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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Daniel 1:8 Choosing To Not Be Defiled

But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. Daniel 1:8

When King Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, had taken over Jerusalem and all Judah, he carried many people into captivity. Out of these people, he chose some who were the best and brightest to work for him. They were brought into the palace courts to work and given the best food and drink, along with all other needed provisions. Daniel was among those given that favor.

The food being provided was food that the Israelites were not supposed to eat according to God’s law. Daniel set it in his heart that he would not defile his body with the food being offered. Regardless of what may happen, he refused to eat that food. He asked the officials to not eat it. He was given favor, because God was on his side.

In this world there are many things that are out there that can defile a believer. No matter what store or location a person walks into things are available to cause one to sin. Pictures, thoughts, and actions are everywhere being done that are filled with sin and can lead a believer down the wrong path. Even other people can lead a person wrong.

As a believer, you must make a commitment to the Lord prior to walking into any place. You must commit to not allowing yourself to be led into sin. You have to choose not to walk down certain paths that the world offers.

In the process of doing this, there will be many times that you will go against the flow of society, even some in the church. Some may be doing it in good will, not meaning to harm you, but still be against God’s ways. It may also be painful. As with Daniel choosing not to eat certain foods, it runs the risk of creating severe pain and suffering. God is with you, and if you choose to follow Him and His ways, He will take care of you.

Before you walk out of your house today, or even your bedroom, resolve in your heart to not allow yourself to be defiled by sin. Refuse to walk down that path as you walk in this world.

I pray today that you will know God’s will for your life; that you will choose to follow God alone; that you will choose to not walk in sin against God; and that you will not allow yourself to be defiled by this world.

Proverbs 8:10-11 What To Choose

Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Proverbs 8:10-11

Wealth is something that many people strive for. People are always looking for a way to get rich quickly, with as little amount of work as possible. Many are striving to be able to purchase that new car, or house, or go on a fancy vacation. In the process of getting those things, many problems arise.

It is common for a person to get a loan to purchase that new fancy car, that is more than he really needs. Then a few months later, the car gets repossessed because he cannot make the payments. There was no wisdom used in the purchase, only the seeking out of gold and silver. Wisdom would have made the person choose another vehicle that was not so high priced.

Solomon, who was the wealthiest man who ever lived on the earth, had learned that seeking wisdom was more important than seeking after things or gold. It has more value than the gold, because wisdom can bring a person life. Wisdom keeps a person from making the wrong decisions.

Knowing God is the beginning of wisdom. No one is more wise than God is.  God had the wisdom to lay out the plan of salvation for each person. That plan brings about life, not death.

Seeking to run after the things of the world will only bring you dissatisfaction and disappointment. You may have a lot of things and are wealthy, but inside there will be no real life or enjoyment in this life.

The Bible does not directly tell you what to do or not do in purchasing things of this world. It does, however, give you guidelines in what to do. These guidelines are pieces of God’s wisdom for your life.

As you choose to follow God and His word, you will gain more wisdom. In the process of gaining this wisdom it will help you make the right choices in this life. Then you will be filled with the abundant life that Jesus said He came to give you.

Will you choose God’s wisdom for your life today?

I pray today that you will seek out God’s wisdom; that you will follow God’s wisdom; that God will show you the best paths to take; and that you will know the life that God’s wisdom can give you.

Psalm 75:7 The Real Judge

It is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another. Psalm 75:7

People who are in leadership are criticized or praised by many people. Some believe in the leader and just sing praises about him, thinking he is the best. Others cannot stand the leader and constantly find fault with him, judging all the time.

In the countries where democracy exists and people elect others into positions, it is commonly thought that the people are in control. Those who go out to vote for a leader will stand on both sides of the spectrum as to whether to choose that person or not. When the elections are over, some people are happy, while others are not.

Believers need to look at it differently. They need to view thing the way God sees it. God is the one who put that person into position or removed that person. God is the one who is in full control. There are times God will place a person who is not a believer into leadership position.

Not only in the leadership elections, but also in everyday life of each person. Some people are raised up into positions or power, while others are removed. It happens in the church, the workplace, the community, and everywhere else.

As a believer, you must seek God’s wisdom and direction in deciding who is in leadership. Trust that God knows what He is doing. Do not worry or fret over someone being in a position. No person can do anything unless God allows it. No person can be a leader unless God permits him to be one. Ultimately God’s purpose will be fulfilled.

Do not attempt to stand in place to be the ultimate judge, that is God’s job to do. You are here to be a witness of Jesus. God will lift some up and remove others, according to His will. Give God praise for all that He is doing and will do.

How are you judging those in leadership?

Are you judging them as though you are in charge?

Or are you looking at the big picture that God sees and building?

I pray today that you will not fear those in leadership; that you will trust God’s reason for each person in leadership; that you will allow God to raise or remove leaders; and that you will not just judge but be a witness of Jesus to those in leadership.

Psalm 48:14 Who Is Your God?

For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end. Psalm 48:14

The term God is used by many people in many different ways. Each person that uses it, is serious in what he is saying or believing.

Millions around the world think of Allah, the god of Islam, when they use the term “God.” Millions more think of the one of many gods in Hinduism when the term in used.  Others will think of themselves or some other person in their life when talking about God. Christians think of the God-Yahweh and Jesus.

The only thing in common with each of these beliefs, is that the person attempts to follow his God’s every command. People believe that they are serving the true God(s).

Each person must choose who his God is. Choosing who that God is, means that the person will dedicate his life to that God and follow that God’s every command. He will allow his God to guide his every step.

As much as many want to believe that there are many gods, or that they are all the same god, this cannot be true. Each one teaches something different, so they cannot be the same. Only one of the gods is the true God.

God-Yahweh can be seen as the true God. There are no contradictions in His words. Time and again His words have been proven true.

Knowing this, then you should be making God-Yahweh, your one and only God. You need to be following Him with all of your life.

If God is the one true God, then you know that you can trust Him with everything. He is the One who made everything and is in control of everything. He is the perfect guide for your life.

There are map programs that are good, and then there are map programs that are much better or the best. Which one do you want to guide you on a trip?

You will want the one that will guide you perfectly, every time.

Is God your God? Make Him your God for ever and ever. Do not allow any other God’s in your life.

Are you allowing God to guide you? He is the perfect guide in this life.

I pray today that you will personally know God in your life; that you will allow God to guide your life; that you will never turn to others gods; and that you will know God’s direction in your life.

Psalm 42:1-2 What Are You Thirsty For?

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. Where can I go and meet with God? Psalm 42:1-2

Anyone who has been in a desert climate for more than a few days, understands the value of water. This is especially true during the summer months. Go to the desert areas of southwestern Texas during the summer months, and the temperature will be over 100 degrees. There is usually no water to be seen for many miles.

The one in the desert will get extremely thirsty for something to drink. The mouth will be dry, and the tongue will stick to the top of the mouth. He will want something to drink and it does not matter. The endless list of possible drinks that are seen in a store will no longer matter, just something wet to drink.

When one has had lots to drink, it is easy to be picky about what to drink. In the restaurant, there are many choices, and one can be choosy then. However, in the desert, there is no time to be choosy or picky.

In life, there are many things to drink from. The world will tell you that you can drink from their celebrity status, or wealth, or fun things and will be satisfied. Think of every time you drink your favorite drink at a restaurant, how long does it quench your thirst? Only for a very short amount of time.

The only thing or one that can truly satisfy your thirst in this life, is Jesus. Jesus said that whoever drinks His water will never thirst again.

As a believer, you should be panting after God. Your mind should be focused on getting more of God. Just as the deer pants and longs for more water to drink. And as the person in the desert is panting some liquid to drink, you must be thirsty for more of God.

Make it your focus in life to drink of God. Take in what He has for you. Learn more of who He is. Desire to spend all your time with God. God will satisfy your greatest longings and desires, if you will let Him.

I pray today that you will thirst after God; that you will want God alone; that you will allow God to be your heart’s desire; and that you will know God in a personal way.

John 18:27 Denying Jesus

“Again Peter denied it, and at that moment a rooster began to crow.” John 18:27

The night Jesus was to be arrested and crucified, He had told Peter that he would deny Him three times before the rooster crowed. Peter did not accept that statement. After Jesus was arrested, there were three different people who came up to Peter stating that he was a follower of Jesus. All three times Peter denied it. This happened before the rooster crowed.

Many people want to state this downfall of Peter. They want to say that they will never be like that and would never deny Jesus.

Although many believers in the church would not directly state that they do not know Jesus, there are other ways that they may deny Him.

Probably the most common way is choosing to sin over fleeing the temptation to sin. People like to excuse their reasons why they sinned, instead of stating that they messed up. Often the sin was a purposeful chosen sinful act, rather than an accident in the spur of the moment. For a person to sin, he must choose to deny the power of Jesus and what Jesus has done in his life.

Another common way to deny Jesus, is choosing to not talk about Him to people who may or may not know Jesus. When you chose to believe in Jesus, you also chose to take on the work He is doing. His work is to bring everyone to salvation. Your job is to be that witness in this world.

Every time you choose not to tell someone about Jesus, you are denying Him. You are telling the world that you do not know Him, when in fact you do.

Are you ashamed of Jesus? Are you afraid of what others might do if you did talk about Jesus?

Jesus was not ashamed of you when you came to Him. He is not ashamed of you now. He wants you to be with Him. He wants to make you like Him. Be bold and do not be afraid to claim to know Jesus. Proclaim Jesus in all of your words and actions.

I pray today that Jesus will be more real to you; that you will not deny Jesus in your words or actions; that you will not fear knowing Jesus publicly; and that God will use you to draw more people to Jesus.