Choose Your Warmth carefully!

January winds can bring a chill to south Florida. Okay, not as cold as the northern states of our fair country. Still, even for Florida, the temperatures this week have been a bit cool.

Cool—or cold—weather causes us to seek warmth. Heated homes. Fireplaces. Layered clothing. But not all warmth is the same. And if we’re not careful, the source of warmth can be more dangerous than the cold.

Consider the apostle Peter. On the night of Jesus’ arrest, Peter followed as the guards took Jesus to the home of the high priest. As he waited, Peter sat with the guards as he warmed himself by the fire in the courtyard (Mark 14:54).

Peter allowed himself to be separated from those who could come alongside and encourage him. By allowing himself to be isolated from the other disciples, he became vulnerable to temptation. So when the servant asked Peter if he was also a follower of Jesus, Peter panicked and denied it…three times (Mark 14:67-71).

Peter’s lesson to us? Choose your warmth carefully. The wrong kind can harm. But the right kind of warmth? That’s priceless.

Running from the physical cold can send us scurrying for heat. But while a fire in the fireplace can warm, a fire out of control can destroy.

Physicians warn frostbite victims not to treat the injury with hot water. The best treatment is a gentle bath of warm water instead.

And loneliness can cause us to seek the warmth of companionship with the wrong companions. Our need may cause us to ignore the warning signs of unhealthy relationships. But a godly friendship can bring encouragement and delight.

Then there’s the warmth that comes from knowing you belong to the God of creation. The One who loves us enough to send His Son, Jesus, to die for us. The One who sends His Holy Spirit to indwell every believer in Christ. And the same One whose presence was represented by tongues of fire among the believers in Jerusalem (Acts 2:3) – and ignited a revival!

Yes, His presence is the best warmth of all!

Ava Pennington

After a 20-year corporate career, Ava Pennington is thoroughly enjoying her second career as an author, teacher, and speaker. Her book, Daily Reflections on the Names of God: A Devotional, is published by Revell Books and endorsed by Kay Arthur, founder of Precepts Ministries. Ava has also written for numerous magazines, including Today’s Christian Woman and Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse. Her work has been published in 30+ anthologies, including 25 Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Ava also teaches a weekly Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) class. When she’s not writing and teaching, Ava enjoys playing with her mischievous 5-year-old Boxers, Duke & Daisy. For more information, visit

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