A Forgotten Fire
A Forgotten Fire
I suppose one’s response to their baptism is a personal thing. Sometimes there are tears. Often there are smiles and sighs of relief. It’s fun to think back to that moment when you knew God’s grace had cleansed your soul. What about this question: “What was life like for you in the six months after your baptism?” Were you on fire for God, talking to as many people as you could about what He had done for you? Or did you go about life the same as if nothing was different? Did your reputation as a believer change in your circles, or did your reputation stay the same? It’s just a guess, but I suspect many Christians have very little recollection about the weeks and months after we climbed out of the baptistry.
One of the great stories of the New Testament is that of the Thessalonian Christians. These Grecian converts joyously accepted the gospel from Paul and immediately let that message change their lives in very visible ways. The apostle’s letter to them was probably written a matter of weeks or months after he was run out of town. Notice what he says about their new-found faith.
And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything. For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. (1 Thessalonians 1:6-10 - ESV)
What inspires me from this text is the fact that these brand-new believers were so on fire for God that their reputation moved throughout the whole province. Their faith served as an example to be emulated by others who would hear the good news of Jesus’ grace.
Go back to your own conversion. While it would be interesting to know what kind of fire we demonstrated in the months following our baptism, let’s take this a step further. What kind of reputation do we have now? Is the fire still burning strong so that people would look to our faith as a Thessalonian-esque beacon? Or have we forgotten that fire and let it dwindle so that no one really knows about Christ’s ongoing work in us? If so, what can you do to restoke the flames of excitement and show others what God does for you daily?