“…a cup of cold water…”
Jesus encouraged us to live a considerate life; He said even a cup of cold water given in His name would be rewarded. What is the considerate life?
A considerate person is one who is thoughtful in many things.
- The needs of others,
- The issues of the day,
- The principles that guide our daily choices, and,
- The long term effect of decisions made today.
An inconsiderate person is the opposite of this.
- Thinks primarily of personal needs,
- Only considers the issues of the day in light of the effect on him/her,
- Is highly pragmatic, considering only what works in each moment, and
- Rarely gives a thought to the future harvest today’s seed may bring.
Obviously, the more considerate we choose to be, the more we will be welcomed into the company of others. There will be some who feel entitled to our consideration so it probably will not be returned or appreciated. Their failure, however, should not affect our determination to live considerate lives.
The Consideration of God and His Word
The first direction in which we should focus our consideration is toward the Lord Himself. Such consideration of God is a vital form of worship. When we think about God, deeply, personally, and regularly, He reveals Himself to us. Reading the Bible with an open heart is a powerful way to consider God. When we read the story of Jesus, we should put ourselves into the narrative so that when we read His words, He is speaking to us.
The Consideration of Creation
To pay close attention to the sky, the land, the waters, the animals, and the people God has made with His own hands, is a wonderful way to draw close to Him. Considering the cosmos and the earth within it to be God’s handiwork provides a perspective on our place in things that is essential.
The Consideration of Culture
The thoughtful person seeks to understand the unseen forces at work in the world by closely considering what is broadcast, published, printed, and presented by the surrounding culture. Jesus said that people speak from the contents of the heart. If artists and entertainers have wickedness in their hearts, it will surface in their work. Entertainers will make us laugh at things that aren’t funny at all.
- They will celebrate and promote shameful things that should be denounced and suppressed.
- They will present a seductive beauty that will tempt us to lust after the things of the flesh rather than the spirit.
- They will propagate the themes of the moment rather than the wisdom of the ages. Their passion is for the here-and-now and they show a callous disregard for the future.
If we do not listen critically and watch thoughtfully, the lies the culture tells will erode the force of the truth we hold inside that came from God.
- The pressing present moment will supplant the silent but impending future that will surely come.
- The trembling vibrations of pleasure today will all too quickly give way to the violent shaking of judgment tomorrow.
If we carefully consider the culture around us in the light of the Word of God, we will be warned to flee from the wrath to come.
The Consideration of Others
We do not live in a vacuum. Our lives affect the lives of others and they affect us. The Bible makes it clear that we should love our neighbors as ourselves. This is no easy or natural thing to do; it is a gift from God, an enablement from the Holy Spirit.
- Some of our neighbors worship with us and still others worship the same Lord in other churches. They are what the Bible calls the household of faith. We should consider them to be family: mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers.
- Most of our neighbors are not members of the household of faith, but they, like us, were created to have a relationship with God. When we are considerate of them, it is a witness, not to our character, but to the character of Christ. Our thoughtful consideration of them, leads toward their Creator, not away from Him.
In prayer today, stop and consider: God and His Word, His marvelous creation, the fallen culture around us, and the people we know. Look for “cups of cold water” within in your power to share. Such consideration makes us a force for good in the world.
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.
I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds. Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God? You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples. With your mighty arm you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Galatians 6:7-10 NKJV
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
Matthew 10:40-42 NKJV
“He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.”
Lord Jesus, Again today I am inspired by the life You lived on this earth. Your kindness to those in pain, to the oppressed, and to those bound in poverty stands out on every page. When you talked about “cups of cold water,” people knew what You meant. Today I will live a life of consideration. I will ponder the meaning of things. I will judge the culture by the eternal Word of God and I will keep my eyes open for the thirsty soul within my reach. You have blessed me with living water to spare so I will share it today, not just in words but in deeds of mercy. All for You, Lord Jesus. All for You. Amen.
Let Me Touch Him
Words and Music: Vep Ellis
There’s a river, a river flowing,
From within and to cleanse my soul;
And the flow sets my life to glowing,
Holy Spirit, more than silver or gold.
Oh to be His hand extended,
Reaching out to the oppressed.
Let me touch Him, let me touch Jesus,
So that others may know and be blest.
© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved