by Pastor Tim Burt
I have a handful of select memories in my childhood that are as clear as crystal. One of those memories is from the second grade. It was the first time I had ever seen anyone open a Bible and read from it. I was in a Catholic grade school and I had the most wonderful teacher of my life. She was a born-again nun named Sister Renee and she liked to read from the Bible. She was the only one I had ever heard read from the Bible. She’d make the words on the page come alive.
I’ll never forget the day she read the first and only Bible verse I remember from my childhood. It said, “I know you well–you are neither hot nor cold; I wish you were one or the other! But since you are merely lukewarm, I will spit you out of my mouth!” Revelation 3:15-16 (TLB)
It was the first time I could ever remember the feeling of conviction—the sense that God was bringing correction to my heart through His Word. I don’t even know if I ever had this feeling again until I was an adult and started reading the Bible for myself.
She read these verses and talked about how God wanted us to be hot for Him and excited about living for Him. She went on to say that when we are cold, at least we aren’t pretending to be someone we aren’t and it’s obvious to those around us. At least we won’t play both sides of the fence in hypocrisy. Then she spoke about being lukewarm. She said, When you’re lukewarm, you act like you love God and give the appearance of such, but you love to experiment and do the things Satan tempts you to do that you know you shouldn’t! It’s more like a religious front than a real relationship with God. She continued, This kind of person leads people astray because they act like they love God but live partly like the devil. Their example leads others to think that living both ways is okay. Their example leads others astray.
Funny, but at the age of 7 years old, I felt like I was that lukewarm person—the one who lived both ways—the one she said God would “spit from His mouth.” The thought terrorized me. The thought that I could be a taste so bad in God’s mouth that He would spit me out, made me want to change. This blessed woman of God made a powerful impact upon my life. I never stopped thinking about it until I eventually gave my life to the Lord.
The Bible compares the Word of God to seed, calling it incorruptible seed. Normal seeds can lose their ability to produce over time becoming corrupted by age and temperature. God’s Word is incorruptible and never loses it’s ability to produce! God’s seed—His Word, can always produce—even years later after we’ve heard those words and they lodged somewhere in our heart. The words from the Bible that she spoke to our class when I was a young boy, lodged in my heart! They were words of scripture and incorruptible seed. And they eventually took root in my heart!
Many people have heard things from God’s Word that have gotten stuck in their heart. Then somewhere, they hear something spoken from the word of God that waters those seeds in their heart and they become stirred. As God continues to draw them to Himself, those seeds of His word, spring forth and grow, eventually leading them to receive Jesus as their Savior.
I was never exposed to the reading of and studying of the Bible until I was 24 years old. When I was, those seeds of God’s Word planted by the Catholic nun 17 years earlier started to grow. The more I read the Bible, the more I desired to have a hot relationship with God. And for that reason, I will never forget that precious nun who shared the Word of God with me. Even after all those years God’s word of being hot and not lukewarm speak powerfully to me.
The world’s words are thoughts and opinions that people discard as fast as junk mail every minute of every day. The Word of God is incorruptible seed. It never loses it ability to work within us when we allow it to. So, open your heart and ask God to speak to you through His word! In all likelihood, you have seeds of His word planted in you! Prayer is like water! Pray and ask God to water His Word in you so that it can spring forth and help you live “hot” for Him! Pray that on the way to church and watch how God speaks to you through your Pastor!
1 Peter 1:23 (NIV) “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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