by Terry Broome
Warming by a fire we did not build
An article in a Christian publication several years ago carried these words on behalf of Christian Education: “Christian Education prepares the mind and body for Christian service. We realize that provisions for these things have not been of our doing. We are warming by a fire we did not build. We realize that the only way we can repay the people who did build the fire is to add fuel to the flames.” These words trigger my “Thoughts From The Bible” this week. In speaking to the Twelve before the limited commission, Jesus said “Freely ye have received, freely give” (Matt 10:8).
When Israel came into Canaan, they were told they would drink from wells they did not dig, eat of vineyards they did not plant (Deut. 8: 7-18). Moses warned in verses 11-18: “Beware, lest thou forget God . . . when thou hast eaten and are full . . . when thou hast built good houses and dwell therein . . . when thy flocks are multiplied then thy heart is lifted up and thou forget God . . . lest thou say in thy heart . . . my power the might of my hands hath gotten me wealth . . .remember it is God that giveth thee the power to get wealth.” Israel would be “warming by a fire She did not build.”
Joshua reminded the Israelite’s as they prepared to enter the Promised Land: Joshua 1:11 (KJV) 11 “Pass through the host, and command the people, saying, Prepare you victuals; for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the LORD your God giveth you to possess it.” The Lord truly gave them what they did not earn, but they did have to lay claim to and possess it!
The Apostle Paul felt that he too was “warming by a fire he did not build.” He understood that it was only by the grace of God that he had salvation, and the opportunity to serve in the ministry (see 1 Timothy 1:12-15). Because of this feeling, he had a great sense of debt: Romans 1:14-15 ( KJV ) 14 “I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. 15So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.”
Peter warmed by a fire he didn’t build also, and he was tempted more than he was able to endure to deny the Lord! Peter’s downfall started when he “followed afar off.” Luke 22:54 ( KJV ) 54 “Then took they him, and led him, and brought him into the high priest’s house. And Peter followed afar off.”
John 18:15-18 ( KJV ) 15 “And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple: that disciple was known unto the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high priest. 16But Peter stood at the door without. Then went out that other disciple, which was known unto the high priest, and spake unto her that kept the door, and brought in Peter. 17Then saith the damsel that kept the door unto Peter, Art not thou also one of this man’s disciples? He saith, I am not. 18And the servants and officers stood there, who had made a fire of coals; for it was cold: and they warmed themselves: and Peter stood with them, and warmed himself.”
It is so important that we stay close to the Lord. In doing so we can add to the flame by keeping the Faith: Hebrews 3:6 ( KJV ) 6But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.
The author can be reached for comments at 256-574-2489