Feed the Fire
Bible Reading: 2 Timothy 1:3-6
Fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you. 2 Timothy 1:6
“SELECT A SPOT on gravel, sand, or bare soil well away from trees, bushes, dry grasses, and anything else that might burn… Clean the fire site down to bare soil, then remove all burnable material from the ground around it.…
“You’ll need tinder, kindling, and fuelwood. Tinder catches fire easily and burns fast. Wood shavings, pine needles, dry grasses, shredded bark, and the fluff from some seed pods all make good tinder…. Dry, dead twigs no thicker than a pencil are called kindling. Find enough to fill your hat twice. Fuelwood can be as thin as your finger or as thick as your arm. Use dead, dry sticks you find on the ground. . . .
“Gather all the fuel before you light the fire. . . . Place a big, loose handful of tinder in the middle of your fire ring. Lean plenty of small kindling around it. Let the tops of the kindling sticks touch like the poles of a teepee. Arrange larger sticks of fuel around the kindling. Leave an opening in the teepee on the side against which the wind is blowing. This ‘door’ will let air reach the middle of the fire.
“To light the fire, crouch in front of this door and strike a match. When the match is burning brightly, ease it under the tinder. The flame should spread through the tinder and crackle up into the kindling.” (These instructions on building a fire can be found in The Boy Scout Handbook, 10th ed., 1990, pp. 83-85.)
That’s quite a list of instructions for building a simple campfire, isn’t it? But you know what? In building a fire, those first steps are important. If you try to start a fire with a log as big as your arm, you’ll probably be disappointed. But if you start the way The Boy Scout Handbook teaches, then you’ll soon be adding larger and larger pieces of wood to your fire.
It’s the same with choosing right instead of wrong. The first steps are important. And the “tinder” and “kindling” for making right choices are prayer and Bible reading. If you try to make right choices without spending time with God in prayer and Bible reading, your efforts probably won’t “catch.” But if you take time every day to speak to God (through prayer) and let God speak to you (through Bible reading), you will be feeding your soul like you would a fire. Then your life will produce right choices—like a fire produces flames!
REFLECT: Do you think you can produce right choices without building your relationship with God through prayer and Bible reading? If so, how? If not, why not? Are you ready to begin a daily habit of prayer and Bible reading? If so, what time of the day will you set aside for prayer and Bible reading? Where will you do it? (Choose a quiet, private place where you won’t be distracted or interrupted.)
PRAY: “Righteous God, help me to feed my soul like a woodsman feeds a fire so that with your help I can make right choices and make you happy in everything I do.”