Devotions By Jan

Sipping Hot

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Scripture for Today: Romans 12:11 “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.”

I only enjoy coffee when it is “sipping hot!”  When it gets room temperature or cold, I can hardly swallow it.  It either gets reheated in the microwave or dumped out in the sink.  Iced coffee seems a good way to reuse it but I have never acquired that taste.  The heat and the steam rising from the cup and warming me is all part of the coffee-drinking experience!  Many French friends enjoy their coffee in a bowl so as to warm their hands in the morning!

The verse that comes immediately to mind is God’s reproach to the Church in Laodicea.  They were lukewarm in their deeds, neither cold nor hot (Rev. 3:15-16).  The Lord wants us to remain hot or zealous for Him!  In our verse for today, Paul encourages the Roman church to never be lacking in zeal.  The context is our spiritual gifts used in the local church.

This fervor and zeal come from Him.  Just as the spiritual gifts are gifts of empowerment from His Spirit, so is this zeal.  When we try to manufacture zeal on our own, we run out of steam pretty quickly.  Our service becomes mechanical or ritualistic.  Our good works for the Lord come from a sense of obligation instead of being heartfelt.  We become lukewarm when we operate out of our own strength!

Not only does my zeal come from Him, but it needs to be an informed zeal that recognizes that my righteousness comes from Christ and not my own good works! (Romans 10:2)

I need some of that “spiritual fervor” today.  Lord, keep me zealous and energized for You.  I want to serve You but I cannot do it on my own.

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