Friday, November 17, 2017

Christian Outdoor Object Lesson 57: Keep The Flame Burning

Key Verse

“So then, my beloved, even as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Philippians 2:12 WEB


The Protestant Reformation was about telling people about salvation by faith alone. John 3:16 clearly states that whoever believes in Jesus will be saved. So why is there a verse in Philippians talking about working out your own salvation? We can not earn salvation, right? This is true, but there is more to it.

If you have ever built a fire, or seen one built then you know it takes some work. First you need a safe place to build a fire such as a fire ring. Next you need to gather all the materials. You will need to gather several different sizes of wood, some tinder, and a fire source such as a match. Once you gather all the wood you need to separate it into different sizes and make sure it is dry. Once this is done you are ready to begin building your fire.

First put the tinder down in the center. Tinder can be things such as lint, wood shavings, or dry grass. Next add the kindling. Kindling are small twigs and sticks that will catch fire quickly. Finally, you can position the fuel wood around the kindling. This is the big pieces that will keep the fire going for a long time. Now you can strike the match and light the fire. But as you probably already know, your job is still not done. Once the tinder is lit, you must blow and fan the flame so it can grow. You must constantly tend the fire to keep it alive or it will go out. Once you have a roaring fire you must still stoke it and add more fuel.

Following Christ is a lot like building a fire. We receive salvation in an instant and we can do nothing to earn that gift. It is a spark that sets a spiritual fire in our hearts. But as Paul says in Philippians 2:12 we must work to keep the flame alive. We must fight against the temptations of our sinful nature. We must make it a priority to spend time with Jesus. We cannot earn God’s forgiveness. It is free. But we must work to live the way God asks us after we receive salvation to keep the fire in our hearts alive as long as we live. The best part is God will freely give us the strength to do so!


What did Jesus mean when he said, “take up your cross and follow me” in Matt. 16:24?

How do we receive God’s free gift of salvation?

What is the spark that sets a spiritual fire in our hearts?

What happens if we die before we have a chance to work on living the way God expects?

Written by David F. Garner

Photo Credit: Alexas_Fotos via