[E]ach one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. -- 1 Corinthians 3:13 (NKJV)
The bare, twisted metal frame told the story. A home once stood here. Fire had stripped away the walls, incinerated the roof, and left only skeletal remains of appliances and beds. This devastation wasn't from a mere house fire. It was a forest fire.
207 homes destroyed. Over 6,000 acres engulfed in flames. As it threatened schools and businesses with searing heat, the McBride Fire in Ruidoso, NM garnered national attention.
A month later, my disaster relief team sifted through the ash. Glass vases had melded to their flower beads. Canning jars were contorted lumps of glass and metal. Aluminum, liquefied in the inferno, formed shiny puddles. Up from the rumble, knife blades poked through without handles, just like the inlay in a steel ring was eaten by fire. After eight houses, it became obvious what survives fire and it's not much.
Between earth and heaven there is a fire. This fire will demonstrate clearly if we spent our lives on what was worthy of our Savior. On the Day we stand before Jesus Christ, He will sift through the ashes of our lives. What pleases Him will enter eternity with us. What does not honor God will evaporate.
If our character looks like Jesus, the fire will prove it. If we seek God in Bible study, fasting, and prayer -- those moments will remain. If we serve the Lord, love and disciple others, those works will survive. If our priorities reflect God's, we will invest our talents and resources as good stewards and this fire will vindicate us.
As we look forward to that Day, it is not with fear but rather with anticipation. We are building things that will survive fire.
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