|Volume 19 Number 6 June 2017||
A member of a certain church, who had previously been attending services regularly and being really faithful with the work, stopped. No one knew why he gave up on God, but it was sure that he did. After a couple of weeks, an elderly Christian gentleman who knew this man went for a visit.
It was quite a chilly evening, and the gentleman found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire. Guessing the gentleman’s reason for the visit, the man welcomed him in and led him to a comfortable seat next to the fire so the man could warm himself after being in the cold. The man then took his seat and waited for the elderly gentleman to say something, but not a word was uttered. The gentleman made himself at home and comfortable beside the fire, but he said nothing for what seemed like a very long time to the man. In the grave silence, he contemplated the dance of the flames around the burning logs and the beauty of the fire. After several moments more, the elderly gentleman took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a white hot burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth all alone, and then, he sat back in his chair, silent. As the one lone ember’s flame flickered and diminished, there was a momentary glow, but then the ember which burned with fire was now nothing but a cold, dead and black coal.
Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting, and it had been quite some time. The elderly gentleman looked at his watch and realized it was time for him to leave. He slowly stood, picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back into the fire. It began immediately to glow once more with the light and warmth of the burning coals around it. As the gentleman reached for the door to leave his host, with a tear running down his cheek, he said, “Thank you so much for your visit. I have learned much from your fiery sermon. I will be back in services on Sunday, and I will dedicate myself to my God once more.”
We live in a world today where there is so much said audibly, but often there is so little meat to the words we use. We speak of all sorts of things without importance and eternal weight. Sometimes, the best messages we can send to someone are the ones left unspoken. When our embers die down, we need to place them back into the fire; put some more wood on the fire to burn! “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). As Christians, we work so that our “lights so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Let us always be faithful to our Father.
The Steadfast Love of the Lord!
Mark N. Posey
In Exodus 34:6-7, there are six terms that describe our God and that can be classified under the English word “love.” 1. Merciful. This word depicts a mother’s compassion for her child that she has carried in her womb. Her love is manifested in action. 2. Gracious. God’s love is not only like a mother’s acts of love toward her children, but it is also a close relationship. She has a unique bond with her children like no other. She longs for closeness, like God longs for us to be in fellowship with Him. 3. Slow to anger. God’s anger is slow in coming. He is longsuffering toward us. He wants us to repent, grow in spiritual knowledge and be saved. One day, His longsuffering will end, and these precious opportunities will be no more. Therefore, we must seek Him today! 4. Steadfast love. God’s love for His people is inexhaustible. He is the God that loves forever. 5. Faithfulness. Change is all around us, but God never changes. Constant change often causes instability and doubt. However, God is faithful and true. 6. Forgiving. One area of God’s faithfulness on which we can always count is His forgiveness. To those that come to Him in total, faithful and dedicated obedience, He lifts up and pushes aside their sins. He forgives. Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, said, “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness”(Lamentations 3:22-23).