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Hibernating Christians

Romans 13:11-14

"You know Kevin Jones, right?" asked Juan as he helped his dad get the garden ready for planting.

"Sure," said Dad. "He seemed to be a nice kid when I had him in Sunday school class. He memorized lots of verses and led in devotions, too."

"Yeah." Juan nodded. "He's 'Kevin the Christian' at home and church, but at school, he's 'Kevin the Kool Kid.' He laughs at dirty jokes and uses swear words and never admits that he goes to church and Sunday school." Juan dug deeply into the freshly turned earth. "Look here, Dad!" he exclaimed. "I just dug up a toad!" He poked at the flabby mass. The toad offered no resistance. "Is it dead?"

"No," said Dad, looking at the toad. "Just sleepy. He's been hibernating, and the ground isn't warm enough yet to wake him up. His blood is cold, so he's sluggish."

"Wake up, silly toad." Juan pushed it with his foot. "I could cut you in two, and you'd just lie still and let me do it."

"That toad reminds me of some Christians I know," said Dad as he leaned on his hoe. Juan was puzzled, but he grinned as he thought about someone looking like a toad. "To a large degree, a toad's behavior is affected by his surroundings," continued Dad, "and that's true of of some people, too. They act like Christians only when they're with Christians. When they're with unbelievers, they seem to hibernate spiritually. They don't talk about the Lord and what He's done for them. When they're surrounded by the world, they sometimes even join in doing sinful things."

"Like Kevin!" exclaimed Juan.

"Perhaps," said Dad, "but instead of judging him, let's pray for him and let's examine ourselves. God made toads cold-blooded-their blood temperature corresponds with their surroundings and determines how active they are. But God did not intend for His children to be controlled by their surroundings."

Juan nodded. "You don't know what a close call you had, Mr. Toad," he said as he dug a hole and put the drowsy toad in it to continue its nap. "It' s okay for you to let your surroundings make you sleepy or busy. But I'm going to remember you and not be like that! I'm going to act like a Christian whether I'm with other Christians or not!"

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