Article by C.S. Depew
You see it all the time. New Christians excited, full of vigor and the Holy Spirit, walking around with a grin from ear to ear. It is to be expected, after all they are new members in the best club in the world.
And just as often, you see the rest of us. “I’m happy for them, I truly am, but I’ve been a member of this club for a long time. I’m an elder in this club, respected, I’m the one people come to for advice or help. I’m certainly not going to walk around like some half silly nut with a grin all the time. I mean, when you’ve been around here as long as I have, you have an image to think about.” And my, how we live up to the image. If we are not careful we can turn the burning flame of a fellow-Christian into an ember.
How can we change that? How can we ignite a fire in ourselves and everyone around us… by faith. I’m not talking about the kind of faith that comes from 200-plus years of living in the greatest country in the free world without religious persecution. I mean the kind of faith it takes to follow God’s will no matter what. A faith like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer to thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning, fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” (Daniel 3:16-18 KJV)
Did you catch it? There are three words in those verses that show us what faith is. They are worth repeating, “But if not…” These three men faced being thrown into a fiery furnace and burned alive. They didn’t know if God would save them. They only knew that He could save them. They refused to compromise their faith and left everything else to God.
Fortunately, we do not face such drastic circumstances. Our faith is tested 542 times a day in little ways. So how do we face these tests everyday? The same way we faced tests in school: pray and put your thinking cap on. Do not be so quick to judge. The person that cut you off in traffic may have a sick child in the back seat. The waitress that gave you poor service may have just lost someone. And most of all, read the “instruction manual.” We have been so blessed from birth that we often do not take one moment and think, “But by the grace of God I am what I am.” (1 Corinthians 15:10a KJV)
Let’s think before we act… and react. Let’s thank God for what we have. Let’s work together to show
everyone we meet the same grace God has shown us and shatter that image we have been given.
Remember, the difference between a pile of wood and a bonfire is only one match.
“The difference between a pile of wood and a bonfire is only one match.”
“They refused to compromise their faith & left everything else up to God.”