Fahrenheit 451

A universal fact is that everyone enjoys a good fire. There is just something captivating about watching the flames pop and crackle as the wood burns up. Fire has so many purposes in our life. It provides warmth, it provides power, and it provides light. Not everyone knows personally what it feels like to sit in front of a warm fire place, but we all can imagine how nice it feels.

It was said of John the Baptist that he was a “burning and a shining light” John 3:35. Jesus commanded in Matthew 5:14 “Ye are the light of the world.” As a Christian, we are supposed to be a fire! This can be difficult, especially when in winter. The cold battles against our will to warm. It saps us of energy, and slows down every part of our life. Yes, Christians are supposed to be a “burning” light, but oftentimes our flames diminish as we live in this world. Depression sets in, or burdens financial or emotional beset us. Do not be discouraged Christian! We are meant to be a light, and God has provided every need to keep that fire going. A fire requires 3 parts: Heat, Fuel, Oxygen. To keep our fire burning to be a light in this world, we need to make sure we have all 3 of these ingredients in our spiritual lives.

1. Heat!

You know what every good fire needs? FIRE. The average piece of paper takes about 451 degrees (Fahrenheit) of heat to combust. The average butane lighter has about 4,074 degrees
of heat available. Simple, right? The reason we made the butane lighter though is because we
cannot make that extreme heat on our own to light a fire. It is extremely difficult to make a
fire from scratch. This is why even survivalists invest in expensive water proof matches to
start a fire in case of an emergency.

Your spiritual fire is no different. The light we are supposed to burn bright requires a heat you cannot produce on your own. Thankfully, God has provided the necessary tools for us to burn bright:

Hebrews 12:29 For our God is a consuming fire.
Jeremiah 23:29 Is not my word like as a fire? Saith the Lord;

A relationship with God is paramount to keeping your fire hot. He is the source of heat we need. Remember that it was Jesus who said of himself, “I am the light of the world” John 8:12. We can have this relationship not only through regular prayer, but through a regular schedule of reading the Bible. Encased in your leather bound Bible are the words God specifically wanted us to have. This is the heat our fire needs.

2. Fuel

Even the largest fire will go out if it has no fuel. As a Christian, you need to continually throw fuel on your fire to keep it going. Remember that what you put into your fire is very important. The quality of your fuel will determine how long that fire will burn. If you throw pine onto your fire, it will burn quickly. It may seem to burn hotter, but that heat fades away quickly compared to the slow burning hard wood that brings lasting warmth. The fuel of your fire Christian are the works you do for God. That sounds opposite of what you would think, but the nature of fire is that as you put more wood on the fire the fire burns more. The importance though is the quality of the fuel. Focus on the works you can do for God and others.

We see this truth in scripture. Jesus said we should be a light in Matthew 5, and tells those listening in verse 16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works,
and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” There are two times in the scripture Paul admonishes the churches to ”not be weary in well doing” Galatians 6:9. How can we not be
weary? Remember the results we gain from our labour: Galatians 6:10 “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” Paul repeats this advice in 2 Thessalonians 3:13, and follows it up in verse 14 “And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man.” Paul was teaching on work, and encouraged those who were working to continue working. Keep throwing wood on the fire! When you get tired, remember that the hard wood that’s hard earned will burn longer.

3. Oxygen

One of the common ways to put out a fire is to smother it. Putting a lid or a cover on a candle
or fire will quench the oxygen the fire needs to burn, and no matter how much fuel is available the fire will go out without oxygen. Many times when a Christian is feeling “burned out”, the issue is not that there isn’t fuel on the fire. People who work the most are often the ones who feel this way! The issue is the Christian has no oxygen in their daily life to keep burning.

For the Christian, the breathe of life that fans our fires higher is the Holy Spirit of God. Paul tells the Christians in Rome in Romans 8:6 “to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” Without this Holy Spirit of life filling our hearts (and our fires) as the needed ingredient of our life we will be without life and power. This is also why Paul warns the church of Thessalonica “Quench not the Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 5:19. These three ingredients if put into our life in the proper order will allow us to be a burning and a shining light for Jesus.

Pastor Jesse McCammon
Calvary Baptist Church | Flora, IL
Calvary Baptist

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