Alone, we grow “cold” or “lukewarm” in our faith.
In my second focus point, I said that believers need to be together to strengthen each other. When we are not on fire for the Lord, we are room temperature, and it says that God hates that in Revelation. “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:15-16. I don’t know about you, but when I am finally standing before the Lord, when I come to Him at the end of my life, I don’t want him to find me lukewarm.
I want to be on fire!
I read a parable (not from Jesus himself, but from another believer), and I would like to share it with you here. I have quoted the source I took the story from, and the author. This story seems to be the best for describing the effect on believers when we are away from others that share our faith and can help us grow.
The Lonely Ember
A member of a certain church, who previously had been attending services regularly, stopped going.
After a few weeks, the pastor decided to visit him. It was a chilly evening. The pastor found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire.
Guessing the reason for his pastor’s visit, the man welcomed him, led him to a big chair near the fireplace and waited. The pastor made himself comfortable but said nothing. In the grave silence, he contemplated the play of the flames around the burning logs.
After some minutes, the pastor took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth all alone. Then he sat back in his chair, still silent. The host watched all this in quiet fascination.
As the one lone ember’s flame diminished, there was a momentary glow and then its fire was no more. Soon it was cold and “dead as a doornail.”
Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting.
Just before the pastor was ready to leave, he picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire. Immediately it began to glow once more with the light and warmth of the burning coals around it.
As the pastor reached the door to leave, his host said, “Thank you so much for your visit and especially for the fiery sermon. I shall be back in church next Sunday.”
by Dr. John MacArthur
Submitted by IM4JESUS!
Because of this and many scriptures that tell us that we are always better together as a congregation (listed at the end of this post), I have been seeking out a community of like-minded believers.
Since I am a working mom, and have children that need their parents home in the evenings, I have not joined a bible study group or mom’s group of believers. I have been looking through Pinterest. I signed up for encouraging tidbits by a lady named Arabah Joy at www.arabahjoy. She is a mom, wife and missionary both online and off. Her insights and thoughts have been a bright light in my days when I can find encouragement in her words before work or on a break.
A little while ago, I was invited to join her upcoming bible study and mentoring group! I was, and still am, very excited to be a part of the group. The guidance and association with other believers that I so desperately craved beyond my Sunday service is here online, at my fingertips. Please check it out! The group/study is called Sojo Academy. You can take a look at it at https://sojoacademy.com/ . There are printables to help you get your year started with study guides, and directions. I love the Prayer Journal ideas!
Scriptures that speak about the community of believers:
Hebrews 10:24-25 – “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Galatians 6:2 – “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” – we were not meant to shoulder all of the weight of the journey of life alone, so we are to seek out other Christians.
Acts 2:46-47 – “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
Romans 12:4-5 – “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”
So, I hope this has encouraged you to find a community, or to check out Sojo Academy! Or to seek out a group of bible believing people in your area or community at home.
Happy searching! You can check out Focus 3 and 4 here!