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What Consumes You

Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.  Hebrews 12:28-29 ESV

Photo courtesy of morguefile and jzlomek.The day after my grandmother passed away from a brief but intense struggle with cancer, I was holding her worn and written-in Bible in my hands. I slowly paged through chapter and verse, reading all of my grandmother’s notes until I came to Hebrews 12:28-29. Written above the verses, in her looping handwriting, was my name—Philip.

I’ve read that line over and over again, and I’m still humbled by my grandmother’s thoughts about me. Even now, I ask, “Was she right? Is God my all-consuming fire, and if He isn’t, what is?”

What is it that burns in our life like an all-consuming fire? You can almost see the flames consuming people lining up in droves at stadiums, in front of stores, in front of mirrors, and before their complement televisions, leaving behind only ashes scattered to the wind.

But when the God all of things consumes us with His eternal fire—this thing we call faith—the temporary is consumed and burned away. What is forged in those flames is the eternal—that which never passes away and is held for us by God in the heavens. The love of God in Jesus was my grandmother’s consuming fire, and she has now received the eternal blessings of that flame. My desire is to be consumed by that same fire till all that remains is the love of God in and through me.

Think about your consuming fire, and if it’s not God, what is it?

(Photo courtesy of morguefile and jzlomek.)

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Philip McClelland

Rev. Philip McClelland has been serving in ministry for nearly twenty years, from inner-city youth ministry to pastoral ministry. Philip lives in Northern Ohio with his wife and two children.