Tuesday, April 26, 2016
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The driver pulled up and dumped it in my driveway, but I was very happy to see it. It was my cord of wood; a winter of warm fires in our fireplace! See, we had ordered it during a special sale, which others apparently took advantage of big time. The driver told me some people had ordered five cords of wood. When I asked why, he said, "It's for their wood stoves. They're depending on it to keep their house warm this winter!" Well, no wonder they ordered a lot of wood for the winter. And when they run out of fuel, they run out of fire. When they run out of fire, it gets very cold.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "How to Keep Your Fire Burning."
For somebody listening right now it's winter spiritually – maybe for you. What used to be a warm and passionate relationship with Jesus has turned cold, mechanical, and practiced. Your fire for the Lord and for His work is burning pretty low, or maybe there are just the embers of a fire that once blazed high. The problem isn't the fire; the problem is a shortage of fuel.
See, spiritual fire is like those fires in people's stoves or fireplaces: you've got to keep throwing another log on the fire. You can't just get it burning high and then expect it to stay that way indefinitely. Jesus obviously knew what to do to keep the fire going. He knew where the fuel was.
He demonstrates that in our word for today from the Word of God, beginning in Luke 4:40. "When the sun was setting, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying His hands on each one, He healed them...He rebuked demons and would not allow them to speak. At daybreak Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for Him and when they came to where He was, they tried to keep Him from leaving them. But He said, 'I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.' And He kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea."
Now after a very full day and a very late night, Jesus gets up early to go to the spiritual woodpile – time with His Heavenly Father. He went for that spiritual fuel regularly. In Luke 6:12, we are told that "Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God." At another point, Luke tells us "Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed." Notice in Luke 6 that Jesus comes back from His Father-time refueled for His work and refocused on what His work is supposed to be.
Now if the fire is burning low in your heart right now, it could very well be that you aren't spending the heart-to-heart time with God that you once did. That's where you find the logs to rekindle your fire because the flame of serving Christ has to be a deep love relationship with Him. It isn't all about Bible study, or church or theology or ministry or living the Christian life. It's all about Jesus! And the pressure and the stress of each crazy day make it so easy to forget that it's all about Jesus, it's all from Jesus, it's all for Jesus.
It could be that your time with Him has gotten more and more abbreviated, postponed or even canceled. You've got to get back to what fueled your fire in the first place – belonging to Jesus, being with Jesus, loving Jesus. Without that regular time, that sweet relationship is replaced with a stressful rat race.
When Jesus had Father-time, He came away knowing He couldn't just stay with the people who had already experienced Him. He had to move on to the unreached. So do you and I. Making your Father-time the anchor of your daily schedule will not only fuel your fire for the Lord, but for the lost people He died to rescue. And you'll feel again the excitement of joining Him in His eternal rescue mission.
Those who depend on a fire make sure that they have plenty of fuel and that they add logs to their fire regularly. For us to live as we were created to live, we need a blazing spiritual fire in our heart. So make sure your fuel supply is strong and consistent. Christian living and Christian service are all about Jesus! Staying in heart-to-heart contact with Him will give you all the logs you need for a fire that never goes out!