Spiritually Cold (Matthew 24:9-12) – PART 2
Matthew 24:9-12, Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
A member of a certain church, who previously had been attending services regularly, stopped going. After a few weeks, the pastor decided to visit him. It was a cold evening. The pastor found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire. Guessing the reason for his pastor's visit, the man welcomed him, led him to a big chair near the fireplace and waited. The pastor made himself comfortable but said nothing. In the grave silence, he watched the flames around the burning logs. After some minutes, the pastor took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth all alone. Then he sat back in his chair, still silent. The host was captivated as he watched all this in silence. As the one lone ember's flame diminished, there was a momentary glow and then its fire was no more. Soon it was cold and dead. Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting. Just before the pastor was ready to leave, he picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire. Immediately it began to glow once more with the light and warmth of the burning coals around it. As the pastor reached the door to leave, his host said, "Thank you so much for your visit and especially for the fiery sermon. I shall be back in church next Sunday."
Love must be protected and cultivated if it is to be kept alive. Just because we love God today does not mean that we will do so tomorrow. Jesus told us that in strenuous situations many hearts will grow cold. Keep your heart warm toward the Lord today, or tomorrow you may find it has grown cold. True involvement consists of fellowship. Fellowship is never something done alone. One reason church is so important is because of the fellowship with other Christians. You miss out when you miss a service and neglect the assembling at church. The Lord often sends His messengers to nudge others awake. Sometimes the methods used to awaken them are drastic, but always for their good. Let us not imagine that because He shakes us, He therefore hates us. He awakens us from lethargy because He loves us, and wants to save our lives from apathy, waste, and ineffectiveness.
Many offer excuses hindering their involvement with others. Here are ten:
1. I can't help anyone, I don't know what to do.
2. I'm too busy or too tired.
3. It's not worth the trouble.
4. I don't need anyone.
5. No one needs me.
6. I'm afraid I'll get burned or taken advantage of.
7. It's none of my business.
8. I might look foolish.
9. I'm too shy.
10. I don’t have time.
Questions to Consider:
Is the Lord trying to wake you up?
Have you lost your compassion for others, for those who are unsaved or hurting?
Points to Ponder:
Guard your heart from waxing cold due to sin and spiritual neglect.
When sin is not abruptly acknowledged and attacked, it will chill our affections for Jesus.
PRAYER: Father, my desire is to draw nigh unto You. May my nearness to You fill my heart with Your love and increase the fervor of my love for You. Help my love for You to abound more and more and that it never grows cold. In Jesus name, AMEN!
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.