Devotional 07/09/2017by Terry Trainor on 07/09/17
Every human being has a natural fear of fire, even though we deal with it on a daily basis. During the flood in Fairbanks, we evacuated to a friends apartment on the third floor of their building. Our house was a single story, so we had no choice but to evacuate as the water rose to the three foot level in our living area. Many people had multi-story houses, however, and some stayed in their second story where they were high and dry. They had no electricity for lights or cooking of course, so they used candles and small camping style stoves. Several homes caught fire due to this, and since the streets were underwater, no fire trucks could come to their aid; each of these homes burned down to the water line. When the flood receded, it was a horrible sight to see homes with perfect foundations, and the bottom several feet looking as though nothing was wrong – but ending just four or five feet above the ground in a blackened line where the fire had burned everything above. I felt that I should avert my eyes as I passed these, because it somehow seemed an invasion of privacy to see peoples furniture and personal possessions open to the sky by the removal of the protection of their house from around them. So much damage from just a candle flame, or a match lighting a stove.
Today, there are many wildfires in our west, probably started by someone carelessly handling a match, or flipping a cigarette out the window of their car. Every year, these destroy millions of acres of timberland, including the homes and everything else in their path.
So much damage from just a match – from just a spark.
James 3:5-6 (KJV);
“Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.”
The tongue is a small fire, a bit of flame – and it can wreck damage even more than the flame of a candle, match, or spark. It can ruin a friendship, destroy a marriage, disrupt a congregation, and even set nation against nation in open warfare. We would do well to work diligently to make sure we are in control of our own tongue -