Wednesday, 17 June 2015

A lesson from Laodicea

And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. – Revelation 3.14-21

For most of my life when someone asked if I wanted tea my mental image was a tall, iced filled glass of sweet tea with condensation drops running down the outside of the glass. I could, nearly literally, drink it by the gallon. Nothing satisfied my thirst like it. I loved it at any time in the Alabama heat. In fact, I was just out walking last night and it have become a little warm (for us) and I came home and enjoyed a glass of sweet iced tea last night.

Of course now if someone asks me if I would like tea I think of lovely scalding hot cup of Lyon’s tea with that dark orangey colour. Nothing satisfies like a nice hot cuppa – but it has to be hot.

 There have been a few times where I have become distracted and forgotten about my cup of tea. I may notice it after a while and reached out to take a big gulp only to get a mouthful of tepid, lukewarm tea.

YUCK – I am always tempted to simple spew it out, but usually can’t to I have to grab the cup and spit it back in the cup. It is nothing but GROSS! It is sickening.

And that is a human picture of how Jesus feels about the lukewarm church. Of course it would be better if we are on fire for God, but at least when we are spiritually cold it is clear that we need revival.

But when we are lukewarm we are just blech.

Lukewarmness makes God sick – ‘I will spew you out of my mouth.’ The lukewarm church thinks it is fine. It takes on all the forms of being rich. It thinks it is doing fine because it has loads of money. ‘We are doing fine,’ they say, ‘just have a look around!’

But Jesus says ‘you don’t even know how poor you are spiritually. You are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.’

Jesus tells the lukewarm church that they need to seek heavenly riches and to and to be clothed in his righteousness and heal their eyes so that they can see what it really important.

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