It was dry, but I had a rake and was tending fire, exercising caution.
My daughter Allison asked, “Should Mom bring us in?”
The wind picked up and suddenly a small blaze had jumped 10 ft from the ring. Tall, dry canary grass was catching on fire. I got a heavier rake and began making a fire line – pulling back dry material where fire would stop.
Life is filled with little fires.
Some we start.
Some are just smoldering sparks that a wind fans into something bigger. Little irritations become an outburst when something else goes wrong.
The Bible tells of people with fires in their lives.
A small man named Zacchaeus, though a Jew, became a chief tax collector for the Roman government. That would have been like an early American working for Britain collecting taxes for Britain from his colonial neighbors.
He had fires of disrespect, hatred, and broken relationships.
A woman, desperate for love, over the course of her life had five live-in boyfriends and was fighting the fires of loneliness and emptiness.
Religious leaders, longing for significance, meaning, and status- were fighting the fires of position and pride.
A woman who had been sick for the past 12 yrs battled the fires of rejection, stigmatization, and social rejection.
My fire line and my efforts were failing. When working alone, fire line failure is almost 100%.
I got the garden hose and began spraying water on the fire.
The damp, musty canary grass and old pine needles set off a lot of smoke.
The smoke now was causing traffic to slow down on highway #95 one half mile away. Other students asked my kids if our house was burning down and their last image was Dad with two small bags of garbage and a rake.
Only men could understand the trauma I was in –
Call for help?
I can put out the fire! Or should I call for help?
People were in a debate with themselves about Jesus.
Zacchaeus heard about Jesus and climbed a tree to see Him.
The lonely woman heard of this Jesus who talked about pure love.
Religious leaders heard the call to come follow Jesus. They could follow and learn or stay and oppose.
The infirmed woman heard Jesus could heal, but was embarrassed to ask.
This is Mark Radeke, I live in Isanti Co, Springvale township – I have a grass fire that is out of control and I need the fire department to help put it out.
Within minutes the fire department was at our home.
They came out with 4-5” hoses that could release hundreds of gallons of water and there I was with my 5/8” two ply garden hose.
The fire was extinguished and I was relieved.
Meanwhile, my wife Connie was returning from dropping the kid’s off when a fire truck passed her – she saw it heading up our driveway – and embarrassed, Connie drove past our driveway and down the road!
She came later, snuck in the house and down the basement to wash clothes.
Humility brought help. I was rescued.
Zacchaeus was spotted by Jesus. Jesus invited Himself to Zac’s home and Zacchaeus became a new person. He changed from a taker to a giver.
The lonely woman became convinced that Jesus was the true Messiah, Savior, Rescuer – she invited her neighbors, relatives, and whole community to meet a man who told her everything she ever did and still gave her the love she so desperately craved.
Spiritual leaders mostly opposed Jesus and missed their rescue.
The woman in her illness, snuck up to Jesus, touched the edge of His cloak and was instantly healed. Jesus knew power had gone out from Him, she was discovered and rescued from her disease.
I was rescued at the age of 9 years old. I said yes to Jesus and He rescued a lying, lonely little boy into a real living and lasting relationship with Jesus.
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.
19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,
Easter is a day to make a 911 call.
Your rescue will be immediate.
Three words to say to Jesus:
Thank you. Sorry. Please.
Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins.
This is _________ and I have a fire I cannot put out.
I have sins I cannot stop committing and I am sorry for doing them.
Please, rescue me today.
I will commit my life to following you from this day forward.
Let me know if you have made a spiritual 911 call.