Tag Archives: fire

Lead Me

Today is a sluggish day, Father. I am weary and none to motivated. Help me to focus and accomplish what You would have me to. May I think clearly and act decisively. I give myself over to You. Amen.

In preparing for this past Sunday’s worship service, Lord, you brought to my mind a hymn that I remember from my childhood. It is entitled, God Leads Us Along, and it was written by George A. Young in 1903. Here are the lyrics,

In shady, green pastures so rich and so sweet,
God leads His dear children along.
Where the water’s cool flow bathes the weary one’s feet,

God leads His dear children along.

Refrain:
Some thro’ the waters, some through the flood,
Some thro’ the fire, but all through the blood.
Some thro’ great sorrow, but God gives a song,
In the night season and all the day long.

Sometimes on the mount where the sun shines so bright,
God leads His dear children along.
Sometimes in the valley in darkest of night,
God leads His dear children along.

Though sorrows befall us and Satan oppose,
God leads His dear children along;
Through grace we can conquer, defeat all our foes,
God leads His dear children along.

Away from the mire, and away from the clay,
God leads His dear children along;
Away up in glory, eternity’s day,
God leads His dear children along.

(Here’s a nice arrangement by Travis Cottrell if you’d like to listen just click on the title, God Leads Us Along)

When I looked up those lyrics to put them in PowerPoint for worship a little story was attached.

Around 1942, Haldor Lillenas decided to track down George Young’s widow and find out more about this hymn. He got an address in a small town and, driving there, he stopped at a gas station to ask for directions. When the attendant saw the address, he said, “Why sir, that’s the County Poor House, up the road about three miles. And mister, when I say poor house, I really mean poor house!”

Not knowing what to expect, Lillenas made his way there. He found Mrs. Young, a tiny, elderly woman, in surroundings that were far from congenial. However, she radiated the joy of the Lord, and spoke of how He’d guided her and her husband over many years. Then, she exclaimed, “Dr. Lillenas, God led me here! I’m so glad He did, for you know, about every month someone comes into this place to spend the rest of their days…So many of them don’t know my Jesus. I’m having the time of my life introducing them to Jesus! Dr. Lillenas, isn’t it wonderful how God leads!”

Lord, I am grateful that You lead me. Keep me close by Your side. Amen.

July 13th, Thurs, 11:02 am

Cold World

It is a beautiful morning, Father – another gracious gift, one of an incalculable number of gifts, from Your almighty hand! All praise to my God and Creator! Amen!

Regardless of where we live, north or south, or the season in which we find ourselves, we live in a cold, cold world. So much pain and suffering, so much hate and violence, so much selfishness and greed – we are all chilled to the bone. Sin does that. We, in and of ourselves, can do nothing about it. We are condemned to suffer in a meaningless existence, frozen to the core.

I know it is spring – at least where I live – but all of John’s talk of love has brought this cold to mind.

I don’t recall meeting anyone who did not enjoy a crackling fire. In a fireplace inside or a fire ring outside, there is just something about a fire that draws you in. It is inviting. It is comforting. Regardless of gender, race or age, we like to sit and watch it do its thing, we enjoy basking in its warmth.

Love – real genuine love – does the same thing.

Lord, You are the source of all love, for You are love. 1 John 4:8, 16

“This is real love – not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” v16

“We know how much God loves us, and we put our trust in his love.” v16

“We love each other because he loved us first.” v19

Lord, I may live in a cold, cold world but the fire of Your love within me dispels the cold. Cold has no power of its own – it cannot recreate itself. In actuality cold does not exist, it is merely the absence of heat. May I radiate the heat – the love – that you have placed within me. May I be a comfort to those in need, to the lost, the hurting…and the frozen. May they be drawn to You through me. And may they welcome Your fire in themselves so the cold may be banished in their lives, as well. Amen!

May 16th, Tues, 6:26 am

Not Consumed

Father, as I sit here with You this morning I am watching the fire as it dances about in the stove. It has an alluring beauty but as the minutes tick by the wood once whole and solid is consumed. Yes, it is used up, but in doing so it gives heat to the whole house. We prepare the wood by cutting and splitting and stacking and covering it, when these have been done, the wood is ready to serve. We have invested time and energy in getting it ready but until it is set aflame, it accomplishes nothing. If it is not used, over time outside factors, insects, fungus, and moisture will render it useless.

Lord, each of us was created for a purpose. We have been prepared, by Your hand, to serve as You see fit but, unlike the wood, we can choose to not be used. All that You have invested in us comes to naught.

We fear the fire…but unlike wood, we are not consumed, we are refined. The impurities in our lives are burning away as we are exposed to Your holy fire. It does not destroy us but brings us closer to what we were created to be. The sin of the world is purged and wholeness, found only in You, is restored.

Lord, more often than I care to admit, I can say with the Puritan writer, “I am utterly ashamed that I am what I am in myself; I have no green shoot in me nor fruit, but thorns and thistles…” But I also, as he, can proclaim,

“Help me in all my doings to put down sin and to humble pride.
 Save me from the love of the world and the pride of life,
     from everything that is natural to fallen man,
         and let Christ’s nature be seen in me day by day.”

Amen.

Jan 5th, Thurs, 7:10 am

Reverent Fear

Good morning, Father! I am so grateful for Your hand upon my shoulder throughout the day, yesterday. Your palpable presence was invigorating and such an encouragement! I know You are always with me, but yesterday was just extra special. Thank You!

1 Peter 1:17b (<<click here)

“… live in reverent fear of [the heavenly Father] during your time as foreigners in the land.”

Lord, as I look at this passage this morning the word “fear” sticks out. It brings to mind many possible definitions. It seems that when we see the word fear, our minds automatically home in on being afraid. Even as I ponder the many facets of it, my mind is everywhere.

First of all, Peter writesreverent fear.” My study Bible* notes emphasize its meaning as the “healthy respect…for the all- powerful God.” This is definitely a very important aspect in our relationship with God.

Over the years I’ve heard it illustrated in comparison to a “healthy respect” for fire or electricity. Both of these things can greatly enhance our lives…but we must be cautious. They are both very powerful and if they are interacted with in an improper manner, suffering can take place – even death.

God is all powerful and we must interact with Him with the utmost of respect. But we cannot be afraid of Him to the point of avoiding him or cowering in His presence. He loves us with such intensity that we can’t truly comprehend it. He desires not to harm us but for us to grow in Him and to love Him in return.

I guess the one area that we must guard against most is losing that reverent aspect of our interactions. He is our God. He is our Savior. Scripture tells us he is our friend (John 15:15, James 2:23) and we rejoice in that fact! But I don’t think we should ever consider Him as our “buddy”. That idea seems to knock the reverence right out of it.

Lord, You are many things to us. You love us beyond measure and we love You, too. But we would ask that we would hold You in his best regard. We are blessed and honored that You should call us friend. Amen

Nov 2nd, Wed, 5:51 am

Refined

Father, it seems like everything else but what needs to be passing through my mind keeps crashing in. Help my focus to be on You and Your word. Amen.

1 Peter 1:6-7 (<<click here)

Being a Jewelry Supervisor for several years at Kohl’s has given me a fair amount of experience with gold. One thing I have learned is that there are many women who have allergic reactions if the gold is not pure enough. Just about everyone I have worked with that has this sensitivity is OK with 14kt gold. Kt refers to the gold’s purity. 14kt gold is good, too, because it is blended with other harder metals making it stronger. 24kt gold is the most pure but is too soft by itself to be practical.

I suppose someone could wear a chunk of gold right out of the ground but for it to be most usable it has to be refined. It is placed over intense heat and as it heats up impurities float to the top and are skimmed off. For gold to be most useful it has to be refined.

First of all, Lord, in Your sight I am way more valuable than any amount of gold. But for me to be useful to You I must be refined, as well. No one enjoys trials, myself included, but that is how we are refined. Peter says, “There is wonderful joy ahead” but we must go through trials for trials “will show that our faith is genuine.”

I must be made pure but by myself, I am too soft. I must be blended with You, Lord, for the strength to accomplish what You have for me to do. And in this life that means I must spend time with You daily.

Lord, I know trials are ahead – that’s life. Use them to make me more like You. May their fire bring out the impurities in me. Enable me to continue having the burning desire to be with You, to spend time with You so that I will be strong in You. You know what is best. Amen

Oct 19th, Wed, 7:11 am