Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hot or Cold?

We have seen some extreme weather over the past few years. It isn’t unusual for our state to see snow in October, but last year we experienced cold temperatures along with the snow that hung around for a while. I’ve mentioned before that our water feature froze early and was shut down for most of the winter.

Now we are experiencing hot temperatures. The official high in Denver yesterday was 100° degrees and it was near that the day before. The hot climate is making fighting our wildfires very difficult.

Although there are many who believe these extremes are worrisome and we are on a path of destruction, I am not going to discuss that issue. I am not an expert on the behaviors of our planet. I cannot speak to that topic.

What I can speak to is spiritual destruction. The church at Laodicea in Revelation 3:14-22 was a group of people who had chosen an easy path. They had made the decision to be lukewarm. And I’ll tell you now, the Amen (Jesus) was not happy with their lifestyle.

Laodicea was a wealthy city. Laodicea produced a glossy black wool that was used to make cloaks. There was a medical school in Laodicea the specialized in eye salve. Combined with the hot springs nearby, this city was bustling. Laodicea had great wealth.

Material wealth does not equal spiritual wealth. And that is exactly what the Amen found in Laodicea. A church that was neither hot nor cold. They were lukewarm.

Early in this section of Scripture, the Amen shares His issue. “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither not nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” (Revelation 3:15-16 – NIV)

I can’t help but wonder how the Amen views my life. Am I lukewarm? Do I profess to be a Christian, but don’t live up His expectations? How close am I to being spit from His mouth? My friends, these are serious questions. These are questions I must answer truthfully. Honestly. My spiritual well-being depends upon it.

If our decision is not to be spit from the Amen’s mouth, then what must we do? How shall we fix this spiritual issue? I think we can look at the other churches who were blessed and honored by the Amen’s words to see what He praised them for.

The church in Ephesus (Revelation 2:1-7)
Worked hard, persevered, did not tolerate wicked men, tested false teachers, endured hardships for Jesus’ name, and did not grow weary.

The church in Smyrna (Revelation 28-11)
Found riches in affliction and poverty, withstood lies, and suffered, but were faithful.

The church in Pergamum (Revelation 2:12-17)
Remained true to Jesus’ name and did not renounce their faith.

The church in Thyatira (Revelation 2:18-29)
Filled with love, faith, service, and perseverance.

The church in Sardis (Revelation 3:1-6)
Little faith remained with the majority of this church, but a few had not soiled their clothes. This remnant would walk with Jesus, wearing white, and were worthy.

The church in Philadelphia (Revelation 3:7-13)
Kept the Word, did not deny Jesus’ name, kept the commands, and endured patiently.

While there were some things Jesus held against the churches, Jesus saw good and value within. These are the characteristics Jesus wants to see in our lives. By following the examples given, we too are able to overcome.

Jesus chose to discipline the church at Laodicea. His desire was and is that all come to know Him and accept Him as Savior. Their spiritual awakening was a great witness to their peers and for future generations.

The riches this church would receive from the Amen were true treasures. Gold refined in the fire. White clothes to wear. Salve to put on their eyes. Once they possessed these riches, their lives would be changed. They would become rich. They would be able to cover their shameful nakedness. They would be able to see.

The Amen is knocking on the door of our hearts. We determine whether the door is opened or not. We determine if the Amen will join us for a meal. Jesus has promised victory to those who choose to be hot over being lukewarm. Phew! I think it’s getting hot!

Grace and peace be yours in abundance,


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