Putting Fires Out

James 3:5
“Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!”

It is amazing the damage that a little fire can cause. I was recently at the house of one of my church members who had a small house fire, and the damage it caused to their house caused them to have to move out. Not only did the fire cause damage to the house, but the smoke caused most of the damage. Their furniture, clothing, and most of their belongings were all destroyed because of the little fire they had in their house.

Many believers tend to allow little fires in their life to burn, not realizing the damage that fire is causing to their life. The verse above says, “Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!” Yes, this verse is talking about the damage that your tongue can cause, but you can certainly apply this truth to every area of your life. You could avoid many problems in your life if you would become a spiritual fireman and put out the little fires in your life that are causing great damage to many areas of your life. Let me give you several thoughts about the damage of little fires.

First, never treat a little fire as a little fire. Too many people treat sin in degrees, when God looks at all sin as bad. I was recently out soul winning, and when I asked a gentleman if he was a sinner, his reply was that he wasn’t. His response was that his sin wasn’t “bad” sin. This man’s mentality happens to be the mentality that is destroying many believers. You may be safe from Hell because you are saved, but that doesn’t stop the damage that little fires of sin cause in your life. If you treated every “little sin” like a forest fire, you would never see sin spread in your life. Every little matter of sin in your life should sound a five-alarm warning to immediately deal with it with all of your being.

Second, big fires are started from small fires. Living in California as a young boy, I always heard about the forest fires they had every summer. It is amazing that the massive fires they dealt with all started with a little fire. The “little fire” of sin in your life will spread and cause greater damage if you don’t immediately deal with it when it is small. What many believers don’t realize is that sin grows into multiple areas of their life that could have been averted had they taken care of it when it was small. The little fires of sin always spread quickly to affect so many areas of your life that you will never realize the damage it is causing until the fire of sin has destroyed your whole life. My friend, if you don’t want to deal with the forest fire of sin, you would be wise to deal with the spark of temptation.

Third, every fire causes smoke damage that can’t be repaired. The smoke damage I am talking about are the loved ones around you who are affected by your sin. Just like this family in my church lost many of their personal belongings because of the smoke from the small fire, so many believers are causing smoke damage to those closest to them because of their “little sin.” Sin always causes smoke damage to everyone around you. If you don’t want others to deal with the collateral damage of your sin, you would be wise to deal with sin immediately when it is small.

What is the small fire of sin in your life? What is the Holy Spirit bringing to your attention right now? The best way to keep little sin from becoming a great matter in your life is to deal with it as a five-alarm fire and squelch it before it spreads.

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