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hot-coalsI grill.  I used to have a nice propane setup, but I decided that I liked to use charcoal better.  Now, you have to be intentional with charcoal…

It’s almost an art-form.  Once you get it started with an initial flame, you need to put the glowing coals in a shallow pile to keep them hot.

Put a few chips of certain kinds of wood on the coals and it adds flavor to the meat. Mmmm!  But, I noticed that coals that fall away from the pile cool down quickly and become useless.

Our men’s discipleship groups are like piles of charcoal.  The MAN ON FIRE Conference got us started, and the weekly meetings were the way we could stay hot for Jesus.  But, those groups that separated already, or the individuals that found excuses to fall away from the group; you guys have already cooled down.

In the first century, when the church was very young and it was harder to be a Christian, the Apostle Paul told a young church leader, “fan into flame the gift of God” (2 Timothy 1:6).  What do you think this indicates about Timothy’s spiritual condition?  Could it mean that Timothy was discouraged and tired of trying to do things by his own energy and will power?  Could it mean that Timothy was in danger of cooling down and letting his fire for the things of God die?

How about you? Isn’t it time for you to fan into flame the gift of God? And if you cannot do it alone, maybe the combined encouragement and support from your discipleship group can get you fired up. So, don’t leave the group. If your group has already broken up, start a new one or join an existing one.

At the MAN ON FIRE Conference in November, men were encouraged to meet in discipleship groups for 6 weeks.  Some groups realized that some of the questions and discussions prompted by the Life Plan handout were going to take more thought and effort, and decided to extend the 6 weekly meetings into 10.  You guys will be using the Life Plan for another month.  Some of you have followed the Life Plan to the letter and are ready for some new material.  I have some suggestions for you:

Each Life Plan contained information about other “Man In The Mirror” books and study materials.  You may want to order those by calling or using their website at http://www.maninthemirror.org.

One of my discipleship groups meets at 3pm every Sunday.  Since they discovered that I have the “Truth Project” 13-week video training series, we decided that we wanted to go through that starting February 12 (SuperBowl Sunday is the 5th).  Each weekly session will last about one and a half hours. If you want to join us at my house in the “T Section,” contact me at algoff@TurnONtheLight-Bowie.org.

Gale TeSelle has published a 10-lesson curriculum called, “Living as the Light of the World-Becoming a Lighthouse.”  Sigrid and I, along with Mandy and Bob Gilgunn, have already used this material and we highly recommend it.  It will change you and your neighborhood.  The Leader’s Guide ($25) and Student Workbooks ($10) can be ordered by contacting Gale.

What is your Bowie-area discipleship group doing?  Send me a story about them at algoff@TurnONtheLight-Bowie.org and I’ll post it here on this website.

A Bible teacher of the early church was likewise concerned about his flock and warned them, “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called today, that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.” (Heb 3:12–14, ESV). You are in danger! Will you allow your heart to be hardened so that you fall away? Why do that since you have come this far already? You have been given so much: a wondeful savior, the guiding Holy Spirit, the powerful and authoritative Word of God, fellowship with loving brothers.

Do not give up. Be a Man on Fire and please, don’t let the fire die.

First published 2011-12-21. Al Goff. TurnONtheLight-Bowie staff.