Keeping Fueled & Aflame


Consider how you might encourage “love and good deeds” in your family and community.

Take your everyday, ordinary life . . .and place it before God as an offering—Romans 12:1

The author of Hebrews laid down a challenge: “. . . let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24). Eugene Peterson translated it as, “Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out” (Hebrews 10:24 MSG). What a great challenge for us men, today. It dares us to engage our God-given capacities for imagining and inventing. But, it also dares to direct these capacities toward good purposes, toward God’s purposes.

Too often we use our imaginations to envision prosperous futures for ourselves, futures of comfort and materialism and separation . . . or . . . we use them to envision worrisome futures, futures where our worst fears come to pass. And too often, we use our inventiveness to build our own prosperity . . . or . . . to build barricades around our lives to protect ourselves from our fears.

What if we stopped doing that so much? What if, in faith, we were to refocus these imaginative and inventive capacities? What if we put them toward the task of keeping ourselves, and keeping those around us “fueled and aflame” (Romans 12:11-13 MSG)? What if we dedicated a few moments―every week, every month―to look at ourselves, our families, our friends, our communities, and allowed ourselves to dream and create? We wouldn’t be alone. God the Holy Spirit would be right there, in those moments, guiding us, inspiring us.

Okay, so what do we do?

It’s not easy to change how we think and how we act. We need help. Take a few minutes to pray and listen for the Holy Spirit. Be still. Consider the question of how you might encourage “love and good deeds” in your family, among your friends, in your community. Whatever comes―if it fits within the principles of Scripture―trust it and make it happen.


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