And the servants and officers stood there, who had made a fire of coals; for it was cold: and they warmed themselves: and Peter stood with them, and warmed himself. ~John 18:18
Winter time is when the cold season hits us hard. As I write this devotion, 10% of our church attendance is down with illness, hospitalizations, or crisis. The majority of them have been hit with the flu and colds. Colds make us very miserable. We experience fever, chills, coughing, runny noses, intestinal ailment, and even pneumonia if not treated right away. This morning, I would like us to see why it is important not to catch a cold: a spiritual cold.
We see the COMMUNITY for a cold.
The first sign that you are about to catch a cold is when you get too close to other people who have a cold. Recently, my wife and I attended two family gatherings where there was at least one person who who was sick with the cold. My wife got too close and caught it. We read, “And the servants and officers stood there, who had made a fire of coals; for it was cold: and they warmed themselves: and Peter stood with them, and warmed himself.” Peter drew near into a community of people who were in the cold physically and spiritually. Peter stood with them and warmed himself. We must be careful of “warming” ourselves around unsaved people and carnal Christians. When we stand with them, we tend to be closer to the fire they associate with than to the fires of revival and fervent Christian living.
We see the CONTAGION of a cold.
Colds are contagious. When people sneeze or cough, the airborne germs are contagious. When we are too close to someone with a cold via a handshake or friendly embrace, we are susceptible to catching the cold. Peter was very fervent for Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. He brashly declared that he would die with the Lord. I believe he was sincere at that moment because he found boldness being near Jesus. However, now that Peter stood at a distance from Jesus, he saw a fire of coals where the servants and officers stood. Peter made a voluntary, non-coerced decision to warm himself with them. He caught their cold! When he was asked about his association with Jesus, Peter lied, swore, and cursed. The farther away he was from Jesus, the more he morphed into the same spirit as those people.
We see the CALAMITY from a cold.
Colds make us feel very miserable. We don’t want to be around other people. We want to stay under the covers. We are hurting from the aches and pains. When we see Peter, we see a man who was very miserable. After he denied the Lord the third time, he heard the cock crow. He remembered the words of the Lord, looked up, and made eye contact with the Lord Jesus. He was embarrassed, ashamed, and humbled. He failed the Lord! It does not pay to become cold in our hearts and lives. Jesus said, “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” Living in sin hardens our hearts and makes us cold. Peter became very sad and miserable from becoming cold in his heart and fellowship with the Lord.
We see the CURE for a cold.
The good news is that a cold can be cured! First, we need take the right medicine to break the effects. Confession of our sin, getting back to reading the Bible, and prayer are the medicine we need. Second, we need to drink lots of water and get hydrated. Jesus is the fountain of living water. Drink deeply and abundantly of the water He gives to restore your health and to be hydrated in His love and fellowship. Third, get out of the cold fellowship of the wrong crowd, and get into the fellowship and fire of God’s people in church.
Don’t catch a cold! Colds leave us in a mess. Get out of the coldness of being away from the Lord and into the warmth of His love and fellowship.
Have a cold-free God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Genesis 16-18