Have you ever just sat around a fire? It is incredibly therapeutic. A fire seems to bring out wonderful moments of reflection and conversation. Fires are beneficial in many ways with the heat, light, and mood it produces.
God’s word is compared to a fire in Jeremiah 23:39. Like a fire it enlightens and penetrates. I believe that the gospel is also a fire, and the church needs to be on fire to spread it properly. I also believe that the church that is on fire for the Lord shines brightly in many ways and glorifies Him (cf. Matthew 5:16; Ephesians 3:21).
How I wish more brethren would take advantage of the times we burn brightly for the Lord in work and worship. Have you ever been sitting around a fire that was beginning to dwindle, took a stick and stoked the coals, and the fire would burn brightly again? It is amazing that just moving the burning coals around a little makes such a big difference in the fire.
There’s a lesson for all of us in this. It is important to keep moving about serving, working, fellowshipping, and encouraging one another in the church. Doing this breathes needed oxygen into the church and helps the gospel fire to burn in our hearts and lives. The more of us “burning coals” who move around, the brighter we will burn together for the Lord!
So, stoke the fire – stoke the folk! “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together” (Hebrews 10:24-25). Note also the potential effect pointed out by Paul in the Second Corinthians letter: “…and your zeal has stirred up the majority” (2 Corinthians 9:2).
BULLETIN DIGEST, Edd Sterchi, Campbellsville, KY
Gary L. Hutchens