18th July 2018

On Fire

“That is why I would remind you to stir up (rekindle the embers of, fan the flame of, and keep burning) the [gracious] gift of God, [the inner fire] that is in you by means of the laying on of my hands.”
2 Timothy 1:6 (AMPC)

As we cleared some rubbish from the house, I burnt a lot of stuff in the garden. Among the rubbish was an old magazine that was past being recycled, which I threw on the fire. After a few minutes all the rubbish had burnt up, but the magazine remained, only having been charred, and so I had to open the pages (safely of course with a long stick!) to let the oxygen in so that the combustible material could burn.

I pondered over the fire and mused that if we leave our Bibles unopened, the fire in our lives cannot be ignited by God’s consuming fire and we will remain in our unimproved state. 1 Peter 1:7 says that our faith is more precious than gold, and is tested by fire, with the aim of praising, honouring and giving glory to Jesus—but how can we do this if we are not ‘on fire’ for Him? When our Bibles are open God can ignite the fire within us by pouring His living hope into us through His Spirit. Jeremiah 23:28-29 (NLT) says “‘…let my true messengers faithfully proclaim my every word…Does not my word burn like fire?’ says the Lord.” The more we read and study His words, the more the heat from our fire will be increased and be passed on, so that others may also know the salvation that God has for all of those who are willing to carry the fire on into the future.

The heat increased and as I continued to burn the rubbish the fire caught faster with each addition. Before I completed the task and the fire died out, I found some sticks a little way from the fire. So I put them on the ashes and after a while some smoke started to appear, then thicker smoke, then small flames, then a fire. The ashes had all their combustible material removed by the fire, but the heat was still there waiting to be passed on. Don’t let your fire die out, but as it urges in 2 Timothy 1:6, the header scripture above, stir it up, fan the flames and rekindle the inner fire of God. Also, like the sticks a little way from the fire, if we want to stay on fire for God and fulfil His purpose in us, for us, and for others, it helps to stay with the main body of the fire and not just fly away or we run the risk of our fire dying out.

Our lives all come to a natural end: ‘ashes to ashes, dust to dust’ as the committal service goes at funerals. But even the oldest among us, though we may feel all our ‘combustible material’ has been exhausted, still has the ability to light the flame of the love of God in others, so that they can carry the fire on.

Prayer
Father in Heaven, please help us to be ‘on fire’ for you so that we pass on the good news of your love and grace. Use us to light the fire in others who see and feel your flame in us.
Amen

Study by Rosemary Gent

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About the Author:
Rosemary Gent attends Nottingham Grace Communion.

Local Congregation:
Nottingham Grace Communion
Lucy Brown Hall
Attenborough Lane
Beeston
NOTTINGHAM
NG9 5HZ

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2pm

Local Congregational Contact:
Ian Woodley

Email: icgwoodley@gmail.com

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