Fire is a force we can’t contain. All you have to do is see the images coming out of California to see the raw power and destruction fire can cause.
My heart aches at the loss of life from the California wildfires. There were so many people, trying to flee the destruction, who just couldn’t get out before the fire caught up with them.
Yet in the midst of that, I’m awed and inspired by the heroes who purposely went into the inferno to rescue and help others. Stories of everyone from first responders to medical professionals to a garbage man who helped an elderly woman make it out… it’s amazing to see people show the selfless love of Jesus. Jude 1:23 speaks of “saving others by snatching them from the fire” and, while Jude is using fire as a spiritual analogy, the California wildfire images give me a strong picture of what this looks like.
You see, there are people caught in the flames all around us. It might be the fire of hard times, the fire of intense sorrow, the fire of regret, the fire of consequences, the fire of illness, the fire of loneliness, or so many other things. Our first instinct is to try to help them extinguish the flames, but that isn’t always possible… and usually leaves them to deal with the scarred landscape that remains.
Maybe instead, we should snatch them out of the fire by pointing them to the only One who can save them from the flames of both this life and eternity – Jesus Christ. Only Jesus can rescue them from the flames. In this life, He might take them out of the fire or, like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, He might just join them in the flames, shielding them from the fire (Daniel 3).
Even more concerning than the flames of this life are the flames of hell. Not a popular topic these days, but Jesus spoke of it (Matthew 5:22, 29-30, 18:9, 23:15, 33, Luke 12:5) so we can be assured that it is a very real, very horrible place. If you’re a believer in Jesus, YOU have the vehicle that can bring people safely out of the flames of hell – Jesus. Will you be brave and heroic enough to share Him with those who aren’t trusting in the eternal safety He offers? Remember that at one time, someone cared enough to do that very thing for you!