Summary: A sermon / devotional that's nice for a mid-week time together on a frosty night!
Maybe you're heard some of these...
-It’s so cold we had to chisel the dog off a lamp-post.
-It’s so cold you have to open the fridge to heat the house
-It’s so cold your false teeth chatter, and they are still in the glass
-It’s so cold the police tell a robber to freeze, and he does
-It’s so cold that my car won't start running and my nose won't stop.
1. In the Bible We Read about Cold Weather
- God promised a cold season. Genesis 8:21-22 The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: "Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done. "As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease."
- Peter warmed himself at a fire because he was cold. John 18:17-19 "You are not one of his disciples, are you?" the girl at the door asked Peter. He replied, "I am not." It was cold, and the servants and officials stood around a fire they had made to keep warm. Peter also was standing with them, warming himself. The High Priest Questions Jesus Meanwhile, the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching.
- Paul warmed himself by a fire and experienced something unpleasant. Acts 28:1-3 "Once safely on shore, we found out that the island was called Malta. The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold. Paul gathered a pile of brushwood and, as he put it on the fire, a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand."
- Paul also said that at times he went cold and hungry. 2 Corinthians 11:26-28 "I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.
2. Cold is used as a metaphor for weak or dying faith.
- Jesus talked about the loss of love for God. Matthew 24:11-13 "Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved."
- Jesus speaks through John to reveal that a cold or lukewarm spirit is not pleasing to God. Revelation 3:14-22 14"To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."
*Wickedness turns our hearts colder toward God.
*Lukewarm spirit develops when we think we do not need God
3. Instead of being COLD, we need to try to ignite Faith’s Fire in our hearts!
- Jeremiah 20:8-9 Fire in our bones Whenever I speak, I cry out proclaiming violence and destruction. So the word of the LORD has brought me insult and reproach all day long. But if I say, "I will not mention him or speak any more in his name," his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.