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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Keep the Home Fires Burning

Leviticus 4:1 thru 6:30

Our readings may seem a little boring right now but they are so rich with purpose and meaning.  There is no way each day we can cover everything in the detail I would love to.  But I do want us to look at this one verse today. 

Leviticus 6:13, Remember, the fire must be kept burning on the altar at all times.   It must never go out.

For a fire to keep burning it has to be tended to faithfully.  This requirement would in turn serve as a special exhortation to the priests to be faithful in their duties so that the worship of the Lord could continue without interruption.

Not to get ahead of ourselves but on Friday we will see that it is the Lord that ignites the fire that will burn on the altar for literally hundreds of years.

Point 1 I want to make today: God lights the fire, but it is up to the priests to maintain it.

Jeremiah said,  And I can’t stop! If I say I’ll never mention the LORD or speak in his name, his word burns in my heart like a fire. It’s like a fire in my bones! Jeremiah 20:9

The passion inside of us for God is like a blazing fire.  He places it there but it is up to us to maintain and cultivate it.

In verse 10-11 God instructed Moses that the priests were to remove the ashes every morning.  These ashes represented what would not ascend in the fire, and were a fitting symbol of the dross and corruption which attaches to all human services.

Point 2: Everything which would prevent the fire from burning was to removed... daily!

In a marriage, there are times the fires burn hot and sometimes not so hot.  A few weeks ago I was in my normal routine of being super mom, super pastor's wife, super homemaker, super everything when the hubs had to tell me to stop.  He said it is our marriage that will be here when the kids are gone, retirement comes, and you no longer want to cook for me. 

I had to step back and put my priorities back in their proper place. No need for any more info on that one, just suffice it to say, we removed anything that would hinder the fire to burn.

It is that way with our relationship with the Lord.  He lights the fire, but WE have to remove all the obstacles that would hinder our quality time with Him... daily.

Point 3: Fires ignite other fires. 

If you have ever seen a massive wild fire you know that what you are seeing is not how it started out.  It began small, then it spread to everything it came in contact with.

Passion is not taught, it is caught.  When we are on fire for the Lord and our passion burns bright, it will spread out to those we come in contact with.  We will not have to tell of the Lord and His greatness, it will be seen!

I want to leave you with this short illustration I read today.

Years ago a fishing fleet went out from a small harbor on the east coast of Newfoundland. In the afternoon there came a large furious storm and when night settled in not a single fishing vessel of the fleet was in the harbor.

All night long the wind blew and thunder blasted. The wives, mothers, and children labored all night in prayer for their loved ones out in the storm. They called on God over and over to save their loved ones. Then to add to the horror of the night one of the houses caught on fire. Since most of the men were on the storm tossed sea it was impossible to save the house from burning to the ground.

To the joy of all who labored in prayer, when morning broke, there was the fleet safe in the harbor. Everyone was home safe. Yet, in the joy filled crowd there was one sad face, it was a picture of despair on the wife of the man whose house had burned to the ground.

Meeting her husband as he came ashore she rejoiced that he was alive but cried out in anguish, “Honey, we are ruined! Our home and all its belongings were destroyed by a fire last night!” But the man looked at her with excitement and exclaimed, “Thank God for the fire!” Then all the men around said the same. The woman looked confused then her husband announced, “It was the light of our burning house that guided the whole fleet into port!”

This house burned metaphorically as a sacrificial offering which saved the lives of all the men on the fleet. If it had not caught fire and burned the fleet and all its men would have been lost.

We must steadily and unfailingly maintain the burning fire that God has ignited in our hearts.

There is a host of humanity that can be saved by it.  We must never let it go out!

1 comment:

Pat Johns said...

What an awesome blog today Tina....loved the illustration of the house on fire and leading the ships to safe harbor.....We don't always understand when seemingly bad things happen in our lives but I am a witness that, God always makes something good come out of bad circumstances....enjoying our daily reading in the chronological Bible....