Summary: There are bad things which need to be extinguished from our lives and good things that need to be added.


Col. 3:5-9, 12-14

INTRO.- We’ve all heard some of those “good news, bad news” jokes and I want to share a few this morning, because that’s what life is full of: both good news and bad news.

Good news: Did you all know that Gary Saveley made the Olympic javelin team which is going to the Sydney Olympics this summer? It’s true.

Bad news: His job is to catch the javelin.

Good news: Your son just broke the world record for high diving.

Bad news: There was no water in the pool!

Good news: In this test tube I have all the male chromosomes and in this jar I have all the female

chromosomes. And when I pour the test tube into the jar, it will create life.

Bad news: We can’t do it tonight because the jar has a headache.

Good news: We baptized seven people today in the river.

Bad news: We lost two of them in the swift current.

Good news: Mrs. Jones is wild about my sermons.

Bad news: Mrs. Jones is also wild about “Beavis and Butthead.”

Good news: The women’s softball team finally won a game.

Bad news: They beat the men’s team.

Good news: The trustees voted to add more church parking.

Bad news: They are going to blacktop the front lawn of the parsonage. (I think that’s happened in

some churches.)

Good news: Church attendance rose dramatically last Sunday.

Bad news: The preacher was on vacation.

Good news: The deacons want to send the preacher to the Holy Land.

Bad news: They are waiting until the next war.

Brethren, we must admit that life is full of “good news and bad news.” Of course, we all prefer the

“good news.”

We all have both good and bad things going on in our lives. And we prefer the good stuff! But life

doesn’t always work that way, does it?

The apostle Paul said these words in Rom. 7:15, 18-19 “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do....I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do - this I

keep on doing.”

Wow! It sounds like Paul was having quite a struggle in his life. And he was. He was struggling with

the evil against the good. And we all experience this struggle. As long as we are in the flesh we will

have this struggle, this battle going on inside of us!

Believe me, I’m not happy about it but I am very aware of it.

Perhaps we could look at it as if there were some fires going on in our lives: both good fires and bad


PROP.- In this message, I want us to think about lighting some good fires and putting out some bad fires.

1- Bad fires which need to be put out

2- Good fires which need to be lit


ILL.- We’ve all heard the bad news about the bad fires taking place in Idaho and Montanna. We read or hear more about them every day.

I read that by Wednesday of last week, 4.3 million acres of land had been burned. And that by Thursday, they were closing 6 to 8 million acres to the public.

Some 30,000 civilian and military firefighters from 46 states are helping to try to put out the fire. It’s

the worst fire since the 1950’s when 17 million acres burned in 1950 and 14 million acres in 1952.

ILL.- Donna Nemeth, a fire information officer in Montanna, said, “Everyone is doing what they can to

prevent the fire’s spread.”

Brethren, there are some bad fires and perhaps some terribly wild fires that wreak havoc in our lives

that need to be put out! And everyone needs to be doing what they can to either prevent these fires or

put them out!

ILL.- A church member and his pastor/preacher were out playing golf one day. The member asked, “Pastor, how do you let off steam when you miss a shot and your ball goes into a sand trap?”

The pastor replied, “I just repeat the names of some of my church members....WITH FEELING!”

ILL.- Delivering a speech at a banquet on the night of his arrival in a large city, a visiting preacher told

several stories which he expected to repeat at meetings the next day. And because he wanted to use

the stories and jokes again, he told the reporters to omit them from the stories they turned into the

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