My mom was showing me some building plans for their new home and it sparked my thoughts about what types of structural aspects you need to make a house – foundation, walls, and a roof at the very minimum. Once you have the major arteries of a house, you can fill it in with whatever architectural elements that you’ve saved on your Pinterest board – like a fireplace.
Before you go building fires, you need somewhere to put it.
First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God. What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God’s faithfulness? Not at all…This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified under the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
Romans 3:2-4a, 22-24
It would be silly to decide to build a fire in your home without something to contain it, right? Otherwise, it would destroy the home you just built. It’s the same with the Word of God. Like Paul says in Romans, we’ve been entrusted with a responsibility of the words of God. That not only means making disciples by spreading the Word, but also keeping ourselves true to it as well.
Why would we want to contain the Word of God? Because in the hands of the wrong person, it can scorch everything in its path. It’s possible to put God things in a bad place. People misinterpret the Truth all of the time. The question is: what are we doing to preserve it and do we have a safe, secure place to contain it?
“’You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.” Exodus 19:4-6
Desire can light a fire, but only duty can keep it burning.
That verse from Exodus comes after Moses is so distraught about keeping everyone satisfied, that he meets with God on behalf of the Israelites on top of Mount Sinai. How many times did they freak out before God delivered them?
When they were stuck between the Egyptian army and the Red Sea, they cried out and he parted the sea. When they were hungry and thirsty, the Bible says they grumbled and he made water pour from a rock and dropped manna from Heaven. No matter how many times God had shown his faithfulness, they always lost their cool in the face of adversity.
So, naturally, while Moses was on Mount Sinai receiving the Ten Commandments, they reacted to their hardship by building altars and golden idols. Their desire for a God was there, but the way they contained it was wrong.
People are always looking for smoke signals to follow. We have a huge responsibility to build safe and proper “fires” as a Christian because there will always be someone who is watching you do it – who’s looking at how you react to the world around you.
It’s all in how you build the fire.