Written by His Grace,

Kevin K. OíConnor 

June 17, 2004

 

Main thought: to explore the urgent need we all have to fan the flames of our relationship with Christ

Fan the Flames!

 

2 Timothy 1 6For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.

 

Do you ever wonder why people do certain things, like joining the Army? Are they joining for the thrill of being called a soldier or are they joining because of their heartís desire to be a soldier. Are they enlisting to please others or are they enlisting to be true to themselves?

 

It seems that there are always a bountiful supply of people who are doing a lot of things just for the appearance of doing so, or to appear to be something that they are not to please others. Kind of like many who go to church because of the appearance of doing so or because it will impress someone that they are interested in.

 

I donít know about you but if I felt the call to fight for my country and our freedoms, I donít want to fight along somebody who had only joined for the appearance of doing so or to please someone else. Our walk with Christ is kind of like that as well. Our walk with Christ is not meant to be a popularity thing or a display to others or because others are doing it. It is meant to be a One on One relationship between the One from whom all things exist and to whom all things will return;Philippians 2:12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyedĖnot only in my presence, but now much more in my absenceĖcontinue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, (Whole Chapter: Philippians 2 In context: Philippians 2:11-13)

 

And yet, although it is to be a very personal and intimate relationship with Him, we need to learn how to be there for those around us who are also seeking to develop that walk of intimacy with Him; Hebrews 10:25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one anotherĖand all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Whole Chapter: Hebrews 10 In context: Hebrews 10:24-26) So, just like in Philippians 2:12 where the task of growing within our walk is each personís sole responsibility, so it is with laying our life down fighting for our country. Each person must decide, and yet although living for Christ is our sole responsibility, it has a tremendous impact on those around us like fighting in the Army which is why our Lord also gives us His Word in Hebrews 10:25.

 

Heaven is especially made for people who enjoy being loved and giving love. While it will be a place of incredible beauty and wonder filled with many indescribable beings of Godís beauty and grace, it will also be a place of fulfilling intimacy. Have you ever felt like you were a person lost in the sea of humanity? Well, that wonít happen in Glory. There will always be a very passionate and intimate relationship with each person and the One Who is our life; Revelation 2:17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it. (Whole Chapter: Revelation 2 In context: Revelation 2:16-18)

 

God is to be the Fire of our hearts. But, in order for fire to be powerful and effective, it must be stirred up so that the oxygen of the Holy Spirit can feed the flames of passion for Christ. Passion just doesnít happen; itís made to happen. You didnít want to marry your spouse from a few phone calls with him or her, but that relationship was nurtured and fed and out of that, passion grew. In the same way, our Lord tells us in2 Timothy 1 6For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. Many people have allowed their spiritual life to become totally ineffective because they thought that the calling of God was to become a ďChristianĒ so that their eternal welfare would be secured. But, just like joining the Army is more than signing on the dotted line and taking an oath, it involves a commitment from the heart not just from the mouth. A commitment from the heart is seen in one who truly gives honor to the word ďsoldierĒ. Our God is looking for such to serve Him.

 

So then, how do we fan the flames of passion for Christ? By realizing that He is in the details of all we say and do. We tend to focus on those things that we think are grand and glorious in serving Him, and He is waiting on us to love our enemies as ourselves. We might be focusing on becoming teachers of Godís Word and Heís waiting on us to become livers of His Word, like giving a glass of cold water in His Name, or helping clothe those without clothes, or feeding the hungry or visiting those in prison. Christianity was meant to be so much more than an organization, it was meant to be a family of relationships one with another and most importantly with Christ. And, just as our relationship with our spouse needs to receive time and attention, so does our relationship with Christ. Have you seen a very happy couple lately? More than likely that couple is working at their relationship and their intimacy and realize that it just doesnít happen but is made to happen by their efforts.

 

How we shortchange ourselves in our walk with Christ when we think that by working at our growth in Christ, we are actually earning our salvation. It seems like anytime we try to do anything of value and worth for eternity, satan is always there trying to get us off course. Of course we canít earn our salvation, but we can sure grow and mature our relationship with Christ once coming into the saving Faith that He brings us into! Balance is such an important truth in our walk with Christ. To balance within our hearts, the need to grow our relationship but at the same time to realize that all we do, say, or think is not of our own abilities or talents but are of Him so that when we stand before Him clothed in His Righteousness and filled with many rewards that He is the One from Whom all of the Glory, Honor and Praise is due.

 

Satan is so quick to whisper in our ears when we decide to dust ourselves off and begin to apply ourselves in our walk with Christ that weíre trying to earn our salvation, garbage! The Great Over Comer, Christ Himself, won our salvation! Now itís time we put his lies and whispers to rest and learn how to spend time with Christ in prayer, how to weep with those that weep, how to return a blessing to those who would curse us, how to go the extra mile when asked to go only one. And, letís truly listen to Godís Word that states in 2 Corinthians 9:6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. (Whole Chapter: 2 Corinthians 9 In context: 2 Corinthians 9:5-7) Sowing and reaping is a spiritual truth that satan would have us all blind to. If each one who heard the Saviorís call to His Love would hear this truth, the gates of hell would not prevail against the church; Matthew 16:18 And I tell you that you are Peter,[ 16:18 Peter means rock.] and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades[ 16:18 Or hell] will not overcome it.[ 16:18 Or not prove stronger than it] (Whole Chapter: Matthew 16 In context: Matthew 16:17-19)

 

Behold, the Bride Groom returns soon with rewards for His Bride. Letís be about the Masterís business, Letís ever learn how to Love Him more passionately each day than the day before. The greater our Love for Him, the greater the Praise, Glory, and Honor He will receive.

 

Heavenly Father, teach us how to grow our relationship with your Son, teach us how to listen at His feet, and then to rise and press ever nearer to His Heart. In Jesus Glorious Name, Amen.

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