Summer Heat!!!

August has lived up to its reputation: the past several weeks have been extremely hot! As all Southerners know, the difference between the heat here and the heat elsewhere is the incredibly high humidity we enjoy in this part of the country. During our time in New Orleans, we faced some comparable heat indexes. As uncomfortable as the past few weeks have been outside, we have found relief in our air-conditioned homes and offices. We thank God for air-conditioning!

I remember going to school without air-conditioning. We had to roll out the windows in our classrooms. I did not have an air-conditioned class until 5th grade. Then, when I reached 7th grade, along with 8th grade, we had to go back to the rolled-out windows. Life was certainly different 35 years ago. In some ways we have devolved, but in other ways our quality of life has improved dramatically.

Imagine, however, living in an environment like ours and air-conditioning is not available. That type of situation would be miserable. No one likes to be uncomfortable. With our summer heat firmly in our minds, think of the heat and misery of the rich man in Luke 16: 23 And being in torment in Hades, he looked up and saw Abraham a long way off, with Lazarus at his side.24 ‘Father Abraham!’ he called out, ‘Have mercy on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this flame!’ Certain passages in Scripture have an intrinsically high shock-value. This passage is certainly one of them.

After the rich man learned his fate was sealed, he became concerned about his five brothers. He requested Lazarus be sent to warn his brothers of the reality of the misery of choosing the things of this life over eternity with Christ. Abraham’s reply includes a veiled truth about the value and priority of the Word of God: 29 “But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.’ 30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said. ‘But if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ 31 “But he told him, ‘If they don’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not be persuaded if someone rises from the dead.’” Few things would be more TikTok worthy today than someone returning from the grave. Such an event would certainly cause quite a stir in our world. However, as conspicuous as such an event would be, the Word of God would still be more powerful and noteworthy. Abraham told the rich man that his brothers had the Word of God and that should have been enough to convince them of their need to choose Christ and eternal life over the temporal pleasures of this world.

Once we begin to look elsewhere than the Word of God for answers to life’s ultimate questions we are headed into a dead-end of misery. If we fail to heed God’s Word what is left to listen to that has solid grounding? What could we possibly turn to for more guidance and strength than we find in the recorded voice of God?

As temperatures continue to peak in the 90s and the humidity skyrockets, let’s remind ourselves of the critical im-portance of hearing and heeding God’s Word. Let’s continue to study God’s Word and obey God’s Word. Jesus stat-ed it well in Matthew 7: 24 “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them will be like a sensi-ble man who built his house on the rock.25 The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of Mine and doesn’t act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 The rain fell, the rivers rose, the winds blew and pounded that house, and it collapsed. And its collapse was great!” May we be wise and build our house upon the rock of God’s Word.
-Pastor Clint Miller