Last weekend, my mother and I had the great joy of spending a few days with dear friends in north Alabama. I was there to speak in their church. They live on a wonderful farm complete with horses, dogs, cats, chickens, a one-eyed rooster, a pig named Darla, a goat that no one knows where it came from, and a peacock.
Their log house is surrounded by an assortment of trees with pasture land stretching out for miles around it. At the end of their road, a mountain looms upward, thick foliage hiding a myriad of horse trails and hiking paths. It really is what so many would call — a land of dreams.
When we arrived, a fire was already crackling in the fireplace, the first one of the season now that autumn temperatures are making itself known. Each evening it was sheer delight just sitting, watching the logs turn red in the cozy flames. Often I would back up to the open hearth, letting the heat warm me through and through.
More logs would be added as the old ones burned and turned to ash. That’s when a thought hit me — we who call ourselves a part of God’s family should be like logs in the fire. In Hebrews 10:24 we read, “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.” The next verse instructs us to “not neglect our meeting together, but to encourage one another.” When there was only one log in the fireplace, it didn’t take long for the room to noticeably grow cooler, but when several logs were added, it was equally noticeable the warmth that displaced the cold.
It’s the same for those of us who call ourselves a part of the family of God. When our church attendance lessens, and we keep ourselves apart from other Christians, it’s much harder to stay warm to the things of God. Throughout the Scriptures we are reminded that we are to pray for one another, love one another, encourage one another, bear each others burdens. God made us to need each other. When we do as the Scriptures teach, and meet regularly together, we naturally, like the logs in the fire, burn brighter. When we meet together, we have opportunity to worship together, learn Biblical truth together, and support each other.
When we separate ourselves from regular fellowship with Christian brothers and sisters, it won’t take long at all before we’re doing lone log imitations, growing colder toward the things of God. Then, if we remain alone, we’ll become as spiritually useful as ash in the fireplace that gets swept away at the end of the day.
Never forget the joy and the comfort that comes from following God’s instruction to “meet together, encourage each other, thinking of ways to motivate each other to love and good works.” Doing so is as wonderful and cozy as enjoying the warmth of logs crackling in the fireplace.