My favorite time of the year in Colorado is when the days and nights are snowy. In the snowy weather, I always build a fire in the living room fireplace. First I place a crumpled newspaper in the hearth for use as tinder, and I add small pieces of kindling to the pile. Next come medium size logs which I position in a tent-shaped fashion. After striking a match and holding it to the newspaper, the resulting small flame touches the wood and soon sets it ablaze.
I snuggle back into the sofa pillows to enjoy the fires warmth. Sometimes I drink a cup of coffee, and read a good book. The burning logs begin to crackle in the hearth, and the warm air wafts fiery sparks up the chimney. The room gets heated, and the windows become foggy from the difference in the inside and outside temperatures.
Sometimes as I sit and gaze at the flickering flames, my thoughts are far away. I often remember the times that I have carried logs down from our wooded hill, and used an axe to chop them so they would fit into the firebox.
As the logs are consumed in the fire, I use the tongs or poker to keep the burning pieces together in one pile, otherwise the fire will separate into many glowing embers. If the burning logs separate, small chunks of wood fall to the side of the hearth. Slowly the flames in those small pieces begin to fade and leave only smoking, blackened wood. The separated pieces soon grow cold, but the original logs, still in their pile, burn brightly and continue to warm the house.
As I observe the fire, I am reminded of the Apostle Paul’s writing to the Hebrews in Chapter 10:23-25 (KJV). “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering . . . And let us
consider one another to provoke unto love and good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting 1 one another; . . .”
As the body of CHRIST, we should understand the necessity of encouraging one another to be strong, and to stay strong in our faith. If we neglect to stay in contact and meet together, it is easy to drift away from the family of GOD. Like the burning wood that separates from the central blaze, and then grows cold, the same thing can happen to us spiritually. If separation occurs, we become an easy target for the enemy of souls. We can despair, become depressed, discouraged, or feel alone.
The Apostle Paul inspires us with his counsel in Colossians 3:12-16: “Therefore, as GOD’S chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves in tender compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience – bearing with one another and forgiving each other, if anyone has a grievance against another. Just as the LORD pardoned you, so also you must pardon others. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfect harmony. Let the shalom 2of MESSIAH rule in your hearts – to this shalom you were called in one body. Also be thankful. Let the word of MESSIAH dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another with all wisdom in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with gratitude in your hearts to GOD.” (TLV) 3
I encourage you to stay joined to the body of Christian believers. Remain in the “heat of the fire” (GOD’S perfect love and goodness), so you can be a warm and heartening influence on the world around you.
1 Strongly encouraging
3 Holy Scripture Tree of Life Version