Friday, September 28, 2012
"You Will Keep the Fires Burning . . ."
Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, "I will go over and see this strange sight - why the bush does not burn up."
In her Sunday sermon, Pastor Emily throws down the gauntlet.
"What is God calling you to do? What passion is He asking you to follow with all your heart, your mind, your strength? Are you turning to look at God's burning bush? Or, are you turning away?"
Emily recounts a time in her early twenties, fresh from college, when she and two of her close friends attend a small Methodist church in their community. It belongs to a co-op of sorts with four other tiny churches. Once a month, all the congregations gather in one place for worship, praise, and fellowship.
At one of these gatherings, Emily's pastor delivers a sermon about reaching out to young people for Christ. The message hits her like a bolt of lightning. She has an idea . . .
"Pastor Frank," she tells him at the dinner following the service, "I have a fantastic idea! Why don't we combine the youth from the five churches and start a youth group?"
Pastor Frank is thoughtful for a moment. "That sounds good to me. When are you going to start it up?"
"Who, me? Oh, no, no, no, not me! You have the wrong person. I know there's someone better out there to do the job."
Pastor Frank smiles at Emily. "I don't think you understand, my dear. When are you going to do this?"
Even though she doubts she has the time or the ability to lead a youth group, Emily accepts this challenge. It makes all the difference in her life and in the lives of the young people she mentors.
"What I discover is this," Emily tells us. "God can take the passion you didn't even know you had, and your pastors, your friends, your family can throw the gasoline of encouragement on your burning bush. Don't think you have the time? Don't think you have the capability? Think again!
"If you're following the passion God has for you, He will give you the flame and the materials to accomplish it. He'll give you what you need to stoke the fire. You can be that burning bush setting the world ablaze with God's love.
"Are you, like Moses, willing to accept God's mission for you? Or, are you looking the other way?
"If you follow the passion God has for you, you will burn brightly. God will keep your fire burning. And, you will never be consumed."
Are you "on fire" for the Lord?
Will you pray with me?
We know, Father, that You will keep our fires burning when we follow Your call to us. May we accept Your challenges with passion. May we set the world aflame with Your great love. Amen.
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