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It Was Cold

Daily Reading: John 18

 

Now the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves. Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself. (John 18.18)

 

Devotional Thought: I have often been struck by those three words in verse 18, as Peter stood warming himself at the fire: "It was cold."

·       Night had fallen over Peter’s soul.  It was cold! 

·       Injustice ruled the day.  It was cold!

·       Love was snuffed out by cruel, calculating power.  It was cold!

·       Danger and fear had overwhelmed Peter.  It was cold!

·       Failure and self-loathing had ambushed Peter.  It was cold!

·       Separation from Jesus had caused him to deny his best friend.  It was cold!

 

It was cold!  And where was Peter?  Warming himself at the wrong fire!  Have you ever done that?  Have you ever warmed yourself at the wrong fire?  Disappointed with your own "performance" have you turned your anger against the innocent and helpless around you?  Overcome with the enormity of life’s burdens, have you leaned upon the wrong support, hiding in a world that is buttressed with the false braces of alcohol and drugs?   Hungry for intimacy have you substituted temporary excitement for real relationship?  Fearing the emptiness of your soul, have you attempted to fill your life with materialism and entertainment?  Rejected, rebuffed, and ridiculed, have you warmed yourself with the fires of rage and bitterness and unforgiveness? 

 

When it’s the coldest we need to turn to Jesus!  Even when we have disappointed and denied him, Jesus will embrace us with his love and warmth.  It wasn’t until days later that Peter allowed himself to be warmed at the fire of Jesus.  In John 21, we read how Jesus built a fire for Peter and his friends to warm themselves and to fix their breakfast.  He has built a fire for each one of us.  When we find it is cold, let us turn to Jesus!

 

Prayer: Lord, I turn to you in my hopelessness, in my failure, in my shame.  Warm the cold corners of my soul with the fire of your love!  Amen.

 

Psalm of the Day: 38.1-8

1 O LORD, rebuke me not in your anger, nor discipline me in your wrath!

2 For your arrows have sunk into me, and your hand has come down on me.

3 There is no soundness in my flesh because of your indignation; there is no health in my bones because of my sin.

4 For my iniquities have gone over my head; like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me.

5 My wounds stink and fester because of my foolishness,

6 I am utterly bowed down and prostrate; all the day I go about mourning.

7 For my sides are filled with burning, and there is no soundness in my flesh.

8 I am feeble and crushed; I groan because of the tumult of my heart.

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