“Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight — why the bush does not burn up.” (Exodus 3:1-3)
When Moses was tending his father-in-law’s flock, heading out to the far side of the desert, he was pleasantly surprised by the incredible sight he’d never seen before and would never see again: a burning bush.
As the fall season peaks, I, too, am pleasantly surprised by the gorgeous, fiery red leaves of the burning bush shrubs that illuminate my neighborhood and the nearby shopping centers. Did you know that the burning bush (Euonymus alata “compactus”) is one of the great beauties of the autumn season, distinguished by its vibrant scarlet foliage and small red-orange fruit? (Source: http://phillipoliver.net/burningbush.htm) Some burning bush shrubs can grow six to 10 feet; others as tall as 15 feet or more. Their 1- to 3-inch long leaves help radiate their vibrant color, setting them apart from all other plants and trees.
When I think about the flames of fire emanating from the burning bush Moses saw at the mountain of God and the fiery red color of the burning bush shrubs of the fall season, two poignant questions come to mind: As children of God, are our hearts on fire for the Lord? Are we serving Him with fervor — with zeal?
The Lord says we’re not to lack in zeal but keep our spiritual fervor, serving Him (Romans 12:11). Remember Jesus’ disciples who were walking on the road to Emmaus after His resurrection? They had followed Jesus during his three-year ministry, listened to him preach the gospel, and witnessed his incredible miracles. But they still doubted who Jesus was and why he came, as the Lord discerned while speaking with them about the events that led to his crucifixion and resurrection and about the scriptures concerning himself. Only after Jesus disappeared from their sight at the dinner table did the disciples realize who He was and that everything He said about himself was true. “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32)
Do our hearts burn within us when we hear, read, and live out the scriptures in our everyday lives? If not, they should. Jesus wants us hot, not cold (Revelation 3:15). If our hearts are on fire for the Lord, that is wonderful. If it used to be on fire, and we notice the fire is slowly but surely going out, don’t worry. We can rekindle that fire by asking God to fan the flames through individual and group bible study and prayer, staying connected with other believers in a small group, and serving those in need in your community.
Remember, the Lord loves you. Seek Him first in all you do, and soon your heart will warm up and be on fire to serve Him and others around you. And you will be blessed.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, please keep our hearts warm toward you. Set our hearts ablaze so we can serve you with passion, and share your love and compassion with others. In Jesus’ name, amen!