April 24, 2013
READ: Matthew 5:11-16
No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead . . . let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father (vv.15-16).
Recently, scientists discovered the answer to why we
occasionally experience that dreaded ‘brain
freeze’ when eating ice cream. The piercing pain in the temples is caused by an increase in blood flow and the enlarging of the anterior cerebral artery—located in the middle of the brain behind the eyes. This phenomenon occurs when our icy, sweet treats come into contact with the roof of our mouths and the back of our throats. How to avoid the big chill? Consider enjoying smaller bites of that Triple Thick Chocolate Explosion or whatever your favourite ice-cream flavour is!
There’s another kind of big chill that many of us face in life—spiritual freeze. Our hearts begin to cool to God and His Word, and then we soon experience the pain of lives spinning out of control. Jesus described people who exhibit a freeze in their faith as salt that “has lost its flavour” and a lamp hidden “under a basket” (Matthew 5:13,15). In contrast, He states that those who are passionate about their faith—even to the point of being persecuted for it—will receive “a great reward” (vv.11-12). So salt and light that penetrates our culture, sick in sin, and preserves what is good brings glory to God (v.16) and a blessing to those who are exhibiting them!
How can we avoid the big chill? Paul gives us some insights: “Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people” (Philippians 2:15). As we pursue God, our spiritual flames will grow purer, brighter and more true! And as we regularly meet and have fellowship with like-minded believers in Jesus, we’ll increasingly develop “the qualities of salt among [ourselves]” (Mark 9:50).
Let’s avoid spiritual freeze by seeking God passionately and spending time with His people consistently! —Tom Felten
2 Kings 2:13-25 ‹
Read Isaiah 2:2-5 and see what God will do in “the last days” (v.2) and where He wants His people to walk (v.5).
What has caused you to experience a spiritual freeze? How can you grow in your passion for God and for spending quality time with true believers in Jesus?