A few years ago, Greg was responsible for a controlled burn through the Conservation Department. Even though I was a little nervous, I knew that he was prepared. He had attended a burn seminar regarding the exact conditions needed for the burn to be effective, purposeful and fulfill its intended purpose. Fires start when a flammable material is exposed to a source of heat. When these conditions are in place, a reaction occurs. James 3:5 tells us, “The tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.” The passage in James is about taming our tongue. Being careful about what we say. A fire can be started by our words. We know a fire is very hot and can spread rapidly and sometimes out of control. Just like our words. Once spoken, they can’t be taken back. Our words can deeply hurt others. If hurtful things can spread that rapidly, so can words of comfort and encouragement. Luke 6:45 says, “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” On the road to Emmaus, the Lord appeared to two disciples. The Bible says they were talking about everything that had happened and they were kept from recognizing him. Once their eyes were opened and they realized it was him, he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us
while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” Recognizing and knowing Jesus can set a fire within us that spreads good things to those around us. In praying for the disciples, Jesus says in John 17:17 that God’s word is truth. He prayed, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” God’s word is the fire that burns within us. His word is the comfort and encouragement that we and others need. I pray every day that the fire my words start will be God’s word. May my words be effective and for His purpose. “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.......the word of the Lord endures forever.” 1Peter 1:23 and 25.