Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Ice-Storm Cometh

Wow, did we ever get hit with a major ice storm this weekend and Monday. Our power finally came on Monday evening. At the time we were over at another young couple’s house from church and were planning to spend the night with them. Thankfully, we didn’t have to and we got to sleep in our own bed. But, I sure do appreciate my church family.

Anyway, our usually busy town of Shawnee has been shut down. School has been cancelled for Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday. Sunday evening worship services were cancelled. I was really looking forward to preaching my Sunday evening sermon. You might be thinking, “Well, Robert, you’re going to be a step ahead for next week's sermon.” Well, the truth of the matter is that I was planning on this Sunday for AM to look at the virgin birth and then at PM to look at the genealogy of Christ. So, I don’t know what I’m going to do yet. The sermon I had prepared that night really was intended to be a nice “compliment” with the AM sermon I preached on saving faith. That night we were going to look at the subject of faith from a more practical, “how to use it” standpoint. So, I don’t know what I’m going to do. I will tell you this, I’ve learned that if you are going to write a bad sermon, try to do it in the winter where the chances of ice storms canceling services are much greater!! (That’s a joke of course and really meant to be appreciated by preachers)

Anyway, Sunday afternoon we just “rested”, had a family devo, and I watched NFL football and got to see my Dallas Cowboys come from behind and win thanks to the great play of quarterback Tony Romo. (Man that guy is awesome!)

For those who were able to attend worship services somewhere on Sunday…..... I hope you heard a great sermon and were uplifted, encouraged and challenged.

Now, back to the weather………. are there any spiritual lessons to be learned from this ice-storm? As we have looked around at the damage from the storm, there are more than a couple of inches of ice on tree limbs and hanging from the edge of houses and buildings. Just remind yourself that this is just water. Liquid that we use everyday and now there are branches on huge trees that are breaking in half and falling to the ground. Beautiful bushes when touched fall to pieces. And guess what happens if you walk under one of those icicles as it falls from the roof? That's right, you get the point.

This liquid is dangerous because it has frozen. People can be dangerous spiritually speaking when they are frozen. That is why the Bible frequently warns us not to be cold, lukewarm and apathetic in our devotion to God. To the contrary, we are commanded to be zealous (“white hot”) and have a burning, passionate relationship with God. (Romans 12:11) “Don’t put out the Spirit’s fire” is Paul’s admonition to the church at Thessalonica. (1 Thess. 5:19) Spiritual fervor and fire can be extinguished by simply apathy.

If we ever find ourselves spiritually frozen we need the passionate fire of God and His Word to thaw us out and make us alive again. The Prophet Jeremiah had a spiritual awakening – renewal and rejuvenation in his soul. He said God’s Word was “in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, and I could not.” (Jeremiah 20:9b) That’s what happens when the Word gets in us.

We need to get closer to the Son and allow the warmth of His Spirit to begin to make alive and mobile again. (Read Romans 8:1-11 and Gal. 5:16-26) We have been created for a very specific purpose and though spiritual “ice storms” come and try to force us to stay in one place and stop growing, God can bring a comforting thaw to our lives. Let the warmth of Christ enable you to feel again and fulfill your purpose. (Eph. 3:17)

Stay safe and warm,

In Christ,
Robert Prater

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