Who would think that God could teach me something while boiling potatoes in a pot?
To make the water boil more quickly I turned the heat up to high at first.Then I noticed that it took less energy to keep it boiling once it got started.Wow!That’s a lot like living for Jesus, isn’t it!If a Christian steps off the godly pathway it takes a lot of effort for him to return.
Once you grow cold, it is next to impossible to warm back up again.However, if the temperature of your heart warms up again, there is still a persistent energy needed to keep it going.How often do we step away, and then find it really tough to get back up on that path again.
God said that He wants us to always have a warm heart toward Him.“So, because you are lukewarm…neither hot or cold, I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”Revelation 3:16.
It’s a lot easier to stay hot for God than to have those cold spells and try to warm up again.
Once we are walking for Jesus it is better to continue in the faith.“It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell me about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth.”
3 John 1:3
Why is it so difficult to recover from a “cold spell” of being away from God?There is a physical (and spiritual) law of INERTIA.Check this out:
Newton’s First Law = Inertia
“Objects at rest remain at rest unless acted on by an outside force.”
“Objects in motion remain in motion unless acted upon by an outside force.”
Before Jesus came into your life you were like a pot of cold water.Then you were acted upon by the outside force of Jesus Christ.WHAM!Just like that, in a split second, you became hot for God.
Later, somewhere along the way, you were again acted upon by an outside force, Satan, and WHAM!He knocked you off the track.
That’s spiritual inertia!Because it’s so difficult to get back in touch with God, it is much better to never lose contact with Him.It takes energy to stay hot for God.Keep the fires going!Never let your guard down for a minute, less the outside forces of evil (Satan) overcome your progress and stop you dead in your spiritual walk.
GospeLines Prayer:“Father, will you help me to run and not grow weary, walk and not faint?And will you give me wisdom and discernment to recognize the outside evil forces which want to derail my progress?Even though I may walk slowly at times, please keep me moving toward You a little more every day.” Amen and amen.
Houston, among other parts of the country, has been experiencing an unprecedented heat wave lately.News commentators instruct us on the various ways runners, construction workers and others need to stay hydrated while outdoors and suggest the hours to stay inside, if possible.Sales of bottled water have skyrocketed as people attempt to quench their thirst.
As we sat in our air conditioned church today, Rev. Veal brought the message on a familiar topic--Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman as found in John 4:7-19.The passage provides insight into societal protocol during those times; Jews and Samaritans didn’t particularly like each other and didn’t communicate.And, men usually didn’t speak to women without benefit of their husband being in their presence.
As Pastor delved further into the message, we also learned that the Samaritan woman had chosen a different path to deal with a complex situation.She chose to go to Jacob’s well in the middle of the day, when it was extremely hot, rather than gather with other women in the cool of the morning.Most Samaritans would never have encountered Jesus on their trek to the well and most Jews would have taken a different route to avoid Samaria altogether.
Jesus may have disturbed the woman’s peace and certainly caught her by surprise when he asked her to give him a drink of water, with no provision of his own to do so.She knew that Jews wouldn’t normally be caught talking to Samaritans but recognized there was something different in this exchange.When Christ offered her “living water,” she wanted to thirst no more.Of course, He had a greater purpose for this conversation:
15The woman said, "Sir, give me this water so I won't ever get thirsty, won't ever have to come back to this well again!"
16He said, "Go call your husband and then come back."
As we reflect on this, we realize that Jesus was waiting to learn if the woman would acknowledge the truth regarding her marital status.And, probably to her surprise, he proceeded to finish her story…
17-18"I have no husband," she said.
"That's nicely put: 'I have no husband.' You've had five husbands, and the man you're living with now isn't even your husband. You spoke the truth there, sure enough."
Pastor brought another thought to mind regarding this story as well.The Samaritan woman was thirsty; perhaps looking for love in all the wrong places.She knew how to attract a man since she had five husbands along with the man she was presently living with.But, nothing was totally satisfying; nothing quenched her thirst, no matter how often she tried.
What quenches your thirst?
Prayer:Father, many of us are in the middle of a heat wave and it’s miserable.Like the woman at the well, our thirst has not been quenched.Bottled water just won’t do.We need You!
The Samaritan woman faced her truth and so must we.We can summarize all of our sins when we pray, but You know all.We don’t want to acknowledge the number of marriages we’ve had or the relationships that have not been pleasing to You.We can wait to come out from our secret hiding places or private prisons, so we don’t encounter others on the journey, but we can’t truly hide from You!
Some of us are looking for fame; some have a thirst for treasures on earth; some of us may identify with the woman at the well, looking for love in all the wrong places.
We thank You for the living water and for quenching a thirst that nothing and no one else can do.We are grateful for Your provision and for helping us…
Stand strong in the middle of a heat wave.
In His Love,
≈ Devotional for Wednesday, August 11, 2010
“What is it?”
When Jehovah heard the murmuring of the Israelites, He said, “I’ve heard your concerns and I will provide for you.”And God gave quail in the evening and a fine, coarse-like thing which fell with the morning dew at daybreak.The people asked of Moses, “Manna?”Which in Hebrew meant “What is it?”
“It is the bread which God has provided for you,” Moses answered.
Now when we think about “manna from heaven” in the larger sense, we sometimes view it as a sudden happening that brings good fortune.Whether from the Old Testament or from our modern perspective we should see manna as something that would not have been given to us apart from the grace of God.
My talented niece, Jan Poston, reminds us that God provides for our needs if we will only look up.She wrote in her blog recently:
We raise exotic deer, Blackbuck antelope and Fallow Deer, kept safely behind an 8 foot high fence on our property. Every other evening or so, we go out and throw corn to them, so we can check to see how they are doing. They have gotten used to this, some more than others, but a lot of them come close to the fence, expecting their treat. When we throw the corn over the fence, they look up, waiting for it to fall to the ground. Each time I see them look up to the sky, I think "It's like they are looking up to Heaven to see manna come down." They know its coming; all they have to do is look up.
If only we humans should be so smart. We just need to look up to the Lord.“This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever."John 6:58
King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream.When his magicians, astrologers, and sorcerers could not tell him his dream and its meaning, the king ordered all the wise men of Babylon to be executed.This order included Daniel.
When Daniel heard of the king's decree, he went to Nebuchadnezzar and asked for time so that he might interpret the dream for him. During the night, God revealed the dream and its meaning to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised God and said: "Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are His.He changes times and seasons; He sets up kings and deposes them.He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning"(Daniel 2:20-21).
Men cannot change time or the seasons; but, the inevitable passage of time (seasons) does change men.The world and those in the world are constantly changing; they are prisoners to the flow of time and the volatile world in which they live.However, if you have accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior, you do not belong to this world(John 15:19) for Jesus' kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36).
The world and things of the world will forever change as time passes; but, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).His love for you will never change (Romans 8:38-39).No one can snatch you out of His hand (John 10:27-29).So, be at peace; do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.Jesus went away; but, He is coming back(John 14:27-28).Time changes things of this world; but, it does not change His promise to us that through Him the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed.Through Jesus, everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the Law of Moses (Acts 13:38-39).
Time also does not alter Jesus' rebuke of those who stubbornly refuse to believe (even in light of the words given to them in Scripture) nor does it change His commission to us that we should go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation; telling them that whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. (Mark 16:14-16)
Brethren, time does change one thing for the followers of Christ - it changes the time remaining until His return and our opportunity to reach the lost.
At the age of six, Curtis Pride played one T-ball game and then said, "I'm going to be a baseball player." Twelve years later, he signed a contract to play for the major league New York Mets. In the intervening years, he was:
(1) An outstanding high school athlete excelling in baseball, soccer, basketball, wrestling, swimming, track, and gymnastics;
(2) Named as one of the top 15 youth soccer players in the world (the only American) and a member of the U.S. National All-Star Soccer Team that traveled to China to compete for the 1985 Junior World Cup;
(3) A "Parade Magazine" high school basketball All-American and a four-year starter as point guard on the College of William and Mary basketball team. Today, as the lead-off hitter, he batted over 300 for the Montreal Expos of the National League and plays right field.
Curtis Pride is 95% deaf.
People often use adversity as an excuse for mediocrity.But Christians have every reason to approach difficulty with hope, setting aside the fear of failure and pressing onward in the strength of the Lord.The mark of spiritual maturity is to walk boldly ahead even when our cup is half-full, with no thought that we may not reach our desired goal.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."Hebrews 12:1
My wife sent me a link this morning with the caution attached, “Tissue Alert;” it’s a perfect ending to this devotional.Please visit: