Wednesday, October 1, 2008's cold!

Today is a cool day in PA....the high is only supposed to be in the 50's. Hurray! I love cool weather. It makes a cup of hot coffee (or tea, or whatever you prefer) even better if that's possible.

But, for all you iced coffee drinkers our there, let me ask you, do you like your iced coffee best when it's actually icy? Or, do you like it after the ice all melts and it gets watery and warm?

As I said yesterday, most of us tend to prefer one extreme or the other. We want hot or cold, not lukewarm. The same is true of the Lord (Rev. 3:15-16).

We have been taking our "spiritual temperature" this week. Now, spiritually speaking, being cold is not a good thing, but God prefers that to being lukewarm. So how can I know if I am "cold" spiritually? Here are a few symptoms:

1. I will be hostile or cold toward the things of God

This is something that Christ says will be a sign of the last times, "....the love of many shall wax cold." (Mt. 24:12) Do I have a hostility toward the Word of God or the things of God? If so, I am spiritually cold.

2. I will be hard or calloused toward God and others.

Have you ever noticed that ice numbs? When we become spiritually cold, we get numb, hard, and calloused toward the things of God, and God's attempts to deal with our hearts. We also get calloused concerning the spiritual needs of others. We have no feeling or compassion for their condition because we are so cold in our own hearts.

I would also like to say that many people become cold-hearted when they are in pain. If we have been emotionally hurt, the numbness of being spiritually cold may seem preferable to trusting God to help us through that pain. The sad thing is that we fail to realize that the numbness is not healing the problem, only masking it. And spiritually speaking, it eventually brings much greater pain in our lives and the lives of others.

3. I will be harsh or cruel.

As we become colder and colder, and become insensitive to God in our own hearts, we become insensitive not only to the needs of others, but to the feelings of others. Our self-centeredness becomes very evident, and exhibits itself in cruelty to those around us. Proverbs 12:10 says that, "...the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel."

4. I will be heedless or careless.

When I am cold, I quit listening to God, and I quit caring about the consequences of my sin.

Do you see how our spiritual temperature will affect not only our own hearts and lives, but our marriages, our parenting skills, our service to our churches, and our relationships with those around us? This topic is really important!

I would venture to guess that most people who are reading this would not classify themselves as cold. It is possible, however, for any of us to grow cold toward the things of God. If you see any symptoms of coldness in your heart and life, turn on the "heat" of the Word of God. If you know and love someone who has grown spiritually cold, don't lose hope. God's love and His Word are powerful enough to thaw the iciest heart.

Tomorrow's Topic: Tepid Isn't Tasty

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