The Campfire

August 7, 2009
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On a four-family camping trip during the summer, a feature of every evening was a campfire. We gathered around it, talking and making s'mores (roasted marshmallows and chocolate between graham crackers — each one tastes so good we always want s'more).

As I tended the campfire, I noticed that when two logs are side by side, the fire burns between them, since the infra-red heat from each one radiates to the other, and the combustion is reinforced. One log by itself grows cold, and the fire goes out. That fact got me thinking.

Colossians 3:15-16 – Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. (NIV)

Many people these days are forsaking the Church. Of course, they all have good reasons. But for all its faults, the Church is God's appointed means of growing Christ-like character in those whom He has called to Himself. As a member of a support group and a regular church-goer, like one log burning beside another, I value the encouragement, teaching, admonishment, and advice of the group to help me cope with the difficulties of living an effective Christian life. If it is so tough to be a danger to the dominion of darkness with a group's back-up, it must be impossible to do it alone! For all its failings, the Church is still God's strategy to conquer the forces of evil. He has no other plans! If we want to be on God's side, we must be part of the Church. Otherwise, our spiritual life grows cold.

Prayer: Lord, we recognize that every group presents the possibility of conflict. Help us to receive the power of Your Spirit so that we can discern that Your will is for us to learn to respond to conflict in the Church in the way Christ would. Help us, Lord, to develop Christ-like character in order to defeat the power of evil and win the world for You. In His name, we pray. Amen.

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Robin Ross <>
Mission, British Columbia, Canada

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