Saturday, December 3, 2016


I live in the beautiful Smoky, Appalachian Mountains.  This year, we have experienced a severe drought.  Along with the drought, there have been wildfires, devastating and scary fires.  Fires that have destroyed homes and businesses, and have taken lives.

Even though I live in an area that was not directly on fire, I personally have been impacted by them.  The road that I take home, was closed just a few miles away due to a fire.  I have family members who were vacationing in Gatlinburg, and had to evacuate at a moment’s notice with just the clothes on their backs, and were very fortunate to get out alive.  Images and stories have been seared into my brain of the devastation, so much so, that I asked God to show me what I can learn from all of this.

I asked, this is what He gave me…

Fire in itself is a good thing.  In a survival situation, we are told, fire is one of the essential things a person must have.  Without it a person would not be able to stay warm, cook, or purify drinking water. 

Fire, in a proper setting is life.

How can something so necessary to life also be so destructive and deadly?  I asked myself this question, and then it came to mind, that this is true for almost everything in life.  Things that are good and essential, are often some of the very things that, if misused, can be the most harmful.


1.        Fire, in itself is a good thing, beneficial, but used outside of a healthy way, such as the containment of  a fireplace, cook stove, or even a well-built camp fire, is extremely destructive.  Just like most things God gives us for our good, they must be used under the confines of His rules.  He gives us His rules, not to harm us, but to keep us from harm. 


Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  (NIV)


   2.       God’s Holy Fire, which is the Holy Spirit, used under His guidance, is for us to help others.  It is for the believer to inspire, to help others, and to share the warmth of God’s love to others.  When I try to do things on my own, I take the fire out of the fireplace so to speak, and I can do major damage to relationships.  It is only through staying connected to God through His word, that I can do any good.  On my own, I am just like the wildfires our mountains experienced these last several weeks.

Hebrews 12:28-29

28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our “God is a consuming fire.” (NIV)

                                                                                   Luke 12:48b-49

From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. 49 “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed! (NIV)


3.      Be ready!  Another reminder to be ready for the return of Jesus our savior.  We do not know the day or the hour, but like those who had to evacuate, if you do not have a plan, or are not ready to go at a moment’s notice: in other words, if you do not have a personal relationship with Jesus, you will be caught a fire much worse than those that burned through our beautiful mountains. 

Matthew 25:41

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. (NIV)

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