What was your first experience with fire? You may not even remember but some I am sure can probably remember being young and touching something hot and even learning a valuable lesson to stay away from fire! What about the old expression: “If you play around with fire, you might get burned!” Well this month’s nugget is about the fire of God. I know, when we normally talk about God’s fire, we always think of it in a negative fashion because of judgement and punishment for disobedience and sin. Well it is correct to see God’s fire that way but I also want to draw our attention to another purpose for His fire. What about purification? God is looking for a purified heart. (Malachi 3:2-3) His blood has already sprinkled our hearts from an evil conscience when it has to do with us being able to commune with Him and be reconciled to Him because of what Jesus has done for us at calvary. (Hebrews 10:22) There is no problem here, but……on a daily basis we all are subject to getting defiled, dusty and contaminated by the world. Jesus said that He was not praying that we be taken out of the world but that we be protected from the evil in it. (John 17:15) So we go to the Word to be washed by the water of the Word to clean us from the dust and filth of the world but what about our hearts? Our hearts are still susceptible to becoming hardened, full of pride, self centeredness, bitterness, etc. So God wants to baptize us in the fire so that we can be purified. Sometimes He will even allow the the fire of trials to accomplish this within us. I know. Does not sound pretty but believe me God knows what He is doing! I want to share something personal….I have experienced times of lonliness and dryness because I needed to be broken in order to continue to feel His presence and to continue to become more like Christ in my attitude and deeds. He allowed the brokeness and the fire to purify me. So, fire is a good thing when it accomplishes His desire within us! True repentance and a fresh love for Him.