Years ago I heard Dr. John MacArthur tell the story of The Lonely Ember.
A member of a certain church, who previously had been attending services regularly, stopped going. After a few weeks, the pastor decided to visit him. It was a chilly evening. The pastor found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire.Guessing the reason for his pastor’s visit, the man welcomed him, led him to a big chair near the fireplace and waited. The pastor made himself comfortable but said nothing. In the grave silence, he contemplated the play of the flames around the burning logs.After some minutes, the pastor took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth all alone. Then he sat back in his chair, still silent. The host watched all this in quiet fascination.As the one lone ember’s flame diminished, there was a momentary glow and then its fire was no more. Soon it was cold and “dead as a doornail.”Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting.Just before the pastor was ready to leave, he picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire. Immediately it began to glow once more with the light and warmth of the burning coals around it.As the pastor reached the door to leave, his host said, “Thank you so much for your visit and especially for the fiery sermon. I shall be back in church next Sunday.”This story reminds me that God longs for friendship with us. God wants to have a relationship with us. God created us for companionship but even God can’t have a friendship alone. When we don’t read the Bible daily we become one lone ember; we become cold and our relationship with God is diminished. If we want to grow the relationship, then reading the Bible every day is absolutely essential. Being a Christian is about being friends with Jesus. It is a real relationship just like the one you have with your best friend. Now in all relationships we talk and we listen to each other. And this is what reading the Bible and praying is all about. When we read the Bible, we are listening to what God has to say to us. In the Bible, God has made sure He has told us everything we need to know in order to be the best of friends with Him. So when we pray and read, we are really having a conversation with God and that is definitely something worth doing every day. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us: All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. If we want to live more in line with who God wants us to be, we need to be regularly in His word and as we do that, God can use us to change other’s lives too.