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Monday, March 24, 2014

Fire, Burn Bright!

What do you love about a fire in the backyard pit or stove?

I love the cozy feeling.
The warmth.
It presses back the darkness.
It gives light to what would otherwise remain hidden--like scary things in the woods.
And it draws me like a magnet.

Let the lights go out in a classroom or group gathering and the one person holding a flashlight or candle suddenly becomes everyone's friend. We want the light. In the night when I wake up and hurry to the bathroom, or into the kitchen for a snack, my hands search for that light switch. I need the light! I want it.

Similarly, a fire draws me. When we have a fire in our backyard pit, I want to hold my hands out to it and feel the warmth on my skin. Even if it isn't a cold day, I sit close.

Just like I'm drawn to a physical fire, I'm attracted to the idea of God's fire burning deep within. When I see someone who's filled with the presence of the Lord, radically different, there's a glow on his or her face, an unquenchable fire, a light spilling all over everyone in the room. I love that! Light and fire. Fill us, Lord! Set us on fire. Set me on fire! A consuming fire of love, a heart filled to overflowing with passion and dedication to the things that matter to the heart of God.

"Darkness to light; resplendent with light; wraps himself in light; light for my path; a great light; light of the world; shine in our hearts; wonderful light; God is light."

One time we were driving a long distance at night through a world of darkness. Suddenly a city came into view, sparkling like a Christmas tree with radiant lights.

It was our "city on a hill" moment. A light shines far in the darkness, but oh, how much brighter a city of lights shines.

Or a fire in the distance.

We live in the country, and a logging company had been removing trees on the property next to us for a while. One night when we came home, the upper hillside was on fire! It burned hot, then smoldered for a month. But, oh, the glow in the sky, that was at first fearsome, began to shine like a beacon in the night, drawing us home.

Are we on fire for the Lord? Do our hearts burn within us, crying out "More of You, Lord! Change me and fill me with Your fire!"?

"A pillar of fire; my word like fire; tongues of fire; revealed with fire; God is a consuming fire; do not put out the Spirit's fire."

May we be a true city on a hill, on fire for God, burning for all to see. Then our marriages, families, churches, and neighborhoods will experience the great light of Jesus. An irresistible magnet, a glowing bush in the dark, shining into every dark corner of the world. A city on fire because all the hearts are on fire.

Let it begin in us.
Fire, burn bright!!

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