by Alan Bailey

A Burning Issue

bush fire

Fire. This destroyer is very busy all around us these days. At least, it is the case where I live. Every day the newscasts tell us about the latest conflagration. Each night a car (or cars) is deliberately torched, sometimes a luxury model, leaving it a blackened hulk. After this, a house fire is reported with the estimated cost of the damage.

Then the fires get bigger. A warehouse, a factory somewhere, a bushfire raging out of control – all giving the impression that some evil force is trying to burn up our place of habitation.

Of course, some fires are the result of natural forces but many others are the result of carelessness or sheer crazy intention on the part of an arsonist. Thank God for the brave fire-fighters who do a gallant job of putting out the flames.

The old saying "Fire is a good friend but a bad master" is quite true. Mankind's progress in science and technology was given impetus by the control and employment of fire, especially in regard to the use of metals. Fire has kept us warm and cooked our meals. But it has also caused untold tragedy - which should make us very careful to avoid unwanted outbreaks.

A timely warning

Some Bible verses are quite frightening. We read: Our God is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29). Yes, God is love, He is merciful and gracious, but He is also a God of judgment.

His judgment is referred to as a fire in more than one place. It indicates anger against evil because He totally opposes it. This should concern us as we are not free of this thing that He hates.

It is said that in a bushfire, the safest place to be is where the fire has been.

When Jesus hung on the cross, the fire of God fell on Him as He took our place. The safe place for us now is to be in Christ, that is, to be joined to Him in personal trust and love, thankful for what He has done for us.

There are many promises telling us that simple trust in the living Saviour, Jesus, is the way to forgiveness and endless life.

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