Wednesday, October 31, 2001
Man, I almost forgot how much wood there is in a cord. I remembered real fast the last time we got a cord of wood delivered to our house - and dumped in our driveway. I got to stack it all by myself. But as I did, I thought about all those great fires we would have in our living room fireplace all winter long, and of how much our sons would enjoy those fires when they were home for Christmas. They have loved a roaring fire in our fireplace since they were little. And that's okay. But imagine if I had come home one day when they were in high school and I smelled smoke coming from one of their rooms upstairs. I am alarmed. I call upstairs, "Do you smell smoke?" "Yeah, Dad. I built a fire." "But, there's no fireplace in your room!" And he answers, "I know, but I just love fires." I am very alarmed. We have a big problem here. When you have a fire in the fireplace, it will make you warm. But when you have that same fire outside the fireplace...well, you get burned. Well,
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Keeping Your Fire in the Fireplace."
Now, our word for today from the Word of God is about the fire of sexual desire and sexual passion and the fireplace the Inventor of sex made it for. Hebrews 13:4, "Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral." Now the Inventor of sex says that sex is designed to be kept totally inside the fireplace of lifetime love...the lifetime covenant of marriage.
In Proverbs 5:15 and following, God reinforces those boundaries with another analogy and a picture of what married love is supposed to be like. He says, "Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well. Should your springs overflow in the streets? ... Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers. May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth ... May her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be captivated by her love." Now someone might say, "That's in the Bible? Isn't that a little racy for God?" Absolutely not. He invented the male body. He invented the female body. He invented sexual intercourse. It is God's wonderful gift of a powerful love language between a husband and wife. And inside marriage, God says, "Go for it!" (or "goeth for it!") Let the fire burn hot inside the fireplace. But keep the fire there!
God isn't against sex; He's very for it. And He's for it being all He created it to be. He wants us to have sex and love at its best. And that's reserved for those who keep sex inside the fence of marriage. It could be that you're playing right now too close to the gate of that fence - either to have sex before you're married or to become sexually involved with someone other than the person you're married to. Maybe you're just playing with matches right now, but you are playing with passions that are more powerful than you can ultimately resist. You will get burned, and probably anyone near you will, too. Run from this temptation. Do not be in a place or a situation where you could go too far.
Remember that the bill for sexual sin will be far greater and last far longer than any thrill it may give you. And if you've already played with fire outside of the fireplace, don't wait another day to reach out for the forgiveness and restoring that only Jesus can give you. He died for the things you've done. Run to His cross, lay your sin there...and walk away clean.
The fire of sex has awesome power to warm your life - if you reserve it for the fireplace of married love. Take it outside the fireplace and you'll get burned. With God's power, keep your fire in the fireplace.