Just Add Hot Water!

Rob Stroup
Written by Rob Stroup

Think about instant oatmeal, grits, coffee, or rice. The instructions often say, “Just add hot water!” These items can save a lot of time. Whether or not we enjoy the taste of instant things from the grocery store, certainly we can appreciate the purpose for which they were made: instant benefit.

2 Timothy 4:2 "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine."

Paul challenges young preacher Timothy to be “instant” all the time, in good times and in bad, to proclaim the Word of God. Preachers are expected to be ready to share a word from Scripture that will fit the situation, whether at a death bed, a wedding, a ballgame, a sacred service or a birthday party. Every Christian, however, needs to be ready at a moment’s notice to testify for God.

1 Peter 3:15 "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts:and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:"

Recently I encountered a situation that challenged my thinking. The person approaching me with the situation was sure of what they felt my response should be, but I was uncertain. By postponing the full conversation as long as I could, I was able to obtain some godly input before giving counsel. In the end, I believe the right Bible verses were shared and God was honored. But I was still disappointed in myself for not having the correct, Biblical response on the tip of my tongue.

When the hot water hits, it requires us to be instant. A friend may be telling us about their spouse’s recently discovered cancer or their son’s addiction. This would be a great time to share a verse or passage from God’s Word, right? Are we ready?

What does it take to be instant or ready always? It requires two things: preparation and prayer. We must prepare our minds for the challenge. God has given us in His Word “all that pertains to life and godliness.” (2 Peter 1:3) We can find Bible passages pertaining to purity, self -discipline, faithfulness, hope, and eternal security. However, we may not know where in the Bible to look. If there is a specific life challenge or character trait that will exceed your spiritual knowledge, ask a godly friend, call a pastor, or go to the Berean Baptist Church bookstore and find a book on that topic. It will give you verses from Scripture that you can memorize so you are prepared for the hot water of life to hit!

Attitude is a daily, even moment by moment, challenge in the Christian walk. The wrong attitude when the hot water hits can sour our response. How do we adjust our attitude? Prayer is the way to get in the right frame of mind so we can respond correctly to a crisis. We should be constantly in prayer…even instant in prayer! (See Romans 12:12) Prayer bends our will and molds our emotions toward the humble spirit that God has promised to help. (James 4:6)

Are we instant Christians, ready for God to “just add hot water”?