Cold–Good Or Bad?

cold weather

Right now in Texas the state it going through some very cold weather. At least very cold by Texas standards. The temperatures are dropping down into the 20s. Where I grew up in Wisconsin, that would be warm enough to start taking off the jackets, thinking it was warm. Right now they are experiencing sub-zero temps.

I am one of the strange people who enjoys the cold weather. I have always loved winter. Although winter in Texas is very different, since there is no snow, or at least very, very, very little.

Most people I know, at least in Texas, hate the cold and do not want to be a part of it at all. They fear frostbite, icy roads, sidewalks or steps. They hate having to wait for the car to warm up in order to warm up themselves. Many don’t like having to put on heavy jackets and hats, just to stay somewhat warm. 

While being cold does have some major dangers involved in it, there are also some good things that can only be seen or experienced in the cold.

I enjoy walking outside and breathing in the fresh, crisp, cold, refreshing air. I hate breathing in the hot, humid Texas air in the summer (which appears to be most of the year in Texas).

I love seeing snowbanks and snow covered trees and houses. Although I never really liked to shovel the snow.

Snow Covered Trees

I love to see icicles hanging off of buildings, trees, and rocks. Looking at the beautiful, intricate ice formations on a window is a lot of fun. Looking at rivers or lakes that are covered in ice is a beautiful sight to see.

Ice Crystals.JPG

One benefit of the cold in Texas is that it does kill off many of the bugs that exist. Texas is known for many bugs and some really big ones too. Very few survive the cold when it gets this cold.

The cold will also slow down all the snakes and put many of them into a hibernation mode for a time. Very few snakes are seen when it is this cold.

As I was thinking about the cold here in Texas, I started thinking about cold in the Bible. One of the verses that immediately comes to mind is:

Revelation 3_15-16

Jesus was talking about the deeds of the people. They were neither hot or cold. They could not make up their mind of whether they would follow Jesus or not, serve Him or not. God wants them to be either hot or cold, not in between.

Looking at this verse, many people think of cold being negative. However, Jesus was not talking about the person being cold is spit out of his mouth. It is the person who is lukewarm, neither hot or cold.

Hard Heart

When a person is said to have a cold heart, it is talking about how he has hardened his heart against someone or towards something. The Bible talks of how Pharaoh had hardened his heart against God and Moses. He had turned cold against God. Most of the time, a hardening of the heart is a negative thing to happen.

However, a person can also be cold and have a hardened heart in a positive way. Cold to sin and the ways of this world. One must harden his heart against the deceptions and lies of sin.

Jesus had told some people that Satan was their father and that he was the father of lies.

John 8:44 New International Version (NIV)

44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Satan and this world wants you to believe that Jesus died and stayed dead on the cross. They want you to believe that God is not real. They want you to believe that sin is acceptable. They want you to believe that there are many ways into heaven.

The accusation that Jesus told the people in John, is not one that you will want to be made against you. Your heart must be hot on fire for God and His will, but cold to sin.

You must not allow your heart to be hardened cold against God and what He wants for your life. God is only looking out for your best. He is a Father who loves to give good things to His children.

When “bad” things happen in your life, the world will try to get you to turn your heart cold against God. Because why should God allow bad things to happen to you?

Romans 8-28

One may not ever know why a “bad” situation happened in his life, but he can rest assured it was meant for good by God. God takes the negative things of this world and uses them for His purpose.

Just as there is spring, summer, fall and winter in this world for a purpose, there is a purpose to the seasons and events in your life.

While many people do not like the cold and often ask what good it is, there are good things that occur when the cold comes in. There is beauty that can be seen when it is cold.

Turn your heart cold to the sin and ways of this world. Turn your heart on fire for God and His ways. Do not allow yourself to be lukewarm and spit out by God. There is a purpose in the cold.

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Zechariah 13:9 The One-Third Left

This third I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The LORD is our God.’ ” Zechariah 13:9

Zechariah gave a prophecy of the time when Jesus was struck and the people would be scattered. During this time, two-thirds of the people would be killed off. The last group left would be put through the fire and a major test to build them up. In the end they would be His people and He would be their God.

Being the last one usually has a bad connotation. It means the person failed or is not worth the time. Children often pick the classmate last that cannot play the game well. In a race, the one who comes in last is the loser.

With God, that is not always the case. Here God has something special for those who are last or are left. At first glance it does not look like something good–being put through fire or being tested. No one likes to be put through the fire. It is hot and it burns.

The fire that God puts His people through is not a physical burning fire, but a spiritual one. It is the challenges of life. It is the allowed attacks of the enemy. The purpose of that fire is to have the person focus more on Him and trust that He will bring him through the situation. It is to burn out any sin in the life of the person.

Every believer, including you, have things in their lives that do not need to be there. It could be actions, thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, or physical things. Anything that does not honor God or goes against His commands, needs to be removed. God will do whatever it takes to remove any impurities in your life.

Being refined like gold through the fire will bring that about. God left you a part of the remnant, the last third left for this reason. He has a purpose for your life. God wants you to have a life that mirrors that of Jesus, perfect, holy and righteous.

Is God able to say that you are His child?

Can you say that the LORD is your God?

I pray today that you will follow Jesus with all of your life; that you will be made more like Jesus each day; that you will allow God to refine you in His way; and that you will say that the Lord is your God.

Zechariah 12:7 All Will Be Equal

The LORD will save the dwellings of Judah first, so that the honor of the house of David and of Jerusalem’s inhabitants may not be greater than that of Judah. Zechariah 12:7

When the nation of Israel split up, it was split into two nations of Judah and Israel. Because of their sins, both nations were destroyed and put into captivity. After a time of being enslaved, they were released and God allowed the nation of Israel to be restored as one nation.

It was prophesied that there would come a day when God destroys all the nations that harmed Israel. During that time of destruction, God would save all the dwellings of Judah first, then those of Israel. This was done so that neither would think they were higher and greater than the other.

In this fallen world, people rank each other. Depending upon what they are looking at will determine how a person is ranked. One of the most common is by wealth, but it can be by appearance, talent, nationality, influence, or one of many other things. Some people are ranked very high on the list, while others are ranked very low.

In God’s kingdom, He does not rank the same way. The people of Israel thought that they were better than those of Judah, because they were direct descendants of King David. They thought they were the best. God gave special honor to Judah to show that they were the same.

Many in the church try to rank people in various ways. They look at how much a person does or does not give in the offering, or the type of ministry the person does, or how they dress for church. Others will look at how a person came to salvation and how much sin he has given up.

In the end, God does not look that way at people. He is looking at their heart–are they serving and following Jesus or not.

Once you begin following Jesus, you are equal with every other believer who follows Him. When you get into heaven, it will no longer matter who did what or how they did it, all will be equal.

Do not strive to be the greatest, or to look down on others who are not like you. Seek to bring all to Jesus as equal children of God. God loves you and everyone else just the same.

I pray today that God will reveal His love to you; that God will help you remove all self-pride in your life; that you will honor all who serve God; and that you will know that in God’s eyes all are equal.

Zechariah 10:1 Ask The Lord

Ask the LORD for rain in the springtime; it is the LORD who sends the thunderstorms. He gives showers of rain to all people, and plants of the field to everyone. Zechariah 10:1

The people were seeking false gods and idols for the rain to come. Zechariah tells them to ask God for the rain. He points out that it is God who provides rain for every person. It is also He who provides the plants for everyone.

During the Old Testament times rain was extremely important to the people. It allowed for the plants to grow. The plants provided food for the people and animals. It also provided something to sell for income needed for other things. Without any rain, they people would slowly die off, not having any food or income.

In most places in today’s society, people do not rely as much upon the rain personally. However, when there is a drought it does affect every person. The price of food goes up, because of the lack of it growing and high demand.

Without rain, the farmers cannot grow any crops. Without the crops they have no income, causing many to look for work somewhere else. Which causes a loss of someone else getting a job.

Instead of looking to physical idols today, people often look to the government or other people to provide for their needs. They make the government and other people their gods or idols.

The first place a person should look for provision is from God. God is the One who created everything that there is. He owns it all. He is the One who makes it rain, on both the believers and the unbelievers.

When you are faced with a challenging problem of provision, seek God first. He is a God who loves and wants to give good gifts to every person. The greatest gift He gave was forgiveness and life through His Son Jesus Christ. If He is willing to give that, how much more willing will He be to give you some food or some other thing that you need in this life?

Do not start with looking towards others or the government for provision. Don’t even look at your job for provision. Look to the Lord, who is full of grace, mercy and wants to give provide for you everything that you need. Take time to ask Him for help first.

I pray today that you will know the provision of God in your life; that you will seek God first in all of your needs; that you will trust God for your needs; and that God will show Himself faithful to you. 

Zechariah 9:9 Your King Comes With Humility

Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. Zechariah 9:9

Prophesying to a future time, Zechariah talks of a king who comes in victory and righteousness to the city. This king comes in on a foal of a donkey, rather than a horse. The king is later to be seen as Jesus when He rides into Jerusalem on the foal of a donkey.

Leaders who want to show their power and authority will usually enter with a show of power and authority. They will not enter quietly and no strength. Kings will usually have a big fanfare ahead of them announcing their arrival. There have been leaders who place their army before them as a show of power when they enter an area.

While all of these ways do show some power and authority, none of them shows true power and authority. Coming in on a foal of a donkey appears that one has no authority or power, yet, can show solid confidence in who one is.

When Jesus rode into Jerusalem, He did not have to show off His power and authority. The people had already seen His power in the healings that had already occurred. He had already shown His great love to the people and His willingness to serve them.

The people expected Jesus to overrun the Roman government in force. Jesus came to fight a spiritual battle against sin. This is done with love and humility, not by force. He entered with victory in knowing that in the end He would win the battle. This shows true authority and power.

There are believers today that try to enter an area by force. The physically fight for the ways of God and refuse to show humility and love.

As a believer, you need to be like Jesus. Be willing to ride the low foal of a donkey. Do not ride in with pride and greed. Show love, mercy and service to the people. These are the things that will draw people to God, not a show of power only. Walk in the confidence you have in Christ Jesus. He has given you all authority and power on this earth, not to lord it over people, but to serve and love them into the kingdom.

Rejoice for what Jesus did for you today!

I pray today that you will know the humility Jesus had for you; that you will know the true power of God in your life; that you will show God’s love and power to the world; and that many will come to Jesus through you. 

Zechariah 8:23 What Are They Saying About You?

This is what the LORD Almighty says: “In those days ten people from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, ‘Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.'” Zechariah 8:23

During the time that the Israelites were in captivity, God held His hand against them. Once they had served the set time for being in captivity and turned their hearts back to God, He gave them His favor. Just as much as He was against them, He was now for them, building them back up. His Spirit would be with them so much that people would come a grab them, wanting to be with them, because they heard that God was with them.

When a person has been very successful at something, many people want to be around that person. They want some of that success to rub off on them. This is especially true when the person has been financially successful. People will talk about the wealth of someone or the business success of a person. For most people it is amazing and they want to be a part of it.

As Jesus walked on this earth, people talked about what He was doing. They could see that God was with Him. Crowds gathered around wherever He went. Before He left, He told that the disciples that they would do even greater things than He did.

Some of those things that He said they would do is shown in the book of Acts. Prison doors were opened, the dead were raised, and healings occurred with just a shadow. These are just the physical things. Letters were written that are distributed around the world to this day. Jesus never wrote one letter.

When people talk about you, what do they have to say? As they look at your life and watch you, what are they seeing?

You have God’s Holy Spirit available to you all the time. He is there to do mighty works in and through you. When Jesus is lifted up and shown to the world, He will draw men and women to Him. People will run to you wanting to know what you have. They will see that God is with you and they will want to have some of Him also.

What are people saying about you today?

I pray today that you will allow God’s Spirit to live in you; that you will allow God to work through you; that you will allow God to use you in small and great ways; and that God will draw people to Jesus through you.