Monday, December 15, 2008
The high for today....
.....are you ready?
A better question might be: Am I ready!
Yup! I'm not teasing; that would be minus 1 Fahrenheit.
A good day to stay in and read my new FAVORITE Devotional.
Rick Renner's Sparkling Gems from the Greek is a 365 Word Study for Every day of the Year to sharpen your understanding of God's Word.
Yet, it's so much more than that!
There is something very special about studying Greek words; reading the
Words of Jesus understanding each word used, bringing His original intent to Scripture.
Renner brings the gospel alive each day and I honestly feel as though I have sat with Jesus and his disciples as I read each devotional each morning.
An excerpt from December 15th: (Romans 12:11):
"Paul also says that we should be "...fervent in spirit..." The word "fervent" is the Greek word zeo, which originally meant to boil. This is the picture of a person so enthusiastic about his task that he can hardly contain his excitement. The desire to do his job with excellence and enthusiasm is constantly boiling inside the person who is diligent about his assignment. In fact, the Greek tense used here would be better translated, "...Be constantly fervent in spirit..." The word "spirit" does not refer to the Holy Spirit, but to the attitude of this believer. It means, "...Be constantly fervent in your attitude..."
Then Paul takes it another step by saying that we are to be "...fervent in spirit; serving the Lord." It is very plan what Paul is declaring here: A right attitude is one of the most effective ways for a person to serve the Lord. You see, when a believer does his job right and with an awesome attitude, it is a testimony to the name of Jesus. But when a believer does his work shabbily, he projects a sorry image of who Jesus is. This is exactly what happened in the case of that foreign head of government who asked me if all Christians were as mediocre as the ones he had encountered." (Renner, 2003, 956)
Knowing that Rick Renner and his wife Denise live and minister in Russia where they are bringing the Light of Jesus to "a world filled with intrigue, interest, historical happenings, and exceedingly unusual developments...a world where spiritual darkness prevailed, but which is now being penetrated by the Light of the Gospel"--does this change the tone of Romans 12:11 for you?
I have been convicted.
Does the busy-ness of this Holiday Season render me "slothful?" Does the sub-zero weather cause me to complain and become complacent as I sit before my fireplace, toasty warm, knowing it is too cold to go outside? The things that cause our Western Society to become apathetic, indifferent or luke-warm pale in comparison to the struggles of the Romans who received this Pauline letter or to the Russians who Rick Renner ministers to.
Renner says, "The word "slothful" is the Greek word okneros, a word that means lazy or idle. It carries the idea of a person who has a do-nothing, lethargic, lackadaisical, apathetic, indifferent, lukewarm attitude toward life."
And then, there's the challenge: "When people look at my life, do they come away with a positive idea of what a Christian is like, or does my example leave people unimpressed with Jesus Christ?"
My Prayer for Today:
"Lord, I am very convicted by what I have read today. I don't want to allow any area of my life to be a bad testimony of who Jesus is. Therefore, I am asking You to open my eyes and show me those areas of my life that need to come up to a higher leve. Please forgive me for being tolerant of low standards that are not compatible with the excellence of Jesus' wonderful name. Starting today, I want to move up higher. Holy Spirit, please help me as I start taking steps toward making serious changes in my life, my attitudes, and my actions."
Though the windchill may plunge--my spirit must rise!
And beginning each day with Sparkling Gems from the Greek....is a great way to heat up my spirit: I want to be "constantly fervent," how about you?