by Pastor Doc Adkins
…Be ye holy; for I am holy. 1 Peter 1:16
Many years ago while living in Pineville, WV, I had a great buddy in the church who every time he saw me in town would yell to me, “hey Preacher, wanna go get a cup”? I must say most times, if time permitted I would. We would go to the Pineville Restaurant and share a cup of coffee. Most times the coffee was pretty good but there were a few times that it couldn’t have been worse.
I think everyone disagrees on what makes a good cup of coffee. With today’s hot coffee trend, we try all kinds of flavorings and different ways of experiencing coffee. It used to be basically served black or with cream and sugar. There wasn’t much variety.
Nowadays, people like coffee served and brewed a lot of different ways. We tend to disagree on what’s good. What we usually agree on is the basics on what makes a bad cup of coffee.
It can be weak, bitter, stale, cold, or soured by something we put in it and we’d probably all agree that it tastes bad. Face it. No one likes to drink a bad cup of coffee.
I don’t suppose people like those bad tasting Christians they come across either. I wonder what type of coffee we’d be.
When we are weak Christians, we don’t have much faith. Sometimes when we are weak we don’t know God’s Word enough to know what we stand on. The way to remedy our weakness is to add some grounds.
Dig into God’s Word and get grounded on the principles found in the bible. Study the attributes of God. Learn what you believe concerning doctrine and bone up on the basics of living the Christian life. Enrich yourself with a vibrant prayer life and rely on God’s strength and not your own.
I’ve known my share of bitter Christians and I’ve been there at a few points in my own life but if bitterness isn’t dealt with, it starts growing and eating up your life. Bitterness doesn’t leave a pleasant aroma.
You can’t do much with a bitter cup of coffee. No matter how much cream or sugar, or even how much whip cream you want to plop on top, the bitter taste is still there. You have to dump it out and refill the cup with a new fresh brewed pot of coffee. Isn’t that just so like in the Christian life? No matter how much we add to our Christian lives, no matter how many good deeds we do, how many church programs we become involved with, if our bitterness is still there, we are still bitter and it hinders us in our Christian walk.
What we need to do is empty all our bitterness and ourselves of self and then allow the filling of the Holy Spirit to take control of our lives.
The dictionary describes, stale as “tasteless or unpalatable from age”. Do you ever get complacent about your Christianity? Just have lost that first love? It’s easy to do, especially for those of us who’ve known the Lord for a very long time. We kind of get weary in well doing.
I know we don’t want to just sit as Christians and not do anything but we do. “Unpalatable” doesn’t go far enough to describe us sometimes. I guess we need to freshen up.
There’s a worship chorus that says, “Holy Spirit fall fresh on me. Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me. Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on me.” I think that’s what we all need so that we will get busy for the Lord. We don’t want to be Christians that just sit and get stale and tasteless.
You may have brought a cup of coffee to your lips that you hadn’t realized had gotten cold. You think it’s going to be warm and good and then you realize that it’s cold. We get that way in our desire to serve Christ. We grow cold as a Christian.
There are probably a lot of reasons. We get away from Christ, slowdown in our bible reading and prayer life, stop going to church and pretty soon we are cold.
What do you do to a cold cup of coffee? Most of us just add a little bit of hot stuff from the coffee pot. We go to the source of the heat. That’s how we should do as Christians. Go to the Source. Get on our knees and talk to the Lord. Draw closer to Him and then we’ll get warmed up in our Christian walk.
Have you ever tried something new in your coffee? With all those new flavorings and things out there, I’m sure some have. Ever tried something in your coffee that just left a sour taste in your mouth and that didn’t agree with you? Or maybe you’ve put some cream that had gone bad into your coffee. That’s a sure fire way to ruin a perfectly good cup of coffee.
It’s the same thing when we allow worldly and ungodly things into our lives as Christians. It doesn’t agree with us because we are in the world but not of it. As Christians, those things sour us and basically make us rotten. We become ineffective in our Christian lives when we allow the things of the world to come spilling in.
I hope I don’t prove to be a bad cup of coffee. The verse, “…Be ye holy; for I am holy”, 1 Peter 1:16 is a powerful verse. One way of preaching it is talking about how spending time with the Lord brings that sweet aroma.
I think that’s what this is all about. In order to avoid being weak, bitter, stale, cold, and sour as Christians, we have to learn to be in the presence of God more.
Spending time with the Lord through prayer, bible reading and study is what’s going to make us into those strong cups of coffee. It will allow us to let the Holy Spirit stir us. I know I need to work on spending more time with Christ. I think we sometimes take our time with the Lord lightly. I know, perhaps, I do.