While reading “Switch on Your Brain” and other books, I’ve sensed the voice of the Lord saying, “Listen to me” and having portions of His Word pop into mind. In many cases, His Word affirms the words of the book but not always. I’m thankful for these reminders because I want to think God’s thoughts and not be side-tracked by human ideas that are not aligned with Him.
The last church to receive a letter from Jesus was in Laodicea. He did not commend them. His rebuke is sharp and yet not without hope:
“I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Revelation 3:14–22)
This rebuke would have been especially meaningful for two reasons. In their feasts as well as in their religious sacrifices, people at that time drank what was either hot or cold—never lukewarm. Besides that, Laodicea had their water piped in from a city a few miles north. By the time the water reached them it was lukewarm.
Jesus was rebuking their contentment with material wealth while being oblivious to their spiritual poverty. He used strong words to describe them. His reference to gold was another way of saying that the gold they enjoyed was not the best wealth. He also pointed to what they wore, beautiful clothes but they needed the white robes that symbolize righteousness to cover them. This was another meaningful rebuke because wool was a major product of the area and Laodicea was noted for a black garment made of black wool. Jesus also exhorted them to put His salve in their eyes. A medical school in Laodicea offered a salve to heal common eye troubles, but this church needed spiritual sight.
I am aware of modern churches that are unconscious their spiritual needs. They are happy with beautiful buildings and whatever else money can buy but without fellowship or genuine wealth. Their value systems are worldly, not godly. This letter appeals to them to open their doors and let Jesus in. Intimate fellowship with Christ means ruling with Him and sharing His victory. Lukewarm hearts miss much of God’s blessing and need to repent.
Lord Jesus, from these letters You encourage me to watch out for these dangers: losing my first love, being afraid of suffering, doctrinal defection, moral departure, spiritual deadness, not holding fast, and becoming lukewarm. These things happen to churches but also to individuals. Someone once said they would rather burn out than rust out. I tend to think that way too yet need to remember to rely on You, not try to do anything (great or small) in my own strength. As I begin this day, my prayer is for guidance, wisdom, and reliance on You in everything that You ask of me. Keep me filled with Your Spirit and with thoughts that come from Your heart.
Today’s thankful list . . .
- being more aware of my thoughts and how they affect my actions.
- knowing that I have eternal life.
- realizing how many times I live as if I don’t.
- the ladies who clean my house once a month.