It Only Takes A Spark

Thursday, April 18, 2024
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John was working with the hired man, Murray, making ductwork in the shop, and I was working in the garden. The shop phone rang and John answered it. He came running to the garden to let me know that the neighbour's barn was on fire. He had to go and see what he could do to help. A wind was starting to blow.

When John and Murray arrived, the wind was starting to carry sparks over into the pasture field — government land used by farmers to graze their cattle through the summer. John filled the water barrel that he had taken in the back of his truck and hurried to the field. There were a lot of juniper and hawthorn berry shrubs in the pasture land. The men used their shovels to turn the soil over and drench it with water. John and Murray chased sparks as long as the barn was burning. They were able to stop brush fires before they got a good start. Both men were exhausted when they got home.

At the time of writing, there were 52 wildfires still burning in Alberta, Canada, from last year, and already 17 new blazes in 2024. British Columbia has now had 7 wildfire starts this year. Most forest fires are due to hot weather and not enough rain, but some are caused by human error. We see reports of the devastation on the news. We are so thankful for the men and women who fight the fires.

James 3:5b-6a – A whole forest can be set ablaze by a tiny spark of fire, and the tongue is as dangerous as any fire, with vast potentialities for evil. (Phillips)

A single spark can set a forest afire, but it can also light a hearth fire or a campfire to warm us up. Likewise, our tongue, just a small part of our body, can do a lot of harm, or it can be used to edify and encourage others. Scripture tells us that we are to love our neighbour as ourselves and tell people the message of the gospel.

John 3:16 – For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that every one who believes in him shall not be lost, but should have eternal life. (Phillips)

We are to tell people that Jesus loves them and died on Calvary for their sin to be forgiven. People need to hear the good news of Jesus' love.

As children at Bible camp, after supper and round the campfire, we used to sing a song by Kurt Kaiser:

    It only takes a spark to get a fire going
    And soon all those around can warm up to its glowing
    That's how it is with God's love
    Once you've experienced it
    You spread his love to everyone
    You want to pass it on

May God help us to use our tongues for His glory to witness to family, friends, and neighbours.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we pray for Your help to use our tongues to let others know of Jesus' love. Help us to be kind to our family, friends, and neighbours. Amen.

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About the author:

Ruth Rowe <>
Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    And so it is Ruth! Blessings.

    Let us use our tongue to express love for God and friendship to our neighbor.

    Great analogy, one I could use with my youth group, Ruth! Thanks and blessings!

    Hi Ruth, a devotional reminder we all need to hear and heed and written so very nicely too. Thank you!

    Thanks Ruth! A good devotional out of a bad situation!
    God Bless your day!

    My appreciation Ruth, for the verbal images concerning dangerous fires and the lesson about my using my voice to offer only warmth.

    You fooled me this time Ruth. I totally missed connecting John and Murray to you. First time I haven’t zoomed in right off.
    Did enjoy your devotional.

    Good morning, Ruth.
    Thank you so much for your good words this morning. May all the fires of destruction, real as well as well as verbal be contained.

    Dear Ruth,
    Thank you for your message today. It is perfect! “May God help us to use our tongues for His glory to witness to family, friends, and neighbours.” Today and everyday – Amen!

    Thanks, Ruth, for your important and excellent words today. Yes, the way things are happening in our world these days it is very important that we keep spreading the good words of Jesus and His loving care. Blessings for writing and it was special seeing those words again of the song we sang often in Sunday School.

    You are so right. We need to remember to “spark” good things with our tongue and shine the love of God that we feel in our hearts. Thanks for sharing about your husband’s experience and that sparks of fire can have both good and bad outcomes. Blessings.

    Oh, my, Ruth, that song brought back memories! May we heed its message.

    Re-read this devotional and promptly asked God for protection from danger for Canada and the U.S. Blessings.


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