occasionally read the sign and notice there is a church here and sometimes not much else. But 6 years ago, it was very different. They drove by and long before they got here they were going to notice something. Flames were high in the sky , fire trucks and emergency vehicles and personnel were going to be in attendance. I wanted to put on the sign for that day…. Now that we’ve got your attention…..come inside to see the real fire.
Thinking about fire reminds me of friends of ours who love to camp and love to set beside the fire, it’s the highlight of their day and they look forward to it very much.
I can remember in NY we had a big property that ended just before the creek that help fed the original Erie Canal. We had two fire pits on the property, one at the furthest point from the house and the other right smack in the center of the yard. Laura and her friends were by the fire one night and a guy who was a pretty smart guy was explaining the art of fire building. One of the girls around the fire was also extremely bright and she let him explain the process. After he was done, she pointed out how wrong he was and using science to explain the principles heat transference and thermodynamics basically left him speechless. All anyone wanted to do was keep the fire burning. By the way the young lady in question received a full scholarship to NYU.
One thing we know when building a fire you have to keep it burning.
I want to talk about our church today, the real church. The church that not everybody sees unless there are circumstances requiring a closer look.
Most people see what their church is from a Sunday morning point of view. Friends of our family, when they found out what I was going to be doing said “ well, isn’t Ron going to be bored?” What’s he going to do the other 6 days of the week?
Since we burned down the house next door down it seemed like a perfect way to talk about our church. And Lord willing we will not have another fire like accidentally ever again So let’s go:
1. Sometimes we can start a camp fire quickly but it doesn’t last. The flames die down and we have to work really hard to rekindle the fire.
a. Most of the time when this happens…. it’s because we used things that weren’t very sustainable. Paper, dried grass. Starts a quick fire but there’s nothing to attach to.
b. We can be like that if we are not careful. Our faith is not being sustained it’s a head knowledge and not a heart knowledge, not a true knowledge so all who come to the fire are likely to die out as well.
c. There are three types of people who try and change the world
i. Head knowledge and heart knowledge and hand knowledge
Head knowledge people hear the word of God and agree with it and can obey it as much as humanly possible. Heart knowledge people hear the word and are sold on it instantly to the extent that it goes beyond mere words and sinks into their very soul and changes them.
It is heart knowledge people who ifuse the passion into the world because their passion is so great they have no choice. That passion gives those with head knowledge the idea of how to do it and those with hand knowledge the ability to get it done. But there is a head and hand knowledge that is quite different wen it comes to the saving grace of Jesus Christ
Romans 10:9,10 If you declare with your mouth “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
2. We have to start the fire with some solid wood that will provide a longer lasting flame.
According to die hard campers there’s not a thing that can’t be burned, sofa’s etc. This is where I believe the purpose has to be pure. We gotta do this for the right reason. Not to make us look good but to draw someone closer to God. Matthew 23:11-12 says that the greatest among you will be your servant. Those who exalt themselves will be humbled and those who humble themselves will be exalted. Our foundation is strong because instead of curling up we are still extending our faith to God and in our community in every possible way we can.
3. The Fire is hottest at the bottom (A solid foundation) Some only see the flames shooting out, but that’s not where the real heat is (Visitation program)