The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest
Where’s the Fire?

In a small town, the volunteer fire department’s telephone was answered by the policeman on duty, who would in turn sound the fire whistle to rally the volunteers to duty. One Saturday morning, the town chief of police, had just come on duty when the fire department phone rang. He picked up the phone and said, "Fire Department." A voice on the other end of the line frantically said, "Send the fire truck!" Then the caller immediately slammed the phone down.
The police chief stood stunned, not knowing what to do. In a few minutes the phone rang again. Quickly he picked it up and said again, "Fire Department!" Again the voice cried, "Send the fire truck!" Again the caller immediately hung up.

Realizing that someone’s house was possibly at stake, he rushed outside and scanned the sky to see if he could see smoke and therefore send the fire trucks in that direction. While outside, he also devised a plan as to how to keep the caller from hanging up so quickly if she called back. Sure enough the phone rang again, and he went running inside. Picking up the phone he quickly asked, "Where’s the fire?" The lady on the other end screamed, "In the kitchen," and slammed the phone down again.

Scripture teaches us that followers of Christ will be refined by fire as we live for him. The refining process can be painful, but the result will be a purifying of our faith and souls. Sometimes we have trouble finding that fire or knowing when and how the purification process will work.

Malachi 3:2-4 says, But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the Lord, as in days gone by, as in former years.

It is through the painful process of purification that we grow in value as the impurities are burned away leaving only the best of the gold, silver or faith. This Sunday we will share in a message based on 1 Peter 1:6-12 titled Faith Refined by Fire, come and share in this revealing message about faith that grows through doubt and pain.

Heating up,

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