Keepers of the Flame
Anthropologists have learned in primitive tribes located in the South American jungles, that the most important role within the tribe was the "keeper of the flame." Fire was a precious commodity to tribes and one member of the tribe is entrusted with the responsibility of keeping the flame alive. During the night, the flame keeper added wood to the fire; his task was vital. As we give to the Lord’s work, we become keepers of the flame. We help spread the gospel message, meet people’s needs, assist people in growing spiritually. We enable our churches to shine as God’s lights in the world.
The Christians in Philippi had learned the secret of joyful, liberal giving. They had taken up an offering to give to Paul, in prison because of his faith. Giving was done out of love and concern for Paul and not out of a sense of obligation. When we read through Philippians 4, we see that giving was a partnership. This partnership was based on a deep relationship between Paul and the church in Philippi. They were partners with Paul in every way. As Paul was giving the church there his final exhortations, he told them in verse 8-9 "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."
When we give of ourselves, we continually revive our concern for others and keep the flame burning bright with our giving spirit. Giving of ourselves helps us show compassion to a world that does not know Christ. Giving makes us a partner in ministry, just as the Philippian church partnered with Paul through their sacrificial gifts. We are partners together as we give of ourselves and our time. Giving pays huge spiritual dividends when we give of ourselves and of our finances. We are offering these gifts up to God and in doing so we not only bless His name, but we bless those that we are shining His light to.
We are the "keepers of the flame." It is not just enough for us to hear God’s word and do nothing. We must hear God’s word and put it into practice. Through giving of not only financial gifts but also of ourselves, we are continuing to add fuel so that the flame, or light of Christ, will continue to burn brightly!