There comes a moment in everyone’s life when a stark reality…one that has been impending for days…suddenly rears its ugly head. You have to give in, you have to respond, and finally, you have to turn on the furnace. No longer can you pretend that late summer is lingering, or Indian summer is still hanging around, or even that we are enjoying a mild fall. Nope, when your feet hit the floor as you slide out from under the warm covers and your whole body yells “SNOWSUIT!!” it’s time to turn the furnace on.
I hate first-time-furnace day. The SMELL, ugh. All dormant furnaces smell the same the first time they are turned on. The long months of rest that they enjoy allow every manner of dust, musty particles, dirt, etc. to collect, and these things burn off within the first few hours of firing up your furnace.
Dormancy, accumulation of dust, and sudden burning. This sounds like what might happen in my brain if I sat down to take the math portion of the SAT right now. Some things really do come into a “use it or lose it” situation.
It can also happen to our faith.
What if we went for months without firing up our faith? Can you really take a break from your relationship with God, corporate worship, acts of service, fellowship with other believers, or scripture reading?
Romans 11 (The Message)
11b-13 Keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.
14-16 Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.
17-19 Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”
20-21 Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.
Gosh, this is so good. Keep yourself aflame. Be alert. Be cheerfully expectant. Bless your enemies, feed them lunch, discover beauty in everyone…the list of ways to stay fueled up is long and incredibly helpful.
I suspect as you read that, the Holy Spirit highlighted something for you in a neon yellow color.
What in particular speaks to you today? Laugh with happy friends? Cry with sad ones? Don’t hit back? Stop being stuck-up? Don’t insist on getting even? Stop judging everyone?
Whatever has hit you this day, take it to heart. God uses scripture all the time to fire up our dormant furnaces. Focus on that one thing and make it your mission. Do it with all of your passion. It may smell funny for a moment, but soon you will be fired up again for God’s work and his people. It’s time to burn off your dormancy and light the fire of Christ in you. Bring on the heat!
Morning Heat by Michelle Robertson