Monday, December 10, 2012

Keep the Fire Burning

One Year Bible
New Testament passage for Monday, December 10, 2012: Revelation 2:1-17

and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Revelation 2:3-4 (NKJV)

John Maxwell tells the story of a auto junk yard he once saw.  It was, of course, full of the battered, rusted out remains of hundreds of once-beautiful cars who were now junk.  He said that there was a sign posted near the entrance that said IT'S THE GRIND THAT GETS 'EM.

Each one of those cars had at one time rolled off the showroom floor bright and shiny.  It was beautiful.  But, over time they simply wore out.  No doubt some had gone through bang-ups, accidents, or mishaps that totalled them out.  But most just simply wore down from the daily grind.  IT'S THE GRIND THAT GETS 'EM.

There is a grind that can pull down each one of us if we let it.  This can happen in any relationship or situation.  As we endure and persevere through difficulties and challenges, we can lose the enthusiasm we once had.  It can happen in a marriage.  It can happen in a job.  It can happen in your relationship with God. 

Love or passion is like a fire.  In the midst of a jaded, half-hearted world, each of us should live a passionate, vibrant, full-throttle life in Jesus.  Paul reminded Timothy to "kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you." (II Timothy 1:6)  In the Old Testament, the priests were instructed to always keep the fire burning on the altar.  This was their job to make sure that fire NEVER WENT OUT (Leviticus 6:12-13). 

That's the way God designed life to be lived -- ablaze with a love for God and others.  But, fire, by its nature, will always tend to go out.  It must be maintained and stoked regularly.

So, how is your fire burning.  Is it a faintly burning wick (Is. 42:3) or is it a campfire with red-hot coals?  Maybe it's time to go get some kindling and build your fire up again.  Perhaps the grind has worn you down so that your vibrant faith has settled into a rut.  DON'T LET THE GRIND OF LIFE PUT YOU IN THE JUNK YARD!

Just like the call to the church of Ephesus, Jesus calls us to return -- to remember -- to do the first works again.  Break through whatever stands between you and passionate love for Jesus!  He is your first love.

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