Friday, December 5, 2014

Start A Soul Fire

It was Thanksgiving Day 2014 around 8 am.  The Family Dollar store was having a big sale on selected holiday items so I wanted to get there early. 

I don’t think I’ve ever shopped on this day, but thought they might have some things I needed for craft gifts I was making.

We were almost through our bargain hunting when an older gentleman began talking to us.  His cart was overflowing with toys. The store sale on those things was buy one get one free or 50% off the second item. Customers filled the aisles scurrying around the store hoping to get the best deals before the selections were gone.
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I Should Have Gotten His Name
“Scott” (I’ll call him that because I forgot to ask his name.  You can’t fault me though, because this happened before last week’s challenge) was a former firefighter, but is still on the Board of Directors in his home town. 
He looked to be about 70ish and was shopping for the children of “Burn-outs,” which is when a family loses everything because of a fire.
As he shared the stories of Christmas tragedies Scott showed us what he had purchased for the kids.  He was extremely proud of the selections and pointed out that they were quality items, with no small parts that the children might choke on during play.
I asked him how many families he had to buy for this year and he said none so far. Then Scott told me why he was purchasing toys anyway.
“I buy the toys ahead of time and store them in big plastic bins in the firehouse.  That way, if a fire happens we are prepared.  What we need is already inside the department, and will be distributed at the right time.”
Later that day I was thinking about our conversation in the store with Scott.  The Lord was showing a connection between the fire and being prepared, but it was a spiritual one, not physical.
Fanning the Flame
What the retired fireman was doing reminded me of what Christ did when He made provision for us through the giving of His Holy Spirit.  At that moment no children were on the list for needing toys, but it could change at any time.  He was gathering what “would be”, not “what was” needed.
Scott told me that the children are always overlooked during a tragedy like this, because everyone is focusing on immediate needs, which is understandable.  He was looking at the “least of these” as Jesus put it.  He saw what others missed. 
Our faith is ignited through God's Word.
When Scott began this program three years ago, he was the only one who participated in gathering toys. Word got out and spread throughout the neighboring communities. 
Two years later it has caught on like “fire” and spread through the southern borders of America.
It was the inner flame of faith in his heart that God and others saw which led to his gaining favor from God and man.
Scott’s actions revealed his heart and the spirit of caring for others is now being carried out by those who have heard his story.  He started a “spiritual fire” that became visible.  By fanning the flame this outpouring of selflessness has been received and duplicated.  Now people bring toys to the fire station without him saying a word.  The firelight of giving and caring started in him; others saw it and the flame now burns brightly making a difference in his community.
Fire Seed
For the next few weeks our family schedule is super tight and stretched beyond what it is normally. Even though that is true, I don’t want to miss my part in doing God’s will along my journey.  It was through study and prayer time that God led me to our focus for the week. 
Our Thanksgiving weekend was really busy with out of town traveling, but the Holy Spirit planted a “fire” seed in us to build on something we have been doing for many years during the Christmas season.
Every year we give out gifts for the children in our community and neighboring areas.  This time God expanded the outreach by fanning the flame in an unfamiliar area.
On Sunday we took one hundred and fifty gift packs for children to a church about an hour from where we live.  These included spiritual items as well as candy and coloring supplies for the kids.  They were excited to receive the items and looked forward to distributing them in the area.
Our part was to fan the flame that God had placed in our hearts so that others would grasp hold of what He had for them through salvation.  My friend was so excited to be a part of this that she called another friend as soon as she got home and challenged her on the concept.  The Holy Spirit fire caught hold of her and she could hardly hold back her joy.
Find the Spark – Pass it on
“It only takes a spark to get a fire going, and soon all those around can warm up to its glowing.” is a phrase from the song “Pass It On” written by Kurt Kaiser that we used to sing when I was a teenager.

I grew up with knowing about the Holy Spirit, but didn’t always understand the fire of the Spirit of God that is available to every believer.  It’s something that has to be kindled and nurtured in order to receive the full benefits of power. 

Scott knows all about sparks setting things aflame, but he used his inner gift from the Lord to ignite something good.
“John answered, saying to all, “I indeed baptize you with water, but One (referring to Jesus) mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirt and fire. (Luke3:16 NKJV)
God has placed the fire of His spirit in us to spread the Light of Jesus. It is there before we need it so that when the time comes we’ll be prepared to distribute what the Lord has placed on our hearts.  The Holy Spirit fire is the power of God that brings His blessings and favor into the situation or circumstance.
Every Christian needs this to be active in their life and what better time to act on what we’ve been given than at Christmas?

This Week’s Challenge:
Start a Spiritual Fire
Our outer journey continues to challenge us by taking us outside our normal way of doing things.  This week it asks, “What can you/your family do in your community this season that will let others know you are a child of the KING?”  Lots!
God is ready to put His favor on the fire inside us, but we have to prepare for it so we don’t get burned from the devil.  As we begin this family challenge our prayer must be directed toward the pouring out of the Holy Spirit in us so that others may follow.

Holy Spirit, You are the Fire, You are the Flame

You are the Light on the darkest day.

We have the hope, we bear Your Name

We carry the news that You have come to save.

Jesus, start a fire in my soul, fan the flame, make it grow!

Begin this challenge by looking into an untapped area that has a need, but others aren’t seeing it. Ask the Lord to direct you to what it may be so that His hand is on the activity that is geared toward the masses, not just an individual.
Romans 6:23
 The gift of God is eternal life.

Our new item of the week is an example of a children’s activity booklet that has a message of salvation and can easily be dispersed anywhere. 
Distributing gift packets for children in another city is what we were to do for our challenge; God may direct you to doing something else.  Whatever it is, the task will involve the message of salvation that reflects the Season of Light which is Christmas.
The Holy Spirit is working on your soul to start a fire.  How long will you hide from His voice?  You only need a spark to start a blaze. Fan that flame and pass it on so others can see you are a believer. 

Jesus, start a fire in my soul, fan the flame and make it grow!

Start A Fire by Unspoken
Until next time, may God favor you with His Holy fire.


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“I have placed My fire within you.”

Jesus Christ


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Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provide by Gateway Bible
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Image:  Family Dollar Toy Sale  Firemen House Fire  Fan the Flame  Blessings Paying it Forward  Pass it on
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