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The Consuming Fire

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Flickr Photo by Slack12

Does God want us to be afraid of him… or to be afraid of not knowing and remembering how much he loves us?

The 12th Chapter of Hebrews ends with a sobering thought: “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ‘God is a consuming fire.’”

Without the 13th chapter break, what are the very next words? Why would they be, “Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters,“ followed by encouragement to care for those who are outside of our own group, including those who are in prison?

If we take a step back from these two verses— separated only by an artificial chapter break, we see that earlier in chapter 12 the author likens God to a loving Father who corrects us because he loves us (Heb 12:5-6). Then the author moves on to contrast this enlightened understanding of a Father’s love with the fire that had terrified Moses on the heights of Mount Sinai (Heb 12:21).

Many centuries later, we find ourselves in the Spring season of ancient holidays. Together they help us recall that, on the day we call Pentecost (“50” days beyond Passover), the Spirit and Presence of Christ came like tongues of fire that seemed to separate and rest on his people (Acts 2:3).

Like a loving Father, and a consuming fire—  this is the story of a God wants us to be afraid of not trusting him… and not walking in the assurance of his care…

…so that we don’t consume one another (Gal 5:14-16).


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83 Responses to “The Consuming Fire”

  1. oneg2dblu says:

    street… I’ll bet your feeling nothing but the consuming fire of the weight of pile of those who should be loving you, but are busy taking sides with others here.

    Hard to feel the love sometimes isn’t it?

    Especially when one person does not like your comment, and before you even get to give your position on that comment, so many others lovingly pile on.

    Makes you wonder why doesn’t it?

    Remember it is only flesh speaking here, as any one of the Saints here, could certainly fill that position you were referring to, if it is God’s Will, but flesh suddenly gets in the way.

    Have a Blessed Day, Gary

  • SFDBWV says:

    I have already forgotten the fellow’s name (Rodney?), famously credited with coining the phrase “Can’t we just all get along?”, but such a question has an answer.

    There is a term in Christian theology called “apologetics”, which is having to do with the defense and proofs of Christianity.

    In a world filled with not only diverse religions, but in most cases extreme diverse religions as well as diverse beliefs concerning politics and especially the view of communal living there is going to be disagreement.

    It seems no matter where any one stands on any issue there are going to be those who have to defend or prove their position.

    Expectedly so there are going to be those who agree or disagree.

    Will this position of having different thought between each other give cause for the wrath of God?

    No, in my opinion, it is how we feel inside about the other person and how then we act upon that feeling that has the attention of God.

    We can either be peace makers or war mongers.

    Attempting to resolve an issue seems to me to be working toward a peaceful solution.

    Attempting to inflame the issue looks more like war mongering.

    A lesser word for war mongering in the course of gathering together may be understood as strife.

    Gary you said your goodbyes in the last topic only to return right away in order to inflame the course of the conversation on a topic that is meant for us to learn we must not do that.

    How do you reconcile obeying God with attempting to say something negative about people who have supported proper Christian behavior?

    That Gary is what your comment this morning looked like to me, am I in error in my assessment of your comments?

    Steve