Let me tell you, trying to burn that soggy wood this week has been a chore! It doesn't want to light, and once we finally get it lit, it doesn't want to stay that way. It smolders and smokes, but it doesn't want to burn. I can't explain the frustration of being cold and having to fight with wet wood in an effort to take the chill off, but it's much like the frustration of dealing with soggy Christians.
You know the type. They walk the walk and talk the talk, but when it comes time to actually do something, they're nowhere to be found. Despite their many years on the church roll, they seem to have no fire for God or for Christian service. It seems like their attendance is nothing more than a duty to them. Still, the other members try to nurture them. Just as I try to stoke the fire, loving members of the body of Christ pour out their time and effort in an attempt to start a fire within these soggy souls. Yet, for whatever reason, they simply won't light. Like my wet wood, they smoke and smolder, but the warmth of the fire is still absent in their lives.
If you're taking the time to read this post, I think it's safe to assume that you are among the members of the body of Christ that are on fire for the Lord. That being said, my plea today is not for you to get on fire but rather for you to not give up on those soggy Christians. It's frustrating, I know, just like trying to get this soggy wood to burn, but if we give up on them, what happens next? I believe the result will be the same as an unattended fire--the flames will eventually burn out all together. No smoke. No smolder. No heat. Nothing! How horrible would it be for these weaker Christians to end up in such a state when we have the opportunity to make a difference in their lives. We need to teach and encourage as much as possible. But whatever we do, we mustn't throw in the towel. Our brothers and sisters in Christ need us. Let's not let them down.
Now, if you'll excuse me, it's time to check on the fire. . . again!
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: - Ephesians 4:11-12