Tag Archives: fire

The risk of dying before you’re dead

Perhaps it’s an advantage or a disadvantage to the privilege of traveling to multiple churches where I’ve seen both the dead and alive, and those in between. The live revive and the dead remind that I am just a rock’s throw away from being among’em as I witness those in between.
It doesn’t seem like much, but an “Amen!” goes a 4long way to a dry and dusty soul, and no doubt for the preacher in need of encouragement.

So, the question is, “How do you know you’re dying?”

Hebrews 4:1-2 – Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left of us entering into rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto u was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, being mixed with faith in them that heard it.

No fear

Possibly the first sign of spiritually dying is that you’re not concerned that it’s possible. I fear it. I’ve seen enough lifeless churches to last me a life time. Revelation 3:15 warns the people of God when He says, “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”
I see the warning signs in the lives of others that make me fearfully aware.

• Church is a service on Sunday morning only. They’ve forgotten that they “are” the church.
• Church attendance is optional if something “better” comes along.
• Amen is said at the end of a prayer, or when prompted; seldom if ever spontaneously and obediently brought on by the Spirit of God.
• The altar is for fanatics, or those who “need” it.
• Bible study is on Wednesday only, and the preacher is the only one who needs to study so he can say what needs to be known.

If you’re on the list, be fearful, because you’re possibly dead.

No faith

James 2:17 – “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.”
Faith in God is the premise for Salvation. Believing that faith in Christ alone, without works is the only thing necessary for salvation. But getting saved isn’t the finish work of the child of God. There needs to be evidence that that faith is alive and well! Else, as James said. It’s dead.
Dr. Myron Guiler preached last night at Gospel Light Baptist Church in Wallkertown, NC. Dr. Guiler is well into his 80’s. He’s been near death multiple times in his life, and yet he continues on. He continues on not because he’s a preacher and pastor, but because God’s not done with him yet. He was visibly tired last night, as he’s preached every night this week and traveled many miles between churches. His message was pure, simple and yet so profoundly un-evidentiary in the lives of so many.

• To lead a soul to Christ you must know people need saved and know how to lead them to salvation, you must have compassion for the lost, and you must get involved in their life.
If those are not qualities in your walk with Christ, you are dead.

No fire

For me, this is possibly the most telling of all. I get that people can’t be on the mountain top every day of their lives. Things happen, discouragement abounds. But if I’ve met you on more than one occasion the evidence of salvation should be in your life and you should have omitted a few sparks for Jesus.

As I write this morning in the lobby of the hotel, the hotel desk clerk has questions of about who I am. I tell him about my blog and he checks it out. He comes back excited… he’s on fire. He’s funny. He makes me laugh and our souls connect in Christ. He’s not a Baptist. I’m not a Pentecostal. It’s cool. We serve the same Jesus.

If the very fact that I said I was cool with a Pentecostal gave you more concern than excitement about the fact that we were talking about Jesus in the lobby of a hotel. You might be dead.
Check your blood pressure. Because it’s only about the blood. Not about the denomination.

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This blog is in it’s 8th year. Hosted on godaddy.com for the past five. Expenses incurred for the operation of this site are without complaint and with gratitude for the opportunity. If the Lord would impress you to give to help cover some recent technology issues, I’d be grateful. I’ve not been in the world’s workforce for 3 years and for that I glorify God. It’s given me the opportunity to not only write and work on music, but minister to nursing home patients, volunteer in the Christian School teaching art and help other ministries with marketing. All of which require technology, communication, time and gasoline. Again it’s without complainT… but just in case you have a desire to help, or have “extra money” 🙂 Know that I would be eternally grateful.

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Lame Sacrifices and Wet Wood on the Altar

I fear… I wrote those words with the intentions of writing what I feared to follow. But I just had to stop there and ask myself, “Do you really fear? Do you have that godly reverence in your soul that was there 20 years ago when you were first saved and realized what God had saved you from? Do you remember those trips to the altar when you were sobbing because the Spirit of the Lord was upon you so heavy? Then you had fear… now you have guilt.” That was a conversation in my head at 3:30 this morning.

David had just gotten called out on a traffic accident and the continuous squawking of the radio kept me awake. I scrolled through Facebook, watched a few videos, enjoyed the warmth of the covers, and then finally my mind returned to the original thought. “Why is the altar empty?”

For my friend Gloria and me, many of our miles lately have been traveled with a conversation about the empty altars in the church. Where the altar used to be lined with praying souls, it is now a handful of broken saints and an occasional child who finds themselves knelt down at the altar. “Why?” I asked myself again. So I ask google. Not even google had an answer for me. So I went to He Who has the answers and this was what read.

Malachi 1:6-10

A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the Lord of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?

You’re probably saying what I said. “But God, I love you!” To which He replies:

Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the Lord is contemptible.And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the Lord of hosts.

Israel wasn’t bringing their best to the altar. They were bringing their leftovers to the altar. And so am I if I’m honest. Going to the altar has become somewhat ritualistic for me. I go because I know I need to go, and will continue doing so; but I’m not giving my best while I’m there. I give God a halfhearted “help me please…” and then get up unchanged. My heart is not prepared, I’ve brought a lame sacrifice and wet wood. So what will it take to set the altar of God on fire in our church?

And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: this hath been by your means: will he regard your persons? saith the Lord of hosts. 10 Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand.

God honestly doesn’t care who we are. He wants to know how serious we are. He wants the doors shut and the fire stoked when we approach Him with request. In my mind I read that as the world being shut out, and the fire within my soul blazing with passion when I make my plea. My focus needs to be on the perfect sacrifice that Christ made on the cross. My sacrifice will always be lame. His was perfect.

I have a tendency to look at an empty altar and get discouraged because the rest of the church is in their seats. That ought not to be…

This morning I want to focus on what I bring to the altar. What will I bring and how will I bring it? I’m believing if I go with passion in my soul that fire will fall from heaven and ignite my wet timbers.

Bring down the fire! Let’s go to church!!!

Fighting Fire with Fire: Resentment gone wrong

The human spirit is so deceptive. Someone hurts you and the first thing that enters into your mind is “One of these days….vengeance will be sweet.” But it’s not long after vengeance has occurred that you realize you still feel as bad as you did prior to it happening; it resolved nothing. If you’re a child of God, you’ve been rewired. That deceptive human spirit, although it’s still in there, now has a God nature to contend with, and God’s way of handling things has nothing to do with your enemy getting his or her “come uppin’s.” God’s ways are to quench the anger with water of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 12:20

Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

This thought came to my mind as our new Pastor candidate delivered his sermon yesterday morning. A passing thought in the sermon that he didn’t dwell on, but I couldn’t keep my mind off of) was “We want to fight fire with fire, but most fires are put out with water.” Fire is a destructive source. Brush fires scorch acres and acres of property in our community each year leaving nothing behind but blackened trees and ground; but oddly enough what you think would be destroyed beyond hope, grows again with time.

As far as humans are concerned time doesn’t always heal all wounds. Anger and resentment are fire to the soul and spread as quickly as any wild fire. Retaliation in response to someone who hurt us is mostly like gasoline on a flame, it bursts up quickly and gives the appearance of success, but just as quickly burns away to a slow consuming fire. If a fire keeps burning, two things happen, you either have to add more wood, or the wood is consumed. If you want to keep anger in your soul, you’ll either have to stoke that fire, or let it go out on its own, but it’s a whole lot less destructive if you pour water on it in the beginning.

Are you harboring anger or resentment today? Undealt with anger will destroy you from within. But Praise God! The very thing the enemy would use to destroy you also has a built in extinguisher.

Jesus said in John 7:38

He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

Isn’t it amazing how our Lord works!

I’m not casting a single stone here this morning, I’ve stoked that flame in my own heart on several occasions, it actually felt gratifying for a minute, but it always ends the same. More heartache.

Let it go…

 

Encouragement from the Field

bible

Good friend and Fire Chief of Grantsville, WV Volunteer Fire Department, Craig Gherke,  had this to say on a recent Facebook Post following a tragic fire that took the lives of the three members of the the small West Virginia Community:

As a good friend asked me about a bible on the scene of the fire on Leading Creek, I have thought a lot about it. The bible was in a section of the house that was completely burnt up, but it wasn’t. The only thing that was burnt was the cover. Matthew 24:35 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away”. I Think it was God saying the Earthly bodies are gone but through Him their Heavenly bodies will live on. I also think the cover being gone represents that it doesn’t matter what the outside (or cover) is like, its whats on the inside that matters.

What many people don’t understand about small town Volunteer Fire Departments (speaking as the wife to the Assistant Chief) is that just because they’re volunteers doesn’t mean their job is any less than that of a paid fire fighter; nor is the tragedy and the angst any less. Everyone loves the firefighter who rescues the victim and is quick to give kudos and deservedly so. But at the end of a fire where there were lives loss is a fire fighter who is still very much a hero… he (or she) did all they could do, and the battle wasn’t their’s to win, and often times continues to rage on in their lives having to deal with the fact that they couldn’t save them all, which is their ultimate goal.

As Christians that’s our goal too! We want to see every soul go to Heaven, but the reality is, we can only see those saved who are willing to accept the help. The victims of a fire would have gladly accepted help if it had made it in time, but it wasn’t a part of God’s plan for what ever reason. And they’re now in eternity.

Hell’s fire is every bit as real as the fire my husband and his friends fought last week. The difference is, we’re alive today to make the choice, of going into the flame, or accepting the salvation that is afforded in Christ Jesus.

My friend Craig is spot on when he says that it doesn’t matter what is on the outside! Friend, is Christ living in you? Have you ask Christ to save you from Hell? If you ask, He’ll save you today.  For more information follow this link! http://thejesuschick.com/the-road-to-salvation/